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Dave Sexton
Personal information
Full name David Sexton
Date of birth 6 April 1930 (1930-04-06) (age 79)
Place of birth Islington, London, England
Playing position Inside forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1951–1952 Luton Town 9 (1)
1952–1955 West Ham United 74 (27)
1956–1957 Leyton Orient 24 (4)
1957–1958 Brighton & Hove Albion 49 (26)
1959 Crystal Palace 27 (11)
Total 183 (69)
Teams managed
1965 Leyton Orient
1967–1974 Chelsea
1974–1977 Queens Park Rangers
1977–1981 Manchester United
1977–1990 England U21
1981–1983 Coventry City
1994–1996 England U21
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

David "Dave" Sexton (born 6 April 1930) is an English former football manager and player.


Playing career

Son of former professional boxer Archie Sexton, he started his playing career with West Ham United in 1948. Playing mainly at inside-forward, he would finish his career with time at Luton Town, Leyton Orient, Brighton and Hove Albion, and Crystal Palace. His biggest success came at Brighton, where he won the Third Division (South) Title in 1957–58.

Coaching and managerial career

He started off as a coach at Chelsea, before leaving to begin his managerial career at Leyton Orient for a brief spell in 1965. In 1966 he was appointed by Arsenal manager Bertie Mee as the Gunners' first-team coach, but a year later returned to Chelsea to become manager following the departure of Tommy Docherty. He led the club to FA Cup success in 1970 and the European Cup Winners' Cup a year later. Chelsea also reached the League Cup final in 1972, but lost to Stoke City. Sexton then fell out with several important players, such as Peter Osgood and Alan Hudson, who were subsequently sold. This, combined with other problems at the club, ensured that Sexton didn't come close to repeating his earlier success and he was sacked after a poor start to the 1974–75 season.

Shortly afterwards, he was appointed manager of Queens Park Rangers. With a team containing the likes of Stan Bowles and Gerry Francis, as well as players recruited from ex-club Chelsea, John Hollins and David Webb, Sexton took Rangers to within a point of the League title in 1975–76. They were top after playing their final game, but Liverpool's late win over Wolverhampton Wanderers denied them.

He took over at Manchester United – again succeeding Tommy Docherty – but his reign was characterised by dour football and was not popular with the fans. In appointing Sexton it appeared as if the United board had again opted for safety following the tumultuous tenure of Docherty.

His reign at Old Trafford failed to deliver any trophies and in the pressure atmosphere that was engulfing United, Sexton seemed an inevitable casualty. The highlight was an FA Cup final appearance in 1979, losing 3–2 to Arsenal in a dramatic match, and finishing as league runners-up to Liverpool in 1979–80. Sexton was dismissed in April 1981, despite having won his final seven games in charge, and managed Coventry City for two years (preserving their top flight status) before leaving in 1983 to go into semi-retirement.

Sexton also had a very successful period as coach of the England's Under-21 side, and won the UEFA Under 21's Championship twice, in 1982 and 1984. After that he went on the become the FA's first Technical Director at the FA's National School at Lilleshall in 1984. He also wrote a book on coaching a soccer team for coaches of all levels called "Tackle Soccer."

He currently resides in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, where he is due to be commemorated with a new building in the town centre. He has lived in Kenilworth since becoming Coventry City manager in 1981 and the building in his honour, Sexton House, is a refurbished building divided between shops and offices.[1]



As a player

West Ham United

Brighton & Hove Albion

As a manager


Queens Park Rangers

Manchester United

England Under-21s

Managerial statistics

Team Nat From To Record
G W L D Win %
Leyton Orient England January 1965 December 1965 37 7 20 10 18.9
Chelsea England October 1967 October 1974 333 140 93 100 42.0
Queens Park Rangers England October 1974 July 1977 130 57 41 32 43.8
Manchester United England July 1977 April 1981 191 75 52 64 39.3
England Under-21s England 1977 1990
Coventry City England May 1981 May 1983 88 28 39 21 31.8
England Under-21s England 1994 1996

External links


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