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Frank Barlow
Personal information
Full name Frank Charles Barlow
Date of birth October 15, 1946 (1946-10-15) (age 63)
Place of birth    Sheffield, England
Playing position Midfielder (retired)
Club information
Current club Wigan Athletic (first-team coach)
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Sheffield United
121 (2)
140 (3)   
Teams managed
Scunthorpe United
Nottingham Forest (joint caretaker)
Wigan Athletic (caretaker)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Frank Charles Barlow (born 15 October 1946) is a football coach. He was briefly caretaker manager at Wigan Athletic after the sacking of Chris Hutchings, having joined as assistant in June 2007 after leaving Hull City in October 2006.

His footballing career has spanned almost 40 years in different roles at many clubs.


Playing career

Barlow was a defensive midfielder who started his football career with his hometown club of Sheffield United. After signing professional terms in 1965 at the age of 19, he went on to make 121 appearances and scored 2 goals.

He was bought by Chesterfield in 1972 for a club record fee of £15,000. He made 140+ appearances and scored 3 times. He was kept on as caretaker manager following the sacking of Joe Shaw. He later became the first-team coach at the age of just 31.

Management and Coaching



Barlow became the full time manager in 1980, but protested several times throughout his reign that he didn't want the job. He said he was always more comfortable as a coach than as a boss.

Despite this, he brought success to the club in his first season as Manager, winning the Anglo-Scottish Cup (after beating Notts County 2–1) and the divisional manager of the month award for March 1981. His refreshing honesty was heavily appreciated by the supporters and he managed to keep the club in touch with promotion, despite a worsening financial situation, which led to the club being relegated in his second season with Chesterfield. When a new board of directors came in, the whole coaching team was sacked, but Barlow was offered a place among the new setup. He declined out of loyalty to his coaching staff. Barlow thus left with his dignity and self-respect intact, and without carrying much of the blame for Chesterfield's dire relegation season.

Scunthorpe United

Barlow almost immediately returned to football, becoming the Assistant Manager at Scunthorpe United. He became manager a year later. Again he said he didn't want the job, but nevertheless he had a fair amount of success, keeping them clear of relegation in 1984 and then maintaining a respectable league position the following season.

He left Scunthorpe in 1987 and did not return to management for almost 20 years, concentrating mostly on coaching and various other back-room posts.

19 years in the shadows

Again he was immediately back into football, this time a youth and reserve team coach for Barnsley. A year later he joined Sheffield Wednesday as a coach, where he remained for 7 years until 1996. He then moved to Birmingham City with Trevor Francis for 2 years before returning to Sheffield Wednesday as assistant manager. Soon after, he went to Bristol City. He left in 2004, joining Paul Merson as assistant manager at Walsall. He resigned in January 2005 after a 5–0 defeat at the hands of Colchester United, which almost cost Merson his job.

Back in the spotlight with Nottingham Forest

In January 2005, Nottingham Forest's new manager Gary Megson brought Barlow to the club as assistant manager. When Megson was unable to avoid relegation into League One of the Football League, and then struggled to maintain a promotion push, he left the club 'by mutual consent' and Barlow, along with Forest's reserve team coach Ian McParland, was made co-caretaker manager. It was a position Barlow hoped he would never be in again after leaving Scunthorpe almost 20 years before.

Barlow sparked a remarkable turn around on Trentside, and led Forest to an unbeaten run of 10 games, with 6 straight wins. Forest just missed out on equalling a club record of 7 straight wins when they fell to a 3–2 defeat at the hands of Hartlepool United. Frank Barlow was named joint Manager of the Month with McParland for March 2006.

When Colin Calderwood was appointed as the new boss, Barlow and McParland reverted to coaching roles with Forest.

Hull City

Hull City appointed Frank Barlow as caretaker manager on 28 June 2006. This was due to protracted negotiations in securing the release of their managerial target, Phil Parkinson, from his contract with Colchester United. This role however lasted only two days; Parkinson was appointed manager on 30 June 2006, and Barlow reverted to the role of his assistant.

Barlow's role was to be short lived. A coaching staff re-shuffle following the Tigers' disappointing start to the season saw Barlow leave the club in October 2006.[1]

Later in the season he moved to Bradford City as assistant to caretaker manager David Wetherall.[2]

Wigan Athletic

In June 2007 Wigan Athletic appointed Barlow as the assistant manager to Chris Hutchings. Barlow, now 60, was taken on for his vast experience in the game, as Hutchings enthused "I need someone I can trust implicitly when it comes to football knowledge, you can't get more experience than he's got, he knows players inside-out." After Hutchings was sacked in November 2007, Barlow was named as Wigan's caretaker manager. When Steve Bruce was appointed the Club's new manager and Eric Black brought across from Birmingham City assuming the role of assistant manager. Frank, having worked with Steve in the past, was appointed to the position of first-team coach at Wigan.



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