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John Toshack
Personal information
Full name John Benjamin Toshack
Date of birth 22 March 1949 (1949-03-22) (age 60)
Place of birth    Cardiff, Wales
Playing position Striker (retired)
Club information
Current club Wales (Manager)
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
1965–1970
1970–1978
1978–1984
Cardiff City
Liverpool
Swansea City
Total
162 0(74)
246 0(96)
063 0(25)
471 (195)   
National team
1968-1969
1969–1980
Wales Under-23
Wales
004 00(0)
040 0(12)
Teams managed
1978–1983
1983–1984[1]
1984–1985
1985–1989
1989–1990
1991–1994
1994
1995–1997
1997–1999
1999
2000–2001
2001–2002
2002–2003
2004
2004–
Swansea City
Swansea City
Sporting C.P.
Real Sociedad
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Sociedad
Wales
Deportivo
Beşiktaş J.K.
Real Madrid C.F.
Saint-Étienne
Real Sociedad
Catania
Real Murcia
Wales

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

John Benjamin Toshack OBE (born 22 March 1949) is a Welsh football manager and former player. He is the current manager of the Welsh national football team, having taken on this role in late 2004, and briefly managed the national side once before in the early 1990s. He has also managed several others clubs including Swansea City, who he took from the Fourth Division to the First in three seasons.

As a player, he is best remembered for being part of the great Liverpool side of the 1970s, where he formed a formidable forward partnership with Kevin Keegan.

Contents

Cardiff City (1965-1970)

Born in Cardiff, Wales, Toshack started his footballing career with Cardiff City, signing for them as a 16 year old. He became the youngest ever player to play in a league match for the club when he came off the bench to make a goalscoring debut during a 3-1 win over Leyton Orient on 13 November 1965 at the age of 16 years and 236 days old, a record which would stand for 41 years until it was broken by Aaron Ramsey in 2007[2]. Establishing himself in the side over the next few years, scoring his first hat-trick in January 1978 in an 8-0 win over Ebbw Vale in the Welsh Cup, he would go on to form one of the most lethal strike partnerships in the clubs history alongside Brian Clark.

Liverpool (1970-1978)

After four years at Cardiff City, he was signed by Bill Shankly for Liverpool on the 11 November 1970. Already a full international, Shankly paid £110,000 for the giant striker. Toshack made his debut 3 days later on the 14th in the goalless league draw with Coventry City at Anfield. His first goal came a week later on the 21st in a remarkable Merseyside derby at Anfield. With the game 0-0 at half-time Everton thundered into a 2-0 lead just after the start of the second half. 69 minutes in Steve Heighway pulled a goal back, this seemed to spring the Reds into life, Toshack's goal in the 76th minute completely turned the game around, then when Chris Lawler prodded home the 84th minute winner the fans almost lifted the roof off the Kop. Toshack's goal instantly made him a hit amongst the Anfield faithful, which was a good thing as they had initially voiced their concerns in paying so much for the Welshman.

In 1971, Kevin Keegan joined Liverpool from Scunthorpe United. Toshack and Keegan struck up an almost telepathic partnership with Toshack winning everything in the air and Keegan finishing the knock downs. They were a delight for commentators as their names rolled off the tongue easily, one famous piece of commentary by David Coleman went "Toshack, Keegan, one nil!" Such was their fame, the football magazine Shoot likened them to the comic book crimebusters Batman and Robin even taking a photograph of the pair dressed in the Dynamic Duo's costumes. By the time Keegan left for German side Hamburg SV he had scored exactly 100 goals with a large percentage of them being set up by Toshack.

During his time with Liverpool Toshack scored 96 goals; he was part of the team that won the Football League Championship in 1973, 1976 and 1977, the FA Cup in 1974, and the UEFA Cup in 1973 and 1976. He played for the Welsh national football team at schoolboy, under-23 and full international level earning 40 caps and scoring 12 goals, including a hat trick against Scotland in the 1979 British Home Championship. However, his playing career was blighted by injuries and he was transferred to Swansea City A.F.C. as player-manager in 1978 (he already passed his coaching badge at the age of 18), where he succeeded Harry Griffiths.

Toshack is still held in high regard by the supporters of Liverpool and was voted in at No.34 on the Liverpool Football Club web-site poll 100 Players Who Shook The Kop, in which thousands of fans worldwide voted for their top 100 Liverpool players.

Management career

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Swansea City (1978-1984)

He was an immediate success at the Vetch Field, taking them from the Fourth Division all the way to the First Division in four seasons. Once they reached the top flight, the Swans were predicted by many to go straight back down, but they kicked off with a surprise 5-1 victory over Leeds United and topped the league at several stages of the season before finishing sixth. However, they were relegated the following year and then suffered a second successive relegation and eventually returned to the league basement in 1986 just 8 years after Toshack first took charge. Toshack won the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year in 1981.[3]

It was around this time that Toshack received the OBE for his services to football.

Spells abroad and first spell with Wales (1984-2004)

In 1984, Toshack was appointed manager of the Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, but he only lasted one season in the post. His greatest success as a manager so far came in Spain, where he managed Real Madrid twice, Real Sociedad three times, Deportivo La Coruna and Real Murcia. He has also managed the Turkish side Beşiktaş J.K., French side AS Saint-Étienne and Italian side Catania. He was appointed manager of Wales for the first time in 1994, but only spent 41 days in the post, resigning after a 3-1 defeat to Norway.

Welsh national team (2004-present)

Despite this, he was appointed to the post for a second time in November 2004. This was greeted with scepticism by many Welsh fans, as Toshack had often spoken negatively about the national side during the reign of his predecessor Mark Hughes (1999-2004), despite Hughes having taken Wales to within one game of the European Championship.

Personal life

Toshack's son Cameron, was also a professional footballer, making a handful of appearances for Cardiff City.

Honours

As a player

As player/manager

As a manager

Individual honours

References

  1. ^ Toshack left Swansea in October 1983, only to return in December.
  2. ^ "Jones hails record breaker Ramsey" BBC Sport Retrieved on 3 May 2007
  3. ^ "BBC Sport-Wales-BBC Wales Sports Personality Of The Year". BBC website. BBC. 2008-12-08. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/wales/2525091.stm. Retrieved 2009-10-28.  

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Wales Duncan Evans
BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year
1981
Succeeded by
Wales Steve Barry

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