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Les Shannon
Personal information
Full name Les Shannon
Date of birth 12 March 1926(1926-03-12)
Place of birth    Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Date of death    2 December 2007 (aged 81)
Place of death    Leighton Buzzard, England
Playing position Centre-forward
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
011 0(1)
263 (39)
274 (40)   
National team
England "B"
Teams managed
PAOK Thessaloniki FC
Iraklis Thessaloniki
OFI Crete
OFI Crete
Aigaleo FC

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

Leslie "Les" Shannon (12 March 1926 – 2 December 2007)[1] was an English football player and manager.


Playing career

Shannon was born in Liverpool; a centre-forward, he started his playing career with his hometown club of Liverpool in November 1944. He made his debut for the Reds four years later, against Manchester City at Anfield on 17 April 1948, as a substitute for Albert Stubbins. His only goal for the Merseyside club came the following season, in a 2-1 win at Sheffield United on 30 August 1948.

After Shannon's contract with Liverpool expired in November 1949, he joined Burnley. Playing on both flanks for Burnley, Shannon clocked up 263 league appearances and scored 39 goals.

Shannon retired from playing first-team football in September 1958 and captained Burnley's reserve team for a year.

Coaching and management

In 1959, Shannon moved into coaching with Everton, and in 1962, he joined Billy Wright's backroom staff at Arsenal.[2]

After four years at Highbury, Shannon took over as manager of Second Division Bury. Bury finished bottom in his first season in charge, but he guided them back the following season as runners-up to Oxford United, only to see them make the drop again in 1969.

After Bury's relegation, Shannon took over as manager of Blackpool, with whom he had instant success, finishing as runners-up to Huddersfield Town and winning promotion back to the top flight. This was achieved without the services of the club's star player, Tony Green, who sat out the entire 1969-70 season due to injury. In 1970-71, however, Blackpool finished bottom and were relegated to the league's second tier once again. Shannon had left his position only two months into the season and after only seventeen months in charge. He was replaced, in a caretaker role, by Jimmy Meadows.

Shannon accepted an offer to work in Greece,[3] where he coached PAOK from 1971 to 1974, leading them to win the Greek Cup twice in 1972 and 1974. In 1973, PAOK were runners-up in the Greek championship race and quarter-finalists in the European Cup-Winners' Cup, bowing out to AC Milan. He was sacked the following year, however. He moved on to another Salonica club, Iraklis, with whom he won their first and only major trophy to date, the Greek Cup, in 1976.

There followed a spell with Olympiacos in Piraeus, six months of coaching Panachaiki in Patras, two stints with OFI in Crete, an interlude back in England as an adviser with Port Vale,[4] and a two-year stay with Brann in Norway, before he returned permanently to Britain in 1984, where he settled in Bedfordshire. He became a scout for Luton, and this would be his final role in football.

Shannon is still considered by Greek fans and media to have been one of the most successful foreign managers to ever work in Greek football.[5]

Film and TV advisor

Shannon's knowledge of football led to his working alongside Pelé in coordinating the football sequences of the 1981 war movie Escape to Victory.[6] He was also enlisted as an advisor on the Channel 4 series The Manageress in 1989.[1]


Shannon died after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease. At his memorial service at the Square Methodist Church, Dunstable, former Manchester United manager Wilf McGuinness spoke about the life and times of Les, whilst one of the songs chosen was "You'll Never Walk Alone", sung by two of his great nephews Tom Wing and James Wing, a homage to Les' beginnings in football.

See also


Further reading

  • Calley, Roy (1992). Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887-1992, Breedon Books, ISBN 1-873626-07-X

External links



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