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Mick Rathbone
Personal information
Full name Michael John Rathbone
Date of birth 6 November 1958 (1958-11-06) (age 51)
Place of birth Birmingham, England
Playing position Full back
Club information
Current club Everton (Head of Sports Medicine)
Youth career
Aston Villa
1974–1976 Birmingham City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976–1979 Birmingham City 020 (0)
1979 Blackburn Rovers (loan) 00? (?)[A]
1979–1987 Blackburn Rovers 273 (2)[A]
1987–1991 Preston North End 091 (4)
1993–1995 Halifax Town 008 (1)
Teams managed
1992–1993 Halifax Town (caretaker manager)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Michael John "Mick" Rathbone (born 6 November 1958) is an English former professional footballer who played 384 games in the Football League representing Birmingham City,[1] Blackburn Rovers,[2] and Preston North End.[3] He played as a full back. In 2002 he joined Everton as a physiotherapist.


Rathbone was born in Sheldon, Birmingham, and attended Sir Wilfrid Martineau School.[4] He had ambitions to become a doctor, but decided instead to pursue a career in football when Birmingham City, the club he supported, offered him an apprenticeship in December 1974;[5] as a schoolboy Rathbone had been associated with local rivals Aston Villa. He was capped twice at youth level by England. Rathbone made his first-team debut on 20 October 1976, as a substitute replacing Archie Styles in a 1–0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.[6] He turned professional in November 1976,[4] and played 16 games in the First Division that season, but his form dipped and he appeared only rarely over the next 18 months.[7][8] He joined Blackburn Rovers on loan in February 1979: a month later the move was made permanent for a fee of £40,000.[4]

Blackburn were relegated to the Third Division soon afterwards. Following the departure of manager John Pickering, Rathbone was an infrequent member of the starting eleven, but under Bobby Saxton, appointed in 1981, by which time Blackburn had returned to the second tier, he became the regular first choice at left back.[8][9] He suffered a broken leg in 1983, and a hamstring injury deprived him of an appearance at Wembley Stadium in the final of the Full Members Cup in 1987.[8] In all, Rathbone spent eight seasons with Blackburn before Preston North End manager John McGrath paid a fee of £20,000 for his services in August 1987.[4]

Rathbone's Preston career was disrupted by a succession of injuries, including a broken arm and a fractured cheekbone.[8] When a serious knee injury forced his retirement from playing in 1991,[10] he began a degree course in physiotherapy at Salford University. McGrath, by then manager of Halifax Town, offered Rathbone the post of physiotherapist to the club, a role he could perform while continuing his formal study.[8] In December 1992, following McGrath's resignation, Rathbone was placed in temporary charge.[11] The club's financial problems meant his caretaker role lasted until the end of the 1992–93 season, when they lost their Football League status.[12] While continuing as physiotherapist, Rathbone resumed his playing career on an emergency basis for Halifax in the Conference, though his fitness level was rather less than it once had been.[13][14] Towards the end of his time at Halifax, he added the assistant manager post to his collection, taking on what the Lancashire Evening Telegraph described as "the unique job description of assistant manager-player-physio", but in March 1995 he was sacked as a cost-cutting measure.[8][15]

Rathbone then returned to Preston North End as physiotherapist.[8] He spent six years at the club, during which time they progressed from Division Three (the fourth tier of English football) to the play-off for a place in the Premier League, latterly as part of David Moyes' backroom staff.[5] When Moyes joined Everton as manager, Rathbone followed a few months later after the clubs had agreed compensation.[16] He is (as of March 2009) head of sports medicine at the club.[17]

Rathbone has been nicknamed 'Basil' and 'Baz' by Everton staff and supporters as well as local radio commentators, in reference to Basil Rathbone. His son plays for the Manchester United academy.[18]


A. a b  The Blackburn appearances and goals are total figures covering both the initial loan spell in February 1979 and the permanent contract from March 1979. Neil Brown's site fails to separate the two.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b "Birmingham City: 1946/47–2007/08". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 24 March 2009.  
  2. ^ a b "Blackburn Rovers: 1946/47–2007/08". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 24 March 2009.  
  3. ^ "Preston North End: 1946/47–2007/08". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 24 March 2009.  
  4. ^ a b c d Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 119. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.  
  5. ^ a b "Mick 'Basil' Rathbone Exclusive". Preston North End F.C.. 26 June 2008.,,10362~1310777,00.html. Retrieved 24 March 2009.  
  6. ^ Matthews, p. 212.
  7. ^ Matthews, pp. 212–14.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Mick Rathbone Remembers". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. 21 April 2001. Retrieved 24 March 2009.  
  9. ^ "Blackburn Rovers". Football Club History Database. Richard Rundle. Retrieved 24 March 2009.  
  10. ^ "Mick's Healing Hands For PNE Players". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. 25 September 1997. Retrieved 24 March 2009.  
  11. ^ Haylett, Trevor (9 December 1992). "Worthington's Halifax link". The Independent. Retrieved 24 March 2009.  
  12. ^ Drury, Peter (27 April 2001). "When competing at the bottom beats winning". The Independent. Retrieved 24 March 2009.  
  13. ^ "A–Z". F.C. Halifax Town. 17 November 2004.,,10437~405947,00.html. Retrieved 24 March 2009.  
  14. ^ "Mick Rathbone". ShaymenOnline. Retrieved 24 March 2009.  
  15. ^ Metcalf, Rupert (10 March 1995). "Dispute over Roberts" (reprint). The Independent (FindArticles). Retrieved 24 March 2009.  
  16. ^ "Moyes swoops on North End". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. 4 September 2002. Retrieved 24 March 2009.  
  17. ^ "Mick Rathbone – Head of Sports Medicine". Everton F.C.. Retrieved 19 March 2009.  
  18. ^ "Rathbone Transcript". 2009-07-18. Retrieved 2009-07-19.  


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