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Nigel Pearson
Nigel Pearson.jpg
Personal information
Full name Nigel Graham Pearson
Date of birth 21 August 1963 (1963-08-21) (age 46)
Place of birth    Nottingham, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current club Leicester City (Manager)
Youth career
1980–1981 Heanor Town
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Shrewsbury Town
Sheffield Wednesday
153 0(5)
180 (14)
115 0(5)
448 (24)   
Teams managed
Carlisle United
West Bromwich Albion (caretaker)
England U21 (caretaker)
Newcastle United (caretaker)
Newcastle United (caretaker)
Leicester City

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

Nigel Graham Pearson (born 21 August 1963) is an English former football player, who played as a defender for Shrewsbury Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough before going in to management. He is the current manager of Leicester City, having taken the job on 20 June 2008.


Playing career


Shrewsbury Town

Pearson was born in Nottingham and began his playing career with non-league Heanor Town before joining Second Division Shrewsbury Town in November 1981.[1] He made his first team debut in a 1–0 defeat at Oldham Athletic on the opening day of the 1982–83 season. Pearson's first Football League goal came on 12 March 1983 in a 3–1 win against Barnsley at Gay Meadow. Pearson ended the season with 39 out of a possible 42 starts as Shrewsbury finished in ninth place in the table.

The following season, Shrewsbury finished one place higher but injuries restricted Pearson to 26 games. Injury prevented him from playing at all in 1984–85, when Shrewsbury again finished eighth in the table, but he returned in 1985–86 making 35 appearances as Shrewsbury dropped to 17th.

In 1986–87 he was an ever-present, making 42 appearances and contributing three goals, as the Shrews finished in 18th place. He started the next season, before being signed by Sheffield Wednesday's manager Howard Wilkinson on 12 October 1987 for a fee of £250,000.

In his six years with Shrewsbury Town, he made a total of 184 appearances in all competitions, scoring five goals.

Sheffield Wednesday

He moved to Sheffield Wednesday in 1987.

He won the League Cup as Sheffield Wednesday captain, during the 1990–91 season, being selected as 'Man of the Match' in the final at Wembley. In the same season, he also helped Sheffield Wednesday win promotion to Division One. During the 1992–93 season, he helped Sheffield Wednesday reach both domestic cup finals, but sadly broke his leg in the League Cup semi-final, and therefore could not play in either final. In all Pearson made more than 200 appearances for the Owls.


Middlesbrough manager Bryan Robson signed Pearson for £750,000 in 1994. Pearson captained them to promotion twice and to three domestic cup finals. Pearson retired from playing in 1998.[1]

Managerial career

As manager of Carlisle United, Pearson helped to keep the club in the Football League at the end of the 1998–99 season. He signed goalkeeper Jimmy Glass on loan, who scored an injury-time goal against Plymouth Argyle, saving the club from relegation to the Football Conference at the expense of Scarborough.[2] The match was Pearson's last in charge of the Brunton Park outfit.

In 1999 he was recruited as Stoke City's first team coach by Gary Megson. Although Megson was sacked later that year by the club's Icelandic consortium, Pearson was kept on for a further two years under Gudjon Thordarson, before being sacked in 2001.[3]

Pearson moved to West Bromwich Albion in November 2004 as assistant manager to Bryan Robson,[4] and took over as caretaker manager when Robson left the club in September 2006.[5] Albion won three and drew one of his matches in charge, before stepping down from the role in preparation for the arrival of new manager Tony Mowbray.[6]

On 19 October 2006, he was linked with the Sheffield Wednesday manager's position but instead took over as assistant manager of Newcastle United, replacing Kevin Bond, who was dismissed following a bung scandal. Pearson's influence was most apparent in Newcastle's defence, which looked a lot more composed after Pearson became assistant manager.

On 1 February 2007, Pearson was confirmed as assistant coach to Stuart Pearce, the England U21 team manager, until after the 2007 European Championships. As Pearce's contract limited him to involvement in only one friendly before the Championship, Pearson led the under-21s in their 3–3 draw against Italy on 24 March 2007, the first game at the new Wembley.[7][8]

When Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder resigned on 6 May 2007, Nigel Pearson took charge of the remaining game of the season, away to Watford. Pearson stayed on at Newcastle as a coach following the arrival of Sam Allardyce as manager at the club.[9] On 9 January, following the departure of manager Sam Allardyce, he was re-appointed as caretaker manager for Newcastle's trip to Manchester United.[10] Newcastle lost 6–0, thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat trick, a brace from Carlos Tévez and a rare Rio Ferdinand goal. On 16 January 2008, after Kevin Keegan had been announced as the next permanent manager of the club, Pearson took charge of the team for the 3rd round FA Cup replay against Stoke City, which Newcastle won 4–1. On 8 February, though, it was announced that Pearson had left the club.[11]


On 18 February 2008, Pearson was appointed as manager of Southampton F.C. on a rolling contract.[12] His career at Southampton got off to a poor start, losing 2-0 to Plymouth Argyle. This result, however, should not count against him as he took charge on the same day and had no involvement in selecting the team. He saw his first point and goal away at Scunthorpe United.

On 4 May 2008, with only one game to go at home to Sheffield United, the Saints were facing relegation to League 1. After going 1-0 down, Pearson's side pulled-off an impressive comeback to win the game 3-2, and secure Championship status for another season, at the expense of Leicester City, who could only manage a 0-0 draw with Stoke City. On 30 May 2008, Pearson was replaced by Dutch coach Jan Poortvliet after only three months in charge.[13]

Leicester City

On 20 June 2008, Pearson was appointed as manager of Leicester City.[14] Craig Shakespeare became the club's first team coach and co-assistant manager alongside Steve Walsh (a former Chelsea chief scout, and not the Leicester City player of the same name).[15] As well as having worked together on the West Bromwich Albion coaching staff, the two had also played together at Sheffield Wednesday. Shakespeare once said that Pearson was the best captain he had ever played under.[16] Pearson was named League One manager of the month for August 2008 after Leicester won three of their first four games, scoring nine goals and conceding only once. He was also named the League 1 manager of the month in December 2008. On 18 April 2009, Leicester won 2-0 at Southend United, confirming their promotion back to the Championship as League One champions.

Managerial statistics

Team Nat From To Record Notes
G W L D Win %
Carlisle United England 17 December 1998 17 May 1999 30 5 12 13 16.66 Saved the club from relegation to the Football Conference on the final day of the season
West Bromwich Albion England 18 September 2006 16 October 2006 4 3 0 1 75.00 As caretaker manager
Newcastle United England 6 May 2007 15 May 2007 1 0 0 1 00.00 As caretaker manager
Newcastle United England 9 January 2008 16 January 2008 2 1 1 0 50.00 As caretaker manager
Southampton England 18 February 2008 30 May 2008 14 3 4 7 21.43 Saved the club from relegation to League One on the final day of the season
Leicester City England 20 June 2008 Present 94 48 17 29 51.06 Won the League One title

Updated 13 March 2010


As a player

Sheffield Wednesday

As a manager

Leicester City


  1. ^ a b Walker, Alex. "The ones that got away". BBC Nottingham Sport. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  2. ^ "Pearson still in shock at Newcastle". Hickman, Niall (Daily Express). 12 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-24. 
  3. ^ "Stoke sack Pearson". BBC Sport. 2001-06-25. Retrieved 2008-01-12. 
  4. ^ "Baggies appoint Robson as manager". BBC Sport. 2004-11-09. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  5. ^ "Robson and West Brom part company". BBC Sport. 2006-09-18. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 
  6. ^ "Pearson stands down at West Brom". BBC Sport. 2006-10-17. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 
  7. ^ "Pearson relishing Wembley honour". Fletcher, Paul (BBC Sport). 23 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  8. ^ "Pearson's pride". Football Association. 24 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  9. ^ "Coach Round set for Magpies role". BBC Sport. 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2007-06-29. 
  10. ^ "Allardyce reign ends at Newcastle". BBC Sport. 2008-01-09. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  11. ^ "Pearson leaves Newcastle". Sky Sports. 2008-02-08.,19528,11678_3122513,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  12. ^ "New manager named". Saints FC. 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  13. ^ "Southampton replace Pearson with Poortvliet". Guardian newspaper. 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  14. ^ "Pearson appointed Leicester boss". BBC Sport. 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  15. ^ "Pearson Adds Duo To Backroom Staff". 2008-07-01.,,10274~1337090,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  16. ^ "Craig Shakespeare - Simply the Best". West Bromwich Albion F.C.. 2007-05-15.,,10366~991766,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 

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