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Paul Bracewell
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Personal information
Full name Paul Bracewell
Date of birth July 19, 1962 (1962-07-19) (age 47)
Place of birth    Heswall, England
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Midfielder (retired)
Youth career
1978–1979 Stoke City
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Stoke City
Newcastle United
129 00(5)
038 00(4)
095 00(7)
113 00(2)
073 00(3)
077 00(0)
062 00(1)
587 0(22)   
National team
1985 England 003 00(0)
Teams managed
Halifax Town

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

Paul Bracewell (born 19 July 1962), in Heswall, Merseyside), but was brought up in Newport, Shropshire, is an English former international footballer who played as a midfielder, although his career was hampered by injuries as the years went by.[1]

He is probably best known as an Everton player, although he made the most appearances for Sunderland. His other clubs, as a player were Stoke City, Newcastle United and Fulham, whom he also managed briefly, where despite making a good start to the season, he was sacked by the chairman half way through his first season. He won two First Division Championship medals with Everton in 1985, as well as the 1985 European Cup Winners' Cup final, when Everton beat Rapid Vienna 3-1. However, he missed the entire 1986-87 season through injury, meaning that he missed out on a second title winner's medal. He missed all of the following season as well, when Everton finished fourth. He returned to action in 1988-89, when he played 20 league games for a side that finished eighth - one of their lowest finishes of the 1980s.

In 1985 he also won 3 England caps.[2]

He has the unwanted distinction of never winning the FA Cup, but being with the losing finalists on four occasions, in 1985, 1986 and 1989 with Everton and in 1992 with Sunderland. Bracewell combined combative qualities with good vision and outstanding passing abilities.

He joined Sunderland soon after losing the 1989 FA Cup final with Everton, and in his first season at Roker Park he helped them reach the Football League Second Division playoff final, which they lost 1-0 to Swindon Town. However, Sunderland were still promoted when a few weeks later Swindon's promotion was withdrawn due to financial irregularities. This gave Bracewell the chance of playing top division football again, though it lasted only a year due to Sunderland's relegation on the final of the 1990-91 season. Despite Bracewell and his team mates making it to the FA Cup final a year later, they had a very disappointing league season and finished 17th in the Second Division.

Meanwhile, Sunderland's local rivals Newcastle United were being rejuvenated by their new manager Kevin Keegan, who offered Bracewell the chance of being part of their Division One promotion push (1992-93 saw the Second Division renamed Division One due the creation of the FA Premier League from the old First Division) and he accepted this offer. Newcastle were promoted as champions in Bracewell's first season and enjoyed instant success in the Premier League, finishing third the season after promotion and achieving UEFA Cup qualification for the first time in more than 20 years. However, his chances of first team football in any position were reduced in 1994-95, as Keegan had added Marc Hottiger, Philippe Albert and Darren Peacock to the defence, and also Keith Gillespie and Ruel Fox to the midfield. When his former Everton team mate Peter Reid became manager at Sunderland in March 1995, he accepted the offer to become player/assistant manager. The first task was to avoid relegation from Division One, and it was achieved.

In 1995-96, Bracewell helped Sunderland win the Division One title and promotion to the Premier League after five years outside the top flight, although they went down after just one season. In September 1997, Bracewell took a similar role with ambitious Division Two club Fulham, working under head coach Ray Wilkins and director of football Kevin Keegan. When Wilkins was dismissed at the end of the season, Keegan took sole charge of the first team and kept Bracewell as his assistant. Keegan accepted the offer to become England national football team manager in March 1999, but remained in charge of the Fulham team until the end of that season, guiding them to the Division Two title with 101 points, before quitting as Fulham manager. Bracewell was promoted to the position of manager, and despite them competing in the top half of Division One throughout the campaign, he was dismissed on 30 March 2000 in favour of the more experienced Jean Tigana, who achieved promotion to the Premier League a year later.

In October 2000 he became manager of Halifax Town although his stint there lasted less than a year. He resigned from the club 4 games into the 2001/02 season. During his brief spell in charge he steered to the team to just 11 wins in 41 games, which included a 2-0 home FA cup exit at the hands of non league Gateshead. Halifax were relegated to the Nationwide Conference at the end of the season and never made it back to the Football League, going out of business six years later, never fully recovering from the debts suffered in whilst Bracewell was in charge (although they were reformed as F.C. Halifax Town).


  1. ^ Paul Bracewell Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  2. ^ "Paul Bracewell". The FA. Retrieved 15 September 2009. 

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