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Paul Simpson
Personal information
Full name Paul David Simpson
Date of birth 26 July 1966 (1966-07-26) (age 43)
Place of birth    Carlisle, England
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current club Shrewsbury Town (manager)
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Manchester City
Finn Harps (loan)
Oxford United
Derby County
Sheffield United (loan)
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Walsall (loan)
Carlisle United
121 0(18)
00? 00 (3)
144 0(43)
186 0(48)
006 00(0)
052 00(6)
010 00(0)
076 0(13)
042 0(15)
036 00(6)
673 (150)   
National team
1986–1987 England U21 005 00(1)
Teams managed
Rochdale (player-manager)
Carlisle United (player-manager)
Preston North End
Shrewsbury Town

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

Paul David Simpson (born 26 July 1966 in Carlisle, Cumberland) is an English former footballer who is currently the manager of Shrewsbury Town.


Playing career


Manchester City

Simpson began his playing career as a schoolboy at Manchester City in the early 1980s. He made his senior debut aged 16, on 2 October 1982 in a 3-2 win against Coventry City. However, after the club were relegated and new manager Billy McNeill arrived, Simpson, along with John Beresford (footballer) was briefly loaned out to Irish club Finn Harps to gain more experience [1].

He returned during the final stages of 1984/85 campaign and enjoyed a run of games as he scored 6 times in just 10 appearances en route to promotion back to the top flight. The following season saw him become a first choice player, a status he held from then on.

He won five caps for the England under-21 team during his spell at Maine Road, adding to three caps at under-18 level. His U21 debut came on 26 March 1986 as a substitute against Denmark on his home ground. He also played in the 1987 Toulon Tournament, during which he scored.

He left City, now back in the Second Division, for Oxford United in October 1988 in a £200,000 deal, after making 155 appeances for them in total. He remained at Oxford for over four years - all spent in the second tier - before signing for Derby County in February 1992 for £500,000.

Derby days

The winger joined Derby in the midst of a promotion challenge but, despite finishing 3rd, they lost in the play-offs to 6th-placed Blackburn Rovers. The club had three more successive failed promotion attempts (including losing the 1994 play-off final to rivals Leicester City) before they won automatic promotion in 1995/96. He was a first choice player throughout this period, and twice reached double figures in his goal return.

The influx of new players that followed the Rams' promotion to the Premier League saw his place under fire for the first time since he had joined. He managed 19 appearances (scoring twice, including Derby's first game back at the top level) during their return to the top flight, but also found himself out on loan at second tier club Sheffield United to gain more playing time.


After failing to feature in the opening months of the Rams' 1997/98 season, he dropped down a division to join Wolverhampton Wanderers initially on a month's loan in October 1997. After impressing with 2 goals in 8 starts, he signed a permanent deal for £75,000. His first season with the club also saw him almost appear in an FA Cup Final, but they lost to eventual winners Arsenal in the semi-final.

His second season at Molineux was less successful as he found himself out of the starting line-up in the opening games. He went on loan to nearby Walsall of the Second Division for four months, but returned to Wolves first team when this loan expired. He scored Wolves' final goal of the season in a 3-2 defeat to Bradford City that meant they missed out on the play-offs.

After a second successive 7th place finish in a season that saw Simpson feature only sparingly, he took a free transfer to Blackpool in August 2000. Here, he helped the club win promotion from the Third Division via the play-offs in his first season but he left during his second, to join Rochdale in March 2002.


He made nine appearances in the final games of the 2001/02 season for Dale, scoring 6 times. This goal rush helped push the club into the play-offs, where they lost to Rushden & Diamonds (despite another goal from Simpson). After manager John Hollins departed soon after, Simpson stepped in as player-manager. He began the season in equally bright goal-scoring form, but as the pressure of management took its toll, his form dropped.

He moved to Carlisle United at the end of the season, where he again served in a player–manager role after replacing Roddy Collins just weeks into the season. After suffering relegation in his first year at Brunton Park, he made ever-decreasing playing appearances as he focused on the club regaining their league status, which was duly achieved at the first attempt. Simpson retired from playing in 2006 when he left Carlisle after three seasons to take up the managerial reins at Preston North End.

Managerial career

Was offerred a 2year extension to stay but turned this down after refusing to accept the boards wish to change his backroom staff for the 2003/2004 season.

Simpson took over as manager of Carlisle United five games into the 2003/04 season after the sacking of Roddy Collins. A transfer embargo prevented new players being brought in and by December Carlisle were 15 points adrift, resulting in relegation to the Conference National despite an improved latter half of the season. They gained immediate promotion in the 2004-05 season back to the Football League, winning the Conference National Playoff Final despite the Carlisle floods and a catalogue of other problems. A second successive promotion to Football League One followed when he steered the club to the Football League Two Championship in the 2005-06 season. He was also named as the League Two Manager of the Year and in the League Managers Association statistics was the best manager in the country on points per game above Rafael Benítez.

In June 2006. Simpson replaced Billy Davies as manager of Preston North End and led the Lancashire side to the top of the Championship by December, their highest league placing for 55 years. However, from March 2007 the club went on an alarming slide down the league. This happened even after holding on to David Nugent in the transfer window and Simpson being allowed to bring in three free transfer signings, the club failed to make the end-of-season play-offs, finishing in 7th place. After losing key player David Nugent, the team made a bad start to the 2007-08 season (including just three victories) resulting in Simpson being sacked on 13 November 2007.

On 12 March 2008, he was appointed manager of League Two club Shrewsbury Town, replacing Gary Peters who left Shrewsbury by mutual consent after a poor run of results. After helping them avoid relegation in his first season he then took them to Play Off Final with the help of Grant Holt who then left in the summer to join Norwich City.


As a player

Manchester City

Derby County


As a manager

Carlisle United

Managerial statistics

As of 6th May 2009.
Team Nat From To Record
G W L D Win %
Rochdale England May 29, 2002 May 7, 2003 54 16 21 17 29.63
Carlisle United England August 29, 2003 June 16, 2006 157 70 50 37 44.59
Preston North End England June 17, 2006 November 13, 2007 58 25 23 10 43.1
Shrewsbury Town England March 12, 2008 Present 90 31 27 32 34.44


External links


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