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Paul Sturrock
Personal information
Full name Paul Whitehead Sturrock
Date of birth 10 October 1956 (1956-10-10) (age 53)
Place of birth Ellon Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Height 5ft 8in (1.72m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Plymouth Argyle (Business Support)
Youth career
Bankfoot Athletic
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1974–1989 Dundee United 385 (109)
National team
1977–1982 Scotland under-21 009 00(0)
1981–1987 Scotland 020 00(3)
Teams managed
1993–1998 St. Johnstone
1998–2000 Dundee United
2000–2004 Plymouth Argyle
2004 Southampton
2004–2006 Sheffield Wednesday
2006–2007 Swindon Town
2007–2009 Plymouth Argyle
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Paul Whitehead Sturrock (born 10 October 1956 in Ellon, Aberdeenshire) is a Scottish football manager. Sturrock is currently at English Championship club Plymouth Argyle in a business support role, having been relieved of his managerial duties. His former posts included spells as manager of Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton, Plymouth Argyle, Dundee United, Swindon and St. Johnstone. He was also a Scotland international footballer. He is known by fans as Luggy (from the Scots language word lugs, Eng: ears). Sturrock announced in July 2008 that he was suffering from a mild form of Parkinson's disease.[1]

His son, Blair, is also a football striker.


Playing career

Early career

Sturrock was educated at Pitlochry primary and secondary schools and played for junior side Grandtully Vale. In 1972 he joined Vale of Atholl of the Perthshire Amateur First Division (where he returned as coach in his latter days with Dundee United), and in the 1972–73 season he scored approximately 100 goals. He then moved on to Bankfoot Athletic, and in the 1973–74 season he scored 53 goals as they finished 2nd in the Scottish Junior FA First Division.

He had trials with Morton and St. Johnstone, but was signed for Dundee United by then manager Jim McLean on 1 July 1974.

Dundee United

Sturrock made his debut in the European Cup Winners' Cup match v Juil Petrosani of Romania on 18 September 1974 and his league debut on 28 December 1974 as a substitute against Motherwell.

In his first season at Tannadice he made nine League appearances and came on from the substitutes' bench for three more and in the process he scored six goals. His first goal for Dundee United was one of two he scored in a 2–2 draw with Rangers at Tannadice on 5 April 1975. Dundee United finished fourth in the League that year. In the following season, he made 18 League appearances, eight as sub, and scored three times. He was also played as a substitute in two of the three Scottish Cup ties and was on from the start in five out of six League Cup games and scored once. He also started in three of the four UEFA Cup games netting one in that competition, too.

1976–77 not only saw Dundee United consolidate their Premier League position but throughout the campaign Sturrock was an ever-present, playing in all 36 League games and scoring 15 times. Adding that total to one each in the Scottish Cup and League Cup he was top scorer at the Club that year. He played in United's only Scottish Cup tie, a 4–1 defeat at Paisley. He also appeared four times plus once as sub out of the six League Cup ties. In a short-lived Anglo Scottish Cup campaign he was brought on as sub in one leg of the tie against Aberdeen. This season was also significant in international terms for Sturrock as he made his Under-21 debut against Czechoslovakia in a 0–0 draw on 12 October 1976 in the first ever Scotland Under-21 side. Four months later on 9 February 1977 he netted his first international goal in an Under-21 game in which Scotland beat Wales 3–2.

He continued to be a regular in Dundee United's side and featured regularly in European competition.

1982–83 was to prove to be, arguably, the pinnacle of Sturrock's career at Dundee United (although some might say that his World Cup Finals appearance three years later was his zenith). In a season that saw United lose only four League games, they won the Scottish League Championship and Sturrock contributed to this success with eight goals in his 28 appearances. He also set up Ralph Milne for his spectacular fourth minute opener against Dundee in the final League game and set the side on the final steps to the ultimate reward. The Scottish Cup that year had been yet another early exit at the hands of St. Mirren. Sturrock scored seven in the nine games he turned out in on the way to a League Cup quarter-final exit. He also played in seven of the eight games and scored once in a UEFA Cup run that ended with an exit in Prague.

His playing career ended in 1989. In 385 league appearances from 1974 to 1989 he scored 109 goals for the club. His final tally of 576 games in which he scored 171 goals makes him Dundee United's top attacking player of all time.

Sturrock stayed at Tannadice for the next five years, passing on his knowledge in the role of coach. He left the Club in 1993 after twenty years continuous service.

He once held the record for the most goals in a Scottish Premier League fixture, scoring five times for Dundee United against Morton on 17 November 1984. This has since been equalled in 1997 by Marco Negri for Rangers against Dundee United, by Kenny Miller in 2000 for the Ibrox club against St. Mirren and by Kris Boyd for Kilmarnock and for Rangers ironically both against Dundee United in 2004 and 2009 respectively.


Sturrock made his full international debut for Scotland against Wales on 16 May 1981, and on 8 November 1981, he scored his first goal for Scotland in the 2–1 World Cup qualifier defeat v Portugal in Lisbon.

Sturrock won 20 caps for his country, scoring 3 goals. He was a non-playing member of the Scotland squad for the 1982 World Cup finals in Spain and appeared twice in Mexico in 1986.

Managerial career

Sturrock became a coach and latterly a first team manager following his retirement. He is one of the most qualified coaches in Europe, and he assessed former Chelsea manager José Mourinho at one point.[citation needed]

In Scotland

In 1993, Sturrock became the manager of First Division team St. Johnstone and guided them to promotion in 1996–97.

In September 1998 Sturrock was appointed manager at Dundee United. He made a bright start to his time as manager at Tannadice, where he was feted by the fans for his excellent spell as a player. His United team failed to recover from the sale of top scorer Billy Dodds in December 1999, when they were lying third in the table. The team scored few goals following Dodds' departure, and Sturrock resigned after two games of the 2000–01 season.

Plymouth Argyle

Sturrock shocked Dundee United fans by resigning from the club in August 2000.[1] Perhaps more surprisingly, he made a bold move to manage Plymouth Argyle, a club which had reached the lowest ebb in its history, struggling in the English Football League Third Division. A shake-up at boardroom level took place, Sturrock began to build his own squad and the rest is history. The following season, he guided them to the Third Division title breaking numerous records in the process, including a club and league points total of 102. In October 2003, Sturrock had successfully taken Argyle back to the top of the Football League Second Division and left when Plymouth had just 12 games to play in what would prove to be another season when they would finish as divisional champions and return to the Football League Championship, formly known as the First Division. As a result of his success at Home Park he has remained a folk hero and legend amongst Argyle supporters, and was named as the manager of Argyle's Team of the Century.


Sturrock was named as the successor to Gordon Strachan as manager of Southampton on 4 March 2004. On 23 August 2004 it was announced that Sturrock was leaving the club 'by mutual consent', after a disappointing run of form and rumours of player unrest and boardroom dissatisfaction with his management.[2]

Sheffield Wednesday

He was then appointed by League One club Sheffield Wednesday languishing in 14th place on 23 September 2004, and he guided the club to the League One play-offs. After beating Brentford in the semi-final with an aggregate score of 3–1, Sturrock took Wednesday to the play-off final at the Millennium Stadium and beat Hartlepool United 4–2 after extra-time, winning promotion to the Championship. Despite numerous injuries to key players he helped Wednesday to finish 10 points clear of relegation in their first season back in The Championship.

A slow start to the 2006–07 season sparked rumours that Wednesday were about to sack Sturrock, but this speculation looked to be false when he agreed a new four-year contract on 14 September. But he was sacked on the evening of 19 October,[3] just five weeks and 3 games after agreeing this new deal. The new contract was agreed while the club were at the bottom of the League, while he was sacked when they were fourth from bottom.

Swindon Town

In late October 2006, Swindon Town allowed their management team of Dennis Wise and Gustavo Poyet to join Leeds United. Swindon pounced at the opportunity to acquire the services of Sturrock and on 7 November 2006 Sturrock was confirmed as manager with Kevin Summerfield and John Blackley following him from Wednesday.[4] Sturrock's first season in charge at Swindon was a success, achieving promotion from League Two to League One.

In September 2007 Sturrock was linked with the vacant managerial position at Championship side Leicester City, but this was denied by Swindon.[5] Swindon made a decent start to the 2007-2008 season, maintaining their position in the top half of the league table after the first 8 games.

Return to Plymouth

After a week of speculation Sturrock resigned his post as Swindon Town manager after just over a year with the club to rejoin previous club Plymouth Argyle. Sturrock also brought back to the club assistants Kevin Summerfield and John Blackley, who were previously with him during his first successful spell as manager. Sturrock then proceeded to take the club to its highest league position in 20 years: tenth in The Championship. However, the team subsequently struggled and finished five points and one place outside The Championship relegation zone in the 2008–09 season.[6]

On 10 December 2009, Sturrock was removed as Plymouth Argyle manager and put into a business support role. This move was taken by chairman Sir Roy Gardner after nearly two seasons of poor results, although the club said it would not stand in the way if another club approaced him.


On 2 August 2008 Sturrock caused controversy following a pre-season friendly with his former side, Dundee United. Returning to the pitch to address the Tangerines fans who had stayed behind to salute their hero, Sturrock referred to United's city rivals as "Scumdee bastards". The incident was captured on mobile phone camera and posted on the YouTube website.[7]

This offended many Dundee supporters who has recently posted messages of support to him following his illness. The Lord Provost of Dundee, John Letford, was among those who condemned Sturrock for his comments and the Plymouth manager was forced to apologise for any offence he had caused to Dundee supporters, and to the residents of the city generally.[8]


As a player

(All with Dundee United)

As a manager



Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Scotland League Scottish Cup Scottish League Cup Europe Total
1974–75 Dundee United Division One 12 6 - - 1 0 13 6
1975–76 Premier Division 17 3 2 0 - 5 1 27 5
1976–77 36 15 1 1 5 1 - 42 17
1977–78 33 3 4 1 8 3 2 1 47 8
1978–79 33 6 1 0 2 1 2 0 38 7
1979–80 33 4 2 1 9 6 4 0 48 11
1980–81 35 13 7 1 11 9 4 0 57 23
1981–82 31 15 5 2 11 6 7 1 54 24
1982–83 28 8 1 0 9 7 7 1 45 16
1983–84 17 4 3 2 2 0 5 0 27 6
1984–85 30 14 6 2 6 2 6 2 48 20
1985–86 31 8 5 2 5 0 5 3 46 13
1986–87 30 6 6 0 3 0 11 0 50 6
1987–88 9 3 - 3 2 3 2 15 7
1988–89 9 1 5 0 - - 14 1
Career Total 384 109 48 12 79 38 60 11 571 170


Team Nat From To Record
Games Won Drawn Lost Win %
St. Johnstone Scotland 1 August 1993 5 September 1998 197 90 56 51 45.68
Dundee United Scotland 5 September 1998 7 August 2000 85 27 19 39 31.76
Plymouth Argyle England 31 October 2000 4 March 2004 178 85 47 46 47.75
Southampton England 4 March 2004 23 August 2004 13 5 2 6 38.46
Sheffield Wednesday England 23 September 2004 19 October 2006 104 35 29 40 33.65
Swindon Town England 7 November 2006 27 November 2007 52 26 11 15 50.00
Plymouth Argyle England 27 November 2007 10 December 2009 100 28 22 50 28.00
Total 729 296 186 247 40.60
As of 10 December 2009.

See also


External links

Simple English

Paul Sturrock
Personal information
Full name Paul Whitehead Sturrock
Date of birth 10 October 1956 (1956-10-10) (age 54)
Place of birth    Ellon, Scotland
Playing position Striker (retired)
Senior clubs
Years Club
1974-1989 Dundee United
National team
1981-1987 Scotland
Teams managed
St. Johnstone
Dundee United
Plymouth Argyle
Sheffield Wednesday
Swindon Town
Plymouth Argyle

Paul Sturrock is a former football player. He has played for Dundee United and Scotland national team.

Club career statistics

Club Performance League CupLeague CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
ScotlandLeague Scottish Cup Scottish League Cup EuropeTotal
1974-75Dundee UnitedDivision One126--10136
1975-76Premier Division17320-51275
CountryScotland 384109481279386011571170
Total 384109481279386011571170

International career statistics


Scotland national team


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