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Richard Dinnis is a radio football commentator who was briefly manager of Newcastle United in 1977. He currently works as a football commentator for BBC Radio Lancashire, commentating on local football games in North West England.[1]



Dinnis never played professional football, only ever playing amateur football. He was a schoolteacher in Darwen Lancashire teaching Geography and Physical education. He obtained his Football Association coaches badge and then was employed as reserve team coach at Blackburn Rovers. When their manager, Gordon Lee took over as manager at Newcastle United, he appointed Dinnis as first team coach. During the 1975-76 season Dinnis was a peripheral figure. Dinnis himself said that his main job was to "collect the balls at the end of the training session". At the start of the 1976-77 season Dinnis took over the coaching duties with Lee picking and motivating the team.[2]

Caretaker manager

When Gordon Lee suddenly resigned as manager in early 1977 after only 18 months in charge, the Newcastle board first offered the job to the Bolton Wanderers manager, Ian Greaves but he turned the job down.[2] The board made a surprising attempt to involve some players in the decision over who should be the next manager. It led to one of the most controversial months in the club history and to the appointment of Dinnis as Caretaker manager until the end of the season.[2]

Newcastle finished the season in fifth place in the First Division and qualified for the UEFA Cup with a win over Aston Villa in their final home game of the season on 16 May 1976. It was the clubs highest league position for 25 years and the first time they had qualified for Europe for seven years. Nine days later and after much boardroom deliberation and alleged disagreement, Dinnis was offered a two year contract as Newcastle manager. [2]

Newcastle manager

Newcastle started the 1976-77 season with a 3-2 home win over Leeds United, however they then lost the next three matches. In September they lost at home to West Ham United and the Directors issued Dinnis with an ultimatum before the next game at West Bromwich Albion which they again lost 3-0; a result which left Newcastle bottom of the league. Newcastle then met Irish Premier League club, Bohemians in the UEFA Cup, a game they were expected to win, but they drew 0-0. The next game Newcastle again lost 3-0, this time to Birmingham City, followed by a fourth consecutive defeat to Coventry City. Dinnis survived despite crisis board meetings. However, following criticism of the board by Dinnis in the media, he was sacked as manager on 9 November 1977.[2]

Dinnis was in charge for only six months and 21 games. His overall record was nine wins, seven draws and five defeats.[2]




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