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Roy McFarland
Personal information
Full name Roy Leslie McFarland[1]
Date of birth 5 April 1948 (1948-04-05) (age 61)
Place of birth    Liverpool, England
Playing position Central defender
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Tranmere Rovers
Derby County
Bradford City
Derby County
035 0(0)
434 (44)
040 0(1)
008 0(0)
517 (45)    
National team
1971–1977 England 028 0(0)
Teams managed
Bradford City
Derby County (caretaker)
Derby County
Bolton Wanderers (Co-manager)
Cambridge United
Torquay United
Burton Albion

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

Roy Leslie McFarland (born 5 April 1948) is an English football manager who was also a player, notably at Derby County where he played 434 league games helping him to earn 28 caps for England.


Playing career

Born in Liverpool, McFarland was a player for Tranmere Rovers, Derby County and Bradford City. He represented England at full international level. Brian Clough and Peter Taylor signed him for Derby on August 25, 1967.

He was famous during the late 1960s and 1970s as a central defender in the Derby side which won promotion to the First Division and followed this success with two league titles. In addition, he also won 28 caps for England.

He is noted for having the earliest known booking for time wasting when he humourously kicked the ball out of play after Derby had taken the lead against Liverpool in a game Derby were very unlikely to win.[2]

He was responsible for putting Włodzimierz Lubański, Poland's best striker at the time, out of footbal for two years after an apparent poor tackle damaged Lubański's cruciate ligament during a World Cup qualifying match in October 1973. Lubanski missed the 1974 FIFA World Cup where Poland captured third place, but recently Lubanski himself wrote in his memoirs published in Poland that his leg was injured without McFarland's involvement as a result of an earlier injury and resultant insufficient preparation for the big game.

He came on for a short substitute appearance in a match for Ted McMinn

Managerial career

McFarland started his managerial career at Bradford City as player manager when he took over from George Mulhall in May 1981. He played 40 games for Bradford in a brief spell as manager which brought the club promotion in 1981–82 via the runners-up spot in the Fourth Division. The season included a nine-game winning run, which was a club record at the time. McFarland's reign was a launchpad for the club during the 1980s but he left in controversial circumstances with allegations former club Derby County had tapped up him and assistant Mick Jones. Derby eventually had to pay a large fine and compensation for taking the pair back to the Baseball Ground.[3]

He became assistant manager at the club during Arthur Cox's reign as manager, and was promoted to the manager's seat when Cox quit in October 1993.

McFarland lasted two seasons as Derby manager, with significant amounts of money having been spent on the team.[citation needed] In his first season, they reached the Division One play-off final but lost 2-1 to neighbours Leicester City. They missed out on the playoffs a year later and McFarland moved to Bolton Wanderers.

Bolton had just been promoted to the Premier League under previous manager Bruce Rioch, and McFarland was unable to establish them at this level despite making several new signings. He was dismissed in January 1996 after just six months in charge, with Bolton bottom of the Premiership and heading for relegation.

McFarland's next management job came at Cambridge United, where he arrived just before Christmas in 1996. In his third season, 1998–99, they won promotion as Third Division runners-up. He remained in charge for two years before being replaced by John Beck in February 2001.[4]

He took over as manager of Torquay United in July 2001, but resigned in April 2002 after Torquay chairman Mike Bateson decided that if McFarland was to have an assistant he had to have a playing one, meaning McFarland's assistant David Preece had to leave.

From June 2003 to March 2007, McFarland was manager of Chesterfield and did well to keep the famous club in the third tier of the league, with Chesterfield's severe lack of resources, when most pundits have tipped them for relegation. He left the club after the poor set of results on 12 March 2007,[5] leaving caretaker boss Lee Richardson to try and save the struggling Chesterfield.

In 2009, after a spell out of football McFarland was appointed the caretaker manager until the end of the 2008–09 season of Burton Albion on 6 January, filling the gap created by Nigel Clough who had moved along the A38 to McFarland's former club Derby County earlier in the day.[6] His first game in charge ended in a 3–0 victory for Burton against Salisbury City in the FA Trophy second round; it was a victory which McFarland dedicated to his predecessor.[7] McFarland eventually helped to extend Burton's unbeaten run to 17 games, which dated back to October 2008, before his side were beaten 2–0 by his former team Cambridge United in March 2009.[8][9] McFarland managed the side to promotion to the Football League,[10] after which he said he was interested in staying at the club for the 2009–10 season.[11] He later turned down the opportunity to continue as manager, as he "did not want the full-time commitment of running a League Two club on a permanent basis."[12] He was eventually succeeded by Paul Peschisolido.[13]

Managerial statistics

Team Nat From To Record
Played Won Lost Drawn Win %
Bradford City England 1 May 1981 22 November 1982 64 35 13 16 54.68
Derby County England 4 April 1984 28 May 1984 9 4 4 1 44.44
Derby County England 2 October 1993 29 April 1995 93 40 32 21 43.01
Bolton Wanderers England 20 June 1995 2 January 1996 28 5 16 7 17.85
Cambridge United England 13 November 1996 27 February 2001 232 77 87 68 33.18
Torquay United England 20 July 2001 23 April 2002 50 13 22 15 26.00
Chesterfield England 12 May 2003 12 March 2007 194 54 82 58 27.83
Burton Albion England 6 January 2009 18 May 2009 22 9 10 3 40.90









  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946-2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 393. ISBN 1852916656. 
  2. ^ The Knowledge from The Guardian
  3. ^ Frost, Terry (1988). Bradford City A Complete Record 1903-1988. Breedon Books Sport. p. 80. ISBN 0907969380. 
  4. ^ Cambridge sack McFarland
  5. ^ McFarland leaves struggling Chesterfield
  6. ^ "Burton Albion: Roy McFarland is new boss". Evening Telegraph. 2009-01-06. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  7. ^ "FA Trophy - second round results". BBC Sport. 2009-01-11. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  8. ^ "Burton Albion: No winning return to Cambridge for Brewers boss McFarland; Alfreton also beaten". Evening Telegraph. 2009-03-07. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  9. ^ "Cambridge Utd 2-0 Burton Albion". BBC Sport. 2009-03-07. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  10. ^ "Torquay 2-1 Burton". BBC Sport. 2009-04-26. Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  11. ^ "McFarland wants to stay at Burton". BBC Sport. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  12. ^ "McFarland turns down Burton post". BBC Sport. 2009-05-01. Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  13. ^ "Peschisolido named Burton manager". BBC Sport. 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 

External links


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