Steve Wigley: Wikis


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Steve Wigley
Personal information
Full name Stephen Wigley
Date of birth 15 October 1961 (1961-10-15) (age 48)
Place of birth    Ashton-under-Lyne, England
Playing position Winger
Youth career
Curzon Ashton
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Nottingham Forest
Sheffield United
Birmingham City
Exeter City
Bognor Regis Town
082 0(2)
028 0(1)
087 0(4)
120 (12)
023 0(1)

Teams managed
Aldershot Town
Southampton (caretaker)
Bolton Wanderers (caretaker)

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

Steve Wigley (born 15 October 1961) is an English football coach and former player for Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, Birmingham City, Portsmouth and Exeter City. He made 340 appearances in the Football League. He is the former manager of Southampton and currently works for the England Under-21 team as a coach.


Playing career

Born in Ashton-under-Lyne, Wigley earned a reputation as a tricky winger for home-town club Curzon Ashton, jinking his way through defences and dazzling crowds with his skilful ball displays. It was this that attracted Brian Clough who promptly signed him for Nottingham Forest. After making his debut as a 21-year-old, Wigley played 82 times for Forest before moving to Sheffield United in 1985. Unfortunately, he never found success in Sheffield and moved to Birmingham City soon after, where during a spectacular display against Portsmouth F.C., Pompey manager Alan Ball was persuaded to sign him for the club. After spending four years of mixed fortunes on the South Coast, helping Portsmouth to the 1992 FA Cup semi final where they lost on a penalty shootout to Liverpool, Wigley moved to Exeter to finish his playing career before taking on his first managerial job at Aldershot.

Coaching and managerial career

Aldershot Town

Wigley was appointed as manager of Aldershot Town after the departure of Steve Wignall. The Shots were by this time in the Isthmian League first division but failed to achieve promotion under Wigley's leadership, finishing 4th, 5th and finally 7th in his three year period with the club. To this day, Wigley has the dubious honour of being Aldershot Town's only permanent manager not to deliver a promotion, despite three good finishes during his time in charge of the club.

Nottingham Forest

After three years at Aldershot, Academy Director Paul Hart persuaded him to return to Nottingham Forest as assistant academy director. In his time at Forest, Wigley moved up the ranks to become first team coach before short-lived Saints boss Stuart Gray lured him to Southampton as academy director in the summer of 2001. At the same time, David Platt, England Under 21 boss, asked Wigley to help out with coaching the young internationals.


During Gordon Strachan's reign at Southampton, Wigley moved to focus more on the first team than the academy players. When Strachan left the club in 2004, Wigley was asked to step in as caretaker. Wigley clearly felt ill at ease in charge of the Saints so after two games in charge, Paul Sturrock was brought in from Plymouth Argyle. During the rumoured player disputes with Sturrock, Wigley stepped in as an intermediary and helped solve differences at the club.

When Sturrock left the club in August 2004 only two games into the new season, chairman Rupert Lowe revealed that Wigley had been appointed full time boss of the Saints and not just caretaker. Opponents of Wigley claimed that he was not yet ready for Premier League management; with only three years in charge of Aldershot, a non-league club. However, some fans were happy with the appointment as it meant that Glenn Hoddle, widely reviled by many Saints fans could not return.

Wigley's first tenure in the Premiership ended prematurely – he was dismissed by Southampton on 8 December after just 14 matches, the only win coming in the local derby against arch-rivals and former club Portsmouth. Wigley resumed duties with the club's young players but finally left St Mary's later in the season.

Manchester City

After leaving Southampton, Wigley joined up with former Nottingham Forest team-mate Stuart Pearce at Manchester City as assistant manager/first team coach. During his first season at City, he guided City's reserve team to third place in the Premiership North Reserve League. Wigley left City after Pearce was sacked in May 2007.

England Under-21

Wigley teamed up with Pearce again, this time as England Under-21 coach, after Pearce was appointed to this role in 2007. In August 2007 the Football Association appointed Wigley as 'National Coach', assuming responsibility for the 17-21 age groups to help develop young players.[1]

Bolton Wanderers

On 8 July 2008, Wigley joined the Bolton Wanderers back room staff as head coach following a decision by Gary Megson to restructure the club's coaching staff.[1]. On 30 December 2009, he was appointed as joint caretaker manager of Bolton with Chris Evans following Megson's sacking,[2] but on the appointment of new manager Owen Coyle on 8 January 2010 he left the club.[3]


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