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Anthony Waddington (9 November 1924 - 21 January 1994) was born in Manchester, Lancashire. He was an English football manager. He managed Stoke City F.C. from 1960 until 1977 and guided them to their only major trophy - the League Cup in 1972. He later managed Crewe Alexandra from June 1979 to July 1981. His son was also a footballer.

Playing career

Waddington was an amateur with Manchester United before playing over 200 games for Crewe and would have made many more appearances but for a knee injury suffered while serving with the Royal Navy in World War II.

Management career

Commonly regarded as Stoke's greatest manager he was promoted from assistant to take over as manager in 1960. His initial task was to stop the declining fortunes of the club and to prevent relegation from Division Two.

Within three years he had the club back in Division One, collecting the Second Division title in the club's centenary season of 1962/63, after pulling off the master stroke of enticing Stanley Matthews back from Blackpool. Waddington then established Stoke in Division One, reached two FA Cup semi-finals, and won the League Cup, the club's first major honour, in 1972.

He had a knack for squeezing 'Indian Summers' from players thought past their peak while at the same time getting the best out of home-grown youngsters. Under Waddington, the team built a reputation for playing exciting, entertaining football at times and signed the best goalkeeper in the world, Gordon Banks, in 1967, and paid a world record fee for a goalkeeper, Peter Shilton, in 1974.

Tony Waddington left Stoke in March 1977 after economics (the roof having blown off the Butler Street Stand in a sever gale, and the bank refusing to fund the rebuild), this was the trigger that ended the best years Stoke City have ever known, as it forced him to sell his best players. He resigned from his post being totally disillusioned with seeing his best team being dismantled and sold.

He then had a spell in charge of Crewe from 1979-81. However, he returned to Stoke when he was appointed an associate director of the club in 1991 - a position he retained until his death in January 1994 at the age of 69.



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