Who Is The Irish FA’s Greatest Ever Manager ?

 

Well you can’t have a team without a manager, and an assistant manager for that matter!

Please take the time to click each manager’s respective name and read in detail their managerial history before placing your vote.

Poll Closes 4th March 2016 at 20:00

Manager Period
IFA Committee 18/02/1882 v England(H) – 12/05/1951 v France (H)
Peter Doherty 06/10/1951 vScotland(H) – 09/05/1962 v Holland (A)
Bertie Peacock 10/10/1962 v Poland (A) – 12/04/1967 v Wales (H)
Billy Bingham 21/10/1967 vScotland(H) – 22/05/1971 v Wales (H)
Terry Neill 13/10/1971 vSoviet Union(H) – 30/10/1974 v Sweden (A)
Dave Clements 16/03/1975 vYugoslavia(H) – 14/05/1976 v Wales (A)
Danny Blanchflower 13/10/1976 v Holland (A) – 21/11/1979 v Rep of Ireland (H)
Billy Bingham 26/03/1980 v Israel (A) – 13/10/1993 v Rep of Ireland (H)
Bryan Hamilton 23/03/1994 vRomania(H) – 11/10/1997 v Portugal (A)
Lawrie McMenemy 25/03/1998 vSlovakia(H) – 10/10/1999 v Finland (A)
Sammy McIlroy 23/02/2000 v Luxembourg (A) – 11/10/2003 v Greece (A)
Lawrie Sanchez 18/02/2004 v Norway(H) – 28/03/2007 v Sweden (H)
Nigel Worthington 22/08/2007 v Liechtenstein (H) – v 11/10/2011 Italy (A)
Michael O’Neill 29/02/2012 v Norway (H) –
Manager

Tenure

Pl

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Win %

Pts %

W/L

Committee*

1882

1951

177

29

27

121

200

568

-368

16.4

21.5

-92

Peter Doherty

1951

1962

51

9

14

28

67

119

-52

17.6

26.8

-19

Bertie Peacock

1962

1967

28

11

4

13

46

54

-8

39.3

44.0

-2

Billy Bingham

1967

1971

20

8

3

9

24

22

2

40.0

45.0

-1

Terry Neill

1971

1974

20

6

6

8

16

18

-2

30.0

40.0

-2

Dave Clements

1975

1976

11

3

2

6

7

15

-8

27.3

33.3

-3

Danny Blanchflower

1976

1979

24

6

5

13

19

38

-19

25.0

31.9

-7

Billy Bingham

1980

1993

98

32

31

35

91

107

-16

32.7

43.2

-3

Bryan Hamilton

1994

1997

31

8

8

15

34

41

-7

25.8

34.4

-7

Lawrie McMenemy

1998

1999

14

4

3

7

9

25

-16

28.6

35.7

-3

Sammy McIlroy

2000

2003

29

5

7

17

19

40

-21

17.2

25.3

-12

Lawrie Sanchez

2004

2007

32

11

10

11

35

42

-7

34.4

44.8

0

Nigel Worthington

2007

2011

41

9

10

22

35

55

-20

22.0

30.1

-13

Michael O’Neill

2012

date

31

8

11

12

30

43

-13

26

* Prior to the appointment of a team manager several men fulfilled the role of trainer/coach to the Ireland team. These include Billy Crone, Hugh McAteer and Robert Torrans (details).

Success based on ‘points won’ divided by ‘points possible’ based on three points for a win and one for a draw for all matches (competitive and friendly).

 

Name: IFA Committee

 

Prior to the appointment of Peter Doherty as Ireland’s first manager the team was selected by an IFA Committee and trained/coached by various people.

Trainers employed included (dates are approximate)

William Crone 1897-1910

Hugh McAteer 1898-1914

Rab Torrans 1900-1914

John McIlvenny 1909

William Quinn 1910

J. Torrans 1926

J. Devlin 1927-1930

Gerry Morgan

Summary:

Comp

Pl

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Win %

Pts %

W/L

WCQ*

3

0

1

2

4

17

-13

0.0%

11.1%

-2

BIC*

168

29

25

114

194

527

-333

17.3%

22.2%

-85

FR

9

0

2

7

6

41

-35

0.0%

7.4%

-7

Tot

177

29

27

121

200

568

-368

16.4%

21.5%

-92

* The 1949/50 British Championships doubled as qualifiers for the 1950 World Cup. The games are credited to both competitions, therefore the above table does not tally.

IFA Committee

 

Name: Peter Doherty

 

Northern Ireland’s first team manager, Peter Doherty broke down age-old Irish FA barriers to guide his country to their first World Cup…

Coaching Career:
 
Doncaster Rovers (Player-Manager) Jun/49-Jan/58 
Northern Ireland (Manager) Oct/51-May/62 
Bristol City (Manager) Jan/58-Mar/60 
Notts County (Managerial Advisor) Dec/65-Mar/66 
Aston Villa (Chief Scout) Jul/68 
Preston North End (Assistant Manager) Oct/70-Jan/73 
Sunderland (Assistant Manager)
Liverpool (Scout)

Summary:

Comp..Pl…W…D…L….F:A….Success
WCQ…11.. 4.. 1.. 6…17: 18…39.4%
WCF… 5.. 2.. 1.. 2… 6: 10…46.7%
FR…. 5.. 0.. 1.. 4… 7: 18… 6.7%
BIC…33.. 4..11..18…41: 80…23.2%
Tot…51.. 9..14..28…67:119…26.8%

Totals for WCQ/BIC both include the 1953/54 season’s games which served a dual purpose – therefore the ‘Totals’ column does not add up.

Peter Doherty

 

Name: Bertie Peacock

 

The “Little Ant” of the Sweden 1958 missed out on emulating his managerial predecessor in qualifying for the World Cup Finals be a mere whisker…

Coaching Career:

Coleraine (player-manager) 1961-1974
Northern Ireland (manager) Oct/62-Apr/67
Northern Ireland (coach) 1982 World Cup Finals

Summary:

Comp..Pl…W…D…L….F:A….Success
WCQ… 6.. 3.. 2.. 1… 9: 5… 61.1%
ECQ… 7.. 2.. 2.. 3… 6: 6… 38.1%
FR…. 3.. 2.. 0.. 1… 7: 3… 66.7%
BIC…12.. 4.. 0.. 8…24:40… 33.3%
Tot…28..11.. 4..13…46:54… 44.0%

Bertie Peacock

 

Name: Billy Bingham

 

Northern Ireland’s most successful manager, Billy Bingham had two goes at the job, bringing British Championship successes and World Cup qualification…

Coaching Career:

Southport (coach) Jun/65-Dec/65
_________(manager) Dec/65-Oct/67
Northern Ireland (manager) Oct/67-May/71
Plymouth Argyle (manager) Feb/68-Mar/70
Linfield (manager) Aug/70-Aug/71
Greece (manager) Sep/71-Feb/73
Everton (manager) May/73-Jan/77
PAOL Salonika (manager) Apr/77-Oct/77
Mansfield Town (manager) Feb/78-Jul/79
Northern Ireland (manager) Mar/80-Nov/93
Blackpool (director of football) Mid-90s
Burnley (Irish scout) May/08-date

Honours:

Football League Division Four Runner-Up & Promoted 1966/67 (Southport)
Irish League Champion 1970/71
Gold Cup Winner 1970/71
Ulster Cup Winner 1970/71
All-Ireland Cup Winner 1970/71 (all Linfield)
British Championship Winner 1980, 1984 (Northern Ireland)

1st Spell Summary:

Comp..Pl…W…D…L….F:A….Success
WCQ… 4.. 2.. 1.. 1… 7: 3… 58.3%
ECQ… 6.. 3.. 0.. 3… 9: 7… 50.0%
FR…. 1.. 1.. 0.. 0… 3: 2…100.0%
BIC… 9.. 2.. 2.. 5… 5:10… 29.6%
Tot…20.. 8.. 3.. 9…24:22… 45.0%

2nd Spell Summary:

Comp..Pl…W…D…L….F:A….Success
WCQ…36..14.. 9..13…34: 33.. 47.2%
WCF… 8.. 1.. 4.. 3… 7: 13.. 29.2%
ECQ…22.. 8.. 5.. 9…21: 26.. 43.9%
FR….19.. 6.. 8.. 5…22: 21.. 45.6%
BIC…13.. 3.. 5.. 5… 7: 14.. 35.9%
Tot…98..32..31..35…91:107.. 43.2%

Combined Summary (both Spells):

Comp..Pl…W…D…L….F:A….Success
WCQ.. 40..16..10..14.. 41: 36.. 48.3%
WCF… 8.. 1.. 4.. 3… 7: 13.. 29.2%
ECQ.. 28..11.. 5..12.. 30: 33.. 45.2%
FR… 20.. 7.. 8.. 5.. 25: 23.. 48.3%
BIC.. 22.. 5.. 7..10.. 12: 24.. 33.3%
Tot..118..40..34..44..115:129.. 43.5%

Billy Bingham

 

Name: Terry Neill

 

From youngest Northern Ireland captain of the Twentieth Century, to most capped player, the managerial post was surely a natural progression for Terry Neill…

Coaching Career:

Hull City (player-manager) Jul/70-Sep/74
Northern Ireland (player-manager) Sep/71-Oct/74
Tottenham Hotspur (manager) Sep/74-Jun/76
Arsenal (manager) Jul/76-Dec/83

Honours:

FA Cup Winner 1978/79Runner-Up 1977/78, 1979/80 
European Cup Winners’ Cup Runner-Up 1979/80 (all Arsenal)

Summary:

Comp..Pl…W…D…L….F:A….Success
WCQ… 6.. 1.. 3.. 2… 5: 6… 33.3%
ECQ… 5.. 1.. 2.. 2… 5: 5… 33.3%
BIC… 9.. 4.. 1.. 4… 6: 7… 48.1%
Tot…20.. 6.. 6.. 8…16:18… 40.0%

Terry Neill

 

Name: Dave Clements

 

Appointed player-manager in 1975 as successor to Terry Neill, it was Dave Clements’ continuing playing career that prevented him having a prolonged stab at international management…

Coaching Career:

Northern Ireland (Player-Manager) Mar/75-May/76
Colorado Carabous (NASL) (Player-Manager) 1978
Denver Avalanche (MISL) (Manager) 1981-1982
St Louis Steamers (MISL) (Manager) 1982-1985
Kansas City Comets (MISL) (Manager) 1986-1987

Honours:

MISL Coach of the Year 1982 (Denver), 1987 (Kansas)
Western Division Runner-Up 1984 (St Louis)
Play-Off Qualification 1982 (Denver), 1983 (St Louis), 1987 (Kansas)

Summary:

Comp..Pl…W…D…L….F:A….Success
WCQ….0
WCF….0
ECQ….3…2…0…2….5:..3…50.0%
FR…..1…0…1…0….1:..1…33.3%
BIC….6…1…1…4….1:.11…22.2%
Tot…11…3…2…6….7:.15…33.3%

Dave Clements

 

Name: Danny Blanchflower

 

After his glorious playing career ended, Danny Blanchflower spent over a decade writing about how he’d like to see football played. In 1976 the Irish FA let him loose on the Northern Ireland team with varying degrees of success…

Coaching Career:

Northern Ireland (manager) Oct/76-Nov/79
Chelsea (manager) Dec/78-Sep/79

Summary:

Comp..Pl…W…D…L….F:A….Success
WCQ… 6.. 2.. 1.. 3… 7: 6….38.9%
ECQ… 8.. 4.. 1.. 3… 8:14….54.2%
FR…. 1.. 0.. 0.. 1… 0: 5…. 0.0%
BIC… 9.. 0.. 3.. 6… 4:13….11.1%
Tot…24.. 6.. 5..13…19:38….31.9%

Danny Blanchflower

 

Name: Bryan Hamilton

 

Bryan Hamilton had the impossible task of following in the foot-steps of Billy Bingham as Northern Ireland manager – and for a while it looked like he might just pull it off…

Coaching Career:

Tranmere Rovers (player-manager) Oct/80-Feb/85
Wigan Athletic (manager) Mar/85-Jun/86
Leicester City (team manager) Jun/86-Dec/87
Wigan Athletic (manager) Mar/89-Jul/93
(also Chief Executive)
Football League (manager) Nov/90
Northern Ireland (manager) Mar/94-Oct/97
Norwich City (director of football) Jun/98-Mar/00
___________(manager) Mar/00-Dec/00
Ipswich Town (first-team coach) Nov/01-May/02
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (assistant coach) Sep/02-Dec/02
FA of Ireland (consultant) Dec/02-Jan/03
Antigua and Barbuda (advisor) Nov/06-07

Summary:

Comp..Pl…W…D…L….F:A….Success
WCQ…10.. 1.. 4.. 5… 6:10… 23.3%
ECQ…10.. 5.. 2.. 3…20:15… 56.7%
FR….11.. 2.. 2.. 7… 8:16… 24.2%
Tot…31.. 8.. 8..15…34:41… 34.4%

Bryan Hamilton

 

Name: Lawrie McMenemy

 

The first “foreigner” to manage Northern Ireland, Lawrie Mcmenemy’s two year reign was more downs than ups…

Coaching Career:

Gateshead (Trainer-Coach) 1961-1964
Bishop Auckland (Manager) 1964-1966
Sheffield Wednesday (Coach) 1966-1968
Doncaster Rovers (Manager) Dec/69-May/71
Grimsby Town (Manager) May/71-Jul/73
Southampton (Manager) Nov/73-Jun/85
Sunderland (Manager) Jun/85-Apr/87
England (Ass’t Manager, B & Under-21 Teams Manager) 1990-1993
Southampton (Director of Football) 1994-1997
Northern Ireland (Manager) Mar/98-Oct/99
Football Association (Special Ambassador)

Honours:

FA Cup Winner 1975/76 (Southampton)
Football League Cup Runner-Up 1978/79 (Southampton)
Football League Division One Runner-Up 1983/84 (Southampton)
Football League Division Two Runner-Up & Promoted 1977/78 (Southampton)
Football League Division Four Champion & Promoted 1968/69 (Doncaster Rovers), 1971/72 (Grimsby Town)

Summary:

Comp. Pl . W . D . L .. F:A .. Success
ECQ..8…1…2…5… 4:19… 20.8%
FR…6…3…1…2… 5: 6… 55.6%
Tot…14…4…3…7… 9:25… 35.7%

Lawrie McMenemy

 

Name: Sammy McIlroy

 

The manager that presided over the longest goal famine in European football, Sammy McIlroy combined bad luck with ill-judgement in almost equal measures…

Coaching Career:

Preston North End (player-coach)
Northwich Victoria (player-coach)
Ashton United (manager)
Macclesfield Town (manager) Aug/93-Jan/00
Northern Ireland (manager) Feb/00-Oct/03
Stockport County (manager) Oct/03-Nov/04
Morecambe (manager) Nov/05-May/11
(initially caretaker to May/06)

Honours:

(with Macclesfield)
Football League Division Three Runner-Up & Promoted 1997/98
Football Conference Champion 1994/95 (not Promoted), 1996/97 (Promoted)
FA Trophy Winner 1995/96
Bob Lord Trophy Winner 1993/94, Runner-Up 1995/96, 1996/97
(with Morecambe)
Football Conference Play-Off Winner 2006/07 (Promoted)

Summary:

Comp..Pl…W…D…L….F:A….Success
WCQ…10.. 3.. 2.. 5…11:12… 36.7%
ECQ… 8.. 0.. 3.. 5… 0: 8… 12.5%
FR….11.. 2.. 2.. 7… 8:20… 24.2%
Tot…29.. 5.. 7..17…19:40… 25.3%

Sammy McIlroy

 

Name: Lawrie Sanchez

 

Prior to his appointment as Northern Ireland manager in 2004 Lawrie Sanchez had made his name as both a player and manager capable of causing upsets. In three years in charge he lived up to that reputation…

Coaching Career:

Sligo Rovers (player-manager) 1994-1995
Wimbledon (reserve team manager) Aug/95-Feb/99
Wycombe Wanderers (manager) Feb/99-Sep/03
Northern Ireland (manager) Feb/04-May/07
Fulham (caretaker-manager) Apr/07-May/07
……………(manager) May/07-Dec/07

Barnet (managerial consultant) Apr/11-May/11
………….. (manager) May/11-Apr/12
Apollon Smyrni (manager) Nov/13-Apr/14

Summary:

Comp..Pl…W…D…L….F:A….Success
WCQ…10.. 2.. 3.. 5…10:18… 30.0%
ECQ… 6.. 4.. 1.. 1…10: 7… 72.2%
FR….16.. 5.. 6.. 5…15:17… 43.7%
Tot…32..11..10..11…35:42… 44.8%

Lawrie Sanchez

 

Name: Nigel Worthington

 

In the search for a successor to Lawrie Sanchez, the Irish FA picked one of the few Ulster-men with Premiership management experience. After taking over mid-way through the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, Nigel Worthington had a rocky start to his tenure and Northern Ireland fell just short of making the trip to Austria and Switzerland despite some impressive results.

Coaching Career:

Blackpool player-manager Jul/97 – Dec/99
England Under-21 assistant-coach
Norwich City assistant-manager Jun/00-Dec/00; manager Dec/00-Oct/06
Northern Ireland Under-21 assistant-coach
Leicester City caretaker-manager Apr/07-May/07
Northern Ireland manager Jun/07-Dec/11

Honours: 

(with Norwich City) Football League Division One Champions 2003/04 (promoted)

Summary:

Comp..Pl…W…D…L….F:A….Success
WCQ…10.. 4…3…3…13: 9… 50.0%
ECQ.. 16.. 4…4…8…16:20… 33.3%
FR/MT 15.. 1…3..11… 6:26… 13.3%
Tot…41.. 9..10..22…35:55… 30.1%

Nigel Worthington

Nigel Worthington

 

Name: Michael O’Neill

 

31 times capped as a player, Michael O’Neill’s managerial career began with Brechin City. He then spent three successful seasons in charge of Shamrock Rovers, where he was latterly assisted for a spell by Jim Magilton. As well as two titles and a Setanta Cup, Rovers also enjoyed an unprecedented run in the Europa League under O’Neill’s charge. Recently he led Northern Ireland to their first ever European Championship Finals.

Coaching Career:

Cowdenbeath Assistant-Manager
Brechin City Manager (April 2006 – December 2008)
Shamrock Rovers Manager (December 2008 – December 2011)
Northern Ireland Manager (February 2012 – date)

Managerial Honours:

with Brechin City –
Scottish Second Division Manager of the Month February 2007, December 2007, October 2008
with Shamrock Rovers –
League of Ireland Premier Division Champion 2010, 2011, Runner-Up 2009
FAI Cup Runner-Up 2010
Setanta Sports Cup Winner 2011
SWAI Personality of the Year 2011
with Northern Ireland – 
UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying Group F Winner
BBC Sports Personality Coach of the Year 2015
RTE Sport Manager of the Year 2015
Philips Sports Manager of the Year 2015 (shared with Martin O’Neill)
Belfast Telegraph Coach/Manager of the Year 2015

Michael O'Neill

Michael O’Neill

 

 

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