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Gerry Francis

Gerry Francis

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Gerald Charles James Francis (born Chiswick
Chiswick
Chiswick is a large suburb of west London, England and part of the London Borough of Hounslow. It is located on a meander of the River Thames, west of Charing Cross and is one of 35 major centres identified in the London Plan. It was historically an ancient parish in the county of Middlesex, with...

, 6 December 1951) is an English former footballer and manager, now working as First Team coach at Stoke City
Stoke City F.C.
Stoke City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire that plays in the Premier League. Founded in 1863, it is the oldest club in the Premier League, and considered to be the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts...

.

Playing career


Francis made his debut for Queens Park Rangers
Queens Park Rangers F.C.
Queens Park Rangers Football Club is an English professional football club, based in White City, Hammersmith and Fulham, west London. As the 2010-11 Football League Championship champions, they now play in the top tier of English football the Premier League, for the first time in 15 years...

 v Liverpool in March 1969. He was captain and central midfield player during the 1970s and was a key player in the QPR side which came within a hair's breadth of their first-ever league title in 1976. He won 12 caps for the England team
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

 between 1974 and 1976, and was captain for eight of those matches. He left QPR for in 1979, although he subsequently returned to QPR for a 2nd spell, before a move to . However this was a time when he suffered injury problems.

Later career


In 1983 he was appointed player-manager of Exeter City
Exeter City F.C.
Exeter City Football Club is an English football club, based in Exeter, which is owned by its fans through the Exeter City Supporters Trust.The club was a member of the Football League from 1920 to 2003...

 although they endured a difficult season. Francis then had further short playing spells at , and before a move to in 1985 yielded 32 league appearances, where he ended his playing career in 1987.

Bristol Rovers


Following this playing spell he succeeded Bobby Gould
Bobby Gould
Robert Anthony "Bobby" Gould is an English former footballer and manager.-Playing career:Born in Coventry, Gould started his career at Coventry City, making his debut for the club whilst still an apprentice at the age of 16. He did not sign professional until June 1964...

 as manager of Third Division
Football League Third Division
The Football League Third Division was the 3 tier of English Football from 1920 until 1992 when after the formation of the Football Association Premier League saw the league renamed The Football League Division Two...

 side Bristol Rovers
Bristol Rovers F.C.
Bristol Rovers Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Bristol, that competes in Football League Two. The team plays its home matches at the Memorial Stadium, in the Horfield area of the city....

. In 1990 he guided the Pirates to the Third Division title and thus they won promotion to the Second Division, but a year later he returned to QPR as manager.

Queens Park Rangers


In 1992-93, QPR finished fifth in the inaugural Premier League
FA Premier League
The Premier League is an English professional league for association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with The Football League. The Premier...

 - highest placed of all the London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 teams. They finished ninth in 1993-94 and eighth in 1994-95, but in November 1994 Francis left Loftus Road
Loftus Road
Loftus Road is a football stadium in Shepherd's Bush, London. It is home to the English football team Queens Park Rangers of the Premier League and has a capacity of around 18,500. The four stands are called the Loftus Road End , Ellerslie Road Stand, South Africa Road Stand and the School End,...

 for Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club , commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English Premier League football club based in Tottenham, north London. The club's home stadium is White Hart Lane....

.

During his three years in charge at QPR, Francis fielded a side containing some of the most feared players in the top flight. Arguably the finest player at the club during this time was striker Les Ferdinand
Les Ferdinand
Leslie "Les" Ferdinand MBE is a former English footballer. His playing career included spells at Queens Park Rangers, Besiktas J.K., Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers F.C., during which period he earned a number of appearances for England...

, who had joined the club from non-league Hayes
Hayes F.C.
Hayes F.C. was an English football club based in Hayes, in Greater London. The club started out as Botwell Mission in 1909 taking its present name in 1929. The team nickname, The Missioners was a salute to the history of the team. The club played in the Conference South for their last few seasons...

 in 1986 but not established himself in the first team until the season before Francis arrived
1990-91 in English football
The 1990–91 season was the 111th season of competitive football in England.- First Division :Arsenal won the league. Runners-up spot was achieved by Liverpool, who had led the table for much of the first half of the season but had been shell-shocked in February by the sudden resignation of manager...

, when he scored eight goals in 18 First Division games. Francis kept faith in Ferdinand, and was rewarded in 1992-93 when the player hit 20 league goals in one season. Ferdinand remained at QPR until his £6million transfer to Newcastle in 1995, by which time he had scored 78 goals in five league campaigns and was one of the most feared strikers in England, being capped
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

 for the first time in 1993. In July 1997, while manager of Tottenham Hotspur, Francis signed Ferdinand for £6million.http://www.sporting-heroes.net/football-heroes/displayhero_club.asp?HeroID=39871

With the resignation of Graham Taylor as England national football team
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

 manager in November 1993 following failure to qualify for the World Cup
1994 FIFA World Cup
The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from June 17 to July 17, 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988...

, Francis was one of the many names linked to the vacancy, but the job went to Terry Venables
Terry Venables
Terence Frederick "Terry" Venables , often referred to as "El Tel", is a former football player and manager, as well as being a media pundit. During the 1960s and 70s, he played for various clubs including Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers, and gained two caps for England...

 instead. In March 1994, ambitious Division One club Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club is an English professional association football club that represents the city of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands region. They are members of the Premier League, the highest level of English football. The club was founded in 1877 and since 1889 has played at...

 made a lucrative approach for Francis to drop down a division and take charge of the club looking to make the breakthrough to the Premier League, but he rejected the offer and Wolves turned to Graham Taylor instead.http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football-peacock-goes-but-francis-stays-mixed-day-at-queens-park-rangers-while-limpar-joins-everton-and-beagrie-hops-to-city-1431375.html

Tottenham Hotspur


1994-95 was a 'nearly' season for Tottenham. They finished seventh in the Premier League - two places off a UEFA Cup
UEFA Cup
The UEFA Europa League is an annual association football cup competition organised by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. It is the second most prestigious European club football contest after the UEFA Champions League...

 place - and lost to Everton
Everton F.C.
Everton Football Club are an English professional association football club from the city of Liverpool. The club competes in the Premier League, the highest level of English football...

 in the semi finals of the FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

. Mid table finishes in the next two seasons were unconvincing and Francis resigned in November 1997 with Spurs battling against relegation from the Premier League. During his time at Tottenham Francis became resented by the fans over his handling of star player Darren Anderton
Darren Anderton
Darren Robert Anderton is a retired English footballer who spent most of his career with Tottenham Hotspur as a midfielder. He played 30 times for the England national football team, scoring 7 goals.-Career:...

. It has been argued that Francis is largely responsible for Anderton's recurring injuries, placing him in the team without sufficient time to recover, which resulted in Anderton only appearing in eight games in the 1995/96 season and 17 games in the 1996/97 season

Back to QPR


In September 1998, Gerry Francis was named as QPR manager for the second time. They had slumped since his departure four years earlier and were now Division One
Football League First Division
The First Division was a division of The Football League between 1888 and 2004 and the highest division in English football until the creation of the Premier League in 1992. The secondary tier in English football has since become known as the Championship....

 strugglers. He kept them clear of relegation over the next two seasons before finally resigning in February 2001 with a return to the lower half of the league imminent after more than 30 years. He briefly became Director of Football at QPR before beginning his second spell as manager of Bristol Rovers in June 2001.

Bristol Rovers again


Three successive wins at the start of the 2001-02 campaign gave the Pirates hope for promotion back to Division Two
Football League Second Division
From 1892 until 1992, the Football League Second Division was the second highest division overall in English football.This ended with the creation of the FA Premier League, prior to the start of the 1992–93 season, which caused an administrative split between The Football League and the teams...

, but injuries soon took their toll on the side's form and Francis resigned just before Christmas. The Pirates continued to slide and missed out on relegation to the Conference
Football Conference
The Football Conference is a football league in England which consists of three divisions called Conference National, Conference North, and Conference South. Some Football Conference clubs are fully professional, such as Luton Town, but most of them are semi-professional...

 by just one place. Francis has not been in management since.

Stoke City


On 4 October 2008, he was offered a position of first team coach at Newcastle United
Newcastle United F.C.
Newcastle United Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear. The club was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, and has played at its current home ground, St James' Park, since the merger...

, however due to the uncertainty over the period of the role he decided to take up an offer from Stoke City
Stoke City F.C.
Stoke City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire that plays in the Premier League. Founded in 1863, it is the oldest club in the Premier League, and considered to be the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts...

 to become their first team coach.

Media work


Francis often appears as a football pundit on Sky Sports
Sky Sports
Sky Sports is the brand name for a group of sports-oriented television channels operated by the UK and Ireland's main satellite pay-TV company, British Sky Broadcasting. Sky Sports is the dominant subscription television sports brand in the United Kingdom and Ireland...

. He is most notable for his unerring loyalty to the mullet
Mullet (haircut)
The mullet is a hairstyle that is short at the front and sides, and long in the back. . The mullet began to appear in popular media in the 1960s and 1970s but did not become generally well-known until the early 1980s...

 haircut.

Managerial stats

TeamFromToPWDLW%
  Exeter City
Exeter City F.C.
Exeter City Football Club is an English football club, based in Exeter, which is owned by its fans through the Exeter City Supporters Trust.The club was a member of the Football League from 1920 to 2003...

20 July 1983 14 May 1984 46 6 15 25 13.0%
  Bristol Rovers
Bristol Rovers F.C.
Bristol Rovers Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Bristol, that competes in Football League Two. The team plays its home matches at the Memorial Stadium, in the Horfield area of the city....

1 July 1987 13 May 1991 206 85 63 58 41.3%
  Queens Park Rangers
Queens Park Rangers F.C.
Queens Park Rangers Football Club is an English professional football club, based in White City, Hammersmith and Fulham, west London. As the 2010-11 Football League Championship champions, they now play in the top tier of English football the Premier League, for the first time in 15 years...

1 June 1991 11 November 1994 158 59 47 52 37.3%
  Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club , commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English Premier League football club based in Tottenham, north London. The club's home stadium is White Hart Lane....

15 November 1994 19 November 1997 142 55 42 45 38.7%
  Queens Park Rangers 16 October 1998 25 February 2001 125 36 42 47 28.8%
  Bristol Rovers 27 June 2001 24 December 2001 31 9 10 12 29.0%

External links