Mike Newell (footballer)

Mike Newell (footballer)
Mike Newell
Personal information
Full name Michael Colin Newell
Date of birth 27 January 1965 (1965-01-27) (age 46)
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1982 Liverpool
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1983 Crewe Alexandra 3 (0)
1983–1986 Wigan Athletic 72 (25)
1986–1987 Luton Town 63 (18)
1987–1989 Leicester City 81 (21)
1989–1991 Everton 68 (15)
1991–1996 Blackburn Rovers 130 (28)
1996–1997 Birmingham City 15 (1)
1997 West Ham United (loan) 7 (0)
1997 Bradford City (loan) 7 (0)
1997–1999 Aberdeen 44 (6)
1999 Crewe Alexandra 4 (0)
1999–2000 Doncaster Rovers 16 (3)
2000–2001 Blackpool 18 (2)
Total 528 (119)
National team
1986 England U21 4 (0)
1989 England B 2 (1)
Teams managed
2002–2003 Hartlepool United
2003–2007 Luton Town
2008–2009 Grimsby Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Michael Colin "Mike" Newell (born 27 January 1965) is an English football manager and former professional footballer. As a player he notably was a member of the Blackburn Rovers team which won the Premier League in 1995, as well also playing for Crewe Alexandra, Wigan Athletic, Luton Town, Leicester City, Everton, Birmingham City, West Ham United, Bradford City, Aberdeen, Doncaster Rovers and Blackpool between the years of 1982 and 2001. Newell totalled £3,585,000 in transfer fees over the duration of his career.[1] As a manager he has had spells with Hartlepool United, Luton Town and Grimsby Town.


Playing career

Newell represented 13 different clubs in his career, playing a total of 530 league games and scoring 120 goals. While playing for Blackburn against Rosenborg in the 1995–96 season, Newell scored the fastest-ever hat-trick in the UEFA Champions League, netting his three goals in a spell of only nine minutes. This was a "Perfect Hat-Trick", meaning he scored the goals with his right foot, left foot and head. He also scored Blackburns only goal in their 2-1 defeat against Rosenborg at Lerkendal in the UEFA Champions League the same year.

Newell was released by both Liverpool and Crewe Alexandra as a youngster, finally finding form at Wigan Athletic. After a brief period at Wigan, Newell went to Luton Town. After another successful time he moved on to Leicester City in 1987.

He established himself as a highly competent goalscorer at Filbert Street, but was unable to secure promotion to the First Division and joined Everton for £1.1million in 1989, just four years after Everton had signed another high scoring striker - Gary Lineker - from the East Midlands club.

Whereas Lineker had developed into a world class goalscorer after moving from Leicester to Everton (along with subsequent clubs FC Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur), Newell's form at Goodison Park was less spectacular as he formed a three-man strikeforce with Graeme Sharp and Tony Cottee, and with three strikers in the first eleven there was little pressure on any of them to score 20 or 30 goals a season. However, the three-man strikeforce was looking like a success as they spearheaded Everton to the top of the league in late autumn of 1989 and were starting to look like serious title contenders for perhaps the first time since Howard Kendall's departure as manager in June 1987, but Everton were unable to maintain this impressive form and dipped to sixth place in the final table. Newell had managed seven goals that season from 26 league appearances.

1990-91 began terribly for Everton. By 31 October 1990, they were a lowly 18th in the league and had endured their worst ever start to a league campaign - battling relegation exactly a year since they had led the league and looked good bets for the title. Manager Colin Harvey paid for this nightmare start to the season with his job, only to rejoin Everton a week later when Howard Kendall began his second spell as manager and appointed Harvey as his assistant in the old manager/coach partnership that had brought so much success from 1981 to 1987. Newell initially remained in favour under Kendall, scoring seven goals again that season, one of them in a 2-0 win over Manchester United on 2 March 1991 in a game best remembered for being the debut of a 17-year-old United winger called Ryan Giggs.

Despite the arrival of Peter Beardsley from Liverpool for the 1991-92 season, Newell managed to make 13 league appearances for Everton (scoring once) before his £1.1million transfer to Second Division promotion challengers Blackburn Rovers, now managed by former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish and bankrolled by the wealth of owner Jack Walker. He was Blackburn's record signing at the time, and the most expensive player yet to be signed by a club outside the top flight.

He broke his leg soon afterwards, and Blackburn went from being Second Division leaders to having to win their final game of the season to achieve a playoff place, but Newell was fit for the playoffs and after helping them overcome Derby County in the semi-finals, he scored the penalty in their 1-0 playoff final win over his former club Leicester City at Wembley Stadium as they sealed a place in the new FA Premier League and ended their 26-year absence from the top flight of English football.

In 1992-93, Newell was Blackburn's second highest goalscorer with 13 league goals as they finished fourth in the Premier League. They had looked like championship contenders for much of the season, but Newell lacked the much-needed support up front after late December when strike partner Alan Shearer suffered a serious knee injury and missed the rest of the season. However, he managed just 6 goals in 28 games in 1993-94, battling it out with Kevin Gallacher for the role of Shearer's strike partner as Blackburn finished second. The following season, the arrival of Chris Sutton restricted him to just two Premier League starts (and nine substitute appearances) in 1994–95, when Blackburn were league champions for the first time in 81 years. However, he did narrowly meet the requirement of 10 league appearances for a title medal.

Newell scored the 1,000th goal of the Premier League era during Blackburn's 3–1 win at Nottingham Forest in April 1993, Newell also holds the record for the fastest Hat Trick in Champions League History after scoring 3 goals in 9 minutes for Blackburn against Rosenborg B.K in the 1995-96 season.

He left Blackburn for Birmingham City at the end of the 1995/96 season. However, this spell proved to be unsuccessful, scoring just three times with a strike against Sheffield United in the league[2] and a brace against Brighton in the League Cup.[3] This was the beginning of a five year spell at seven different clubs. Newell left Birmingham to join West Ham United on loan in December 1996, before a similar spell at Bradford City in March 1997. Before he was loaned to West Ham, Birmingham had accepted a £750,000 bid from Bolton Wanderers for Newell, but he was unable to agree a contract and the transfer fell through.

In the summer of 1997, Newell moved to Aberdeen before drifting back into the English leagues with Crewe, Doncaster Rovers and finally Blackpool. He retired from playing in May 2001, going out on a high as Blackpool celebrated promotion as Division Three playoff winners.

Managerial career

Hartlepool United

Newell replaced Chris Turner as manager of Hartlepool United during the 2002–03 season, when Hartlepool were top of Division Three. After horrendous away form, the club lost a 16 point lead it held, though promotion as runners-up was still sealed. After this, and many personal differences between Newell and the board at Hartlepool, Newell's contract was not renewed in the summer of 2003, and he was replaced by Neale Cooper.

Luton Town

Shortly after leaving Hartlepool, he was appointed manager of Luton Town by controversial chairman John Gurney, who, having just purchased the club, sacked the popular management team of Joe Kinnear and Mick Harford. It was reported that Newell won a Pop Idol-style poll to become manager[4] but he was offered and signed a contract before the "results" were announced. Shortly after taking over, the club went into administrative receivership which saw a several players leave the club. Despite this, Newell succeeded in taking the club near the play-offs of Division Two.

The following season, Luton became the first ever champions of the newly-named League One, winning 98 points and gaining promotion to the Championship. Newell guided Luton to further success in the 2005–06 season, which saw Luton finish 10th in the Championship – their highest finish since they relegated from the top flight in 1992. Luton also became one of only two clubs to defeat runaway champions Reading. Newell was linked with jobs at several larger clubs, such as Leicester City,[5] but remained at Luton and later signed a four-year contract.[6]

Newell's relationship with Luton turned sour after a poor start to the 2006–07 season, in which he criticised chairman Bill Tomlins' running of the club.[7] After a number of players departed in the summer of 2006, and then more in January 2007, the club was in a relegation battle. Newell was sacked by Luton in March 2007 after criticising the club's board for not investing enough money into the club.[8]

Grimsby Town

Mike Newell was unveiled as the new manager of Grimsby Town at a press conference on 6 October 2008, signing a three and a half year contract at Blundell Park. Grimsby were just two places above the League Two relegation zone at the time and one of only two senior clubs in England without a victory, with only the three sides who had been docked points below them in the table.[9] Newell's first game was a league match at home to top of the table Wycombe Wanderers, which ended in a 1–1 draw after Grimsby had led for most of the match.[10] He recorded his and Grimsby's first victory of the season in his ninth game in charge, a 2–0 victory at Bury on 15 November.[11] Newell was given time and money by the Grimsby board to avoid relegation, a feat accomplished with some shrewd deals in the transfer market. His ability to attract a seemingly higher pedigree of player paid off, and the Mariners avoided relegation by four points.

For 2009-10, Newell was given funds to sign former loanees Peter Sweeney, Barry Conlon, Joe Widdowson and Adrian Forbes. He bolstered the ranks further with midfielder Michael Leary, striker Chris Jones and Sunderland goalkeeper Nick Colgan. The Mariners also turned down a lucrative offer from Peterborough United for captain Ryan Bennett. Supporters were optimistic that Grimsby Town could have a successful season. However, the club only gained 10 points from their opening 13 games. A 0-2 home defeat to Rochdale on 17 October 2009 dropped the Mariners into the League Two relegation zone. Newell was dismissed the following day, despite chairman John Fenty's assertion a week earlier that certain under-performing players would be shown the door before Newell.

In February 2010, five months after Newell's sacking he began court proceedings to sue Grimsby and John Fenty, claiming he was owed £53,845.61 in loss of earnings as well as claiming a drunk Fenty had slammed a chair on the floor and pulled on Newell's tie following his final game in charge.[12] The two parties eventually settled out of court and agreed on a sum of £5000, with Newell's eventual reason for being sacked revealed as gross misconduct.[13]


Corruption allegations

Newell caused a huge stir in the footballing world, when he claimed that corruption was rife in transfer deals. In particular, he claimed that he had been offered "bungs" or bribes by football agents and agreed to name the offending parties when called upon by the FA.[14] As a result, an enquiry was launched by the FA and was headed by Lord Stevens, a former Metropolitan Police commissioner.[15] On 20 December 2006, Stevens presented his preliminary report, which found that, although the level of corruption within English football was not a high as had been anticipated, there were several causes for concern.[16] 17 transfer deals were still subject to further scrutiny.

Female match officials

Following a match against Queens Park Rangers on 11 November 2006 Newell criticised female assistant referee, Amy Rayner, using sexist comments, and later apologised. He also criticised the chairman of Luton Town FC, Bill Tomlins. For this he was reprimanded by his club, which publicly dissociated itself from the comments concerning Rayner.[17]

Foreign players

Following a match against West Bromwich Albion on 12 January 2006 Newell criticised the influence of foreign players in English game, stating that it was "going soft."[18] This was after an incident in which Luton midfielder David Bell appeared to be fouled, play continued and West Brom went on to not only equalize minutes before the end, but to claim a last gasp winner to leave Luton empty handed.



Wigan Athletic


Blackburn Rovers

Doncaster Rovers



Hartlepool United

Luton Town

Managerial statistics

Updated to 18 October 2009
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Hartlepool United England 21 November 2002 30 May 2003 29 13 9 7 44.82
Luton Town England 23 June 2003 15 March 2007 200 83 49 68 41.50
Grimsby Town England 6 October 2008 18 October 2009 53 13 11 29 24.53


  1. ^ Soccerbase
  2. ^ "Blades' stunner; Sheff Utd 4, Birmingham 4.". The Free Library. 24 August 1996. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Blades'+stunner%3B+Sheff+Utd+4,+Birmingham+4.-a061312352. Retrieved 22 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Double joy for Newell; Birmingham 2, Brighton 0 (Agg: 3-0).". The Free Library. 4 September 1996. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Double+joy+for+Newell%3B+Birmingham+2,+Brighton+0+(Agg%3A+3-0).-a061337099. Retrieved 22 December 2010. 
  4. ^ "Newell wins Luton election". BBC Sport. 2003-06-23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/luton_town/3013334.stm. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  5. ^ "Newell turns down Leicester job". BBC Sport. 2006-02-09. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/luton_town/4697170.stm. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  6. ^ "Newell agrees new deal with Luton". BBC Sport. 2006-03-17. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/luton_town/4817504.stm. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  7. ^ "Newell hopes Rayner row is over". BBC Sport. 2006-11-16. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/6142974.stm. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  8. ^ "Struggling Luton sack boss Newell". BBC Sport. 2007-03-15. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/luton_town/6455471.stm. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  9. ^ "Newell takes over as Grimsby boss". BBC Sport. 2008-10-06. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/g/grimsby_town/7654352.stm. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  10. ^ "Grimsby 1-1 Wycombe". BBC Sport. 2008-10-11. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_3/7646983.stm. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  11. ^ "Bury 0-2 Grimsby". BBC Sport. 2008-11-15. http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_3/7713335.stm. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  12. ^ http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2010/02/27/ex-everton-fc-striker-mike-newell-suing-grimsby-town-fc-100252-25925050/
  13. ^ http://www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk/news/Grimsby-Town-pays-manager-Mike-Newell-163-5k-compensation-sacking/article-2526362-detail/article.html
  14. ^ "FA to meet Newell over bung claim". BBC Sport. 2006-01-12. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/l/luton_town/4605184.stm. Retrieved 2006-09-18. 
  15. ^ "Ex-police chief leads bungs probe". BBC Sport. 2006-03-03. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/man_city/5339964.stm. Retrieved 2006-09-18. 
  16. ^ "Bung inquiry targets 17 transfers". BBC Sport. 2006-12-20. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/6192665.stm. Retrieved 2007-01-28. 
  17. ^ "Newell rapped but keeps Luton job". BBC Sport. 2006-11-15. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/6142974.stm. Retrieved 2006-11-15. 
  18. ^ "Newell angered by foreign players". BBC Sport. 2006-01-13. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/luton_town/6258471.stm. Retrieved 2006-11-13. 

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