Gordon Strachan

Gordon Strachan
Gordon Strachan
Gordon David Strachan.jpg
Strachan as manager of Celtic
Personal information
Full name Gordon David Strachan
Date of birth 9 February 1957 (1957-02-09) (age 54)
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1971–1977 Dundee 69 (13)
1977–1984 Aberdeen 183 (55)
1984–1989 Manchester United 160 (33)
1989–1995 Leeds United 197 (37)
1995–1997 Coventry City 26 (0)
Total 635 (138)
National team
1980–1992 Scotland 50 (5)
Teams managed
1996–2001 Coventry City
2001–2004 Southampton
2005–2009 Celtic
2009–2010 Middlesbrough
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Gordon David Strachan OBE (born 9 February 1957) is a Scottish football manager and former player. He is currently without a club, having last managed Middlesbrough. Strachan played for Dundee, Aberdeen, Manchester United, Leeds United and Coventry City, as well as the Scotland national team. Prior to Middlesbrough, Strachan managed Coventry City, Southampton and Celtic. In club football, he played 626 games scoring a total of 138 goals, playing 21 of 25 career seasons in either the English or Scottish top flight. In international football Strachan earned 50 caps, scoring 5 goals and playing in two FIFA World Cup final tournaments, Spain 82 and Mexico 86. Strachan retired from playing in 1996 at age 40, setting a Premier League record for an outfield player.

A right-sided midfielder, Strachan made his senior debut in 1974 with Dundee before moving on within Scotland, to spend seven seasons at Aberdeen. He first played for the Scotland national team in 1980. While at Aberdeen Strachan won multiple domestic league and cup honours in the early 1980s, as well as the 1982–83 European Cup Winners' Cup and 1983 European Super Cup. Moving to England, Strachan won the 1985 FA Cup Final in five seasons with Manchester United, before spending the next seven seasons as club captain at Leeds, winning the 1991–92 First Division league title. He played his last game for Scotland in 1992 while still at Leeds, and then moved to Coventry in 1995 for a final three seasons, as a player-coach.

Strachan became full time manager of Coventry when the incumbent Ron Atkinson was appointed as Director of Football. After five years in the job he was sacked in 2001, when Coventry were relegated from the top flight for the first time in 34 years. However, he immediately returned to the Premier League with Southampton and guided that club to the 2003 FA Cup Final – losing 1–0 to Arsenal. Strachan resigned from Southampton in 2004 and took a 16 month break from management before returning to Scotland to become manager of Celtic in the Scottish Premier League. With Celtic he achieved three successive league titles and other domestic cup wins, before resigning in May 2009 after failing to win a fourth title. Five months later he became manager of Middlesbrough in the English Football League Championship, but left the club after a year in the job.

Strachan was named as FWA Footballer of the Year for the 1990–91 season while at Leeds. He was also named Manager of the Year in Scotland multiple times by writers and players while at Celtic. In 2007, Strachan was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame. He is the father of Craig Strachan and Gavin Strachan, also footballers.


Club career


Born in Edinburgh, Strachan began his career with Dundee, making his debut in the 1974-75 season and becoming a regular player the 1975-76 season, soon becoming captain of the side.


Strachan came to prominence at the age of 20 when he was signed by Aberdeen on 1 November 1977 for a fee of £50,000.[1]With the famous Aberdeen team of the 1980s, managed by Alex Ferguson and one of the few sides to break the traditional dominance of the Old Firm in Scottish football, he won two Scottish League titles, three Scottish Cups, the European Cup Winners' Cup and the European Super Cup.

Manchester United

In August 1984, Manchester United spent £500,000 to take him to Old Trafford in August. Strachan had previously signed for Bundesliga side 1. FC Köln, and United paid £75,000 compensation to resolve the row.[citation needed]

He contributed to the Red Devils' FA Cup victory over Everton in 1985, but gradually began to suffer a loss in form and eventually lost his place as a regular first team player. Aberdeen manager Alex Ferguson followed him to Old Trafford in November 1986 following the dismissal of Ron Atkinson.

Leeds United

Leeds United manager Howard Wilkinson came to the rescue in March 1989, when he paid £200,000 for Strachan's services. The transfer fee soon paid dividends as Strachan's form resulted in helping Leeds to winning the Second Division title in 1990 and gaining promotion to the First Division after an eight-year exile. The following season he helped Leeds finish fourth in the First Division and Strachan was voted Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year. A year later, he was a part of the team's strength in Leeds overtaking Manchester United to win the 1991–92 League Championship title in the last ever season of the old Football League before the creation of the FA Premier League. Strachan continued to be an active first-team player as Leeds enjoyed mixed fortunes during their first three seasons of the Premier League, although he was sometimes kept out of the side by back problems.

Coventry City

Strachan remained at Leeds United until March 1995, when he moved to Coventry City to work as player-coach under new manager Ron Atkinson. Strachan was not a regular first-team player at Highfield Road, but he helped coach the club's players to a high enough standard to escape relegation from the Premier League in 1995–96.

International career

Strachan had a fruitful International career with Scotland which included 5 goals. He appeared in two FIFA World Cups — in 1982 and 1986 – and it was in the latter that he scored his most famous International goal, a cross shot against West Germany in Scotland's second match of the tournament in Querétaro, Mexico. His celebration was unique and comical too, as he attempted to vault the advertising hoarding, his relatively small height made it difficult if not impossible, so he merely rested his right leg on it as his team-mates joined him in celebrating. This goal gave Scotland a surprise lead against one of the world's top national sides, but they ultimately lost the game 2–1 and failure to beat Uruguay in the final game of the group stages ended their hopes of reaching the last 16, despite playing ten men from the first minute after a challenge on Strachan.

Managerial career

Coventry City

When Ron Atkinson became Coventry City's Director of Football in November 1996, Strachan was promoted to the manager's seat. He finally retired as a player at the end of the season after making his last appearance at the age of 40, at the time a record for an outfield player in the FA Premier League. Only goalkeeper John Burridge, who had played for Manchester City at the age of 43 in the 1994–95, had played at a greater age in the Premier League at the time.

Strachan also helped Coventry survive a Premier League relegation battle. After losing their penultimate league game, it looked as though their 30-year top flight tenancy had come to an end. But thanks to a victory on the final day, a draw for Middlesbrough (who had been deducted three points by the FA) and a defeat for Sunderland, they avoided relegation. Coventry stayed in the top flight for a further four years until the 2000–01 season, during which Strachan became unpopular with fans.[2] In the face of increasing supporter unrest he was sacked five games into the 2001–02 Division One campaign.[3]


Strachan returned to management within weeks, taking the manager's job at Premier League Southampton – who had sacked manager Stuart Gray after a terrible start to their first season at the new St Mary's Stadium. Most pundits had already written off their survival chances by the time of Strachan's appointment in October 2001, but he turned round their fortunes and they finished 11th in the Premier League. The Saints progressed further in 2002–03 when they finished eighth and reached the FA Cup Final, where they lost 1–0 to Arsenal. As Arsenal had qualified for the UEFA Champions League, Southampton won a place in the UEFA Cup.

In February 2004, Strachan announced his resignation as Southampton manager. He had earlier announced his intention not to renew his contract when it expired at the end of the 2003–04 season, but resigned even earlier than intended because he wanted to spend time with his family.


After a 16 month break, Strachan returned to management on 1 June 2005, when he succeeded Martin O'Neill as manager of Celtic in the Scottish Premier League (SPL). For 2005–06, his stated aim was to regain the SPL title from rivals Rangers. He had an embarrassing start to his campaign as Celtic manager, losing 5–0 to Slovakian champions Artmedia Bratislava on 27 July 2005 and 3 days later drawing 4–4 with Motherwell in his first SPL match in charge of the Glasgow club. The loss against Artmedia meant that Celtic suffered an early exit from European competition, despite winning the return match 4–0.

After this disastrous start, Celtic started to improve under Strachan. A low-point was the shock defeat in the third round of the Scottish Cup to First Division Clyde on 8 January 2006. However, the following month his team made history when they beat Dunfermline Athletic 8–1, a record victory margin for the SPL.

Strachan's first season was ultimately successful as he coached Celtic to victory in the Scottish League Cup and, on 5 April 2006 his side clinched the SPL title in record time and with six matches remaining. Reflecting this achievement, Strachan was voted 'manager of the year' by the Scottish Football Writers' Association 8 days later.[4]

The following year Strachan restructured the team and made a series of signings, bringing in players such as Hibernian's Derek Riordan, Chelsea's Jiri Jarosik, Kenny Miller and Lee Naylor both from Wolverhampton Wanderers, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink from PSV Eindhoven, Thomas Gravesen from Real Madrid and Paul Hartley and Steven Pressley from Heart of Midlothian. Celtic flourished, and by mid-January 2007 held a 17 point lead in the SPL table.

Champions League football again returned to Celtic Park, the team having automatically qualified for the group stages and drawn alongside Benfica, FC Copenhagen and Manchester United. Home victories against all three Group F members saw the team progress to the final 16 of the Champions League for the first time since the competition was re-formatted in 1993. Celtic lost the tie, against eventual winners AC Milan in extra time, missing out on a place in the quarter finals.

On 22 April 2007 Strachan guided Celtic to their 41st league championship, and second in succession. A 2–1 victory against Kilmarnock[5] left Celtic 13 points clear of Rangers with four matches remaining. Later that day Strachan was recognised as the inaugural Scottish PFA Manager of the Year for 2007. Celtic went on to win the Scottish Cup, beating Dunfermline.

In the 2007–08 season, Strachan led Celtic into the last 16 of the Champions League again after beating AC Milan, Benfica and Shaktar Donetsk. However by April there was a lot of criticism from the press and the fans after the 1–0 loss to Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup quarter final and the 1–0 loss to 10 man Motherwell in the league. But he proved the critics wrong again and after beating Rangers twice at home, on 22 May 2008, Strachan became only the third ever Celtic manager to guide the club to three consecutive Scottish league titles.

After failing to lead Celtic to another league title in the 2008/09 season, he stepped down as manager on 25 May 2009.[6][7]


Strachan was appointed manager of Championship team Middlesbrough on 26 October 2009, in succession to Gareth Southgate and signed a four-year contract.[8][9]

Ironically, he had been linked with the Middlesbrough manager's job 15 years earlier, when still a Leeds United player.[10]

His first game in charge was on 31 October where Middlesbrough lost 1–0 to Plymouth Argyle with Adam Johnson missing a penalty.[11] On 5 December 2009, Middlesbrough won their first match under Strachan, 5–1 away to Queens Park Rangers.[12] after a poor run of results including a 3–0 loss at home to Blackpool and a 1–0 loss at home to Cardiff City Strachan got his first home win- 3–0 against Scunthorpe.[13]

After a poor start to the 2010–11 season with Middlesbrough in 20th place,[14] Strachan left the club by mutual consent on 18 October,[15] and voluntarily tore up his contract,[16] meaning that the club did not have to pay him compensation for the two and a half years remaining on his deal.[15][17]

Management style

Typically playing a traditional 4–4–2 formation,[18][19][20] and very occasionally 4–5–1,[18][21] Strachan is widely known for his rigorous management style,[22] and admits to watching video replays of his club's games two, sometimes three times.[23] He also places great emphasis on player health and fitness, forbidding his players to drink alcohol excessively or regularly, and often giving dietary advice to his players, attributing his own longevity as a player to a strict and somewhat unusual diet involving seaweed.[24][25] Players such as Scotland international Gary Caldwell have attributed their success at Celtic to lifestyle changes enforced by Strachan.[26]


During his managerial career Strachan has had an ongoing public feud with Alex Ferguson. In his 1999 autobiography the Manchester United manager said "I decided this man could not be trusted an inch – I would not want to expose my back to him in a hurry". In his own 2006 autobiography Strachan said of the comments he was "surprised and disappointed".[27] The rivalry dates from Strachan's time playing under Ferguson, first at Aberdeen and later Manchester Utd.[28] The hostilities between the two men are widely recognised to have decreased especially since they were seen on cordial terms during Celtic and Manchester United Champions League fixtures in both 2006 and 2008.

Other work

While taking a break from management after leaving Southampton in 2004, Strachan turned down an offer to become the manager at their local rivals Portsmouth,[citation needed] and was also widely tipped to be Berti Vogts's replacement as Scotland manager, before the post was filled by Walter Smith. During the break, Strachan analysed football matches for the media, most notably alongside Adrian Chiles on BBC Sport's Match of the Day 2.

For the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Strachan was appointed as the official FIFA Ambassador for Scotland, joining fifty others in fund raising for SOS Children's Villages, the official charity of the tournament.[29]

Personal life

Strachan is the father of Craig and Gavin Strachan, also footballers, and Gemma Strachan.[citation needed]

Renowned for his deadpan humour in media interviews, quotes attributed to Strachan have become part of popular football culture.[30][31]

Career statistics


Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Scotland League Scottish Cup League Cup Europe Total
1974–75 Dundee Division One 1 0
1975–76 Premier Division 23 6
1976–77 Division One 36 7
1977–78 Aberdeen Premier Division 12 2
1978–79 31 5
1979–80 33 10
1980–81 20 6
1981–82 30 7
1982–83 32 12
1983–84 25 13
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1984–85 Manchester United First Division 41 15
1985–86 28 5
1986–87 34 4
1987–88 36 8
1988–89 21 1
1988–89 Leeds United Second Division 11 3
1989–90 46 16
1990–91 First Division 34 7
1991–92 36 4
1992–93 Premier League 31 4
1993–94 33 3
1994–95 6 0
1994–95 Coventry City Premier League 5 0
1995–96 12 0
1996–97 9 0
Total Scotland 243 68
England 383 70
Career total 626 138


As of 16 October 2010
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Coventry City England 5 November 1996 10 September 2001 &10000000000000215000000215 &1000000000000007000000070 &1000000000000005600000056 &1000000000000008900000089 &1000000000000003256000032.56
Southampton England 22 October 2001 13 February 2004 &10000000000000110000000110 &1000000000000003900000039 &1000000000000003200000032 &1000000000000003900000039 &1000000000000003545000035.45
Celtic Scotland 1 June 2005 25 May 2009 &10000000000000182000000182 &10000000000000122000000122 &1000000000000002800000028 &1000000000000003200000032 &1000000000000006703000067.03
Middlesbrough England 26 October 2009 18 October 2010 &1000000000000004600000046 &1000000000000001300000013 &1000000000000001300000013 &1000000000000002000000020 &1000000000000002826000028.26
Total &10000000000000553000000553 &10000000000000244000000244 &10000000000000129000000129 &10000000000000180000000180 &1000000000000004411999944.12



Manchester United
Leeds United





  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Strachan family put off by abuse". BBC Sport. 23 January 2001. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/coventry_city/1132152.stm. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "First Division Round-up: Strachan feels fans' fury". The Telegraph. 18 September 2001. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/championship/3012391/First-Division-Round-up-Strachan-feels-fans-fury.html. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Strachan is writers' boss of year". BBC Sport. 13 April 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/celtic/4906162.stm. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  5. ^ Colin Moffat, Kilmarnock 1–2 Celtic, BBC Sport, 22 April 2007
  6. ^ Strachan quits as manager The Herald, 25 May 2009
  7. ^ "Strachan resigns as Celtic boss". BBC Sport. 25 May 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/c/celtic/8067244.stm. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  8. ^ "Gordon Strachan confirmed as Middlesbrough's new manager". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. 26 October 2009. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/oct/26/gordon-strachan-middlesbrough-new-manager. Retrieved 26 October 2009. 
  9. ^ "Strachan named Middlesbrough boss". BBC Sport. 26 October 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/middlesbrough/8319489.stm. Retrieved 26 October 2009. 
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ "Middlesbrough 0–1 Plymouth". BBC Sport. 31 October 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_1/8326893.stm. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  12. ^ "QPR 1–5 Middlesbrough". BBC Sport. 5 December 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_1/8389132.stm. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  13. ^ "Gordon Strachan resigns as manager of Middlesbrough". BBC Sport. 18 October 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/middlesbrough/9103816.stm. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  14. ^ Gordon Strachan exits Middlesbrough after poor start to season The Guardian, 18 October 2010
  15. ^ a b Gordon Strachan Leaves Boro Middlesbrough FC, 18 October 2010
  16. ^ Gordon Strachan tears up his Middlesbrough contract The Guardian, 18 October 2010
  17. ^ Gordon Strachan leaves Middlesbrough after miserable spell at the Riverside Mail Online, 19 October 2010
  18. ^ a b Aiden McGeady takes centre stage to spur on Celtic with stirring performance Times Online, 8 November 2007
  19. ^ Old Firm set for grand finale BBC Sport, 28 March 2008
  20. ^ Getting personnel as Lenny’s hard sell continues to get men to fit new tactics Evening Times, 2 July 2010
  21. ^ Scott MacDonald leads Celtic's smash-and-grab Times Online, 27 December 2008
  22. ^ "Strachan wrecks Boro players' holiday plans with end of season training camp – exclusive". Mirror Football. 23 April 2010. http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Middlesbrough-players-holiday-plans-wrecked-as-Gordon-Strachan-insists-on-end-of-season-training-camp-exclusive-article402473.html. Retrieved 19 October 2010. 
  23. ^ Keep the faith[dead link]
  24. ^ The top ten football pre-match meals Times Online, 9 August 2009
  25. ^ Model pro Speed notches up 500 London Evening Standard, 8 December 2006
  26. ^ Gibbons, Glenn (17 October 2006). "Lifestyle change crucial to Caldwell's progress". The Scotsman. http://sport.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=829&id=1535832006. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  27. ^ "Fergie v Strachan". BBC Sport. 12 September 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/5335578.stm. Retrieved 19 October 2010. 
  28. ^ Shaw, Phil (14 May 2003). "Strachan the maverick with a rich streak of pragmatism". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/football-league/strachan-the-maverick-with-a-rich-streak-of-pragmatism-745131.html. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  29. ^ "Gordon Strachan and Celtic FC join SOS Children". SOS Children's Villages. 1 December 2005. http://www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk/charity-news/six-villages-celtic.htm. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  30. ^ "Gordon Strachan — One of football's colourful characters". Boreme.com. http://www.boreme.com/boreme/funny-2004/t-strachan-quotes-p1.php. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  31. ^ Finkelstein, Daniel (23 January 2008). "Top ten Gordon Strachan ripostes". Times Online. http://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/2008/01/top-ten-gordon.html. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Mark Aizlewood
Leeds United captain
Succeeded by
Gary McAllister

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gordon Strachan — en 2007. Gordon Strachan, né le 9 février 1957 à Édimbourg, est un ancien footballeur international écossais. Il est devenu ensuite entraîneur de club. L Ecossais a évolué comme joueur dans les rangs du Dundee FC, Aberdeen, Manchester United …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gordon Strachan — (2007) Gordon David Strachan (* 9. Februar 1957 in Edinburgh) ist ein schottischer Fußballtrainer und ehemaliger Fußballspieler (Mittelfeld). Zuletzt trainierte er den FC Middlesbrough …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gordon Strachan — Nombre Gordon David Strachan Nacimiento 9 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gordon Strachan (minister) — For other people named Gordon Strachan, see Gordon Strachan (disambiguation). Gordon Strachan Born January 24, 1934(1934 01 24) Cheam, England Died July 7, 2010(2010 07 07) (aged 76) Edinburgh, Scotland …   Wikipedia

  • Gordon Strachan (rugby union) — For other people named Gordon Strachan, see Gordon Strachan (disambiguation). Gordon Strachan Full name Gordon Matthew Strachan Date of birth 16 November 1947 (1947 11 16) (age 64) School Ayr Academy Rugby un …   Wikipedia

  • Gordon Strachan (disambiguation) — People named Gordon Strachan: Gordon Strachan (minister) (1934 – 2010), a Church of Scotland minister, theologian, university lecturer and author Gordon Strachan (rugby union), (born 1947), Scottish international rugby union player Gordon… …   Wikipedia

  • Strachan — is a surname, and may refer to:* Andy Strachan drummer * Douglas Strachan Scottish designer of stained glass windows * Gavin Strachan footballer * George Strachan Livestock Auctioneer * Glenn Strachan Broadband Wireless and ICT Advisor * Gordon… …   Wikipedia

  • Strachan — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Gordon Strachan (* 1957), schottischer Fußballspieler und trainer Hew Francis Anthony Strachan (* 1949), britischer Historiker Rod Strachan (* 1955), US amerikanischer Schwimmer Strachan steht auch für:… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gordon Rae — Personal information Date of birth 3 M …   Wikipedia

  • Gordon C. Strachan — For other people named Gordon Strachan, see Gordon Strachan (disambiguation). Gordon C. Strachan Strachan in 2007 Strachan in 2007 Born July 24, 1943 (1943 07 24) (age 68) Berkeley, California Charge(s) Conspir …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.