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From Player to Manager – Part Two


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

The second part as we shine a light on the managers of the Cherries who had previously played for the club, this time delving back almost a century.

Last weekend, Jason Tindall became the 14th former player to take on the boss's role, meaning that now half of the Cherries' 28 managers have pulled on the shirt in a playing capacity.

For the first half of the look back at our players-then-managers, click here.

Having finished last time with the long, financially tumultuous but ultimately successful rein of Mel Machin, we start this section with his predecessor, a young Welshman who had been a promotion winner as a player.

Tony Pulis (June 1992-August 1994)

Tough-tackling midfielder Tony Pulis established himself as a firm fans’ favourite during his playing days with AFC Bournemouth.

Signed by Harry Redknapp from Newport County in August 1986, Pulis was a key cog in the Cherries midfield during the 1986/87 Third Division title success.

Sold to Gillingham for £10,000 in July 1989, he netted four goals in 104 appearances in two spells with the Cherries.

Pulis returned to Dean Court as player-coach under Redknapp in August 1990 before replacing him as manager in June 1992.

He made Steve Fletcher his first signing in management but the club’s precarious financial position made his job extremely difficult at times.

The Cherries finished 17th in his two seasons at the helm before Pulis left the club in August 1994.

Harry Redknapp (October 1983-June 1992)

Harry Redknapp proved a hugely-popular figure with AFC Bournemouth supporters both as a player and manager.

A pacy winger, he first joined the club when John Bond signed him from West Ham for £31,000 in August 1972.

Following spells with Brentford and Seattle Sounders, Redknapp returned to Dean Court as coach under David Webb in 1982.

The majority of his 116 appearances in all competitions came during his first spell between 1972 and 1976 when Redknapp netted six goals.

Following a brief period as caretaker-manager – which included the infamous 9-0 defeat at Lincoln – Redknapp took the reins permanently in November 1983.

Just two months later, Redknapp plotted the downfall of holders Manchester United in a memorable FA Cup giant-killing.

He then guided the Cherries to the second flight for the first time in their history when they lifted the Third Division championship in 1986/87.

Redknapp could do little about a crippling injury crisis which played a huge part in the Cherries’ relegation in 1990 before he stepped down at the end of the 1991/92 season.

David Webb (December 1980-February 1982)

David Webb won the FA Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup with Chelsea in the early-1970s before joining the Cherries from Derby County.

Appointed player-coach during the summer of 1980, Webb took over as manager from Alec Stock after he had accepted a position on the club’s board the following December.

He made ten appearances in Division Four and two in the FA Cup as the Cherries’ late bid for promotion in 1980/81 ran out of steam towards the end of the season.

However, although finances were tight, Webb’s shrewd business acumen in the transfer market saw him assemble a strong squad for the 1981/82 campaign.

With three points for a win having been introduced, Webb’s team took immediate advantage by recording six victories in their first eight games.

And they never looked back, Webb leading them to fourth place and promotion thanks to a 17-match unbeaten run at the end of the season.

Webb came out of retirement to make his 13th and final Cherries appearance in a 1-0 defeat by Huddersfield in November 1982 before leaving the club the following month.

John Benson (January 1975-January 1979)

John Benson made 178 appearances during two contrasting periods in the history of AFC Bournemouth and featured as a player when the club gained promotion from the Fourth Division in 1971.

Affectionally known as Benno, he was one of John Bond’s first signings at Dean Court and captained the team on many occasions during the successful era of the early-70s.

He reunited with Bond at Norwich in December 1973 before returning as player-manager in January 1975, bringing with him former Cherries goalkeeper Fred Davies, who became his assistant.

With the club struggling financially, Benson was unable to stave off relegation in 1974/75 before he guided them to a sixth-place finish in the bottom tier the following season.

Although teenage forwards Kevin Reeves and Howard Goddard flourished under his tutelage, drastic cost-cutting measures saw a number of key players sold and forced Benson back into regular first-team action.

Responsible for signing the likes of Roger Brown and Kenny Allen and bringing back Ted MacDougall, Benson resigned in January 1979.

Trevor Hartley (November 1973-January 1975)

When John Bond left AFC Bournemouth for Norwich in November 1973, the club was briefly run by a committee before 27-year-old former reserve team coach Trevor Hartley was eventually appointed as his successor.

The youngest manager in the Football League at the time, Hartley scored three goals in 48 appearances for the club before injury curtailed his playing career in June 1972 when he joined the Cherries coaching staff.

Signed by Freddie Cox from West Ham in 1969, Hartley had a hard act to follow in Bond and soon lost the services of prolific striker Phil Boyer, who joined the exodus to Carrow Road.

One win in their final 16 games of the 1973/74 season saw the Cherries’ promotion bid fall away before Hartley was relieved of his duties shortly after an embarrassing home defeat by Isthmian League champions Wycombe in the second round of the FA Cup.

Bill McGarry (March 1961-July 1963)

England international Bill McGarry netted twice in 80 appearances after becoming the club’s first player-manager when he succeeded Don Welsh in March 1961.

McGarry won promotion to the top flight with Huddersfield Town in 1952/53 and represented his country at the 1954 World Cup finals.

He was appointed with the Cherries battling to avoid relegation and, from his position at right-half, inspired them to pick up enough points to preserve their Third Division status.

A strict disciplinarian, McGarry brought in rules on players’ diet long before the trend became standard practice.

He guided the Cherries to third and fifth in his two full seasons and it was a huge disappointment to everyone at the club when he accepted an offer from Watford to take over as manager at Vicarage Road in July 1963.

Harry Kinghorn (June 1923-July 1925 & June 1939-May 1947)

Scotsman Harry Kinghorn had two spells as manager either side of the Second World War and made one appearance in a 0-0 draw at Brentford in March 1929.

A goalkeeper by profession, he was pressed into service as an outfield player against the Bees, having become the club’s trainer under boss Frank Richards.

Kinghorn was at the helm during Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic’s debut season in the Football League in 1923/24 and made one of the Cherries’ finest signings, bringing in centre-forward Ronnie Eyre who remains the club’s record goalscorer.

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