Steve McMahon
Steve
McMahon

Steve McMahon returned to management with Blackpool in January 2000, 18 months after leaving his first managerial post with Swindon Town, replacing Nigel Worthington as The Seasiders' boss.

Originally with Everton, Steve's playing career blossomed at Aston Villa and then with Liverpool, with whom he won three First Division titles and two FA Cup winners' medals. In January 1991, he left Anfield to sign for Manchester City, where he spent three seasons before being offered the post of player-manager at Swindon.

Experience that included 17 senior England caps was put to good use at Swindon even though he was sent off on his debut, at Southend.

Though he could not prevent Swindon from suffering relegation, he led Town to the Second Division championship in his first full season, leaving the club in September 1998 after a poor start to the season.

He returned to management in January 2000 with The Seasiders but again was unable to prevent relegation as the club slipped down into Division Three. However, he has made a promising start to his career at Bloomfield Road.

A season that began with a row with Seasiders Chairman Karl Oyston ended with a triumph that McMahon described as his finest moment in football at any level, and this from a man who had been in an England World Cup squad and won several trophies in his playing career.

Blackpool had appeared to have no hope of promotion but clawed their way into a play-off spot with a solid run in the last leg of the season. From there, a semi-final win against Hartlepool and a spirited comeback against Leyton Orient to triumph 4-2 in the final took McMahon and his men straight back to the Nationwide League Second Division.

Their first season back in Division Two saw them finish in 13th, ten points clear of relegation, and they were similarly placed in January 2004 when it seemed McMahon would be leaving the club.

At a press conference held at 5pm on Thursday 15th, it was announced that he had resigned. However, the Seasiders boss appeared 20 minutes later – as the conference was ending – and requested a meeting with chairman Carl Oyston, after which it was revealed that he was not in fact quitting.

Further confusion reigned as reports filtered through that McMahon had applied for the vacant manager's job at Oldham, although The Latics denied making an approach for him, stating: "Contrary to reports in the media, the prospective new owners of Oldham deny having offered the team manager's position at Boundary Park to Steve McMahon and can confirm no approach has been made to him."

While McMahon therefore remains in charge - having celebrated four years at the Bloomfield Road helm in January - he has spoken of his ambition to manage at a higher level, particularly after coming up against Portsmouth in the FA Cup earlier in that month.

"It was great to be able to pit my wits against people like Jim Smith and Harry Redknapp and I think we did really well. I do want to be involved in that sort of thing week-in week-out though.

"I don't want to stay at Blackpool all my life. Management is definitely second-best to playing but you can still get a buzz from picking a winning team and, as with playing, I want to achieve at the highest level."

After speculation over his future continued the following week, McMahon declared: "I have said I'm staying and that's it. I'm not going to elaborate on what has happened. People can speculate as much as they want, but what happened is between me and the chairman and now we just want to get back to as normal as we can."

"The LDV win over Halifax had no bearing on my decision," he added, referring to his side's Northern Area semi-final triumph. "I made my decision before the game and I'm going to do the best job I possibly can."

However, having led Blackpool to another LDV Vans triumph, McMahon finally decided to leave Bloomfield Road in May 2004: "It has been a fantastic four and a half years, we have enjoyed a lot of success both on and off the field," he said.

"I have been proud to be part of the on going improvements at the club. During my time here, the supporters have been fantastic and are a credit to the club, whilst they have that support I am sure they can go a long way.

"It is a sad day for me, but I am going to enjoy a break, recharge my batteries before looking forward to the future challenges."

Honours (4)
  • domestic-trophies
    • Blackpool:
      • LDV Vans Trophy Winners, (2003-01-01)
      • LDV Vans Trophy Winners, (2001-01-01)
  • personal-awards
    • Blackpool:
      • Manager of the Month, Sky Bet League Two, (2000-10-01)
  • league-titles
    • Swindon Town:
      • Endsleigh Football League Division Two Champions, (1995-01-01)
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