Sam Allardyce has managed more than 1,000 games in a 29-year managerial career, passing that milestone during his spell at Crystal Palace in 2017.
Born in Dudley, Allardyce’s playing career started at Dudley Town before moving to Bolton Wanderers where he made is professional debut in 1971. He made more than 500 appearances in senior English football, more than 200 of them at Bolton, and also had a spell with Tampa Bay Rowdies in the NASL.
His first managerial job was as a player manager for Limerick City in Northern Ireland – he spent one season on the Emerald Isle guiding the League of Ireland side to promotion before returning to Preston North End as a player-coach, including a two month spell as caretaker manager.
He spent two seasons as manager at Blackpool guiding them to a the Division Two play-offs in 1996 only to be sacked by owner Owen Oyston after losing the semi-final to Bradford City.
He took over struggling Division Two side, Notts County, in January 1997 and was unable to keep them up suffering the only relegation of his managerial career. He brought them straight back the following season as Division Three champions and, after avoiding relegation the following season, the club were second in the table when he was offered the Bolton job in October 1999.
Colin Todd had resigned after seeing key players sold to help pay for the Reebok Stadium, but Allardyce thrived reaching the play-offs in 2000, losing to Ipswich Town in the semi-finals, before winning promotion the following season defeating Preston North End in the play-off final.
After two seasons of successfully battling relegation, the 2003/04 season saw Bolton reach the League Cup final, losing 2-1 to Middlesbrough, and finish 8th in the Premier League, the Trotters’ highest league finish since 1960.
He matched the 1960 side by finishing 6th the following season and qualifying for European football for the first time in the club’s history.
Allardyce managed to balance the demands of European football and the Premier League finishing 8th in the league and reaching the round of 32 in the UEFA Cup including a 1-1 draw with the eventual winners, Sevilla.
2006/07 saw Bolton qualify for Europe once again, although Allardyce was not there to see it as he resigned with two games of the season remaining to move to Newcastle United.
It proved to be a short spell at St James’s Park as Mike Ashley’s takeover was completed shortly after Allardyce joined and the Sports Direct tycoon opted to replace the Black Country man with Toon hero, Kevin Keegan, in January 2008 leaving Big Sam unemployed for the first time for more than a decade.
His next job at Blackburn Rovers was also cut short following a takeover, this time by the Venky’s Group, and Allardyce had to wait six months before being appointed the new West Ham United manager after Avram Grant had taken the club down in 2011. He was never popular at Upton Park despite guiding the club to an immediate promotion followed by three comfortable mid-table finishes in the Premier League. His contract was not renewed in the summer of 2015 and Slaven Bilić was appointed in his stead.
A few months later, Allardyce was back in employment, this time at Sunderland as he rescued the club from relegation at the expense of their fiercest rivals. That job finally earned him his dream job in charge of England, cut short by scandal.
Another survival special at Palace earned him the job at Everton but, as with West Ham, he was never welcomed by the fans at Goodison Park and he left after less than a season in charge.
His overall win percentage of 39% is impressive given the number of struggling sides he has managed – he has won promotion on just three occasions but he has been managing in the top flight in 16 of his last 18 active seasons, and won promotion to the top flight in each of the other two.
Below is his full record – click here if you cannot see the table.
|Limerick City (player-manager)||Aug 1991||May 1992||27||14||10||3||52%|
|Preston North End (caretaker)||Sep 1992||Nov 1992||12||3||4||5||25%|
|Blackpool||Jul 1994||May 1996||108||46||23||39||43%|
|Notts County||Jan 1997||Oct 1999||146||56||40||50||38%|
|Bolton Wanderers||Oct 1999||Apr 2007||371||153||104||114||41%|
|Newcastle United||May 2007||Jan 2008||24||8||6||10||33%|
|Blackburn Rovers||Dec 2008||Dec 2010||90||32||24||34||36%|
|West Ham United||Jun 2011||May 2015||181||68||46||67||38%|
|Sunderland||Oct 2015||Jul 2016||31||9||9||13||29%|
|England||Jul 2016||Sep 2016||1||1||0||0||100%|
|Crystal Palace||Dec 2016||May 2017||24||9||3||12||38%|
|Everton||Nov 2017||May 2018||26||10||7||9||38%|