Following Nigel Adkins' departure for Southampton, former player Ian Baraclough took the reins on a caretaker basis. Part of his predecessor’s backroom team, Baraclough had been first team coach during the club’s most successful ever era. His reign began with a 4-0 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, Chris Dagnall scoring a brace. Following an impressive run of a win and two draws from his four league games as caretaker, Baraclough was given the job on a full time basis at the end of September. Three more wins followed in the next six games, including a 1-0 win away at Hull to earn the Iron local bragging rights for at least part of the season. However, after this the team struggled, failing to win again until just after Christmas, albeit the majority of December was a washout due to the horrendous weather. Into the New Year the Iron continued to sit dangerously close to the relegation zone and despite wins over high flying Swansea City and Nottingham Forest, Baraclough was to be relieved over position following a 3-0 defeat to Preston North End on March 15, 2011.
After Brian Laws' departure to Sheffield Wednesday, Nigel Adkins was appointed as full-time Scunthorpe United manager on December 7, 2006. That came after a decent spell as caretaker boss, in which United won three, drew two and lost just one out of six. Nigel Adkins had been first team physio since 1996, and he is a vital member of the Glanford Park coaching set-up. Formerly a goalkeeper, he played for England Schoolboys before going on to make 86 appearances over four seasons with Tranmere. Just a few days short of his 18th birthday he was in the Rovers side when United visited Prenton Park on March 5, 1983 but received no presents from the Iron who won 4-0. After a spell at Wigan he then spent three years as player-manager of Bangor, guiding them to two League of Wales titles which brought them a brief taste of UEFA Cup football. He is much respected in the game and received vast praise after guiding his team to the Coca-Cola League One title in his first season. He led a spirited battle to retain Championship status the following season, but the Iron ultimately fell short. Nevertheless, the club regrouped and Adkins guided them to promotion from League One again - this time via the play-offs, courtesy of a 3-2 win over Millwall at Wembley Stadium. A thrilling campaign full of entertainment also saw the club reach the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at Wembley. After clinching Championship survival for the first time in 46 years in 2009-10, the Iron began the following campaign well too - winning four matches out of seven in all competitions before Southampton offered him the vacant position at St Mary's, which Adkins accepted before leaving for the South Coast with assistant Andy Crosby on September 12, 2010.
Brian Laws was Iron boss for almost a decade. He became manager in February 1997, and it was against Cambridge United where the former Grimsby chief began an eventful spell with Scunthorpe. The team went on to win 2-0 and results picked up later that season, leaving real optimism that an exciting future would be in store with Laws at the helm. And it was to prove to be. The following season saw the Iron miss out on a play-off place by a point, but 1998-99 was to prove to be one of Laws' finest spells as manager of the football club. A remarkable campaign ended with a glorious promotion in the Third Division Play-Off final at Wembley. Unfortunately the club's spell in the Second Division only lasted a season, but with Brian Laws in charge you are always assured of some colourful signings, or some incredible highs along the way. Back in the Third Division, the club continued to progress both on and off the field, and steady progression ensued as the club continually flirted with the play-offs. The real turning point came in the 2003/04 campaign when the Iron struggled with injuries and a small squad, and got themselves involved in a relegation skirmish. Laws left the club late on during that season, for a spell of four games - before the return of Steve Wharton of chairman. He instantly reappointed Laws and the club hasn't looked back since. They fought off relegation, and after a summer of hard work, the club seemed refreshed during the following season as the Iron steamed all the way to promotion - finishing second in League Two just behind Yeovil. The good times continued under Laws in 2005/06 as United stayed up after relegation for the first time in over 48 years. As a player, the highlight of his career was playing at the highest level during his six years with Nottingham Forest. He performed in five Wembley cup finals which earned him two League Cup winners medals, a FA Cup losing finalist medal and another League Cup runners-up medal. His first Wembley final appearance, however, was in 1989 when Forest beat Everton 4-3 after extra time. Born in Wallsend in October 1961, Laws was taken on as an apprentice by Burnley and made 125 appearances for them. During his time at Turf Moor the club were relegated from Division Two, then became Third Division champions in 1982 only to be relegated again a year later. The summer of 1983 saw Laws join Huddersfield where Mick Buxton was the manager, the Terriers having just swapped divisions with Burnley. After 56 games Laws moved on, signing for Middlesbrough in March 1985. Here again he experienced relegation and promotion between the second and third divisions. He played 108 times for `Boro' but in the 1988 close season he got the chance to join Forest under the managership of Brian Clough. Laws became a regular in the side for three of his first five seasons until the club were relegated from the Premiership in 1993. He didn't fare so well under new boss Frank Clark and in 1994 took the opportunity to become player-manager of Grimsby Town. Unfortunately his time there will be remembered for the much-publicised spat with Italian midfielder Ivano Bonetti. In November 1996 the Mariners parted company with their boss and he signed for Darlington on non-contract terms, playing against United at Glanford Park a couple of weeks later. January 1997 saw him switch clubs to rejoin old boss Mick Buxton, who was then in charge of United. This was on the understanding that he would be released if there was a chance of getting back on the managerial merry-go-round. As fate would have it, that chance was just weeks away - and he didn't have to change clubs! Following a series of poor team performances, Buxton was relieved of his duties and Laws accepted the offer to take over. His reign ended in November 2006 when, after a promising start to the season, he was offered the Sheffield Wednesday manager's job, Laws accepted it, but there's no denying he left the club in a far better position than it was in when he started.
After leaving Scunthorpe United Mick Buxton took a number of positions in the game, before becoming the Sunderland manager, where he was initially successful saving them from relegation to the new Second Division. Mick Buxton was dismissed when the Rokerites could not make it to the Premiership under his guidance in March 1995. It was something of a surprise to Scunthorpe supporters when Buxton was reappointed to manage Scunthorpe in March 1996, following a poor run of form and the sacking of Dave Moore. Buxton returned with his strict disciplinary methods and expectations of high work rates form players, and once again the immediate results were of a high standard. Two of his signings were Brian Laws and Mark Lillis, the former an experienced player, and the latter as Assistant Manager. In February 1997, when Buxton's team failed to produce, Lillis originally became caretaker boss before Laws took over permanently, with the former continuing as his assistant.
Dave Moore had been on the backroom staff at Glanford Park for some time when the opportunity arose to take over from Richard Money. Moore was initially Caretaker- Manager, and after an improvement in team results, took over on a permanent basis. Dave Moore was a Grimsby born man who made his way through Grimsby Town's junior ranks. His first team debut came during the 1978-79 season and he enjoyed five seasons with the Mariners until the Summer of 1983. The stocky built defender moved to Carlisle united, but his stay was only a brief one, for Blackpool stepped in for him in January 1984. He played over 100 games for the tangerine shirts until 1986, before returning to Grimsby Town in November that year. Unfortunately, his career was not entirely injury free, and this led to a termination of his contract in 1988. He then went into coaching, moving to Scunthorpe in 1990, initially under Mick Buxton as a Youth Development Officer, but in the 1993-94 season he took on the physio's duties. Once Dave Moore was occupying the Manager's chair, he took the team on run of eleven games with only two defeats until the end of the campaign. The 1994-95 season, his first full term at the helm, is well remembered for two epic F.A. Cup ties against Birmingham city, and at this period, Moore took, John Eyre on loan from Oldham Athletic, leading to a permanent move at the start of 1995-96 season. He also gave debuts to Steve Housham and Mick Walsh, and brought the likes of Tony ford, Andy McFarlane, Lee Turnbull and Paul Wilson to the club at various times. The 1995-96 season was to prove to be the last of Dave Moore's reign, when United could not maintain a promotion bid, although they did produce a record 8-1 victory at Torquay. The winter of 1996 was to be Moore's downfall, and a lean spell through February and March cost him his position. However, he was well liked by his players, and had an unruffled air about him.
Richard Money originally came to Scunthorpe as one of many who made their way up from East Anglia under the watchful eye of Ron Ashman. He started at Lowestoft and made his Scunthorpe United debut against Peterborough in 1973. In his second spell at the Old Show Ground, he was made Caretaker Manager between the periods of Frank Barlow and Mick Buxton, and hence gained his first managerial experience, but he did not attain the Managers Job until January 1983, when he succeeded Bill Green. Money enjoyed four seasons at the Old Show Ground, and soon developed into a talented defender, before Fulham stepped in with a £50,000 cheque for his transfer. His valuation increased to £333,333 when Liverpool took him to Anfield in the Summer of 1980. At Anfield, Money's chances were limited, but he did play in the European Cup Semi final, and in December 1981 he was loaned out to Derby County before being transferred to Luton Town in the following March for a fee of £100,000. His next move was to Portsmouth, in the 1983 Summer break, but injury reduced the number of appearances he was able to make for Pompey. In October 1985, his career turned full circle when he returned to the Old Show Ground for the remainder of his playing days. Richard Money went on to play more than 300 games for Scunthorpe, and later, during his brief time as Manager, he made the important signing of Andy Flounders. Towards the end of Money's playing days he also coached the junior side, which eventually led him to becoming Youth Development Officer at Aston Villa in 1992. When Money became Scunthorpe's manager in 1993, he brought in Colin Morris as his assistant, while Dave Moore continued with Youth Development and Physio duties. It was still a learning process for Money, and during his initial managerial period he made a number of somewhat insignificant signings, although other players he brought in helped to boost confidence. Players of the calibre of Ian Thomstone, Matt Carmichael, Russell Bradley, Steve Thornber, Alan Knill, and Paul Mudd formed the backbone of Richard Money's side. Unfortunately after a poor run of form into March 1994, the Board suggested that Richard should take time off to recuperate from the pressure of the job, but found this unacceptable, and it led to the parting of the ways. Richard Money continued in football with a number of coaching appointments, including those at Nottingham Forest, Manchester City and Coventry City.
Bill Green became Manager after a long apprenticeship as assistant to both Mick Buxton and Frank Barlow. His succession came in February 1991, and Green immediately won the favor of the local supporters by taking the Club to the play offs. This was quite an achievement for the tall Newcastle born Manager, who had an air of authority, despite his softly spoken voice and unhurried ways. Bill Green started his football nearer his home city, at Hartlepool United in 1969. Four years later he was transferred to Carlisle United for £15,000 where he represented the Cumbrian side in their only season in the old 1st Division. In 1976 he moved South for £100,000 to play for West Ham United, and after 2 years moved to Peterborough United for £90,000, in the summer of 1978. After 12 months, Green moved on to Chesterfield as Player-Coach under Arthur Cox, and during his 4-year period there he became well acquainted with Frank Barlow. In June 1983, Green made his last move as a player to Doncaster Rovers, before being snapped up by Frank Barlow as his Assistant-Manager at the Old Show Ground in October 1984. During bill Green's first week, his initial task was to oversee the transfers of Neil Cox and Richard Hall, for a total fee of £650,000, and these dealings did not help to stabilize the team selection. Green's most notable early success was a very strong run at the end of March and into April 1992, when the team achieved a play off place and a first Wembley appearance. During the next campaign, Green never quite reached the same heights, although this may well have been due to an overstretched team where there was not enough strength in depth to cover injuries. The expected promotion push never materialized, and as the fans patience ran thin, he inevitably became yet another football managerial casualty, in January 1993.
Mick Buxton's association with Scunthorpe United began in April 1987 when he succeeded caretaker-Manager Richard Money, who had taken charge at the end of Frank Barlow's tem in March. This was to be the beginning of two spells at United, the first of which bridged the transmission period between the move between grounds. Buxton soon stamped his authority on team matters, displaying a no nonsense approach which soon gained positive results. Mick Buxton started as a player at Burnley, making 19 appearances in 9 years from 1960. In June 1960 he moved to Halifax Town as their Player Coach, playing only 35 games, where a serious leg injury was the main reason for his limited outings. Buxton then had 7 years coaching at Southend United, until 1978, when he moved back North to take up a similar position at Huddersfield Town. Before long, the Terriers parted company with manager Tom Johnson, and Mick Buxton took over. He was an instant success, gaining promotion for the club in 1980 as division Four Champions, and three years later moving up to the old Second division. Although the team remained at this level for sometime Buxton departed in 1986. At Scunthorpe, Mick Buxton soon built up a very forceful team, which flirted on occasions with the play-offs but could not quite win promotion. Among his signings were Paul Musslewhite, Tony Daws, Richard Hall, Neil Cox, Mark Lillis Stuart Hick, Paul ward and Kevin Taylor. It was under his management that the Tony Daws and Andy Flounders goalscoring Partnership developed in to one of the deadliest of goalscoring duos. Another Buxton signing was Bill Green as his assistant, but in January 1991, pressure from the terraces was probably a factor towards the loss of the Manager's job.
Frank Barlow was always thought of as a gentleman, quietly spoken and with good ideas. He came to the club as assistant under Allan Clarke and succeeded him in to the manager's post. The Scunthorpe policy of promoting from within thrust Frank into the limelight for his second period in charge of a league club. Frank Barlow's career as a player started as a highly rated youngster at Sheffield United, where he operated as a wing half, winning England international honors at schoolboy level. At Bramall Lane, Barlow made more tan 100 appearances in seven years, before transferring to Chesterfield in August 1972 for a record £15,000 Saltergate transfer fee. His career as a player was dramatically cut sort through injury, in 1975 but on his recovery he continued as a Coach. When the manager, Arthur Cox, moved to Newcastle, Barlow took the reigns but lost his job in 1983 after the Spirites were relegated to division Four. At Scunthorpe, Barlow enjoyed three years in charge of team affairs. During that time he bought in the likes of Billy Russell, Steve Lister, and Steve Johnson, and also arranged he return of several players including Richard Money, Dave Hill and Les Hunter. Julian Broddle also came back for a second spell, but on loan and this move never materialized into a full contract. Under Frank Barlow's charge, Scunthorpe had memorable games against Aston Villa in the League Cup, and Tottenham Hotspur in the F.A Cup, but the bread and butter fourth division programme rarely saw the Iron threaten promotion, and inevitably his tenure of office was terminated, in March 1987. After leaving Scunthorpe Frank remained in the game, notably as Assistant Manager at Barnsley, and he also spent some time coaching Sheffield Wednesday.
Allan Clarke came to Scunthorpe United in February 1983, when Chairman David Wraith introduced him to the supporter's as the Club's big name signing, to replace John Duncan. Clarke was experienced at all levels in the game and looked to be the answer to Scunthorpe's prayers. At last the Iron looked as they might be on to a winner. Allen Clarke's career had started fairly low key at Walsall, with further progression at Fulham, before Leicester paid £150,000 for this phenomenal goalscorer. After thirteen months at Filbert Street he moved on to Leeds United for £165,000 in July 1969. At Elland Road he reached the pinnacle of his playing days, winning 19 England caps, as well as medals for the F.A Cup plus League Championship victories, and eventually spent nearly nine years at the club. In May 1978, Allan Clarke became player -manager at Barnsley, and led them to promotion from division Four in 1979. This, no doubt, encouraged Leeds United to offer Clarke the Manager's job at his old club in October 1982, but his lack of success there led to his dismissal in June 1982. Clarke appreciated, in the winter of 1983, that the Scunthorpe team might not be good enough for promotion, and strengthened the squad with much traveled Mike Lester and Tommy Graham; the latter scored twice in the last day of the season promotion clincher. During the summer break of 1983 Clarke made a number of signings, including Paul Longden, Mike Brolly, Julian Broddle and John Green, and during the season he brought in others such as Micky Matthews and Alan Whitehead. Unfortunately the squad was not strong enough to fight off relegation, due mainly to a poor away record. However, there was one compensation that season, for United won through to the fourth Round of the F.A. cup, after ironically beating Clarke's old club Leeds United in round three, after a trio of epic battles. Before the team had time to settle back in the fourth division, a number of boardroom changes took place, and the power struggle upstairs led to the Chairman and Manager leaving the Club. It was a great shock to supporters who were unprepared for the sudden departures. Allan Clarke returned to manage Barnsley in July 1985 for more than four years, before taking charge of Lincoln City for four months in 1990. The Sincil Bank position was his last in football, but he still lives with his family in the Scunthorpe area.
John Duncan succeeded Ron Ashman, as Player-Manager, although at this time he had no managerial experience, but was unknown for a distinguished playing career both North and South of the border. His enthusiasm for the game and fresh ideas no doubt won him the approval of the Board of Directors. John Duncan was born in Lochee, Scotland, in 1949, and made his way through junior football to eventually sign for Dundee in April 1966. During the next eight years he gained Scottish League representative honors, and a Scottish League Cup winners medal in 1974. He was lured away to Tottenham Hotspur in 1974, for a £125,000 fee, and then left for Derby County in 1978 for £150,000. Sadly, Duncan's career became dogged by injury and Derby had to suffer a financial loss when he left for the Managers seat at the Old Show Ground in 1981. The legacy of his injuries was such that he played little in Scunthorpe United's colours. The Iron were just about holding their own, but the 1981-82 season was a time of crisis and upheaval. There was virtually nothing in hand to buy new players, and old contracts meant that Duncan had to soldier on with that available. United slumped as the end of the season approached, and not until the last couple of months was Duncan able to bring in a number of men on short-term contracts. Alas, this could not save the club from finishing next to bottom in Division Four. Duncan's managerial career began to blossom in the 1982-83 season when he brought in a number of new players, including Steve Baines, Les Hunter, Neil Pointon, Denis Leman, Martin Fowler and Noel Parkinson. Overnight the team was transformed as they headed towards the top of the league. A good F.A. Cup run plus a potential promotion place looked to have secured Duncan's future at the Old Show Ground. Unfortunately it all turned sour after defeat in the F.A Cup third round replay against Grimsby, when it would appear that there were differences between the Manager and the Chairman, which led to the shock dismissal of Duncan in February 1983. Many considered that Scunthorpe had lost an excellent young Manager, and his departure was mourned on the terraces of the Old Show Ground. However, John Duncan went on to control the affairs of Hartlepool United, Ipswich Town and Chesterfield, twice, where he steered his Second division team on the F.A Cup Semi Finals in the 1996-97 season.
Ron Ashman never enjoyed the same admiration he had gained in Scunthorpe in his last 2 seasons at Blundell Park and lost his job in February 1975. Meanwhile, Scunthorpe United was lurching through a number of crises, and non-league football was a strong possibility when he answered the call again in January 1976. Immediately Ron tightened up the defence and instilled more confidence into the front-runners. The effect was instantaneous, and from a seemingly impossible League position, anchored in the bottom four, Ashman clawed the side into a position of safety. Ron Ashman never had the resources he would have liked, to benefit in the transfer market, instead having to rely on a 'make do and mend' policy at which he was nothing short of brilliant. He kept United's head above water until 1981, when he went upstairs as General Manager, only to be succeeded by John Duncan. Early in 1982 the acute financial situation claimed his job along with others. However, Ron always kept close to the town, and for a number of years ran a popular travel agency on the High Street. In recognition of his loyal service he was made a Vice President, and still attends virtually all Scunthorpe home matches at all levels.
Dickie Rooks was a Sunderland-born man, who, at the age of 17, signed for his hometown club in the summer of 1957. His chances at the centre-half position were limited because of the dominating presence of Charlie Hurley. This was the main reason for Rooks' move to neighbouring Middlesbrough in august 1965, for £20,000, which gave him instant first team football over the next four years. Early in the summer of 1969 he moved to Bristol City for a fee of £17,000, well away from his North-Eastern roots. This transfer was rumored to have resulted from certain disagreements with his former club. Whatever the real reasons, many Middlesbrough supporters were unhappy at the final outcome. After his playing days were finished at Ashton Gate, Rooks returned to the North-East, and took up a coaching role with Willington. In November 1974, Rooks was successful in obtaining the Scunthorpe United Manager's job. At the time United were in a stricken position in the bottom four, with little or no cash available, and the new man could do nothing to push them up the league with a new signing. Indeed by the end of March it was plain they were a re-election certainty, and the bottom place for the Club's one and only time resulted. Bob Oats was the only player given a debut during this time, and he was from the junior ranks. Scunthorpe United were re-elected for the 1975-76 season, and Rooks signed Clive Wiggington, Archie Irvine and Dudley Roberts amongst others, to try to revive fortunes, he even gave a chance to striker Rick Green from local football. Despite the fresh faces Scunthorpe United once again slumped to the depths of Division four. Dickie Rooks made a great effort to turn the tide, but the Board of Directors decided to terminate his contract and he was dismissed in January 1976. He probably considered his tough baptism in football management was enough, and the position at Scunthorpe was therefore his last known salaried job in football.
Staffordshire-born Ron Bradley came to Scunthorpe United in 19972 as coach under Ron Ashman. When Ashman departed for Grimsby Town Bradley seemed to be the naturally successor, and was promoted in June 1973. Bradley's early football days began as an amateur in 1954 at West Bromwich Albion, where he operated as a wing half. Two years later he was a professional at the Hawthorns where he enjoyed a further eight seasons. In 1964 he was transferred to Norwich City, and became acquainted with Ron Ashman. Ironically in all the years he was in the game he only made 17 league appearances. This lack of highly experience may have influenced his decision to take up coaching when he moved to Wolverhampton Wanderers in October 1966. Bradley's next move was to coach in Greece with Olympiakos, where he won recognition for his services, after his club won the 1971 Greek Cup Final. At the end of his two-year Greek escaped Bradley returned to England and joined the staff at the Old Showground in 1972. His first season in charge, 1973/74 was marked by an F.A. Cup run which saw the Iron reach the fourth round of the competition and enjoy a couple of epic games against Newcastle. United's league form in those twelve months were only moderate and they could only manage a final 18th place in the table. A disastrous run the following season left the board in a difficult position of having to part company with Ron Bradley as the team struggled in the bottom four reelection spots. However it was he who blooded Richard Money into first team football, although Money's Lowestoft background Ron Ashman's influence must have also been present. Bradley also gave debuts to Stuart Pilling, Ken Houghton and Chris Simpkin. Post-Scunthorpe, Ron Bradley coached in countries within two continents, first with the Libyan National Squad, and then a spell in the United States, before to England, at Derby County. In 1986 he became an F.A coach.
If ever there was a man that Scunthorpe United owe a great debt to Ron Ashman. Ron was responsible for 2 stints in charge at the Old Show Ground, 1st in October 1967 and secondly from January 1976. On each of those occasions Scunthorpe United were in trouble and he managed to turn the tide. Ron Ashman began his career as an amateur with Norwich City in 1944, ad between 1946 and 1963 made 662 appearances for the Canaries as a professional. During his days at Carrow
Road this excellent club man normally played at left half, captaining City to the FA Cup semi final in 1959, and taking them into the 2nd Division in 1960. His roll in the 1960-61 season F.A. Cup 4th round tie was instrumental in the downfall of the Iron. Ron took over the managerial duties at Carrow
Road from 1962, until parting company with his beloved Norfolk club in 1966. Norwich City's loss definitely was Scunthorpe United's gain, when he became the Iron's Manager in October 1967. Ashman's predecessor, Freddie Goodwin, eased the clubs severe financial position by buying some of United's players for his American adventure. Ashman's answer was to plug the holes with a number of former East Anglian men including Bill Punton, Mel Blyth, Geoff Barnard and Steve Deere. Unfortunately this was not sufficient to stave of relegation, but it formed the basis of a more stable structure for the club. Ashman, a man well liked by his players, also recruited George Kerr and Terry Heath. But the trump card was the discovery of on Kevin Keegan, who made his debut for the Iron at Peterborough in 1968. Ron Ashman brought a moderate degree of success to the Old Show Ground in the early seventies, first by reaching the 5th round of the F.A. Cup in February 1970, then by winning promotion to the 3rd division 2 years later. This austere period prevented him from strengthening the squad, with relegation following 12 months later, and Ron moved to Grimsby Town July 1973.
Freddie Goodwin followed as Scunthorpe United's manager in December 1964; one month after his predecessors contract had been terminated. He joined the club at a time of disquiet, but despite the many problems he soothed the situation with a firm and quiet, but positive, approach to matters. His reassuring manner quickly won supporters over, as the team gradually improved. Freddie Goodwin was a towering figure at over 6 foot, and stockily built. He made his way from schools football straight in to the youth team at Old Trafford as one of the Busby Babes with Manchester United. Chances in the first team were few at that time, and it was not until the tragic events of Munich air disaster that he gained a foothold on a more regular basis. During 1958 he was a member of the heroic United team that lost 2-0 to Bolton in the F.A. Cup final. Goodwin next wet to Leeds United, but a broken leg put paid to his notable career as a halfback at top level. Once he had regained his mobility, Freddie chose to go into management as a Player Manager at Scunthorpe, although the injury limited him to only a handful of appearances. He soon brought a number of his own players into the first team to good effect, including Ray Clemence, who was nursed through the junior ranks into the 1st eleven prominence. He was also responsible for other signings such as Geoff Sidebottom, Keith Burkinshaw, Frank Burrows, Brian Bedford and Bobby Smith. When the old hands failed he was not frightened to blood youngsters. On one infamous occasion, Goodwin put too many inexperienced men in the side and Grimsby Town overwhelmed them, but Freddie was humble enough to make a public apology. Under Goodwin's control Scunthorpe enjoyed a 4th spot in the 1965-66 season, and gained a record 8-1 home triumph over Luton Town. In October 1967, Goodwin left to take over as Manager of the New York Generals, later moving on to Brighton and Hove Albion and Birmingham City. One little known fact about Freddie Goodwin its that he played 11 times for Lancashire at cricket, and took 20 wickets.
When Scunthorpe invited Duckworth to take the manager's reigns in 1960 there was no denying that they had picked an experienced man. He brought playing experience from nine clubs, had occupied coaching roles at two further clubs and managed York City, Stockport County and Darlington. Duckworth took Scunthorpe to both their Zenith and Nadir as the Iron finished fourth in Division Two in 1962 their best position to date. Two years later his team were relegated to Division Three. Duckworth left the Old Showground in 1964 his last official appointment in football.
Scunthorpe United needed to quickly re-establish a reliable new manager after the three-day debacle involving Bill Lambton. The man chosen was Frank Soo, real name Hong Y Soo, of Chinese extraction and born in Liverpool. At the Old Showground Soo found there was little room for error between relegation and safety. However some inspired signings including Barrie Thomas made things easier as the Iron finished in 15th position an improvement on the previous season. However in 1960 Frank Soo resigned wishing to seek pastures new. He later accepted a number of coaching roles in Sweden and Denmark.
Bill Lambton's contribution to Scunthorpe United's history is infinitesimal as it only lasted three days. It was said that he gave Scunthorpe a verbal agreement in April 1959 but decided to take up a coaching job instead.
Tony McShane was the second Belfast-born manager of the club. His appointment as successor to Ron Suart may have been something of a surprise because his only previous management experience had been at Goole Town. As a player, McShane had plied his trade at Plymouth Argyle as a wing-half and then Swindon Town. During a reign that lasted less than a season McShane did his best to see that Scunthorpe staved off relegation to the newly created Third Division. United rarely left the lower regions of the table, but always looked to be odds-on to beat the drop, and they finished five places off the bottom. Generally speaking McShane had vindicated his appointment without setting a blazing trail but in April 1959 he left Scunthorpe to take a post outside the game.
When Bill Corkhill resigned, the Board of Directors uncharacteristically acted without hesitation. Within a matter of a week or so, 36-year-old Kendall born Ron Suart was announced the new man at the helm. For Suart it was his first appointment as manager of a Football League team having made his baptism at non-league Wigan twelve months earlier. Suart's playing career started at Blackpool, but was halted after less than a year, due to the start of the War. In January 1946 he continued to wear the Blackpool shirt, where he established himself as a strong tackling full-back. In 1949 he moved to Blackburn for six years, before he became player manager at Wigan. Suart took a full season at Scunthorpe to assess the playing staff around him, gradually changing faces as necessary, before adding the finishing touches in the summer of 1957 to what would be a squad that would take Scunthorpe into the second division. It was the 1957-58 season that made Suart arguably the most successful manager in Scunthorpe United's history, when the team stormed to the Third Division North Championship by a handsome margin. Into the bargain United progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup overcoming Newcastle United en route. Before he could fully enjoy the full fruits of his labour Suart left to manage Blackpool.
The Board of Directors at Scunthorpe continued to have a half-hearted view on the subject of managers, and when Leslie Jones left, Bill Corkhill was put in temporary charge. It was not until an unrecorded date in 1952 that he officially took over as the manager. Corkhill was Belfast-born, but started his football career at Northern Nomads, and then Marine. Whilst at Marine he was spotted by Notts County scouts, and from 1931 spent most of the next 20 years at Meadow Lane. He did enjoy a brief spell immediately before the war at Cardiff City, but when he finished his days at County, in 1951, he was the oldest outfield player to have represented the Magpies. In management, Corkhill turned out to be an honest man, well liked by his playing staff, and knowledgeable in the game. He brought a string of excellent recruits to the Old Showground, the best of which included Jack Gregory, Gordon Brown, Merfyn Jones and Jack Haigh. It was Bill Corkhill's game plan that saw the Iron through the mid-1950's, where in particular they earned the reputation as FA. Cup fighters. In 1954 the three epic battles against First Division Portsmouth are well documented, and two years later his team reached the fourth round of the Cup for the first time. Bill Corkhill enjoyed success in the Third Division North, twice talking the club to the brink of promotion, but unfortunately, he never achieved the ultimate prize. It was, therefore, with great reluctance that his resignation was accepted in May 1956, when he chose to take up a similar position at Bradford Park Avenue. His legacy turned out to be the foundation of a Championship winning side adopted and groomed by his successor. Life at Bradford was a struggle, and he never enjoyed the same level of fulfilment as at Scunthorpe. He left in November 1957, later returning to Nottingham as a licensee, and died in 1978.
Leslie Jones had the honour of becoming Scunthorpe United's first Football League manager, in June 1950. He made no rash promises of success, but gave the assurances that his side would work hard to consolidate the Club's position in the higher sphere of football. Jones had started his career in his hometown of Aberdare in the 1920's, before his transfer to Arsenal, in November 1937. At Highbury he reached the zenith of his playing days, winning a First Division Championship medal as well as topping up his Welsh International Caps to a total of eleven. After the War Jones had a number of coaching and scouting jobs at Swansea, Barry Town and Brighton & Hove Albion, and from the later he joined the staff at the Old Showground. Jones blended the best of the 1949-50 Midland League team with an influx of new men, many of who were fellow Welshmen. Amongst his signings were former West Bromwich Albion and England International Wally Boyes, and Ted Gorin, who had previously been at Cardiff City; Gorin became the clubs leading goal scorer. Jones proved to be a shrewd tactician, particularly at the Old Showground, where only York City won, and just nine goals were conceded. United's final league position of twelfth was the best of all the four newcomers to the two Third Divisions. Unfortunately relationships between some Board members and the manager turned sour towards the end of the season, and as a result of certain criticisms Jones resigned in the summer of 1951.
Bernard Harper was signed by the Board of Directors as player manager for the 1946-47 Midland League season. Like many of his contemporaries, the hostilities had cut short his official playing career. However, Harper had continued to enjoy football at Barnsley throughout most of the War in a half-back position, and he had even been selected to represent England on one occasion.
In his two years at the Old Showground, Bernard Harper represented the team in eighty-seven League and Cup games, almost exclusively wearing the number six shirt, from where he was able to muster his troops and use his huge frame to good effect. It was under Harper's leadership that Scunthorpe signed Timmy Bowers for the forward line and Jack Brownsword in defence. United were relatively successful during Harper's time, and he steered the club beyond the qualifying round of the F.A. Cup competition on two occasions. In 1946, they beat York City at Bootham Crescent, the only time, as a non-league outfit, that a Football League team was beaten away from home. Additionally, the Knuts made improvements in their league position. However, at the end of his two-year contract, Bernard Harper parted company with the club. Once again the United Board did not seem to be in any hurry to appoint a successor, despite having ambitions to join the Football League, and Scunthorpe United remained manager less until 1950.
Tom Crilly was Scunthorpe & Lindsey United's first deviation from the directors themselves picking the team in favor of a team manager. He took over as player manager in the summer of 1935. It was probably his credentials as a defender at Hartlepool, Derby County and Crystal Palace, which swayed Scunthorpe's board into believing that Crilly could guide them to a second Midland League Championship.
On the field, Crilly made twenty-five appearances as left-back in his initial season of 1935/36. At 5'9" and weighing 11st 7lbs, he was not the biggest of men, but could be nimble against some of the more robust forwards. During that campaign Scunthorpe finished 11th of 21 teams, gathering forty points from forty games. Success during that time will be remembered, not in the moderate displays of the Midland League, but in a thrilling FA Cup tie, after beating highflying Coventry City. Crilly also launched the Scunthorpe careers of Mal Millington and local man Jeff Baker. Little was seen of Crilly on the park in the 1936/37 campaign, and after six appearances in the side his name ceased to be a feature in the team selection. At the end of his second twelve months, Scunthorpe finished in 12th position of 22 starters. This result did not inspire the Directors to retain Crilly's services, and it wasn't until after the Second World War that the board took it upon themselves to employ another manager.