The Iron dugout
Tom Crilly was Scunthorpe and Lindsey United's first deviation from the Directors themselves picking the team in favour 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 25 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 United finished eleventh of 21 teams, gathering 40 points from as many games.
Success during that time will be remembered, not in the moderate displays in the Midland League, but in a thrilling FA Cup fun, when Scunthorpe reached the second round after beating high-flying Coventry City.Crilly also launched the Scunthorpe careers of Mal Millington and local man Jeff Barker.
Little was seen of Crilly on the park during the following 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 at the helm, Scunthorpe finished in 12th position of the 22. This result didn't inspire the Directors to retain his services and it wasn't until after the Second World War that the board took it upon themselves to employ another manager.
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 play for England on one occasion.
In his two years at the Old Show Groun, Bernard represented the team in 87 league and cup games, almost exclusively wearing the number six jersey, from where he was able to muster his troops and use his huge fram to good effect. It was under Harper's leadershup 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 qualifynig round of the FA 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, 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. Harper never succeeded to a position of authority in charge of a club in the Football League and Scunthorpe United remained managerless until 1950.
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 instead gave the assurance 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, where as a butcher's boy the youngerster's skills had been developed on the local park. In his early days, Jones took up as a left-sided inside man and found goalscoring no problem.
In August 1929 he went to Cardiff City for four years and then onto Coventry City 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 11.
After the war, Jones had a number of coaching and scouting jobs at Swansea Town, Barry Town and Brighton & Hove Albion, joining the staff at the Old Show Ground from the latter.
Jones blended the best of the 1949/50 Midland League team with an influx of new men, many of whom were fellow Welshmen. Amongst his new signings were former West Bromwich Albion and England international Wally Boyes, and Ted Gorin, who had previously been at Cardiff City. He would later become the club's leading goalscorer for a period.
Jones proved to be a shrewd tactician, particularly at the Old Show Ground, where only York City won and only nine goals were conceded. United's final league placing of 12th was the best of all the four newcomers to two Third Divisions.
Unfortunately relationships between some board membes 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.
BILL CORKHILL (pictured right), Scunthorpe United manager from 1952 until 1956, shaking hands with Jeff Barker, with the squad in the background.
The Board of Directors at Scunthorpe continued to have a half-hearted view on the subject of managers and when Leslie Jones elft, Bill Corkhill was only 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 at Northern Nomads, and the Marine. While at Marine, he was spotted by Notts County 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 Show Ground, the best of which included Jack Gregory, Gordon Brown, Merfyn Jones and Jack Haigh.
It was Corkhill's game plan that saw the Iron through the mid-1950's, where in particular they earned a reputation as FA Cup fighters. In 1954, the three epic battles against First Division side Portsmouth are well documented and two years later his team reached the fourth round of the competition for the very first time.
He enjoyed success in the Third Division North, twice taking the club to the brink of their first promotion, but unfortunately 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 fulfillment as at Scunthorpe. He left in November 1957, later returning to Nottingham as a licensee, and died in 1978.
When Bill Corkhill resigned, the Directors uncharacteristically acted without hesitation. Within a matter of a week or so, the 36-year-old Kendall-born Ron Suart was announced as the new man at the helm.
For Suart, it was his first appointment as manager of a Football League side, having made his baptism at non-league Wigan Athletic twelve months earlier.
Suart's playing career started at Blackpool, but was halted after less than a year, due to the star of the war. In January 1946, he continued to wear a Blackpool shirt, where he established himself as a strong-tackling full-back. In 1949, he moved to Blackburn for six years before becoming player-manager at Wigan.
Suart took a full campaign at Scunthorpe to assess the playing staff around him, gradually changing faces as necessary, before adding the finishing touches in the summer of 19547 to what would be a squad to take United into Division Two. Among his signings were goalkeeper Ken Hardwick, captain and half-back Frank Marshall, Jack Marriott, the return of a local lad, as well as forwards Eric Davis and Ronnie Waldock.
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 title by a handsome margin. Into the bargain, United progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup, overcoming Newcastle United en route, and winning the Sunday Pictorial Giant Killers Cup.
Before he could savour the full fruits of his victory, Suart left at the end of the campaign to manage Blackpool. His football career continued into the early 1990's at such places as Chelsea and Wimbledon in different roles before his death in 2015.
Tony McShane was the second Belfast-born manager of the club. His appointment as successor of Ron Suart may have been something of a surprise, because his only previous management skills had been learned at Goole Town during the 1957/58 season.
Nevertheless, he had managed to secure Goole a place in the first round of the cup, ironically against Scunthorpe, which may have influenced the board to offer him the job in May 1958.
As a player, McShane had enjoyed his playing days as a wing-half at Plymouth Argyle from the end of 1949 (helping Argyle to the Division Three South championship in 1952), to mid-1955, when he joined Swindon Town. During a managership that lasted a little less than a full season, McShane did his best to see that the club 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. He did have some notable successes in the transfer market, including Welsh U23 international 'keeper Kebn Jones' signing from Cardiff City. He also brought in Peter 'Noddy' Neale from Oldham, and later, goalscorer Peter Harburn from Everton.
April 1959 saw McShane leave Scunthorpe United to take a post outside the game, although he was back in football as manager of Chesterfield from 1963 until 1967 when he left the game for good.
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. United would not have been pleased by the embarrassing situation, and had to start the selection process all over again, before Frank Soo took the reigns.
Lambton had been a player on the books of his home city club, Nottingham Forest, before the war, but then joined Exeter City in 1946. A goalkeeper, his career lasted only a matter of months in Devon before he moved north to Doncaster in October 1946. It is not certain how long he wore the number one shirt, but during the 1950's he took up coaching in such diverse places as Grimsby and Denmark. Leeds United took him on as trainer-coach in November 1957 and he was elavated to manager 13-months later. It was he who brought Don Revie to Elland Road as a player.
If Ron Suart was the most successful manager, then statistically Bill Lambton had the worst record. His only game in charge is thought to be the final game of the 1958/59 season at home to Huddersfield Town. His counterpart was Shankley, who included Dennis Law in the Terriers' team. The youngster's dazzling skills brought two goals and an overall 3-0 defeat for Lambton.
Two years following his brief sojourn in Scunthorpe, he became manager at Chester where his tenure lasted a little short of two seasons. In July 1963, he left the game and died in Nottingham aged 61.
Scunthorpe United needed to quickly re-establish a reliable new manager after the three-day debacle involving the previous incumbent.
The man chosen was Frank Soo who was appointed in June 1959. Frank Soo, real name Hong Y Soo, was of Chinese extraction and born in Liverpool. He made his way through non-league circles at Prescot Cables before signing for Stoke City at the beginning of 1933.
During the war, he guested for a number of teams, including Everton and Chelsea, and during this period he represented Englanf in nine unofficial internationals. Once the hostilities were over, Leicester City and Luton Town enjoyed his services, until he drifted out of league football, moving to Chelmsford City in 1948 and later to St Albans City as manager before taking the same position at Scunthorpe.
At the Old Show Ground, Frank Soo found there was little room for error between relegation and safety. However, the signings of Harry Middleton, Dennis John, Martin Bakes and the legendary Barrie Thomas made life a lot easier. Thomas and Middleton blended very well with Jack Haigh at the twilight of his career. Each of these goalscorers reached double figures to help Soo's squad to a slightly improved table placing of 15th.
In early May 1960, Soo resigned, wishing to seek pastures new. He accepted a number of coaching jobs in Sweden and Denmark and the Old Show Ground was to be his only senior managerial position in the Football League.
When Scunthorpe United invited Dick Duckworth to become manager in May 1960, there was no denying they had taken a very experienced man on board.
He had played for a string of clubs including Carlisle United, Rochdale, Oldham Athletic, Chesterfield, Southport, Chester, Rotherham United and finally York City before the war.
His first post-war position as a manager was in the humble surroundings of Newark Town, followed by a spell scouting for Birmingham City and Sheffield United. In 1950, Duckworth took charge of his first Football League club when he returned to York City, and then beat a path to Stockport where he was at the helm from October 1952 until the end of the 1955/56 season. When he parted company with the Cheshire club, Duckworth returned to Bramall Lane as Chief Scout.
Prior to his Scunthorpe appointment, this interesting character spent from October 1957 as Darlington's manager, taking them to the FA Cup fifth round in 1958.
There can be no doubt that Duckworth took Scunthorpe to both their Zenith and Nadir, the Iron finishing fourth in Division Two in 1962 - their best position to date. Two years later his team was relegated to Division Three.
While Duckworth was in charge, United sold Barrie Thomas for an equivalent fee of £40,000 and little more than a year later John Kaye moved for a similar figure. Although these dealings made the club a lot of money, it was claumed that this was soon spent with inadequate player replacements.
It was suggested that the sale of these top quality players cost the team promotion to the First Division and a tremendous amount of support was lost from the terraces within a short space of time. In any event, Duckworth left the Old Show Ground in November 1964 with many loyal supporters disgruntled at the way affairs had been handled.
The Scunthorpe position was the last official job Duckworth had in football and he died in Sheffield in April 1983, aged 76.
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.
Goodwin was a towering figure at over six foot, and stockily built. He made his way from schools football straight into 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 the 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 FA Cup Final.
Goodwin next went to Leeds United, but a broken leg put paid to his notable career as a half-back 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 with good effect, including Ray Clemence, who was nursed through the junior ranks into first 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 mant inexperienced men in the side and they were overwhelmed by Grimsby Town, but Freddie was humble enough to make a public apology.
Under Goodwin's control, Scunthorpe enjoyed a fourth 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 onto Brighton and Hove Albion and Birmingham City. One little known fact about Freddie Goodwin is that he played eleven times for Lancashire at cricket, and took 27 wickets. Goodwin died in 2016.
If ever there was a man that Scunthorpe United owe a great debt to it is Ron Ashman.
Ron was responsible for two stints in charge at the Old Show Ground, first in October 1967 and secondly from 1976. On each of those occasions, the club was in trouble and he managed to turn the tide.
Ashman began his playing career as an amateur with Norwich City in 1944 and 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 to the Division Two title in 1960. His role in the 1960/61 FA Cup round four tie was instrumental in the downfall of the Iron. Ron took over the managerial duties at Norwich from 1962 until parting company with his beloved Norfolk club in 1966.
Norwich City's loss definitely became Scunthorpe United's gain, when he became the Iron's manager in October 1967. Ashman's predeccessor, Freddie Goodwin eased the club's 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 off 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 Kevin Keegan, who made his debut for the Iron at Peterborough in 1968.
Ashman brought a moderate degree of success to the Old Show Ground in the early seventies, first by reaching the fifth round of the FA Cup in February 1970, then by winning promotion to the Third Division two years later. This austere period prevented him from strengthening the squad, with relegation following twelve months later and Ashman moved onto Grimsby Town in July 1973.
Staffordshire-born Ron Bradley came to Scunthorpe United in 1972 as coach under Ron Ashman. When Ashman departed for Grimsby Town, Bradley seemed to be the natural 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 first team appearances. This lack of high level 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 escapade, Bradley returned to England and joined the staff at the Old Show Ground in 1972.
His first season in charge, 1973/74, was marked by an FA Cup run which saw the Iron reach the fourth round of the competition and enjoy a couple of epic games against Newcastle United. The Iron's league form in those 12 months was only moderate and they could only manage an 18th place finish. A disastrous run in the following season left the Board in a difficult position of having to part company with Bradley as the team struggled in the bottom four re-election spots.
However it was he who blooded Richard Money into first team football, althought with 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, Bradley coached in countries within two continents, first with the Libyan National squad and then a spell in the United States before a return to England at Derby County. He became an FA Coach in 1986.
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 rumoured 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 new signings. 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 Oates 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 once again slumped to the depths of Division Four.
Dickie Rooks made great efforts 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.
Ron Ashman never enjoyed the same admiration he had gained in Scunthorpe in his two seasons at Blundell Park and lost his job in February 1975.
Meanwhile, Scunthorpe United were 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 to a position of safety.
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 just 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 attended virtually all Scunthorpe home matches at all levels until his death in 2004.
John Duncan succeeded Ron Ashman, as player-manager, although at this time he had no managerial experience, but was known 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.
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 honours, and a Scottish League Cup winners medal in 1974.
He was lured away to Tottenham Hotspur in 1974 for £125,000, 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 manager's seat at the Old Show Ground in 1981. The legacy of his injuries were such that he played little in Scunthorpe United colours. The Iron were just about holding their own, but the 1981/82 season was a time of crises 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, Dennis Leman, Martin Fowler and Noel Parkinson. Overnight the team was transformed as they headed towards the top of the league. A good FA 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 FA Cup third round replay at Grimsby, when it would appear that there were differences between the manager and 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. He, however, went onto control the affairs of Hartlepool United, Ipswich Town and Chesterfield, twice, where he steered his Division Two team to the FA Cup semi-finals in 1996/97.
Allan Clarke came to Scunthorpe United in February 1983 when Chairman David Wraith introduced him to supporters as the club's big name signing, to replace John Duncan. Clarke was experienced at all levels of the game and looked to be the answer to Scunthorpe's prayers. At last the Iron looked as though they might be onto a winner.
Clarke's career had started fairly low key at Walsall, with further progression at Fulham, before Leicester City paid £150,000 for this phenomenal goalscorer. After 13 months at Filbert Street, he moved onto 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 FA Cup plus league championship victories, and eventually spent nearly nine years at the club.
In May 1978, Clarke became the 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.
He appreciated, in the winter of 1982, that the Scunthorpe team might not be good enough for promotion, and strengthened the squad with the much travelled Mike Lester and Tommy Graham, the latter scoring twice in the final day 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 round four of the FA Cup after ironically beating Clarke's former employers Leeds United in round three, following a trio of epic battles.
Before the team had time to settle back in Division Four, 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 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.
Frank Barlow was always thought of as a gentleman, quietly spoken with good ideas. He came to the club as assistant under Allan Clarke and succeeded him in 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.
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 honours at schoolboy level. At Bramall Lane, Barlow made more than 100 appearances in seven years, before a transfer to Chesterfield in August 1972 for a record £15,000 Saltergate transfer fee. His career as a player was dramatically cut short 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 Spireites were relegated to Division Four.
At Scunthorpe, Barlow enjoyed three years in charge of team affairs. During that time, he brought in the likes of Billy Russell, Steve Lister and Steve Johnson and also arranged the return of several players including Richard Money, Dave Hill and Les Hunter. Julian Broddle also came in for a second spell, but on loan, and this move never materialised into a full contract. Under his charge, Scunthorpe had memorable games against Aston Villa in the League Cup, and Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup, but the bread and butter Division Four programme rarely saw the Iron threaten promotion.
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 at Sheffield Wednesday.
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 term in March.
This was to be the beginning of two spells at United, the first of which bridged the transition period between the move between grounds. Buxton soon stamped his authority on team matters, displaying a no nonsense approach which soon gained positive results.
Buxton started as a player at Burnley, making 19 appearances in nine 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 seven years coaching at Southend United, until 1978, when he moved back north to take a similar position at Huddersfield Town.
Before long, the Terriers parted company with manager Tom Johnston and 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 some time, Buxton departed in 1986.
At Scunthorpe, Mick 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 Musselwhite, Tony Daws, Richard Hall, Neil Cox, Mark Lillis, Stuart Hicks, Paul Ward and Kevin Taylor. It was under his management that the Tony Daws / Andy Flounders goalscoring partnership developed into one of the deadliest United goalscoring duos.
Another Buxton signing was that of Bill Green as his assistant, but in January 1991, pressure from the terraces was probably a factor towards the loss of his job.
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 favour 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 hurried ways.
Green started his football nearer his home city, 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 First Division. In 1976, he moved south for £100,000 to play for West Ham United and after two years moved to Peterborough United for £90,000 in the summer of 1978.
After 12 months, Green moved to Chesterfield as a player-coach under Arthur Cox and during his four-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 Barlow as his assistant manager at the Old Show Ground in October 1984.
During his 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 stabilise 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 materialised and, as the fans patience ran thin, he inevitably became yet another football managerial casualty in January 1993.
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 office of Frank Barlow and Mick Buxton, and hence gained his first managerial experience, but he did not attain the manager's job until January 1993, when he succeeded Bill Green.
Money enjoyed four seasons at the Old Show Ground as a player 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 chance were limited, but he did play in the European Cup semi-final and in December 1981 he was loaned to Derby County before being transferred to Luton 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 went onto 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 led to him 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 Thompstone, Matt Carmichael, Russell Bradley, Steve Thornber, Alan Knill and Paul Mudd all 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 he found this unacceptable and it led to the parting of the ways. He would continue in football with a number of coaching appointments, including those at Nottingham Forest, Manchester City and Coventry City.
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 in a permanent role.
Moore was a Grimsby-born man who made his way through Grimsby Town's junior ranks. His first team debut came debut came during the 1978/79 season and he enjoyed five seasons with the Mariners until the summer of 1983. The stockily-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 Seasiders until 1986, before returning to Grimsby Town in November.
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 duties.
Once he occupied the manager's chair, he took the team on a run of eleven games with only two defeats until the end of the campaign. The 1994/95 season, his first full one at the helm, is well remembered for two epic FA 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 the 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 proved to be the last of his reign, when United could not maintain a promotion bid, although they did produce a record-equalling 8-1 victory at Torquay United. The winter was to be his 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.
After leaving Scunthorpe Unted the first time, Buxton took a number of positions in the game before becoming Sunderland manager, where he was initially successful, saving them from rleeation to the new Second Division. He was dismissed when the Rokerites count not make it to the Premier League under his guidance in March 1995.
It was something of a surprise to Scunthorpe supporters when he was reappointed to manage the Iron in March 1996, folloing a poor run of form and the sacking of Dave Moore.
Buxton returned with his strict disciplinary methord and expectations of high work rates from 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 his assistant manager.
In February 1997, when his team failed to produce, Lillis originally became caretaker boss before Laws took over permanently.
When Brian Laws was brought to Scunthorpe United as a player by Mick Buxton, he was not aware that this experienced and knowledgable football brain would eventually succeed him.
The opportunity came in February 1997 when Buxton was dismissed. Mark Lillis, the United second in command, took charge in a temporary capacity and it must have been a close run contest as to who should take the manager's job. Laws was successful, but the two set up a first class partnership, ably assisted by Paul Wilson and Nigel Adkins as Youth Development Officer and Physiotherapist, respectively.
Laws began as a Burnley apprentice, making his debut in the number two shirt for the last game of the 1979/80 season at Watford. He quickly established himself at Turf Moor, but left for Huddersfield in the summer of 1983, where he stayed for two years before moving to Middlesbrough.
In July 1988, he was transferred to Nottingham Forest and enjoyed the most prosperous days of his playing career. Laws spent more than six years at Forest until he applied successfully to become the player-manager of Grimsby Town. He was Town's manager for exactly two years from November 1994 when an incident involving Italian player Bonetti led to Laws leaving the East Coast club.
He spent a short time as a player at Darlington, before arriving at Glanford Park early in the 1997 New Year. Soon after signing as a player, he was able to continue with a career in football management, and demonstrate his strict authority, yet whenever the call came to put on claret and blue, he never shirked from the responsibility, often showing the younger men how it should be done.
Among the players Laws brought to Glanford Park were those that were a reflection of his days at Nottingham Forest and Grimsby Town in particular, for these included Justin Walker, Andy Dawson, Jamie Forrester, Paul Harsley and Craig Shakespeare.
He was also quick to use players from his rapidly expanding junior ranks when the opportunity rose. During Laws' first full season as manager, United finished one point off the play-off places and if it had not been for an indifferent spell in the winter months they may have faired better.
However, cup progress earned much needed cash towards survival as Laws' team took on Everton and Crystal Palace. In the 1998/99 season, he continued to make improvements in the strength of the side, making a determined bid for promotion from Division Three. This was realised when the club finished fourth in the table and qualified for the play-offs.
After overcoming Swansea City in the semi-final, the Iron beat Leyton Orient 1-0 at Wembley and were promoted to Division Two.
An immediate return to Division Three occurred with a couple of mid-table finishes to following in the seasons that passed by. Mark Jackson, Peter Beagrie and Chris Hope were among the signings made during that time, with players like Nathan Stanton and Matt Sparrow both coming through the youth ranks.
In 2002/03, the Iron were ready to make another thrust for the play-offs and achieved it - only to experience heart ache of a 6-3 aggregate defeat to Lincoln City. The following season would be the polar opposite and would arguably prove to be Laws' toughest as manager of the club. He began the season having lost Andy Dawson and Martin Carruthers and while it would become the start of a long association at the club for Cliff Byrne, it was the loaning of Steve MacLean from Glasgow Rangers which would ultimately save the club from the brink of non-league football.
At board level a number of changes took place with Chris Holland in as Chairman in place of Keith Wagstaff and it was soon announced on March 25, 2004 that Laws would be leaving the club, with Russ Wilcox placed in temporary charge. At this point an emergency meeting of Directors was called and majority shareholder, Steve Wharton emerged as the Chairman - reinstating Laws into his position.
United staved off relegation but Laws would have to deal with the announcement of Alex Calvo-Garcia's retirement.
Almost a stark contract to the previous season, Laws brought in goalkeeper Paul Musselwhite, returning for his season spell, Ian Baraclough and Andy Crosby and this proved to be the spine of success which saw the side promoted to League One in 2005. His side would consolidate this the following year before storming out of the blocks in 2006/07, leading to Sheffield Wednesday enquiring about attaining his services.
Physiotherapist Nigel Adkins was summoned to the Board shortly after the dust had settled at Glanford Park, with Chief Scout Lee Turnbull and Youth Development Officer Tony Daws also present. They were asked to form an interim partnership and this immediately took off with Adkins asked to take the permanent reigns before Christmas, with Andy Crosby his assistant and Ian Baraclough taking a role as First Team Coach.
Adkins' playing career saw him emerge from the Liverpool youth set-up as a young goalkeeper before appearing for Tranmere Rovers, Wigan Athletic and Bangor City before managing the latter. The Birkenhead-born would become a physiotherapist, graduating from the University of Salford and would join the Iron following his retirement from his playing days.
The campaign would go down as one of the most memorable ones in Scunthorpe United history as the Iron walked the league and made it back to the second tier of English football for the first time in 43 years.
The following season would be a whirlwind and did see United relegated, but everyone was behind Adkins to go and achieve success once more. That he did in 2008/09 as a late Cliff Byrne header would propel the Iron into the play-offs and, after beating Milton Keynes Dons dramatically on penalties, the Iron saw off Millwall at Wembley to return to the Championship at the first attempt.
The massive success of 2009/10 would see the Iron remain there with high-quality players such as Grant McCann, Joe Murphy, Michael O'Connor, Josh Wright and Gary Hooper to name a few, while Paul Hayes had also returned to the club once more during the successes.
The success that little-Scunthorpe had remained in the division was palpable, with home successes against Newcastle United, Derby Couty, Preston North End, both Sheffield's a key factor to their remainder in the division.
2010/11 began in the same fashion with a brilliant 2-1 away victory at the Madejski Stadium against Reading and a convincing home win over Crystal Palace - but Southampton would come calling for the former physio and he would leave the club in September 2010.
Following three years at Southampton, Adkins would manage Reading and Sheffield United.
Ian Baraclough would make the temporary step-up from First Team Coach to become the manager, and his first game in charge was a 4-0 away victory over Sheffield United - a result which would go massively in his favour to being awarded a permanent contract in charge.
A playing career which spanned over 600 appearances would be enjoyed by the left-footed player, who could feature in defence or midfielder. Beginning at Leicester City, he was loaned to Wigan Athletic and Grimsby Town before spending the nineties at Lincoln City, Mansfield Town, Notts County and QPR.
He would return to Meadow Lane in 2001 to make another century of appearances and was then signed by Brian Laws in 2004, finishing his playing days with the Iron.
United would enjoy cup encounters against Everton, Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester United at Glanford Park throughout the season, with home wins against Preston North End and Sheffield United undone by poor away showings at Hull City, Leicester City and Middlesbrough.
Two successive 3-0 home defeats in the space of four days would signal the end of his tenure in charge, as the Iron looked destined for relegation to League One.
Following his departure from Glanford Park, Baraclough managed Sligo Rovers and Motherwell before an assistant manager role at Oldham Athletic. He's most recently taken up the Northern Ireland U21's job.
The Iron took Alan Knill as the replacement for Ian Baraclough with the former defender returning to the club where he was once a player.
His playing career began at Southampton before he signed for Halifax Town in 1984 and Swansea City in 1987. He then enjoyed four years at Bury as a player before signing for the Iron in 1993, making over 130 appearances in his four year stay before departing for Rotherham United. He also made a solitary appearance for Wales in 1988.
In joining United, he was leaving Bury on the brink of promotion from League Two and the two sides would inevitably meet the following season in the third tier of English football.
He did, however, provide some hope - despite a 6-0 away defeat at Norwich City where he was not yet officially in charge. He would guide the Iron to a 4-1 home victory over QPR, the eventual champions of the league, before defeats to Reading, Millwall and Nottingham Forest would ultimately end Scunthorpe's stay in the Championship.
A return to League One would prove to be a struggle and the Iron would finish in 18th in 2011/12. The patience of the terraces wear thin and a poor start to the following season lead to his dismissal in October 2012.
His managerial career prior to joining the club saw him manager Rotherham United and Bury and he's since took charge of Torquay United and then been understudy to Chris Wilder at Northampton Town and Sheffield United respectively.
Following a dismal start to the campaign under Knill, Steve Wharton contacted Brian Laws about a return to the club and immediately he looked to put right some wrongs which had seen just two wins in 18 matches under his predecessor in all competitions for the campaign of 2012/13.
His latest tenure in charge would see him arrive late in the day as United were defeated 4-0 by eventual League Two champions Gillingham in the FA Cup, but he quickly doubled the Iron's number of wins in the league for the campaign with quickfire victories over Walsall and Coventry City away from home.
Relegation was still staring the Iron in the face though and when it came to February, Scunthorpe had three home games in the space of eight days to try and turn things around. Nine points from nine injected a new lease of life into the belief around Glanford Park, but a heavy defeat away at Yeovil soon brought the club back to earth.
Ultimately, a run of one win in seven and two wins in 12 would see the team relegated back to the basement division for the first time since Laws oversaw the team get out of the league in 2005.
The season was ended with pride though, with a win over MK Dons setting up a grandstand finale at home to Swindon where the Iron had to win by two clear goals and hope that Colchester lost to stay up. United kept their side of the bargain, but Colchester pulled off final day heroics to remain in the division.
Life in League Two began with a new Chairman, with Peter Swann taking over the reigns of the club with immediate aspirations and expectations to return to League One at the first time of asking. Matt Sparrow returned to the club for another spell, while signings of Terry Hawkridge, Deon Burton and the discovery of Sam Winnall following a successful trial would build a strong squad going into the season.
The side started well with a 2-0 home win, but then would go onto draw six out of their next seven games in all competitions before wins against Southend and Plymouth. Some more narrow victories followed before the Iron stumbled at York City and also sent their FA Cup tie against non-league local rivals Grimsby Town to a replay.
Defeat at home to Accrington Stanley lead into the cup replay at Glanford Park and a defeat proved to be the final straw for Laws as he was dismissed the following morning.
Laws' assistant Russ Wilcox, who had followed the outgoing manager to Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley, had been installed as the temporary replacement and the run that the side would then go on was remarkable.
As a player, Russ began at Doncaster before breaking through in the game at non-league Frickley Athletic. He would then sign for Northampton Town in 1986 before signing for Hull City in 1990 and Doncaster Rovers in 1993. Preston was his final club before Brian Laws brought him to the Iron, where he would remain as a player until 2003, taking up a coaching role and then the assistant managers position.
United went to Fratton Park in his first game in charge and would have a Dave Syers brace to thank for his first three points, backed up with a 4-0 win at Rochdale just three days later. It would be a run of 28-unbeaten games to the end of the campaign, enjoying seven wins in his first nine games in charge.
He was given the permanent reigns on Christmas Eve and continued to drive the club forward, although five successive draws in January somewhat tarnished a brilliant record so far.
The Iron refound their mojo though, coming from 2-0 down to beat Accrington Stanley on Valentine's Day 2014 before emphatically beating Portsmouth 5-1 with Syers adding another trio of goals, making it five for the campaign against Pompey.
United pulled the results out of the bag when it mattered and went to Exeter City knowing that they could get promoted if results went in their favour. It was to be the first defeat in 29 games, but both sides celebrated at the final whistle - the Grecians survived the drop and the Iron were going up!
A difficult start awaited a return to League One for Wilcox with only two victories in the opening eleven games, along with two cup wins all that the Scunthorpe boss had to show for his hard work. After defeats against Leyton Orient and Oldham Athletic, the Iron also failed to get any points from the local derby against Doncaster Rovers and inevitably Wilcox was removed from his position after the side's exit from the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
Following his departure, Wilcox was immediately appointed as manager of York City and has had recruitment positions at Southampton and Doncaster Rovers.
Robins was in the stands at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium as the Iron beat Gillingham 3-0 in the first encounter following the exit of Russ Wilcox. Andy Dawson took the temporary reigns for the encounter, along with Tony Daws, with Robins overseeing his first game at Glanford Park the following week - a 1-1 draw with Colchester United.
The former Manchester United player swooped quickly to bring in Luke Williams on loan - a player he would later sign permanently - and results on the pitch soon following into the New Year as the Iron didn't taste defeat from October 18th until January 17th; a game which saw the side lose both of their goalkeepers in a mad first half.
That meant that Robins had to act to bring in Luke Daniels and Joe Anyon, a duo who would remain at the club throughout his tenure, with Sam Slocombe and James Severn inevitably released at the end of their contracts that season.
After a poor start to the season, the mission was to stave off relegation and despite a rocky patch in March, that was ultimately achieved as United finished in 16th place.
The aim was to build on the finish for the following campaign and push towards the play-offs but the start to the season would not be the best with just two wins in 12 in all competitions going into October. That month proved to be the turning point with five wins and a defeat from six games handing Robins the manager of the month award.
Form would then be indifferent leading into the Christmas period with the Iron tasting home defeat to Bradford City, Peterborough United and Sheffield United, despite the side making it through to round three of the FA Cup and beating Doncaster Rovers away from home on Boxing Day.
The Sheffield United home defeat would prove to be the final league loss at Glanford Park for 14 months.
The Iron respectively bowed out of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge, losing just 2-0 with Robins naming the same side six days later for the latest league encounter against Blackpool. United lost 5-0 and it would prove to be Robins' last game in charge of the club as he was removed from his position on the Monday morning.
Looking back to his playing days, everyone always talks about the strike which allegedly saved Sir Alex Ferguson's job at Manchester United, where he made a half century of appearances in four years at the club.
He would play for Norwich City and Leicester City while also having spells abroad. He'd make the most appearances of his career at Rotherham United before ending his playing days at Burton Albion in 2004/05. He also managed six caps and seven goals for England U21's in 1990.
He returned to Rotherham to manage the side and save the club from relegation in 2007 before achieving the same feat at Barnsley, Coventry City, Huddersfield Town and the Iron before he returned to the Ricoh Arena towards the end of 2016/17 with relegation to League Two a virtual certainty, despite him immediately providing results on the pitch.
When Mark Robins departed, his assistant Ned Kelly was also released from his contract, with First Team Coach Nick Daws and Coach Andy Dawson remaining at the club with Paul Musselwhite to take the club forward.
Daws and Dawson would form a joint-management duo temporarily as the Iron won the next four games before being edged out at Fleetwood on February 20th.
Two days later and Nick Daws was placed in permanent charge of the club with Dawson his assistant and he would guide the side to one win and five draws in his month in charge of the club - the victory seeing Scunthorpe complete a domestic double over Doncaster Rovers for the first time since 1991.
The lull in form led to Graham Alexander being installed as manager of the club, with Daws and Dawson remaining at the club as assistant manager and first team coach of the side.
Daws will always be fondly remembered as a club legend of Bury, playing there from 1992 until 2001 and making nearly 400 appearances for the side. That came after his move from non-league sides Flixton and Altrincham. His long association with the Shakers came to an end in 2001 when he joined Rotherham United for four years and he also made two loan spells to Grimsby in 2003 and 2004 respectively.
Following his retirement from playing in 2005, Daws joined the coaching staff at Rotherham United and has graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with BSc in Sports Sciene. Daws later joined Barnsley under Mark Robins and left Oakwell following his resignation. He was the Head of Coaching at QPR before joining the Iron in 2014, reuniting with Mark Robins once more.
Graham Alexander remains one of just two players in the professional game to have made over 1,000 appearances, a proud record for a tremendous caeer which began at Scunthorpe United.
He signed professional in 1990 and would remain at the club for five years before signing for Luton Town for £100,000. In 1999, both Burnley and Preston North End were vying for his signature, with the latter the preferred choice for the Scunthorpe-born right-back. He became a first team regular over the eight years he was there, taking the skippers armband and established himself as a superb penalty taker, named in the PFA's Championship team of the season in 2004/05.
In 2007, he made a somewhat surprise move to Burnley, eight years after they battled with the Lilywhites for his signature, with a £200,000 price tag put on his name. In April 2011, he made his 1,000th senior appearance fo club and country. He returned to Preston for his final campaign as a player in 2011/12.
His managerial tenure became a reality after the sacking of Phil Brown as he was in joint control with David Unsworth, although it would last for just one game, despite victory, with Graham Westley the man incoming.
Rather aptly, as homage to a superb career, he came on for his final appearance as a substitute for Max Ehmer in the 84th minute. It was intended to be a cameo appearance for Preston supporters to show their apprecation of his service to the club. However, he was to go out with a bang, slamming home a 25-yard free kick to rescue a point in the final kick of his career.
He also made 40 appearances for Scotland between 2002 and 2009.
He was appointed Head of Youth Development in June 2012 before managing Fleetwood Town to play-off success and taking them to League One between 2012 and 2015 before joining Scunthorpe in 2016.
Installed as the Iron manager on March 22, 2016, Alexander galvanised the side going into the final nine games of the campaign.
From the outset, it appeared as though any hopes of a play-off place were long gone, but the motive was to consolidate, end the season strongly and build for the following year.
His first game at Glanford Park saw his side tear apart Swindon Town, winning 6-0 before a narrow 1-0 defeat at Bradford City ended all hopes of a top six finish. The side would then go on a remarkable end to the season, winning all six games and conceding just three goals in the process, cutting a ten point gap to sixth to just goal difference on the final day.
The momentum and optimism continued into the close season and only three signings were required going into 2016/17 with Josh Morris, Sam Mantom and Duane Holmes all brought into the club in the summer.
The season would start very strongly too with just one defeat in the first thirteen games to put United in a commanding position. Morris had proved to be an astute signing too, the winger racing to double figures in terms of goals and collecting the Sky Bet League One player of the month for both August and September, while Alexander had also received manager of the month nominations, four in total over the campaign, emerging successful in November after four league wins and a draw.
The Iron were top of the league and battling away with Sheffield United at the summit, holding their own for four months and collecting some impressive victories along the way, none more so than the 5-0 home triumph over Gillingham, 4-0 against Southend United, 4-1 versus Swindon Town (in which the side was 4-0 up at half time) and 3-0 against Millwall.
Important January wins over Northampton Town and Port Vale were to follow before United suffered a blip in form, losing six out of nine between February and March. A dramatic 2-1 victory over Rochdale halted that slide, along with a Sky Sports victory at home to Bradford and the Iron then surged to five successive wins to end the season in third position, just weeks after it looking as though a play-off spot wouldn't be achieved.
Scunthorpe and Alexander put everything into the play-off semi-finals against Millwall but would ultimately fall slightly short after losing 3-2 on aggregate.
2017-18 started brightly with five wins in the first seven league games including victories over Oxford United (1-0), Plymouth Argyle (4-0) and Bury (1-0) before the early season form was backed up with victories over Doncaster Rovers and Portsmouth.
Defeats against high-flying Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic and Shrewsbury Town would see Scunthorpe in 12th going into the Peterborough United home clash at the end of October, but back-to-back six-points would see them rise to fifth, where the Iron would truly hit form. Once the side returned from cup action, they registered another four victories on the bounce, making it 18 points from a possible 18 before a nattow defeat at Walsall in December.
Still fifth, the Iron could feel a sense of injustice about a 2-2 draw against MK Dons, but would have a successful festive period with victories over Southend United, Blackpool and Bury, along with a respectable point at Blackburn Rovers.
The New Year would see results dip, although draws away at Portsmouth, Peterborough and Wigan Athletic were positive ones, on reflection. However, just one win out of a possible 13 saw the Iron in fifth position and the chasing pack closing in with seven games remaining.
United parted company with Alexander on Saturday, March 24, 2018 following a 1-1 draw against Rochdale.
Following Graham Alexander's departure, Daws was placed back in interim charge of the club, alongside Andy Dawson, who made the step up from the academy to be his assistant.
The Iron's first test was an away trip to Oxford United, live on the Sky Sports cameras, with Karl Robinson looking to celebrate his first home game in charge of the U's. Scunthorpe played some scintillating football, particularly in the first half, taking a 1-0 lead into the interval. The side were denied a clear penalty in the opening 45 minutes when the ball was handled on the line by an Oxford player, before another shout was turned down in the second half. A third penalty shout was given, although to the hosts, who despatched the kick to force the Iron to settle for a point.
United would again draw 1-1 on their travels a week later at AFC Wimbledon, before enjoying four successive victories. The run would see the Iron's clean sheet in tact on all occasions, with the run commencing with a 1-0 victory at Charlton Athletic before Scunthorpe edged Walsall out by the same scoreline. A further 2-0 triumph would see the side mathematically relegate MK Dons on their own soil, setting up a season-defining home game against Plymouth Argyle at Glanford Park three days later.
Victory for the Iron against the Pilgrims would confirm the side's play-off place, while anything less would see the uncertainty stretch to the final day of the campaign. United won the game 2-0 thanks to goals from Hakeeb Adelakun and Ivan Toney. The regular season would draw to a close with a 1-1 draw against Bradford City, setting up a two-legged tie against Rotherham United in the play-offs.
The campaign would end in heartache over two legs once more, despite a dramatic 2-2 draw in the first leg at Glanford Park. Cameron McGeehan would net his first goal for the club in the 89th minute to leave the tie finely poised ahead of the second leg, but a 2-0 victory for the Millers put them through to the final 4-2 on aggregate.
Despite the disappointment, it was announced shortly after that both Daws and Andy Dawson would be offered the roles on a permanent basis.