Brighton Magazine

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Monday 14 August 2017

My Life In Football: Ex-Brighton Manager Micky Adams' Footballing CV Is As Long As Your Arm

Having spent almost four decades in English football – playing and managing in every professional division – Brighton & Hove Albion's ex-manager Micky Adams' experience of our national game is almost unrivalled.

As a player, Micky Adams' career took in some of the biggest clubs in the country,including Leeds United, Leicester City, and Southampton.

And he shared a dressing room with some of the biggest stars in the game – Steve Bruce, Alan Shearer and Matt Le Tissier – to name but three.

After turning to management, Adams gained four promotions with Fulham, Brighton & Hove Albion, Port Vale and into the Premier League with Leicester City.

Adams took over management of then Division Three team Brighton & Hove Albion,in April 1999. 

The club were in the middle of a financial crisis, which had seen the board sell the Goldstone Ground just to stay afloat; on the pitch the club were facing a battle for their league status.

His first full season as manager was a matter of consolidation as the club finished a respectable 11th, whilst Adams signed talent such as star striker Bobby Zamora. 

The £100,000 spent on Zamora was the only transfer outlay Adams made in building his squad.

In his second season as manager, 2000–01, Adams guided Brighton to promotion as Division Three champions after the club had spent five seasons in the league's basement division. 


A late chase for the title proved to be unnecessary, as high flying Chesterfield were deducted nine points for financial irregularities, leaving Brighton ten points clear at the season's end. 

He was named as Third Division Manager of the Season for a second time, also picking up the Third Division Manager of the Month award in September 2000.

Adams was clear about his ambitions at managing at a higher level, stating his disappointment at not being offered the management positions at either Southampton or West Ham United in the summer of 2001. 

He did leave the "Seagulls" in October 2001, though by then he had already set the foundations for Brighton to achieve a second successive promotion as Division Two champions in 2001–02. 

In a searingly honest portrait, the Yorkshireman reveals some of the stories behind those roles and also some of the best-loved figures in our game.

He details how he should have been sacked by Leeds United on Howard Wilkinson's first day at the club, how he ended up in a police cell with David Speedie, lays bare Le Tissier's genius and the booze-fuelled tour that ended with Shearer jeopardising his career and the author swapping punches with Neil Ruddock.

As a manager, the tales come just as thick and fast.

How about the time when he spent a night crawling on the floor looking for Ron Atkinson's lost tooth, or what it was really like working for enigmatic Fulham owner Mohamed Al-Fayed?

And, of course, there is the inside story of Leicester City's ill-fated trip to La Manga when the club made the headlines after becoming entangled in a sex scandal.

Adams lifts the lid on almost forty years experience in a brutal, yet entertaining, account of life at the sharp end of professional football.

Neil Moxley, with whom Adams collaborated on his autobiography, has been a reporter on national newspapers for over two decades, the majority of which was spent working on the Daily Mail. He is currently the chief sports writer of the Sunday People.

Micky Adams - My Life In Football is out on 21st September 2017 - CLICK HERE to purchase.

by: Mike Cobley




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Photo credit: Sante D'Orazio

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