England football managers

England Women’s Football Managers

All England Women’s Football Managers Timeline

There have been 9 official England women’s football managers, including the current England women’s manager Phil Neville, who was appointed in 2018, plus Harry Batt. England’s women have qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup five times, reaching the quarter-finals in 1995, 2007, and 2011 and finished third in 2015. The Lionesses also reached the UEFA Women’s Championship finals in 1984 and 2009. How will Phil Neville and the Lionesses do in France 2019?

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NameTermBest Tournament PlacingsBorn / DiedPlace of birthEngland Women’s Manager’s Football Playing and Management Career
Phil Neville
(Philip John Neville).
2018Winner of the 2019 SheBelieves Cup.1977England, Bury.As a player Phil Neville was a defender and midfielder for Everton and Manchester United won the Champions League, the Premiership 6 times, the FA Cup 3 times and more. Phil Neville played for England 83 times including 59 senior appearances. Phil Neville joined the coaching staff of the England under-21s at the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship before returning to Manchester United as first-team coach at the invitation of David Moyes. In 2015 Neville joined La Liga side Valencia coaching staff.

On 23 January 2018 Neville was appointed head coach of the England women’s team with a contract that runs until the end of the 2012 UEFA Women’s Euro tournament to be hosted by England so the roadmap is clear. In 2019 England Women won the SheBelieves Cup beating Brazil 2-1, drawing 2-2 with the USA and beating Japan 3-0. The England Women’s team have qualified for the knockout stage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup with everything to play for. About coaching Phil Neville said:

Modern-day coaching is about relationships so I need to know every little thing that will make my players tick.

Mo Marley
(Caretaker manager)
2017-2018England 4-0 Bosnia-Herzegovina.1967England, Liverpool.Following Sampson’s sacking Mo Marley (Maureen Marley MBE) was England women’s interim manager from September 2017 to January 2018. Marley took charge of FIFA Women’s World Cup UEFA Qualifiers (24 November 2017: England 4-0 Bosnia-Herzegovina. 28 November 2017: England 5-0 Kazakhstan). In October 2018 Marley was appointed England under-21 women’s team manager.
Mark Sampson2013-2017Third place in 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.1982Wales, Creigiau.Mark Samson played as a defender for Cardiff Corinthians. Samson was coach-co-ordinator at the Wales FA before coaching Cardiff City youth team and heading up Swansea City’s centre of excellence in 2007. Samson managed Welsh club Taff’s Well and FA Women’s Premier League club Bristol Academy before being appointed manager of England Women’s team in December 2013.

In the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup England reached the semi-finals, losing to Japan then beating Germany for third place. In the 2017 UEFA Women’s Euros England were knocked in in the semi-finals by the Netherlands who were the hosts and eventual winners. Samson was sacked by the FA in 2017. Samson claimed unfair dismissal and the FA settled out of court just before the hearing date.

Brent Hills
(Caretaker manager)
2013England 8-0 Turkey.1953England (TBC).Following Hope Powell’s dismissal Brent Hills was appointed England women’s team caretaker manager on 23 August 2013 and took charge of England’s three opening qualification matches for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup (England 6-0 Belarus, England 8-0 Turkey and Turkey 0-4 England). Hills wanted the role permanently but in , after Mark Sampson was appointed as England women’s manager in December 2013, Hills was appointed as FA head of women’s elite development.
Hope Powell
(Hope Patricia Powell).
1998-20132007 & 2011 quarter-finals FIFA Women’s World Cup.1966England, Lewisham.Hope Powell played as an attacking midfield player for Millwall Lionesses, Friends of Fulham, Bromley Borough, Croydon WFC. Powell gained 66 caps for England Women before she was appointed England women’s first female manager in 1998.

England qualified unbeaten for the 2007 World Cup in China and reached the quarter-finals and knocked out by the USA. In 2011 England again reached the quarter-finals and lost 4:3 in a penalty shootout to France. In 2013 Powell was dismissed after England’s women finished bottom of their group at the Women’s Euro 2013 tournament.

Powell also coached the 2012 Great Britain Olympic Women’s football team has been Brighton & Hove Albion’s women’s first-team manager since 2017. On the England women’s football managers job she said:

I was fighting for women’s football. It was tough. I was female and black. The decision-makers? White. Male. And middle-class.

Richard Bate
(Caretaker manager)
19981946-2018England.Following the resignation of Ted Copeland Richard Bate was England women’s caretaker manager for England v Italy in 1998.
Ted Copeland1993-1998Quarter-finals of 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup.1940England (TBC).Ted Copeland worked as a Physical Education lecturer in Saudi Arabia where he played and coached Ettifaq FC in the Saudi Premier League and also the Saudi under 16 and under 19 National Teams. Copeland was also first team coach for Hartlepool United. In 1990 Ted Copeland was appointed as FA Regional Director of Coaching for the North of England.

In 1993 Ted Copeland steered England’s women’s team to the quarter-finals of the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Copeland retired to Spain in 2006.

John Bilton
(John Michael Bilton).
1991-19932nd Round UEFA Women’s Euro 1993 qualification.1960s (TBC)England (TBC).Bilton was a youth team goalkeeper for Derby County and Rotherham United who went on to play for Frickley Athletic and Worksop Town. John Bilton managed the England women’s national football team from May 1991 until April 1993. Bilton continued to coach at various clubs including Doncaster Rovers, Leeds United, Rotherham United, Oldham Athletic, Notts County and Fenerbahçe S.K in Turkey. In June 1993 the WFA was disbanded and all powers were transferred to the FA.
Barrie Williams19911937-2018Wales, Carmarthen.Willams was an English literature teacher before he joined Sutton United as assistant manager in 1977. In 1979 he was appointed manager and enjoyed success during the 80’s ending with a famous victory over Coventry City knocking them out of the FA Cup in 1989. Barrie Williams managed the England women’s team during 1991 before emigrating to Spain.
Martin Reagan
(Charles Martin Reagan).
1979–19904th place in 1987 European Competition for Women’s Football.1924-2016England, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.Reagan played football for York City, Hull City, Middlesbrough, Shrewsbury Town, Portsmouth and Norwich City before coaching England’s women.

Reagan took England to the semi-finals of the 1987 European Competition for Women’s Football which they lost to Sweden, then Italy to finish 4th. Reagan was sacked in 1990 after England lost 6:1 to Germany in the UEFA Women’s Euro 1991 quarter-finals which doubled up as the qualification for the first FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament so England missed out.

Reagan continued to coach in California, USA as Director of the Two Rivers Soccer Camp until 2003. In 1985 Reagan predicted the success of the USA Women’s Soccer team in a letter he wrote to Mike Ryan:

The day cannot be very distant when you will be a world force.

Mike Rawding
(Caretaker manager)
1979England 2-2 Denmark.1936-2005England, Grantham.Following the resignation of Tom Tranter Mike Rawding (Micheal Henry Rawding) was England women’s caretaker manager for an international friendly match against Denmark in 1979 which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Tom Tranter
(Thomas G. Tranter).
1973-1979Winners of 1976 Pony Home Championship.1940-2005England, Shropshire.Tom Tranter was a player coach for Hayes in 1970 and went on to coach at Southall, Woking, Slough Town and Brentford before working on foreign coaching assignments for the FA in India, Zambia, the Sudan, Botswana and Iceland. In 1979 Tranter returned to Iceland to manage Keflavík. In 2001 the FA sent Tom to run a coaching course in the British Virgin Islands where he retired and made his home. In 2003 Tranter was made an honorary fellow at Brunel University which now presents a Tom Tranter award open to final year PE and sports students.
Eric Worthington1972England 3-2 Scotland.1925-2006England, Sheffield.In 1972 UEFA recommended national associations incorporate the women’s game. The FA rescinded its ban on women playing on English Football League grounds and Eric Worthington became the WFA first official England women’s national football team manager.

England’s first official international match was against Scotland on 18 November 1972. England won 3-2 and Sylvia Gore scored England’s first international goal. Worthington left the following year after his appointment as director of coaching by the Australian Soccer Federation. Worthington ended his football managerial career with Papua New Guinea. Eric Worthington played, as a forward, for Willesden, Queens Park Rangers, Watford, Dover, Bradford City and Margate.

Harry Batt
(Unofficial manager).
1969-19713rd place in 1969 FIEFF* European tournament.1907-1985England.After England’s men won the 1966 World Cup there was a surge of interest in women wanting to play football and teams started to be formed. Notably Harry and his wife, June Batt, set up the Chiltern Valley women’s football team. Batt, along with Patricia Gregory and others formed the first women’s football governing body in England called the Women’s Football Association (WFA) but there was a problem. Since 1921 women were banned from playing on any FA registered club pitches because:

The game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged.

The WFA were in discussion to get the FA to rescind the ban but Harry was already in contact with FIEFF* in Italy and between 1969 and 1971 Batt led unofficial England women’s football teams to unofficial women’s football tournaments. At the 1969 FIEFF* European tournament in Italy Sue Lopez scored the first unofficial England goal. At the 1971 FIEFF* World Cup in Mexico England’s women lost 4:1 to Mexico in the Estadio Azteca in Mexico city in a televised match in front of a crowd estimated, in local newspapers, between 90-95,000 fans. They lost their matches but won the hearts of the Mexican people.

Two months before the Mexico trip the Batts were blacklisted by the WFA committee and all the Chiltern Valley players were banned for three months on their return The WFA were holding trials to form an official England team and did not recognize any team the Batts were involved with.

Following the success of the Mexico tournament, former England PR man Ted Hart had raised £150,000 sponsorship, and the backing of England 1966 heroes Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst, to hold a 1972 Women’s World Cup at Wembley.The proposal included TWO England teams. A WFA England team and Batts England team. It almost happened – what if it had? Harry Batt asked to rejoin the WFA but was refused and, according to his son Keith Batt, was never the same again.


Notes: *FIEFF (Fédération Internationale Européenne de Football Féminine) was an Italian organized international women’s football association formed in February 1970. England, Switzerland, West Germany, Austria and Mexico sent delegates. FIEFF was not recognized by FIFA, UEFA or most national member organizations, including the FA. UEFA forbade its members from further participation so FIEFF closed due to lack of participants. ADDucation’s lists are published for information only and are not official. ADDucation acknowledges that all trademarks and registered marks belong to their respective organizations including FIFATM, UEFATM and The FATM. Last updated 17 June 2019.

List of England women's football managers and coaches
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Frequently Asked Questions About England Women’s Football Managers

  • Who was the first of all England women’s football managers?
    The first official England women’s football manager was Eric Worthington who was appointed by the WFA in 1972. Unofficially, the first England women’s football manager was Harry Batt. Between 1969 and 1971 Batt took unofficial England woman’s teams to complete in unofficial *FIEFF tournaments.
  • How many England women’s football managers have there been?
    There have been nine England women’s football managers since 1972 including Phil Neville. Harry Batt was an unofficial self-appointed England women’s football manager between 1969-1971.

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