Quick-witted, unpredictable, nimble and extremely talented - Gordon Strachan has left an indelible impression as one of the greatest Scottish football giants in history. Currently serving as the manager of the national team of Scotland, his career kick started when he played for a number of leagues as the right midfielder, including Aberdeen, Dundee, Leeds United, Coventry City and finally, the Scotland National Team. He is the proud recipient of numerous accolades and awards. His long and illustrious career is dotted with 635 league games, in which he scored a total of 138 goals including 2 at the FIFA World Cup and earned 50 caps. After retiring from football at the age of 40, he became the full-time manager of Coventry and led the team through a number of leagues to FA Cup Finals. He then became the full-time manager of the Scottish Premier League and has also been inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame. He is the father of footballers Craig and Gavin Strachan, who are also famous in their own right. Apart from his job as the team manager, he is a regular pundit for the ITV’s coverage of the FA Cup and is involved in countless humanitarian projects.
Childhood & Early Life
George David Strachan was born to Jim and Catherine in Muirhouse, Edinburgh. He started playing for Dundee at the age of 14. The following year, he lost vision in his right eye when a pen in his pocket accidentally poked his eye during a football match on the school playground.
Before he professionally started playing football, he was offered a contract by Eddie Turnbull to play for a club, but his father opposed the decision by stating that the club did not cover sufficient expenses.
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At the age of 18, he outplayed Alan Ball in a friendly match with Arsenal. His outstanding performance won him the seat of a regular player for the 1975-1976 season, which also happened to be the inaugural season for the Scottish Premier Division.
He became the team captain for the 1976-1977 First Division campaign, but he lost his position soon, after a drinking incident with Jimmy Johnstone.
He quit Dundee and signed a contract with Aberdeen in 1977. Poor form and injuries crippled the 1977-78 season for him. However, he was selected for the 1979 League Cup where the team recorded two wins at the Celtic Park. His brilliant performance on the field earned him the SFWA Footballer of the Year.
In 1980, he was awarded his first cap in the British Home Championship, against Northern Island. Two years later, he was instrumental in getting his home team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 1982.
The 1982-1983 seasons were the most successful runs for the club and he made his mark by striking four goals in a 5-1 victory with Dundee in the League Cup. His team then went on to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup. They also defeated Hamburg in the 1983 European Super Cup Final.
In the 1984-1985 season, he took four goals in a total of seven games and even though he did not participate in the 1985 FA Cup Final at Wembley, the team went on to win the opening ten league games in the 1985-1986 season.
After accepting a contract by Ron Atkinson, he led the Leeds United Club to the Second Division title in the 1989-1990 season. They finished fourth overall, but managed to secure a place in the semi-finals of the League Cup.
He signed a two-year contract with Leeds and captained them to record a victory in the league title of 1991-1992. However, due to poor health and back problems, he started missing a number of games and thus, became unable to build on the success of Leeds Untied.
On April 10, 1993, despite his downfalls and tough seasons, he scored a hat-trick against the Blackburn Rovers and then moved to Coventry City to serve as an assistant to the manager, Ron Atkinson.
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He coached the team and trained them and also appeared in the seasons 1994-1995 and 1995-1996. The club struggled at the start of the 1996-1997 season, which resulted in Atkinson being asked to step down from the managerial position.
After Strachan was appointed as manager, he helped his team reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 1997-1998.
In 2001, he was appointed as the manager of Premier League Southampton, succeeding Stuart Gray. Under his leadership, the Southampton team earned their place for the UEFA Cup.
After a brief hiatus, he returned to manage the team, Celtic, on June 1, 2005. Although he had a very shaky start as a manager, the team eventually began to do well under his management and started winning tournaments.
On October 26, 2009, he was signed on as the manager for Middlesbrough. However, after a series of defeats, he voluntarily stepped down as the manager during the 2010-2011 season.
He became the manager for the Scotland National Football Team on January 15, 2013.
Awards & Achievements
He won the SFWA Footballer of the Year award for the 1979-1980 season.
He was named Leeds United A.F.C ‘Player of the Year’ in 1993.
He earned the title of ‘Premier League Manager of the Month’ for the years 1996, 1998 and 2002.
He was honored with the ‘PFA Scotland Manager of the Year’ award for the seasons 2005-2006 and 2008-2009.
Personal Life & Legacy
He married Lesley Scott in 1977, with whom he has three children; Craig, Gavin and Gemma. Both his sons are prominent footballers.
This famous former footballer and coach captained Scotland five times. On January 15, 2013, he was appointed as the manager of the Scotland National Football Team.