Ipswich Town’s assistant managers through the years – the men Chris Doig is following in the footsteps of
- Credit: Archant
Chris Doig is the latest man to take on the assistant manager’s role at Ipswich Town. ANDY WARREN looks at some of the Blues’ memorable deputies
Bobby Robson’s right-hand man played a vital role in developing a core of young players, including Terry Butcher and George Burley, who went on to play a major part in the most successful era in Ipswich Town’s history.
He was promoted to work with the first-team following the FA Cup win in 1978 and assisted Robson during the Blues’ victorious UEFA Cup run in 1981.
He took over the top job following Robson’s departure in 1982 and left in 1987, becoming the first Ipswich manager to be sacked after he failed to lead the club back into the First Division.
Ferguson died on March 28, with the club holding a minute’s applause and wearing black armbands for the draw with Millwall on April 2.
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Woods played for the Blues in the 1960s and returned as a youth coach in 1973 after an intense recruitment bid from Bobby Robson.
He moved up to become a reserve coach under Robson before becoming first team coach in the wake of his departure, then taking on assistant duties under John Duncan as the Blues tried and failed to win promotion back to the top flight.
John Lyall brought in former West Ham and Chelsea coach Mick McGiven as his second in command in 1990, with the pair combining well as Ipswich won the old Second Division title in 1991/92.
Lyall later moved into a director of football role at Portman Road, leaving McGiven in charge of first-team duties, before the pair departed in 1994 as the Blues tumbled towards relegation.
George Burley had the likes of Bryan Hamilton, John Gorman, Stewart Houston and Tony Mowbray on his coaching staffs during his Ipswich reign, but his closest and most loyal assistant was undoubtedly Dale Roberts,
His close friend returned to Ipswich in 1995 having come through the club’s youth set-up, working alongside Burley as the Blues won promotion to the Premier League and finished fifth in the top flight in 2000/01.
He played a huge part in the developing the likes of Darren Bent and Darren Ambrose before sadly losing his battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“His honesty, loyalty and integrity were respected by everyone,” Burley said following his friend’s death.
“In the past year he has shown incredible bravery with magnificent support from his family.”
Joe Royle always used to say of loyal assistant Willie Donachie: “He’s not my No 2, he’s my No 1.”
The pair worked together at Oldham, Everton and Manchester City before they made the move to Portman Road in 2002, where they battled to try and take the Blues back into the Premier League despite being under heavy financial restraints in the aftermath of administration.
He later went on to manage Millwall, guiding the Lions away from relegation in 2007, before being fired the following season with his side struggling in League One. He then managed the Antigua and Barbuda national team before spells with Newcastle’s academy and Hartlepool.
Magilton was initially assisted by Bryan Klug after replacing Royle in the summer of 2006, with the Ipswich stalwart holding various roles with the club during an association which now spans four decades.
He stood down from his role with the first-team in 2008 before departing for Tottenham in 2010, but is now firmly back at the club and leads the Blues’ mission to develop young players.
Gorman returned for a second spell in 2008 and assisted Magilton until his sacking the following April, before acting as Karl Robinson’s No.2 at MK Dons prior to his retirement in the summer of 2012.
Roy Keane’s friendship with Tony Loughlan goes back to their days as young players at Nottingham Forest.
“He is someone I trust and I have great faith in him… he’s the one person I’ve kept in touch with over 20 years,” Keane once said of his fellow Irishman. The pair regularly arrived at work together for gym sessions prior to training, with Keane trusting his No.2 implicitly.
Loughlan assisted Keane at both Sunderland and Ipswich but, after Keane’s sacking in 2011, he headed to Watford before following Sean Dyche to Burnley where he still works.
Following his departure in 2012, Paul Jewell insisted he would like to see long-time assistant Chris Hutchings take on the top job at Portman Road himself.
Having also been caretaker manager following Jewell’s exits from Bradford, Wigan and Derby, Hutchings did so again in Suffolk but lost his one and only game 3-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
“I’ve enjoying working for this fantastic football club over the last 20 months,” he said as he exited ahead of the appointment of Mick McCarthy. “I’d like to wish the owner, the players and all the staff the very best of fortunes for the future.”
Connor was the man left behind when Mick McCarthy was sacked by Wolves in 2012, but never seemed fully comfortable in the caretaker’s role at Molineux. ‘TC’ was back by McCarthy’s side in Suffolk soon enough, though, and was regularly praised by the former Ipswich manager and players alike for his attention to detail on the training ground and, most notably, for the work he did in helping Daryl Murphy become the Championship’s 27-goal leading scorer in 2014/15.
The pair departed Portman Road after five-and-a-half years in April, with McCarthy likely to call on Connor again when he returns to management.