Gary Simpson (footballer, born 1961)

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Gary Simpson
Personal information
Date of birth (1961-04-11) 11 April 1961 (age 60)
Place of birth Sheffield, England
Position(s) Midfielder
Senior career*
1980 Stoke City 0 (0)
1980–1985 Boston United 160 (8)
1985–1986 Stafford Rangers 30 (3)
1986–1987 Weymouth 14 (3)
1986–1988 Stafford Rangers 66 (5)
1988–1990 Boston United 33 (1)
1989–1991 Altrincham 25 (0)
1991–1993 Gainsborough Trinity
1993–1996 Arnold Town 50 (3)
1994–1995 Hyde United 3 (0)
National team
1986–1990 England C 9
Teams managed
1991–1993 Gainsborough Trinity (Player/Manager)
2003–2004 Lincoln City (Caretaker manager)
2010–2012 Macclesfield Town
2013–2014 Lincoln City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Gary Simpson (born 11 April 1961) is an English football manager and former player.


As a player, he was a midfielder. He played for Boston United and Altrincham amongst other clubs. He acted as a coach and assistant to Keith Alexander at a number of Football League clubs, and upon Alexander's death in March 2010 he replaced him as manager at Macclesfield Town until March 2012. He has also had spells as manager of Gainsborough Trinity and Lincoln City, and as assistant manager of Barrow.

Playing career

Simpson started his career with Stoke City, making more than 100 reserve team appearances, before joining Boston United in the summer of 1980. He remained with the club for five seasons, skippering the club in the 1985 FA Trophy final, before leaving to join Stafford Rangers, Weymouth and Altrincham.

Simpson moved on to his first managerial role becoming Player/Manager at Gainsborough Trinity, winning the club's first ever Manager of the Month award in March 1993. [1] Having been in charge at The Northolme for three years, following a 3–1 home defeat to Whitby Town on 9 October 1993 Simpson resigned from his role with Leighton James succeeding him in Trinity's hotseat. He quickly signed as a player for Arnold Townoperating under the stewardship of his one-time Boston United manager Ray O'Brien. [2] He became something of a cult-figure with the club, helping them secure the Northern Counties East League Division One Title for 1993–1994 [3] before joining Hyde United in September 1994. He debuted in the 2–1 Northern Premier League away defeat to Boston United on 14 September [4] and spent a month with the club before leaving. He returned to Arnold Town at the start of the 1995 season before leaving in March 1996 to become Assistant Manager at Ilkeston Town. [5]

He won nine England semi-professional international caps and also captained the Middlesex Wanderers touring side, playing games in Indonesia, Holland and Hungary.

Coaching career

Having first met Keith Alexander whilst both were players at Boston United, [6] Simpson acted as Alexander's assistant manager at Ilkeston Town, Northwich Victoria, Lincoln City, Peterborough United and Macclesfield Town whilst also acting as a scout and coach during Alexander's spell as Director of Football at Bury.

Lincoln City

Between November 2003 and March 2004, he was caretaker manager with the club for 11 Football League games in the absence of Keith Alexander, winning five, drawing four and losing just two. [7]

On 2 January 2006, Lincoln placed both Alexander and Simpson on gardening leave with John Schofield being given the responsibilities of pro-football. [8] A board meeting three days later saw Alexander return to the manager's seat but Simpson leave the club by mutual consent for footballing reasons. [9]


Keith Alexander was appointed Director of Football at Bury in May 2007 with Chris Casper remaining in the managerial chair. On 3 July 2007 Simpson rejoined Alexander at Gigg Lane joining the club as a coach with responsibility for the reserve side and scouting. [10]

Macclesfield Town

When Keith Alexander died on 3 March 2010, Simpson, who by now was Assistant Manager at Macclesfield Town, took over as caretaker manager. On 13 April 2010, Simpson was appointed permanent manager, signing a two-year deal to the end of the 2010–11 season, after having won 18 points from a possible 30. [11] This was extended in April 2011 by a further year to the end of the 2012–13 season. However, he was asked to stand down by chairman Mike Rance on 18 March 2012 following a run of 16 consecutive games without victory, with the club finding themselves out of the relegation places in League Two only by way of goal difference. [12]

During his time as manager of Macclesfield Town, Simpson always wore yellow socks during matches as a tribute to Keith Alexander. Following the death of Richard Butcher, he wore the number 21 during matches as a tribute to his friend; 21 was Butcher's squad number and was retired by Macclesfield Town in his honour. [13]

Return to Lincoln City

On 27 February 2013, Simpson was appointed manager of Lincoln City following the departure of David Holdsworth. [14] Prior to his first game in charge, Simpson re-signed former City defender Nat Brown from former club Macclesfield, and the following day he oversaw City's 1–1 draw away at Woking which left Lincoln in 18th place in the Conference two points above the relegation zone. [15]

On 3 November 2014, Simpson was placed on gardening leave while a review of his position of manager was carried out. He was then sacked and replaced by Chris Moyses.


On 9 February 2016, Simpson was appointed as assistant manager of Barrow, but left them in 2017. [16]

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Founded in 1884, Lincoln City F.C. won the Midland League in 1889–90, their first full season playing league football. They moved on from the Football Alliance to become founder members of the Football League Second Division in 1892, remaining there until they failed re-election in 1908. They won immediate re-election after winning the next year's Midland League, and would repeat this feat after failing re-election again in 1911 and 1920. Founder members of the Football League Third Division North in 1921, they won promotion as champions in 1931–32, but were relegated two seasons later. Crowned Third Division North champions again in 1947–48, they were relegated the next year, but would remain in the second tier for nine seasons after again winning the Third Division North title in 1951–52. Two successive relegations left them in the Fourth Division by 1962, where they would remain until Graham Taylor's title winning campaign of 1975–76.


  1. Tony Williams, Team Talk Magazine, Number 24, pp.35, July 1993.
  2. Tony Williams, Team Talk Magazine, Number 29, pp. 72–73, December 1993.
  3. Tony Williams, Team Talk Magazine, Number 37, pp. 10–11, August 1994.
  4. "Player statistics: Gary Simpson". Hyde United F.C. Official Website. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  5. The All New Arnold Who, The Eagles A-Z
  6. "Gary Simpson on loss of a friend". Macclesfield Town F.C. Official Website. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  7. "The Managers". Lincoln City F.C. Official Archive. Archived from the original on 15 February 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  8. "LCFC Press Release". Lincoln City F.C. Official Website. 2 January 2006. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  9. "LCFC Press Statement". Lincoln City F.C. Official Website. 5 January 2006. Archived from the original on 7 March 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  10. "Gary Simpson joins". Bury F.C. Official Website. 3 July 2007. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  11. "Simmo appointed Silkmen boss". MTFC Official Site. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
  12. "Gary Simpson". MTFC Official Site. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  13. "Bolton lucky to avoid FA Cup upset". FOX Sports. 7 January 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  14. "Simpson appointed Lincoln manager". BBC Sport.
  15. "Woking 1-1 Lincoln City". BBC Sport.
  16. "AFC turn down offer for Anderton". 15 June 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2020.