Graham Rix

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Graham Rix
Personal information
Full nameGraham Cyril Rix [1]
Date of birth (1957-10-23) 23 October 1957 (age 63) [1]
Place of birth Doncaster, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) [2]
Position(s) Midfielder
Youth career
1974–1975 Arsenal
Senior career*
1975–1988 Arsenal 351 (41)
1987–1988Brentford (loan) 6 (0)
1988–1991 Caen 89 (9)
1991–1992 Le Havre 12 (0)
1992–1993 Dundee 14 (2)
1995 Chelsea 1 (0)
National team
1977–1980 England U21 7 (0)
1980–1984 England 17 (0)
Teams managed
2000 Chelsea (caretaker)
2001–2002 Portsmouth
2004 Oxford United
2005–2006 Heart of Midlothian
2012 Central
2013–2017 AFC Portchester
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Graham Cyril Rix (born 23 October 1957) is an English former professional footballer player who later became a manager.


Playing career



Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, Rix joined Arsenal as an apprentice in 1974 and turned professional the year after. He made his debut for the club against Leicester City on 2 April 1977, and marked it by scoring the opening goal. Rix immediately became a regular on the left wing, replacing George Armstrong. Together with Liam Brady, he formed part of an impressive attacking midfield, which helped Arsenal to three successive cup finals between 1978 and 1980. Arsenal only won one of these, in 1979 against Manchester United; the final score was 3–2, with Rix crossing for Alan Sunderland's last-minute winner, just seconds after United had equalised to level the score 2–2. [3] [4]

Arsenal reached the Cup Winners' Cup final the following season, against Valencia; the match finished 0–0 after extra time – a penalty shootout ensued, but Rix missed his kick and Arsenal lost. After the departure of Liam Brady to Juventus that summer, many believed Rix would also leave but he stayed at the club, and became captain in 1983. Arsenal's form slumped in the early 1980s, though, meaning Rix was unable to claim any silverware as skipper. Arsenal won the 1986-87 League Cup; Rix was not part of the squad for the final against Liverpool but he contributed three appearances en route. [5] [3] [4]

A series of injuries to his achilles tendon kept Rix out of the team in the mid-1980s, and he lost his starting place in the side to Martin Hayes. Rix spent a spell on loan at Brentford, before being released in 1988. In all, he played 464 times for the Gunners, scoring 51 goals. [6] [3] [4]

After Arsenal

After leaving the London club, Rix was the subject of offers from Sheffield Wednesday as well as Queens Park Rangers, but he instead signed for French club Caen, where he would spend three years before transferring to Le Havre, and then played in Scotland for Dundee before announcing his retirement as a player in 1993. [7] [6]


Between 1980 and 1984, Rix played for the England national team, including making five appearances at the 1982 World Cup. He was capped 17 times, but failed to score. His first appearance came on 10 September 1980 in a 4–0 win over Norway, his last in a 1–0 win over Northern Ireland on 4 April 1984. [8]

Coaching career


Rix joined Chelsea as youth team coach in mid-1993. During an injury crisis, he briefly enlisted as a player for the club, playing a solitary Premier League match in May 1995 against his old side Arsenal. Rix became assistant manager in 1996 under new Blues boss Ruud Gullit, and continued in the same role under Gullit's successor Gianluca Vialli, winning the FA Cup in 1997, and the League Cup and Cup Winners' Cup in 1998. He won the FA Cup again in 2000, before leaving the club, after a brief spell as caretaker manager following Vialli's sacking by Ken Bates. [9]

Portsmouth and Oxford

Rix managed Portsmouth between 2001 and 2002, where his enthusiastic style of management started well, but tapered off in the middle of the 2001–02 season. A string of poor results, including a 4–1 home loss in the FA Cup to bottom of the Football League Leyton Orient, [10] meant that Director of Football Harry Redknapp was given more responsibilities until he eventually replaced Rix as team manager toward the end of the season. Rix then managed Oxford United for seven months in 2004. Their form declined sharply during the last three months of the 2003–04 Division Three campaign: they fell from the automatic promotion places to ninth in the final table, failing to achieve a playoff place. He was sacked after their poor form continued into 2004–05, where he led the club nearer to the relegation zone than to the play-offs.


In November 2005, after speculation linking him with the manager's job at Scottish Premier League club Heart of Midlothian, it was confirmed that Rix would take over at Tynecastle. He officially took the position of head coach on 8 November 2005. [11] Events reported in February 2006, by Scottish newspapers, suggested that Rix was unhappy with Vladimir Romanov's "hands on" approach and speculation increased that Romanov was involved in team selection. On 22 March 2006 Rix was sacked as manager after just four months in charge, with the club citing poor results as the reason. [12]

Central FC

On 13 August 2012, Rix was named the first manager of Central FC, [13] which was a newly formed club founded by former Trinidad and Tobago international football player Brent Sancho, that competed in the TT Pro League. [14] Rix recorded his first league win with Central FC on 19 October 2012 with a 1–0 win over Police. [15] Rix and Central FC parted ways through mutual consent on 21 December 2012. [16]

AFC Portchester

In February 2013, he was appointed head coach of AFC Portchester. [17] He left the club in August 2017. [18]





AFC Porchester [20] [21]

Personal life

Rix has a daughter from his first marriage with Gill. After getting divorced, he married his second wife, Linda. [22] In April 2017, Rix suffered a heart attack. [23]

Underage sex conviction and racism allegations

In March 1999, Rix was sentenced to 12 months in prison, of which he served six, for having underage sex with a 15-year-old girl. [24] He was placed on the sex offender registry for 10 years and banned by the FA from working with youth players under the age of 16. In 2013 he told The Independent that he thought she was of legal age. [25] [26] On his release from prison, he immediately returned to his old job. He subsequently claimed that there were "mitigating circumstances" in the case, saying "I know the true story that I've never ever said". [26]

In 2018, Rix, along with assistant manager Gwyn Williams, was accused of racism and physical assault by multiple Chelsea trainees who were of school-age at the time. Both denied the allegations. After a seven-month investigation, the police decided there was insufficient evidence to take any action. [27]

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  1. 1 2 "Graham Rix". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  2. Dunk, Peter, ed. (1987). Rothmans Football Yearbook 1987–88. London: Queen Anne Press. p.  46. ISBN   978-0-356-14354-5.
  3. 1 2 3 "Graham Rix: Feature".
  4. 1 2 3 "Graham Rix".
  5. "Arsenal Stats". Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  6. 1 2 "Brits abroad - Graham Rix". Sky
  7. "My own goal – Graham Rix". The Independent. London. 26 February 1995.
  8. "Graham Rix: England Profile". England Archived from the original on 19 August 2012.
  9. "Graham Rix on his career with Chelsea, Arsenal and England".
  10. "Orient crush Pompey". BBC. 5 January 2002. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  11. "Mercer slams 'hypocrites' over Rix appointment". Scotsman. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 5 October 2007.
  12. "Rix sacked as Hearts head coach" Archived 13 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine , BBC News, 23 March 2006
  13. "Central FC unveils head coach Graham Rix". Central FC Media. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  14. "Sancho Launches Central FC". 27 July 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  15. "Central edges Police for maiden Pro League win". Lasana Liburd ( 19 October 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  16. "Fenwick is back; ex-Jabloteh coach takes over at Central". Lasana Liburd ( 5 January 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  17. Jordan Cross (21 February 2013). "Portchester land former Pompey boss in shock move". The News. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  18. Former Pompey boss leaves Portchester The News, 10 August 2017
  19. "Graham Rix".
  20. "Honours". AFC
  21. "Former Pompey boss leaves Portchester".
  22. "Graham Rix With His Family". Getty
  23. Ex-Pompey boss suffers heart attack The News, 9 April 2017
  24. Chaudhary, Vivek (27 March 1999). "Top soccer coach jailed in sex case". The Guardian.
  25. Tongue, Steve (10 March 2013). "Graham Rix: 'No one will give me a job'". The Independent. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  26. 1 2 "Rix hints at 'true story', but judge in 1999 gave damning summation of behaviour". 10 November 2005.
  27. Taylor, Daniel (12 January 2018). "Graham Rix and Gwyn Williams accused of racism and bullying while at Chelsea". The Guardian.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
David O'Leary
Arsenal captain
Succeeded by
Kenny Sansom