Ian Greaves

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Ian Greaves
Personal information
Full nameIan Denzil Greaves
Date of birth(1932-05-26)26 May 1932
Place of birth Crompton, Lancashire, England
Date of death 2 January 2009(2009-01-02) (aged 76)
Place of death Ainsworth, Bury, Greater Manchester, England
Position(s) Full-back
Senior career*
1953–1960 Manchester United 67 (0)
1960–1961 Lincoln City 11 (0)
1961–1963 Oldham Athletic 22 (0)
Teams managed
1968–1974 Huddersfield Town
1974–1980 Bolton Wanderers
1980–1982 Oxford United
1982 Wolverhampton Wanderers
1983–1989 Mansfield Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
Greaves (back row, third from left) in a Manchester United team photo in 1957 Manchester United FC 1957.jpg
Greaves (back row, third from left) in a Manchester United team photo in 1957

Ian Denzil Greaves (26 May 1932 – 2 January 2009) was an English football player and manager. He was born in Crompton, Lancashire. [1] [2] He won a League Championship medal and an FA Cup runners-up medal while playing full-back for Manchester United between 1953 and 1960. [3] He was not with the United team when eight of their players died in the Munich air disaster on 6 February 1958, as he was ruled out by injury. [4] He was the first player to occupy the left-back position at United after the death of captain Roger Byrne at Munich. [5]


After leaving United in 1960, he later played for Lincoln City and Oldham Athletic.

Managerial career

He took over the reins at Huddersfield Town in 1968 [6] and led them to the Football League Second Division championship in 1969–1970.

After leaving Huddersfield in the summer of 1974 he joined Bolton Wanderers as assistant to Jimmy Armfield and when Armfield took over the vacant manager's position at Leeds United he was promoted to the top job, taking over a squad that included Sam Allardyce and Peter Reid. In his time there he again won promotion to the top division and also reached the League Cup semi-final while the club were still in the second division. Unfortunately, Bolton's First Division performance was disappointing and Greaves was sacked on 28 January 1980.

An 18-month spell at Oxford United followed, before he took charge of First Division Wolverhampton Wanderers in February 1982. However, the team were in the relegation zone at the time of his appointment and he was unable to prevent the drop, winning just five of his 20 games. Bankruptcy struck in the summer and saw a new regime eventually take control who opted to replace Greaves with Graham Hawkins. [7]

Greaves' final managerial job was in the lower leagues at Mansfield Town where he spent six years, guiding the Stags to promotion in 1985–86, and winning the Associate Members' Cup at Wembley in 1987. They were still secure in the Third Division when he departed on 6 February 1989. [8]

He died in Ainsworth, Greater Manchester, on 2 January 2009, aged 76. [9]

Managerial statistics

All competitive league games (league and domestic cup) and international matches (including friendlies) are included. [6]

As of 2 May 2015
Huddersfield Town Flag of England.svg 1968–19742818988104031.67
Bolton Wanderers Flag of England.svg 1974–19802561007383039.06
Oxford United Flag of England.svg 1980–198260261618043.33
Wolverhampton Wanderers Flag of England.svg 1982215610023.81
Mansfield Town Flag of England.svg 1983–198931110199111032.48
Career total929321282326034.55

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  1. Bugby, Tony (5 January 2009). "Rivals unite in grief for popular Greaves". oldham-chronicle.co.uk. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  2. Marsden, Carl (7 January 2009). "Death of a Legend". oldhamadvertiser.co.uk. Archived from the original on 1 February 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  3. Ian Greaves's playing career, Soccerbase. Soccerbase.com.
  4. Howland, Andy and Roger (2001) Oxford United: the Headington Years. Perfitt-Bayliss, Marlow. ISBN   0-9541797-0-6
  5. Manchester Mourns. Thebusbybabes.com.
  6. 1 2 Ian Greaves's managerial career, Soccerbase. Soccerbase.com.
  7. "Ian Greaves Dies at 76". wolvesheroes.com. 3 January 2009. Retrieved 3 January 2009.
  8. Mansfield FC Club Details | First Team Squad. Soccer Base (8 February 2012).
  9. "Ex-Mansfield Town managerial legend Ian Greaves dies". Mansfield Chad. 2 January 2009. Retrieved 3 January 2009.