Ian Porterfield

Last updated

Ian Porterfield
Porterfield in the 1973 Sunderland squad.
Personal information
Full nameJohn Porterfield [1]
Date of birth(1946-02-11)11 February 1946
Place of birth Dunfermline, Scotland
Date of death 11 September 2007(2007-09-11) (aged 61) [1]
Place of death Farnham, England
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Lochore Welfare
Senior career*
1964 Cowdenbeath (trial) 1 (0)
1964–1967 Raith Rovers 117 (17)
1967–1977 Sunderland 230 (17)
1976Reading (loan) 5 (0)
1977–1979 Sheffield Wednesday 106 (3)
Teams managed
1979–1981 Rotherham United
1981–1986 Sheffield United
1986–1988 Aberdeen
1989–1991 Reading
1991–1993 Chelsea
1993–1994 Zambia
1996–1997 Zimbabwe
1997 Oman
2000–2001 Trinidad and Tobago
2001–2002 Kumasi Asante Kotoko
2003–2006 Busan I'Park
2006–2007 Armenia
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

JohnPorterfield (11 February 1946 – 11 September 2007) was a Scottish professional footballer, and an experienced football coach who worked at both club and international level for almost 30 years. At the time of his death, he was the coach of the Armenian national team.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Armenia national football team mens national association football team representing Armenia

The Armenia national football team represents Armenia in association football and is controlled by the Football Federation of Armenia, the governing body for football in Armenia. After gaining independence from the Soviet Union, the team played its first international match on October 12, 1992. Armenia's home ground is the Republican Stadium in Yerevan. The national team has participated in the qualification of every major tournament from the UEFA Euro 1996 onwards, though they are yet to qualify for the knockout stage in either a UEFA European Football Championship or a FIFA World Cup. In what was the Armenian national squad's greatest success at present, the team came in third place in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying stage, with controversial officiating preventing them from achieving second place, and hence moving on to the play-off stage.


As a player, Porterfield scored the only goal of the 1973 FA Cup Final as Sunderland memorably overcame the odds to beat Leeds United. As a manager, he has the dubious honour of being the very first manager to be sacked in the FA Premier League era, when he was fired by Chelsea. He replaced Alex Ferguson as manager of Aberdeen in 1986.

1973 FA Cup Final

The 1973 FA Cup Final was the 92nd final of the FA Cup. It took place on 5 May 1973 at Wembley Stadium and was contested between Leeds United, the previous season's winners and one of the dominant teams in English football at the time, and Sunderland, then playing in the Second Division.

Sunderland A.F.C. Association football club

Sunderland Association Football Club is an English professional football club based in the city of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear. Sunderland play in League One, the third tier of English football. Since its formation in 1879, the club has won six top-flight titles, a total only bettered by five other clubs, and has finished runners-up five times. The club has also won the FA Cup twice and been runners-up twice, as well as winning the FA Community Shield in 1936 and being finalists the following year. Sunderland have also been Football League Cup finalists in 1985 and 2014.

Leeds United F.C. English association football club

Leeds United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The club was formed in 1919 following the disbanding of Leeds City F.C. by the Football League and took over their Elland Road stadium. They play in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system.

Playing career

The 1973 English FA Cup match ball with the Golden Boot awarded to Ian Porterfield, Sunderland AFC Bckup260815 011.JPG
The 1973 English FA Cup match ball with the Golden Boot awarded to Ian Porterfield, Sunderland AFC

At the age of 15, the Dunfermline-born Porterfield had a trial for Leeds United but returned, homesick, to Scotland where he joined Raith Rovers. Moving south of the border in 1967 he signed for Sunderland where he experienced his finest moment as a player when he scored the winner at Wembley in the 1973 FA Cup final, giving them a shock victory over Leeds United, who were among the finest club sides in Europe at that time. He stayed at Sunderland for ten years, with a brief loan spell at Reading in 1976, before moving on to Sheffield Wednesday in July 1977, first as a player and then as player-coach.

Dunfermline Town in Fife, Scotland

Dunfermline is a town and former Royal Burgh, and parish, in Fife, Scotland, on high ground 3 miles (5 km) from the northern shore of the Firth of Forth. The town currently has a recorded population of 50,380 in 2012, making it the most populous locality in Fife and the 11th most populous in Scotland.

Raith Rovers F.C. association football club

Raith Rovers Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in the town of Kirkcaldy, Fife. The club was founded in 1883 and currently competes in Scottish League One as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, having been relegated from the Scottish Championship following defeat in the Championship play-off semi-finals in 2017.

Wembley Stadium (1923) former stadium in London, England which opened in 1923

The original Wembley Stadium was a football stadium in Wembley Park, London, which stood on the same site now occupied by its successor, the new Wembley Stadium. The demolition in 2003 of its famous Twin Towers upset many people worldwide. Debris from the stadium was used to make the Northala Fields in Northolt, London.

He was inducted in to the Raith Rovers Hall of Fame in 2018. [2]

Coaching and management career

Upon retirement as a player he went on to manage Rotherham United winning the Third Division Championship before joining Sheffield United on 6 June 1981. He was given the task of getting the Blades, newly relegated to the Fourth Division back into the First Division in five seasons with a long-term contract exceeding that particular time-frame.

Rotherham United F.C. Association football club

Rotherham United Football Club, nicknamed The Millers, is a professional association football club based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. It competes in League One, the third tier of the English football league system, following its relegation from the Championship in the 2018–19 season.

The Football League Third Division was the third tier of the English football league system in 1920–21 and again from 1958 until 1992. With the formation of the FA Premier League the division become the fourth tier. In 2004 following the formation of the Football League Championship, the division league was renamed Football League Two.

Sheffield United F.C. Association football club

Sheffield United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The team compete in the Premier League, the highest tier of English football. The football club was formed in 1889 as an offshoot of Sheffield United Cricket Club, and are nicknamed The Blades due to Sheffield's history of steel production. The club have played their home games at Bramall Lane since their formation in 1889. Bramall Lane is an all-seater ground with a capacity of 32,609.

Given funds by new Chairman, Reg Brealey, Porterfield strengthened the team and achieved the first step of his mission at the first time of asking, winning the Fourth Division championship in his first season. Despite huge financial losses, Brearley continued to provide transfer funds for United's march toward the top division. However, United were never in the hunt for promotion, finishing 11th.

The following season, the playing staff was cut and promotion was achieved, but only due to Hull City only beating Burnley 2–0. A third goal would have seen the Humberside club promoted instead. However, ground improvement required by promotion to the Second Division meant there was no further funds for new players. Porterfield was unable to complete the final step into the First Division and finally paid the price being replaced by Billy McEwan on 27 March 1986.

Hull City A.F.C. Association football club

Hull City Association Football Club is a professional football club in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. Founded in 1904, the club plays in the Championship, the second tier of English football.

Burnley F.C. Association football club

Burnley Football Club is a professional association football club based in Burnley, Lancashire, England. Founded on 18 May 1882, the team originally played only friendly matches until they entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1885–86. The club currently plays in the Premier League, the first tier of English football. Nicknamed the Clarets, due to the dominant colour of their home shirts, they were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League in 1888. The club's emblem is based on the town's crest, with a Latin motto Pretiumque et Causa Laboris.

Humberside non-metropolitan and ceremonial county of England

Humberside was a non-metropolitan and ceremonial county in Northern England from 1 April 1974 until 1 April 1996. It was composed of land from either side of the Humber Estuary, created from portions of East Riding of Yorkshire, West Riding of Yorkshire, and the district of Lindsey, Lincolnshire. The county council's headquarters was County Hall at Beverley, inherited from the East Riding, and its largest settlement and only city was Kingston upon Hull. The county stretched from Wold Newton in its northern tip to a different Wold Newton at its most southern point.

In November 1986, he was appointed as manager of Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier Division following the departure of Alex Ferguson to Manchester United. In his 2 years at Pittodrie, Aberdeen reached the Scottish League Cup Final, and qualified for Europe twice. After resigning in 1988, he made a quick comeback to football as assistant manager to Bobby Campbell at Chelsea and oversaw their promotion back to the First Division and Second Division champions in 1988–89.

In October 1989, Porterfield was named manager of Third Division side Reading but was sacked 18 months later, having failed to mount a promotion challenge.

Porterfield returned to Chelsea as manager for the 1991–92 season, following Bobby Campbell's decision to resign as manager and become personal assistant to owner Ken Bates. 1991–92 was an uneventful season, but 1992–93 began with Chelsea looking like surprise contenders for the first Premier League title. However, the good form had gone by Christmas and Porterfield was dismissed on 15 February 1993, gaining the distinction of being the first manager to be sacked by a Premier League club.

Porterfield was named manager of the Zambia in the summer of 1993 and later managed Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe, all very much developing countries on the football map.

He was given the task of rebuilding the Zambian team following a tragic air crash in 1993 that claimed the lives of many of the nation's most gifted players. With the Zambia national team, he finished second at the 1994 African Nations Cup.

In January 1996, he returned to British football to become the assistant manager of struggling Premier League team Bolton Wanderers. The club had been rooted to the bottom of the table for the most part of the season and Bolton's new manager Colin Todd was looking to his former Sunderland teammate Porterfield to assist an unlikely escape from relegation, but survival was not achieved.

A drink-driving charge in May 1996 prompted his hasty resignation from Bolton and he returned abroad to manage both the Oman and Trinidad & Tobago national teams. He lead the latter to the Caribbean Cup in 2001 before leaving in June 2001. [3] [4]

In 2003, he was appointed as the manager of Korean club side Busan I'Park and he led them to a Korean FA Cup victory in 2004. The team went on to claim the K-League first stage title, as it simultaneously continued its unbeaten run through the group stage of the AFC Champions League.

Porterfield left Busan I'Park on 4 April 2006. He signed a contract to coach the Armenian national team in August 2006.


He died, aged 61, on 11 September 2007, [5] [6] as a result of colon cancer, which had been diagnosed earlier that year. A minute's silence was held before Sunderland's next home game, by coincidence against another of his former clubs, Reading. A pub named "The Porterfield" is named in his honour in Sunderland.


As a player


As a manager

Rotherham United

Sheffield United

Trinidad & Tobago

Busan I'Park

As an individual

Related Research Articles

Bob Stokoe English footballer and manager

Robert Stokoe was an English footballer and manager who was able, almost uniquely, to transcend the traditional north-east rivalry between the region's footballing giants, Newcastle United and Sunderland. As a player, he won an FA Cup winner's medal with Newcastle in 1955 and in 1973 was manager of Sunderland in their famous victory over Leeds United.

The 2005–06 season was the 126th season of competitive association football in England.

Marvin Andrews Trinidad and Tobago footballer

Marvin Andrews CM is a retired Trinidadian footballer who played as a centre back.

Neil Shaka Hislop CM is a retired footballer who played as a goalkeeper. The majority of his career was spent in the top division in England where he was a part of the Newcastle United team which finished second in the Premier League for two successive seasons under Kevin Keegan's first tenure. Before this, he played for Reading where he was on the losing side in the 1st Division play-offs despite finishing second overall. He later played for West Ham United on two separate occasions and also for Portsmouth.

The 1996–97 FA Premier League was the fifth season of the FA Premier League since its formation in 1992. The majority of the season was contested by the reigning champions, Manchester United, along with Newcastle United, Arsenal and Liverpool. The title was eventually won by Manchester United, after Liverpool and Newcastle's failure to win in their penultimate games of the season; at 75 points it is the lowest points total for a Premier League champion and lowest since the 3-1-0 points system was introduced in the 1981–82 season.

Jimmy Nicholl Northern Irish footballer and manager

James Michael Nicholl is a Canadian-born former Northern Ireland international footballer who played for several clubs, including Manchester United and Rangers. He was mainly a right-back but could also play in other defensive roles. Nicholl won a total of 73 international caps for Northern Ireland, scoring one goal.

1840s – 1850s – 1860s – 1870s – 1880s – 1890s – 1900s – 1910s – 1920s – 1930s – 1940s – 1950s – 1960s – 1970s – 1980s – 1990s – 2000s

Ian Leslie Atkins is an English football manager, chief scout, and former player. Atkins amassed over 300 appearances for Shrewsbury Town, the club where he began his career. He also made appearances in the Football League for Sunderland, Everton, Ipswich Town and Birmingham City.

Colin Cameron is a Scottish football player and manager.

The 1991–92 season was the 112th season of competitive football in England.

The 1980–81 season was the 101st season of competitive football in England.

The 1995–96 season was the 116th season of competitive football in England.

The 1998–99 season was the 119th season of competitive football in England.

The 1999–2000 season was the 120th season of competitive football in England.

Gordon Dalziel is a Scottish football player and manager. Dalziel spent most of his playing career with Raith Rovers, scoring 170 goals in 308 league appearances, and winning the 1994–95 Scottish League Cup. He also played for Rangers, Manchester City, Partick Thistle, East Stirlingshire and Ayr United. Dalziel has managed Ayr United, Raith Rovers and junior club Glenafton Athletic.

George Farm Scottish footballer and manager

George Neil Farm was a Scottish professional football goalkeeper and manager.

The 1990–91 season was the 92nd completed season of The Football League.

Jock Cameron (footballer) Footballer, Scottish football manager

John Cameron was a Scottish international footballer and football manager. He won two caps for Scotland in 1903 and 1904, and also represented a Scottish League XI three times.

Frank Connor is a Scottish former association football player and manager.

The Football Association Women's Super League is the highest league of women's football in England. It is run by the Football Association and began in April 2011. An initial eight teams competed in the inaugural 2011 edition, which replaced the FA Women's Premier League as the highest level of women's football in England.


  1. 1 2 "Ian Porterfield". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  2. "Ian Porterfield heads into Raith Rovers' Hall Of Fame". 1 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  3. 1 2 "Trinidad and Tobago v Haiti, 25 May 2001". 11 v 11. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  4. "ESPN.com Soccernet Global: News – Trinidad sack coach Porterfield". www.espnfc.com. ESPN FC. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  5. "IAN PORTERFIELD Footballer and manager (Obituary)". THE SCOTSMAN. 13 September 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  6. "Cup hero Ian Porterfield dies". The Telegraph. 12 September 2007. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  7. "Games played by Ian Porterfield in 1972/1973". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  8. 1 2 3 Glanville, Brian (12 September 2007). "Obituary: Ian Porterfield". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  9. "Ian Porterfield". 12 September 2007. ISSN   0307-1235 . Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  10. "Ian Porterfield heads into Raith Rovers' Hall Of Fame". www.fifetoday.co.uk. Retrieved 9 April 2019.