Keith Curle

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Keith Curle
Keith Curle 19-09-2015 1.jpg
Curle as manager of Carlisle United in 2015
Personal information
Full name Keith Curle [1]
Date of birth (1963-11-14) 14 November 1963 (age 57) [1]
Place of birth Bristol, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) [2]
Position(s) Centre back [1]
Senior career*
1981–1983 Bristol Rovers 32 (4)
1983–1984 Torquay United 16 (5)
1984–1987 Bristol City 121 (1)
1987–1988 Reading 40 (0)
1988–1991 Wimbledon 93 (3)
1991–1996 Manchester City 174 (11)
1996–2000 Wolverhampton Wanderers 150 (10)
2000–2002 Sheffield United 57 (1)
2002 Barnsley 11 (0)
2002–2005 Mansfield Town 14 (0)
National team
1991–1992 England B 4 (0)
1992 England 3 (0)
Teams managed
2002–2004 Mansfield Town (player-manager)
2005–2006 Chester City
2007 Torquay United
2012–2013 Notts County
2014–2018 Carlisle United
2018–2021 Northampton Town
2021– Oldham Athletic
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Keith Curle (born 14 November 1963) is an English professional football manager for League Two side Oldham Athletic.


He played as a centre back from 1981 to 2005, notably in the Premier League for Manchester City, where he was also the club captain. He also played for Bristol Rovers, Torquay United, Bristol City, Reading, Wimbledon, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sheffield United, Barnsley. He became player-manager of Mansfield Town in 2002, where he remained until 2005. He later managed Chester City, Torquay United, Notts County and Carlisle United.

Playing career

Born in Bristol, [1] Curle began his career at hometown club Bristol Rovers, for whom he made a goalscoring debut on 29 August 1981 in the (old) Third Division against Chester. He left two seasons later to join Torquay United for £5,000 but remained at Plainmoor only for four months before returning to his native city, this time with Bristol City.

The Robins won promotion from the fourth tier at the end of the 1983/84 season soon after Curle's arrival. He remained with the club for three full seasons in the third flight, amassing 128 appearances in total. He finally left Ashton Gate to join Reading for £150,000 in October 1987.

After a year at Reading – which saw relegation from the Second Division  – he made a £500,000 move to Division One and FA Cup holders Wimbledon. He spent two and a half years battling with the Crazy Gang before Manchester City paid a club record £2.5million for him in August 1991. This was the joint highest fee paid for a defender by a British club at the time, and one of the highest paid for a player of any position.

His first season at Maine Road saw a 5th place league finish and earned him a call-up to the England squad, debuting on 29 April 1992 as a substitute in a 2–2 friendly draw against the CIS in Moscow. After starting in a further warm-up game (a 1–0 win over Hungary), he was selected for the squad for Euro '92. Here, he covered at right-back in their opening goalless group game against Denmark, but played no further part as the nation crashed out at the first stage and was not selected again.

Back with his club, Curle was promoted to club captain but they were unable to match their 5th-place finish after manager Peter Reid was fired and eventually suffered relegation in the 1995/96 season. Curle remained with the club during pre-season for the following campaign but was soon stripped of his captaincy and transfer-listed before being sold to Wolves in August 1996 for £650,000.

He spent four seasons at Molineux as the club tried to win promotion to the Premier League. His first season with the team saw them lose in the play-offs to Crystal Palace, but they failed to qualify for them in his subsequent seasons. He was however made club captain and led to the side to an FA Cup semi-final in 1998, where they lost to eventual double winners Arsenal.

The promise of a coaching role saw him move to Sheffield United in 2000 and he spent two years working with manager Neil Warnock in this capacity, scoring once as a player against Bradford City. [3] He joined Barnsley in 2002 but stayed just two months before ending his contract by mutual consent and joining third flight club Mansfield Town, where he was soon appointed player-manager. He played through the remainder of the 2002–03 season before focusing solely on management.

Managerial career

Curle (right) in 2008 Neil Warnock & Keith Curle.jpg
Curle (right) in 2008

Curle began his management career on 3 December 2002 after being appointed as player-manager of Mansfield Town, after the dismissal of Stuart Watkiss. [4] He took over with the team struggling in the relegation zone and could not prevent the drop to the fourth tier, but took them to the play-off final in his first full season in charge, where they lost on penalties to Huddersfield Town.

He was controversially sacked in December 2004 after allegations that he bullied a youth-team player. However, in August 2006, Curle won a case for wrongful dismissal against the club and was awarded undisclosed damages. The judge in the case cleared Curle of any wrongdoing, and described Mansfield's disciplinary process as a "sham". [5]

Despite the outcome of his hearing not yet being clear, he was appointed as manager of Chester City in May 2005 and began brightly with the club challenging for promotion from League Two and eliminating Nottingham Forest from the FA Cup. However, a disastrous losing run of 11 games in 12 cost Curle his job in February 2006 after just nine months in charge.

On 8 February 2007, he was appointed head coach (effectively manager under Director of Football Colin Lee, his former manager at Wolves) at Torquay United, where he had played earlier in his career. [6] He was on a short-term contract that ended in the summer of 2007. After failing to save Torquay from relegation, Curle's contract was not renewed and he was replaced by Leroy Rosenior on 17 May 2007. [7]

Curle reunited with Neil Warnock, when the latter was appointed manager of Championship side Crystal Palace in October 2007 and immediately brought Curle into his coaching team. [8] Curle followed Warnock across London to Queens Park Rangers on 1 March 2010, again as coach. On 8 January 2012, he was sacked by the club with manager Warnock and assistant manager Mick Jones

On 20 February 2012, he was named as manager of Notts County. [9] Curle made an impressive start to his reign at Notts County winning his first four games. He finished the 2011–12 season with Notts in 7th place, only missing out on the play-offs by goal difference. Curle's team made a good start to the 2012–13 season. A 2–2 draw with Oldham Athletic meant Curle equaled a 41-year record by going unbeaten away from home in the league in 10 consecutive games for the first time since 1971. The record was broken three days later when Notts County drew 1–1 with MK Dons. [10] The run finally came to end on 27 January 2013 when Notts County were beaten 2–1 by Leyton Orient. Before that the team had gone 22 consecutive away games without defeat. [11]

On 3 February 2013, Curle was sacked by Notts County. [12]

In September 2014, he was appointed as manager of Carlisle United, where he remained until the end of the 2017–18 season. [13] [14]

On 1 October 2018, Curle was appointed manager at Northampton Town. [15]

On 29 June 2020, Northampton Town won the League Two Play-Off Final under Curle, gaining him his first promotion with a club in the EFL as the Cobblers beat Exeter 4–0 at Wembley.

On 10 February 2021, Curle was sacked by Northampton Town with the club occupying 23rd place in League One, having endured a run of one win in 10 matches, and 1 goal scored in 2021. [16]

On 8 March 2021 Curle was appointed boss of League Two side Oldham Athletic following the sacking of Harry Kewell the day before. [17]

Managerial statistics

As of match played 8 May 2021
Managerial record by team and tenure
Mansfield Town 3 December 200211 November 2004104392342037.5 [18]
Chester City 2 May 200518 February 200639121017030.8 [18] [19]
Torquay United 8 February 200717 May 200715249013.3 [18]
Notts County 20 February 20123 February 201351231414045.1 [9] [12] [20]
Carlisle United 19 September 20145 May 2018207796266038.2 [18] [21]
Northampton Town 1 October 201810 February 2021125473246037.6 [18]
Oldham Athletic 8 March 2021Present14437028.6 [18]

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  2. Dunk, Peter, ed. (1987). Rothmans Football Yearbook 1987–88. London: Queen Anne Press. p.  90. ISBN   978-0-356-14354-5.
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  5. "Curle wins 'undisclosed' damages". BBC News. 4 August 2006. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
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  7. "Rosenior unveiled as Torquay boss". BBC Sport. 17 May 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  8. "Warnock appointed new Palace boss". BBC Sport. 11 October 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  9. 1 2 "Keith Curle appointed new Notts County manager". BBC Sport. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
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  11. "Leyton Orient 2 Notts County 1". BBC Sport. 26 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  12. 1 2 "Keith Curle: Notts County sack manager after Hartlepool defeat". BBC Sport. 3 February 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  13. "Keith Curle: Carlisle name ex-England defender as manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  14. "John Sheridan: Carlisle United appoint new manager". BBC Sport . 5 June 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  15. "Keith Curle: Northampton Town appoint former Carlisle United manager". BBC Sport. 1 October 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  16. "BREAKING: Cobblers sack manager Keith Curle after dreadful run". James Heneghan. Northampton Chronicle. 10 February 2021.
  17. "Keith Curle appointed as New Head Coach". Oldham Athletic. 8 March 2021.
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Managers: Keith Curle". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  19. Jordan, Simon (19 February 2006). "Someone tell Uefa racism is not an English disease". The Observer. London. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  20. "Notts Co: Results: 2011/12". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 May 2019. Individual seasons accessed via drop-down list.
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