Les Chapman

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Les Chapman
Personal information
Full nameLeslie Chapman [1]
Date of birth (1948-09-27) 27 September 1948 (age 72) [1]
Place of birth Oldham, [1] England
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m) [2]
Position(s) Midfielder
Senior career*
1966–1969 Oldham Athletic 76 (9)
1969–1974 Huddersfield Town 134 (8)
1974–1978 Oldham Athletic 187 (11)
1978 San Jose Earthquakes 20 (0)
1979 Stockport County 32 (1)
1979–1982 Bradford City 139 (3)
1983–1984 Rochdale 88 (0)
1985 Stockport County 38 (3)
1986–1987 Preston North End 53 (1)
Teams managed
1985–1986 Stockport County
1990–1992 Preston North End
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Leslie Chapman (born 27 September 1948), commonly known as Les and sometimes as Chappy, is an English former football player and manager. As a player, he made 747 appearances in the Football League in a career that spanned 22 seasons, playing for Oldham Athletic (two spells), Huddersfield Town, Stockport County (two spells), Bradford City, Rochdale and Preston North End, [3] and also spent a season in the North American Soccer League with the San Jose Earthquakes. [4] As a manager, he took charge of Stockport County and Preston North End. [5] After his spell in club management he became a long-standing kit manager for Manchester City before moving to his current role as a presenter and content producer for the club's media department. He also had a brief cameo in the song "Parklife" by Blur. [6]


Playing career

Early years

Chapman was born in Oldham, Lancashire, growing up in nearby Royton, and as a youngster played for Chadderton Boys before going on to play for Huddersfield Town's youth team during his schooldays. He spent the first months of his working life as a trainee accountant with Middleton Council before being recommended to Oldham Athletic, where he signed as a professional. [7] He made his first-team debut as an 18-year-old against Bristol Rovers in February 1967, but went back to Huddersfield Town in September 1969.[ citation needed ]

Back at Oldham

In December 1974, he returned to Oldham Athletic, now in Division Two. He stayed at the club for the next four and a half years, during which they climbed back up to the Second Division. Chapman missed only five games during that time and it came as a surprise to many when he left at the end of the 1978–79 season. In total, he made 263 league appearances for Oldham Athletic and scored 20 times.

Later years

Upon leaving Oldham, Chapman spent the summer of 1979 playing in the North American Soccer League for San Jose Earthquakes before returning to England and to Stockport County. After one season at Edgeley Park, Chapman left to sign for Bradford City. He spent four seasons at Valley Parade making 139 league appearances, before leaving on a free transfer for Rochdale where he spent two seasons, playing nearly 100 games for the Spotland side. His career at Preston saw him a regular in the team during their successful promotion season of 1988, and he scored the winning goal in an away match at Leyton Orient that confirmed their promotion. For that reason he is still fondly remembered by PNE supporters. A fanzine "53 miles West of Venus" was published for several years afterwards following Chapmans immediate comments about how he felt after the game.

Management career

In July 1985 he became player-manager of Stockport County but moved on a year later to become player-coach under John McGrath at Preston North End. In 1990, he took over the managership of the club himself but was later sacked in October 1992. [7] He became reserve team coach at Manchester City in January 1993 but was replaced by Kevin Bond in July 1996. [8] Then in 1996 he became youth coach at Huddersfield Town in place of Mark Lillis but was sacked in October 1997.[ citation needed ] He then became Manchester City's kit man, [7] a position he held for 17 years before moving into semi-retirement with a job in the club's media department, capitalising on his popularity with the fans to help to produce video content. [6]

Personal life

Chapman's daughter, Tiffany, is an actress perhaps best known for playing Rachel Jordache in the British soap opera Brookside . [9]

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  1. 1 2 3 "Les Chapman". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  2. Dunk, Peter, ed. (1987). Rothmans Football Yearbook 1987–88. London: Queen Anne Press. p.  298. ISBN   978-0-356-14354-5.
  3. "Les Chapman". UK A–Z Transfers. Neil Brown. Retrieved 14 April 2020.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. "North American Soccer League Players Graham Bell". NASL Jerseys. Dave Morrison. Retrieved 11 February 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. "Les Chapman's managerial career". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 February 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. 1 2 "Chappy signs up". mcfc.co.uk. 2 July 2014. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2015.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. 1 2 3 "The One And Only Interviews: Les Chapman". Preston North End F.C. 12 November 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. Nixon, Alan (9 July 1996). "Ball calls on Bond" (reprint). Daily Mirror. Farlex. Retrieved 11 February 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. Moss, Adam (8 February 2007). "Tiffany's home comforts". City Life. MEN Media. Retrieved 11 February 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)