Stig Inge Bjørnebye

Last updated

Stig Inge Bjørnebye
Stig inge bjornebye.png
Bjørnebye in 2017
Personal information
Full nameStig Inge Bjørnebye [1]
Date of birth (1969-12-11) 11 December 1969 (age 51)
Place of birth Elverum, Norway
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Position(s) Left back
Youth career
1985–1987 Elverum
Senior career*
1987–1988 Strømmen 19 (0)
1989–1992 Kongsvinger 62 (3)
1992 Rosenborg 21 (3)
1992–2000 Liverpool 139 (2)
1994Rosenborg (loan) 8 (0)
2000Brøndby (loan) 13 (2)
2000–2003 Blackburn Rovers 55 (1)
National team
1989–2000 Norway 76 (1)
Teams managed
2003–2006 Norway (assistant manager)
2006–2007 IK Start
2015–2019 Rosenborg (Sports Director)
2021– AGF Aarhus (Sports Director)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Stig Inge Bjørnebye (born 11 December 1969) is a Norwegian former professional footballer who played in Norway, England, and Denmark, most notably for Liverpool, and is currently the sports director of the danish football club AGF Aarhus. His preferred position was left back, which he occupied for domestic clubs and the national team. Bjørnebye was appointed assistant manager of Norway in 2003, relinquishing the role three years later to succeed Tom Nordlie as manager of IK Start. He was the sports director of Rosenborg Ballklub from March 2015 until November 2019.


For club and country, Bjørnebye was noted for his precise deliveries from the flanks. Described as a "solid, no-nonsense full-back", [2] Bjørnebye played competitive football for 16 years, and appeared in 194 Premier League matches, until injury compelled retirement in March 2003. He represented the Norwegian national team in the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cup and the Euro 2000 and was capped 75 times, scoring once.

Club career

Stig Inge Bjørnebye was born in Elverum, the son of skier Jo Inge Bjørnebye, who competed in the 1968 and 1972 Winter Olympics. As a child, Bjørnebye exhibited an interest in emulating his father by becoming a ski jumper. [3]

His footballing career began as a youth player with home club Elverum IL, before joining Strømmen IF in the late 1980s. [4] He moved to Kongsvinger IL in 1989, establishing himself as a first-team regular in the Norwegian top division. After three seasons with Kongsvinger, he transferred to Rosenborg in 1992, where he in his inaugural season won the Norwegian top division and the Norwegian Cup, [3] in the final of, which he scored the deciding goal against Lillestrøm SK. [5]

His performances merited inclusion in the national team and attracted the attention of Liverpool's manager Graeme Souness, who bought Bjørnebye for £600,000 less than one year after moving to Rosenborg. [5] Signed as a replacement for David Burrows, Bjørnebye debuted inauspiciously on 19 December 1992 in a 5–1 defeat to Coventry City. [6] Initial difficulties adapting to the Premier League caused many fans to question his displays on the pitch and he returned to Norway on loan to Rosenborg in 1994. [2] [7]

Bjørnebye's experiences as a Reds' player in the 1994–95 season under the management of Roy Evans, were markedly more successful than that of previous campaigns. [7] He gained a regular place in the senior team, supplanting the left back position from Julian Dicks, and featured in the 2–1 win against Bolton Wanderers in the final of the 1995 League Cup Final on 2 April 1995. [7] [8] Subsequent injury, a broken leg sustained on 5 April 1995 in a 3–1 win match against Southampton, [9] terminated his season and he was replaced by Steve Harkness. [2]

"I am not very good at [remembering what my fondest footballing memories are] but if I had to pick, I would say my time with Rosenborg, the World Cup game against Mexico in 1994 and my three cup finals – at Ullevaal, Wembley and the Millennium Stadium,", 11 March 2003. [10]

Unavailable for several months, Bjørnebye appeared just twice for Liverpool in the 1995–96 season. [7] Recovery and injuries to other left back candidates enabled Bjørnebye to reclaim his place the following season, in which he scored his first goal for Liverpool on 17 August 1996 in a 3–3 draw against Middlesbrough. [11] He contributed to the club's most convincing title challenge since the inception of the Premier League by supplying club strikers Stan Collymore and Robbie Fowler with precise crosses. [5] He was ultimately included in the PFA Team of the Year with Steve McManaman and Mark Wright. [12] The acquisition of Steve Staunton and arrival of Gérard Houllier in the 1998–99 season, limited Bjørnebye's first-team opportunities, leading to his effective marginalisation. [7] [13] Bjørnebye affirmed his recurring determination to stay at Liverpool that season, remarking "If I didn't have any fight in my stomach I'd have left Liverpool at least three times before". [13]

Unable to displace Staunton and Dominic Matteo, Bjørnebye agreed to a loan move to Danish side Brøndby IF in 2000, [7] who finished second in the Danish Superliga with Bjørnebye on the team. [3] He decided to permanently leave Liverpool after returning from the European Championship, accepting a £300,000 transfer to Blackburn Rovers that reunited him with former manager Graeme Souness. [14] Promotion to the Premier League was achieved in his first year with Rovers, in the process, Bjørnebye scored his only goal for the club on 11 November 2000, in a 2–2 draw against Portsmouth. [15] His final trophy was gained when Blackburn defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2–1 in the 2002 League Cup Final. [16] Successive injuries after the cup victory disrupted and eventually ended his career as a footballer. While preparing for the 2002–03 season, Bjørnebye fractured his eye socket in a training accident. He complained of double vision, underwent surgery, and was rendered unavailable for seven months. Further injury inflicted during a League Cup match on 17 December 2002, in a 2–0 win against Wigan Athletic escalated, while Bjørnebye was recovering in Norway, necessitating emergency surgery to avert the possibility of foot amputation. [17] Bjørnebye announced his retirement on 11 March 2003. Blackburn manager Graeme Souness reacted to the decision with a statement:

It's a very sad day. As far as I am concerned it could hardly be worse for Stig is the consummate dedicated professional. He is as good a professional as any I have worked with, I couldn’t name anybody better and he is [a] fine role model and a proper, proper human being. Stig has had a wonderful career, it's a great shame that it has to end with a freak training-ground accident as he felt, quite rightly, that he could have played longer. [18]

International career

Bjørnebye was capped 75 times by Norway, scoring once – an olympic goal in a 1–0 friendly against the United States on 8 September 1993. Having represented his country at youth, under-21, and "B" level, [2] Bjørnebye debuted for the senior team on 31 May 1989 against Austria. [19] The majority of his caps were collected during Egil Olsen's eight-year tenure as manager of Norway. Under Olsen's guidance, Norway employed a "long ball" policy that was contingent on the height of Olsen's squad. [20] The tactic of directing long passes to the tall winger Jostein Flo, principally delivered by Bjørnebye, became popularly referred to in Norway as the "Flo Pass" (Flo-pasningen). [3] Although criticised for employing the long-ball approach and maintaining a defensively-orientated mentality, Olsen secured qualification for the World Cups of 1994 and 1998. [20] Bjørnebye participated in both tournaments – seven matches in total. [21]

He decided to retire from international football after the 1998 World Cup, intending to focus on his domestic career and family. Bjørnebye unexpectedly reversed his decision after Nils Johan Semb persuaded him to return to the squad for Euro 2000. [22] [23] Unused in Norway's 1–0 win against Spain on 13 June 2000, Bjørnebye was first introduced to the competition in the second match of the group stage, in a 0–1 loss on 18 June 2000 against Yugoslavia, as a 35-minute substitute for his Liverpool colleague Vegard Heggem. [24] He retained his place, featuring in the goalless draw against Slovenia on 21 June 2000, which eliminated Norway from the tournament. [25] [26] His final international match was in a 1–1 draw World Cup qualifier on 7 October 2000 against Wales, [27] placing him ninth in the overall record of appearances for Norway as of 2007. [19]

Managerial career

Bjørnebye returned to football in a non-playing capacity when he was selected by the Norwegian Football Association to replace Harald Aabrekk as Norway's assistant manager, subordinate to the newly appointed Åge Hareide. Prior to the announcement, the media in England had reported that Bjørnebye was considering maintaining a relationship with Blackburn by becoming a scout for the club. [28] He vacated his position in 2006 to succeed Tom Nordlie as manager of IK Start. Success was forthcoming in his first season; the club competed in Europe and Bjørnebye was the highest earning coach of the season, ahead of his predecessor Nordlie, with an income of almost seven million krone. [29] His appointment lasted two seasons, ending with dismissal in September 2007, after a series of poor results that placed the club in serious danger of being relegated from the Tippeligaen. [30] He was replaced by Benny Lennartsson, who was unable to preserve the club's premier league status; Start were relegated to Norway's second tier. [31]

On 15 March 2015, Stig Inge Bjørnebye succeeded Erik Hoftun as the sports director of Eliteserien club, Rosenborg Ballklub. [32] He since has won The Double with Rosenborg Ballklub two years in a row, in 2015 and 2016. Rosenborg Ballklub is the first club in the history of Norwegian football to do so two years in a row. [33] As the sports director of Rosenborg Ballklub he has many responsibilities, among many others signing on new players and renewing contracts with existing players. The most notable signing came on 6 March 2017: Nicklas Bendtner signed on for a 3-year contract with the Norwegian side. This was the most surprising and most notable signing in the history of Norwegian football. [34] Teammate and Eliteserien superstar, Pål André Helland, had this to say about the signing: "It shouldn't come as a surprise if he becomes the top scorer and we win the league." [35]

Personal life

Bjørnebye is married to the former Byåsen IL handball player Hege Frøseth, with whom he has three children. [3]

Career statistics


Sources: [4] [5] [36]
ClubSeasonLeagueCupLeague CupContinentalTotal
Strømmen IF 1987 2. divisjon 0000000000
1988 1. divisjon 190000000190
Kongsvinger IL 1989 1. divisjon212000000212
1990 1. divisjon200000000200
1991 Tippeligaen 211000000211
Rosenborg 1992 Tippeligaen213000000213
Liverpool 1992–93 Premier League 110200000130
1993–94 90100000100
1994–95 310607000440
1995–96 2000000020
1996–97 382204082524
1997–98 250003040320
1998–99 230202040310
1999–2000 0000000000
Rosenborg (loan) 1994 Tippeligaen8000000080
Brøndby IF (loan) 1999–2000 Danish Superliga 132000000132
Blackburn Rovers 2000–01 Premier League321302000371
2001–02 230203000280
2002–03 0000100010
Career total3171118022016237313


Source: [4]
Norway national team

International goal

Scores and results list Norway's goal tally first.
1.8 September 1993 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1–01–0 Friendly

Managerial statistics

Source: [37]
Start 15 July 20065 September 20074013819032.50




Blackburn Rovers

Related Research Articles

Kenny Dalglish Scottish association football player and manager

Sir Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish is a Scottish former football player and manager. During his career, he made 338 appearances for Celtic and 515 for Liverpool and earned a record 102 full caps for the Scotland national team scoring 30 goals, also a joint-record. Dalglish won the Ballon d'Or Silver Award in 1983, the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 1983, and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1979 and 1983. In 2009, FourFourTwo named Dalglish the greatest striker in post-war British football, and in 2006, he topped a Liverpool fans' poll of "100 Players Who Shook the Kop". He has been inducted into both the Scottish and English Football Halls of Fame.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær Norwegian football manager and former player

Ole Gunnar Solskjær KSO is a Norwegian former professional football player and current manager of Premier League club Manchester United.

Viking FK

Viking Fotballklubb, commonly known as Viking or Viking Stavanger internationally, is a Norwegian football club from the city of Stavanger. The club was founded in 1899. It is one of the most successful clubs in Norwegian football, having won 8 Norwegian top division titles, most recently in 1991, and 6 domestic Norwegian Cup titles, most recently in 2019. The club has played more top-flight league games than any other club in Norway. It has played in the top division since the league was established, except for the years 1966–67, 1987–88 and 2018. Notable European successes include knocking English side Chelsea out of the UEFA Cup during the 2002–03 season, knocking out Sporting CP from the same tournament in 1999–2000, and qualifying for the group stages of the 2005–06 UEFA Cup.

Gérard Houllier French association football manager

Gérard Paul Francis Houllier OBE was a French football manager and player. Clubs he managed include Paris Saint-Germain, Lens and Liverpool, where he won the FA Cup, League Cup, FA Charity Shield, UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2001. He then guided Olympique Lyonnais to two French titles, before announcing his resignation on 25 May 2007. He became manager of Aston Villa in September 2010. He also coached the France national team between 1992 and 1993. He assisted Aimé Jacquet in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, was part of UEFA's and FIFA's Technical Committee in the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, and technical director for the French Football Federation during the 2010 finals. In June 2011, he stepped down from club coaching, leaving his managerial role at Aston Villa, following frequent hospitalisation over heart problems.

Robbie Fowler English football coach

Robert Bernard Fowler is an English football manager and former footballer who is currently the head coach of SC East Bengal in the Indian Super League.

Danny Murphy (footballer, born 1977) English footballer

Daniel Ben Murphy is an English former professional footballer who played as a central midfielder.

El Hadji Diouf Senegalese retired footballer

El Hadji Ousseynou Diouf is a Senegalese former professional footballer. Throughout his career, Diouf played as a winger or a forward.

Henning Berg Norwegian footballer and manager

Henning Stille Berg is a Norwegian football manager and former player who played as a defender. He is the head coach of Cypriot First Division club AC Omonia.

Roy Hodgson English football manager

Roy Hodgson is an English professional football manager and former player who is the manager of Premier League club Crystal Palace. He has managed 16 different teams in eight countries, beginning in Sweden with Halmstads BK in the 1976 season. He later guided the Switzerland national team to the last 16 of the 1994 World Cup and qualification for Euro 1996; Switzerland had not qualified for a major tournament since the 1960s. From 2006 to 2007, he managed the Finland national team, guiding them to their highest-ever FIFA ranking of 33rd place and coming close to qualifying for a major tournament for the first time in their history. He managed the England national team from May 2012 to June 2016. Other clubs that Hodgson has managed include Inter Milan, Blackburn Rovers, Malmö FF, Grasshoppers, FC Copenhagen, Udinese, Fulham, Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion.

Michael Colin Newell is an English football manager and former professional footballer, who is assistant manager of League of Ireland Premier Division side Waterford.

The 2006 Tippeligaen was the 62nd completed season of top division football in Norway. The season began on April 9, 2006 and ended on November 5, 2006. Rosenborg became champions on October 29, with one round to go, by defeating Viking at home. The other main contenders for the title were Brann and Lillestrøm, the former securing their place as runners-up on the same day.

Nicklas Bendtner Danish professional footballer

Nicklas Bendtner is a Danish footballer who plays as a forward for Tårnby FF's M+32 team. His preferred position is centre-forward, but he has also played on the right side of attack, and occasionally on the left. A large, tall, and physically strong player, he is known for his ability in the air and possesses a powerful header.

Vegard Heggem Norwegian footballer

Vegard Heggem is a former Norway international footballer.

Jon Inge Høiland Norwegian footballer

Jon Inge Høiland is a Norwegian former professional footballer who played as a defender. He has been capped 25 times while playing for Norway.

Elverum Fotball Norwegian association football club

Elverum Fotball is the association football section of the sports club Elverum IL from Elverum, Norway. They compete in the 3. divisjon, the fourth tier in the Norwegian football league system.

FK Kvik

Fotballklubben Kvik is a Norwegian association football club from Trondheim. To avoid confusion with the other Norwegian football club named Kvik, which was also known as FK Kvik until 1997, FK Kvik is sometimes referred to as Kvik Trondheim. The club was founded in 1900, and is the oldest football club in Trondheim.

Jo Inge Berget Norwegian footballer

Jo Inge Berget is a Norwegian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Swedish club Malmö FF and Norway.

Markus Henriksen Norwegian footballer

Markus Henriksen is a Norwegian professional footballer who last played as a midfielder for Eliteserien club Rosenborg.

During the 2002–03 English football season, Blackburn Rovers competed in the FA Premier League.

History of Rosenborg BK

Rosenborg Ballklub is a football club from Trondheim, Norway. It was established in 1917 as Odd by 12 boys, and played local friendlies, became it was not permitted to join the Football Association of Norway (NFF). After permission was granted, it took the current name and joined the league system in 1928. Until 1937, Rosenborg played in the regional league, both in the A and B division, after numerous promotions and relegations. Since 1932, the team has played in the Norwegian Football Cup. It jointed the inaugural League of Norway in 1937, but the break-out of the Second World War in 1940 caused a halt to all organized sports.


  1. "Stig Inge Bjørnebye" (in Norwegian). Football Association of Norway. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Matthews, Tony (2006). Who's Who of Liverpool. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. p. 31. ISBN   1-84596-140-4.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Stig Inge Bjørnebye" (in Norwegian). NRK . Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  4. 1 2 3 "Bjørnebye, Stig Inge". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 21 January 2008.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Stig Inge Bjørnebye". LFChistory. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  6. Rees, Jasper (20 December 1992). "Football: Coventry shatter Liverpool illusions". The Independent. London. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Stig Inge Bjørnebye". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  8. Moore, Glenn (3 April 1995). "Liverpool prevail in cup final to savour". The Independent. London. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  9. "Bjrnebye's despair". The Independent. London. 7 April 1995. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  10. "Bjørnebye succumbs to eye injury". UEFA. 11 March 2003. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  11. Turnbull, Simon (18 August 1996). "Absolutely Fabrizio for Boro". The Independent. London. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  12. "Pick of the Premiership". The Football Association . 26 April 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  13. 1 2 "Bjornebye growls a goodbye". The People . Questia Online Library. 20 September 1998. Retrieved 10 January 2011.(registration required)
  14. "Bjornebye seals Rovers deal". BBC Sport . BBC. 26 June 2000. Retrieved 5 February 2008.
  15. "Portsmouth 2–2 Blackburn". BBC Sport. BBC. 11 November 2000. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  16. "Cole strike stuns Spurs". BBC Sport. BBC. 24 February 2002. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  17. "Bjornebye in foot fear". BBC Sport. BBC. 17 January 2003. Retrieved 6 February 2008.
  18. "Retiring Bjornebye says bye-bye". Breaking News. 11 March 2003. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  19. 1 2 "Norway – Record International Players". RSSSF. RSSSF. Archived from the original on 4 May 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2008.
  20. 1 2 "Norway's style won't change without Olsen". CNN Sports Illustrated . CNN. 28 June 1998. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  21. "Stig BJORNEBYE". FIFA . Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  22. "Premiership stars in Norway squad". BBC Sport. BBC. 29 May 2000. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  23. "Stig Inge Bjornebye". BBC Sport. BBC. 29 May 2000. Retrieved 6 February 2008.
  24. "Yugoslavs ease past Norway". BBC Sport. BBC. 18 June 2000. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  25. "Norway crash out after Slovenia draw". BBC Sport. BBC. 21 June 2000. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  26. "Norway crash out after Slovenia draw". ESPNSoccernet. ESPN. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  27. "Wales – Norway". FIFA. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  28. "New Role Stig". Lancashire Evening Telegraph . 10 December 2003. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  29. Elster, Kristian (12 October 2007). "Bjørnebye best betalte trener". NRK Sport (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  30. Rake, Jamel; K. Christiansen, Anders (5 September 2007). "Det er mitt ansvar". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  31. Aarre, Elvind (4 November 2007). "Torrid finish for Start". UEFA. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  32. "Stig Inge Bjørnebye". Rosenborg (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  33. Holberg, Jonas A. (20 November 2016). "Rosenborg tok en historisk dobbel etter kalasseier i cupfinalen". (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  34. "Nicklas Bendtner seals transfer from Nottingham Forest to Rosenborg". Sky Sports. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  35. AS, TV 2. "Bendtner på plass hos RBK: - Det bør ikke komme som en overraskelse om han blir toppscorer og vi tar gull". TV 2 (in Norwegian). Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  36. "Stig Inge Bjornebye". ESPNSoccernet. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  37. "Stig Inge Björnebye". Retrieved 13 March 2013.