Club Records - Managers - Gary Waddock

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Born: 17.3.62, Kingsbury.
Managerial Tenure: 19.5.07 to 13.10.09.
First Game: v Kidderminster Harriers (A), Conference Premier, 11.8.07.
Last Game: v Morecambe (H), League 2, 10.10.09.

Gary was a hard-tackling midfielder who started his playing career at Queen’s Park Rangers in July 1979, with his senior debut coming the following month as a 17-year-old substitute in a League Cup second round first leg tie against Bradford City. He also played in Rangers’ two FA Cup final games at Wembley in 1982 when they narrowly lost to Tottenham Hotspur after a replay.

In 1982-83, QPR won the Division 2 title and returned to English football's top division, where they finished the following season in fifth spot, thus qualifying for the UEFA Cup before manager Terry Venables departed to take charge of Barcelona. A nasty knee injury threatened Gary’s career and forced him to leave Rangers. Once recovered, insurance restrictions at the time prevented him resuming his career in the UK, so he joined Belgian side RSC Charleroi in December 1987; during his time in Belgium, Gary made 40 appearances and scored one goal.

He returned to London in August 1989 and signed for Millwall for £130,000 (the Lions reported that they also had to pay £317,000 in relation to Gary’s insurance settlement) and spent two seasons with the Lions, during which he scored twice in 58 league appearances. A return to QPR in December 1991 did not work out so, after a loan spell at Swindon Town in March 1992, Gary left Loftus Road (having made 203 league appearances and scoring eight goals) to join Bristol Rovers in November 1992; he played 71 times, scoring once.

A move to Luton Town followed in September 1994 and his four years there yielded three goals in 153 appearances. His most successful season at Kenilworth Road was in 1996-97 when he made 39 league appearances as the Hatters finished third in Division 2 before eventually missing out to Crewe Alexandra in the play-off semi-finals.

In total, Gary made 464 + 27 Football League appearances, scoring 14 goals.

In addition to a fine club career, Gary also won international honours. He made his debut for the Republic of Ireland (as an 18-year-old) against Switzerland in April 1980. His last game in the green of his adopted country came in May 1990 against Turkey; in total he made 21 appearances and scored three goals.

In the summer of 1998, Gary returned to Loftus Road as under-17 manager, a post he held until the start of the 2001-02 season when he became centre of excellence director and under-19 boss. The 2003-04 season saw him revert back to working with the under-17 side before taking on the role of midfield coach to the first team the following season; a month or so into that season, Gary became joint centre of excellence manager along with Joe Gallen. He became caretaker manager at QPR when Holloway was initially placed on “gardening leave” in February 2006 and, with Alan McDonald assisting, led Rangers to the retention of their place in the Championship by finishing in 21st spot (just one place above the relegation zone).

He was appointed as manager on a permanent basis in June 2006, but the club was struggling due to off-field problems and a run of poor results saw Gary replaced by former colleague John Gregory just four months later. In total, Gary had been in charge for 24 games, but circumstances beyond his control restricted his side to just four victories.

After a break from the game, he was surprisingly appointed as manager of Aldershot Town in May 2007 despite having no previous experience of the Conference. However, he soon provided Shots supporters with confidence by the way he conducted business strengthening a squad that, by his own admission, included a number of fine players left by Terry Brown.

Inserting his own brand and style and keeping Brown’s former assistant Martin Kuhl, the Waddock-led Shots started the season strongly with a 2-1 victory at Kidderminster Harriers and eventually went on to achieve the finest season in the short history of Aldershot Town. With expectation low at the start of the campaign, the Shots secured promotion to the Football League with the Blue Square-sponsored Conference Premier title and achieved the highest-ever points total of the competition in the process (101). A new divisional record of 31 wins was also established. Aldershot Town also won the Setanta Shield (the club’s first piece of national silverware) by way of a penalty shoot-out victory over Rushden and Diamonds and reached the FA Trophy semi-finals before succumbing to (eventual winners) Ebbsfleet United over two legs.

It was a dream inaugural season for Gary who became the man to realise the dream of all Aldershot Town supporters with the aim always being to reach the Football League that was taken away from them on March 25th 1992. He will go down in history as the manager who guided the club into the League, but he is always conscious of praising the achievements made by “the squad by virtue of a team effort”. Gary’s achievements were formally recognised when he was named as the “Conference Premier Manager of the Year” at the league’s annual end-of-season awards. Further clarification of his achievements came at the end of June 2008 when, along with assistant Martin Kuhl, he signed a new three-year contract at the Rec. By that time, the fans also showed their affection for Gary by dubbing him The Wadfather and Ginger Mourinho!

The 2008-09 season started off very well for the Shots, with a play-off place being a real possibility at Christmas. However, the team’s form dipped (not helped by an abysmal run of luck regarding injuries) and a 15th place finish was finally achieved.

In mid-October 2009, with the Shots sitting in sixth place in League 2 and with the financial constraints that had been placed on his playing budget well-documented, Gary left the EBB Stadium to take up the vacant manager’s post at struggling League 1 side Wycombe Wanderers (taking assistant Martin Kuhl with him). Despite “fighting to the end”, Wycombe’s 22nd place finish saw them relegated to League 2 at the end of the 2009-10 campaign.

Picture Gallery

In training mode during the summer of 2009
Interview time for the boss
Looking on
Is That Right Ref?
Gary Waddock in 2009
All smiles
Must make a note of that
At Macclesfield Town in 2008/09- the first season in the Football League
With Coach Martin Kuhl at Rochdale in 2008/09
More debate with Kuhly
With Brentford boss Andy Scott. Over 5000 were at the EBB Stadium for the visit of The Bees in 2008
Interview time for The Shots Online in pre season 2007 just after the signing of Lewis Chalmers
Let the pary begin as the Conference championship is paraded in April 2008
Deep in thought
The manager who guided Aldershot Town into the Football League celebrates with the Conference trophy
With the fans on that epic night in Exeter in April 2008; the day league fotball returned to Aldershot
In discussion with Neil Warnock as Crystal Palace are in town for a pre season friendly

Attached Documents

Managers