NEIL ADAMS FACTFILE
Born: Stoke-on-Trent, 1965 (Age 49) Playing Career: A speedy winger, Adams started his career
at Stoke in 1985, scoring four goals in 39 appearances and winning a single cap for England U21s. Adams moved to Everton for £150,000 in 1986 but made just 21 appearances in three years before dropping back into the
Second Division with Oldham Athletic. He would spend the next six years – three of them in the top flight – at Boundary Park, reaching the League Cup final in 1991, winning the Second Division title in 1992 and coming within a whisker of beating Man United in the FA Cup semi final of 1994. Adams had scored 25 goals in 166 games for Oldham when he joined Norwich for £225,000 midway through the 1993- 94 campaign. And though the Canaries were relegated from the top flight in 1995, Adams stayed put for another four seasons, scoring 30 goals in 206 games before returning to Oldham in 1999. He spent the next two seasons at Boundary Park, playing 54 times before hanging up his boots in 2001, aged 36. Managerial Career: Appointed youth coach by Norwich in 2001, Adams spent seven years at the club before being fired in a mass clearout in 2008. However, he was subsequently reinstated and went on to head up the U18s, winning the prestigious FA Youth Cup in 2013. Appointed caretaker manager following the departure of Chris Hughton in April, Adams was unable to prevent relegation from the Premier League but was later handed a permanent contract.
“I’d gone to do some scouting at Stoke,” said Kendall. “I was looking at the left winger but I ended up signing the lad who played on the right. That was Neil of course – he was just so exciting, so positive and bright. And incredibly quick.”
Though Everton proved a step too far, a switch to Joe Royle’s legendary Oldham team – League Cup finalists in 1990 and winners of promotion to the top flight in 1991 – was the making of Adams.
“It was a wonderful team,” said former Latic Mike Milligan who, alongside Adams, was part of the Oldham side that won the last three games of the 1992-93 season to stay in the top flight.
“We went out together all the time and there must have been 15 of us that never missed a session. It was a different culture back then but we’d work just as hard as we partied. The spirit in that side was incredible.”
And according to Andy Ritchie, Adams was a big part of it. “Neil could handle himself in the dressing-room,” he said. “At Oldham, you had to be able to look after your-