The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE -

Born: Lu­ton, 1958 (Age 56) 1972-86: Signed by Cam­bridge at 15, Black­well was re­leased with­out play­ing a game and dropped into Non-League, play­ing for the likes of Bed­ford, Bar­ton and Bar­net be­fore join­ing Bos­ton United in 1980. He spent the next six years with the Pil­grims, mak­ing 227 ap­pear­ances and sav­ing a penalty at Wem­b­ley in an FA Trophy fi­nal de­feat to Weald­stone.


Signed by Neil Warnock for Scar­bor­ough in 1986, Black­well won the Con­fer­ence in his first sea­son and the fol­low­ing year reached the Di­vi­sion Four play-offs. After 68 ap­pear­ances, he left to join Notts County for £15,000 in 1989 and would spend the re­main­ing 11 years of his ca­reer as a player-coach un­der Warnock, first at County, then at Torquay, Hud­der­s­field, Ply­mouth and Sh­effield United.


After four years as as­sis­tant to Warnock, Black­well left to be­come No.2 to Peter Reid at ail­ing Leeds. Fol­low­ing Reid’s dis­missal and Leeds’ rel­e­ga­tion from the Premier League, Black­well was named man­ager. De­spite ter­ri­ble fi­nan­cial prob­lems and a com­plete squad over­haul, he kept Leeds in the Cham­pi­onship in 2004-05 and then fin­ished third the fol­low­ing sea­son, even­tu­ally los­ing 3-0 to Wat­ford in the play-off fi­nal. After a string of poor re­sults, he was sacked in Septem­ber 2006. 2006-10: After a brief spell at cri­sis-hit Lu­ton, Black­well was named man­ager of Sh­effield United in Fe­bru­ary 2008 and res­cued a ninth place fin­ish in the Cham­pi­onship. The fol­low­ing sea­son his side fin­ished third but he again fell at the fi­nal hur­dle with a nar­row 1-0 de­feat to Burn­ley in the play-off fi­nal. As at Leeds, Black­well was dis­missed after a poor start to the fol­low­ing sea­son. 2010-present: Black­well re­turned with League One strug­glers Bury in 2012 but was rel­e­gated amid crip­pling fi­nan­cial prob­lems and left in Oc­to­ber 2013. He has since re­joined Warnock as a coach at Crys­tal Palace.

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