The Football League Paper - - MARATHON BET -

Born: Ham­mer­smith, 1962 (Age 52) Play­ing Ca­reer: A left-back, Pearce be­gan his ca­reer with Non-League Weald­stone be­fore join­ing top-flight out­fit Coven­try City for £30,000 in 1983. He made 52 ap­pear­ances and scored four times be­fore mov­ing to For­est as the makeweight in a £300,000 deal tak­ing Coven­try cen­tre-back Ian But­ter­worth to the City Ground. Yet while But­ter­worth played just 27 times, Pearce even­tu­ally made 522 ap­pear­ances, won two League Cups, mul­ti­ple player of the year awards and spent sev­eral years as skip­per – even stay­ing put when the Reds were rel­e­gated to Di­vi­sion One in 1993. He left to join New­cas­tle in 1997 (where he played in the Cham­pi­ons League), then spent time at West Ham be­fore lead­ing Man City to the 2001-02 First Di­vi­sion ti­tle in his fi­nal sea­son as a pro. A pro­lific set-piece taker, he scored 99 ca­reer goals and missed a penalty in the fi­nal game of his ca­reer. Pearce also spent 12 years in the Eng­land set-up, reach­ing the semi-fi­nals of both Italia 90 and Euro 96. He earned 78 caps. Man­age­rial Ca­reer: Ap­pointed care­taker-boss of Man City in March 2005, Pearce guided the club to within a point of Euro­pean qual­i­fi­ca­tion and was handed a per­ma­nent con­tract. But a 15th-placed fin­ish in 2005-06 and a wretched cam­paign the fol­low­ing sea­son brought the axe down in May 2007. Pearce agreed to man­age Eng­land U21s un­der Steve McClaren and spent the next six years with the young­sters, reach­ing the semis of the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships in 2007 and the fi­nal in 2009, los­ing 4-0 to a Ger­many side fea­tur­ing sev­eral fu­ture World Cup win­ners. Dur­ing this time he also spent time as as­sis­tant to Fabio Capello in the full Eng­land set-up and coached Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics. Joined For­est as man­ager in June 2014.

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