John Toshack MBE – 40 years in management
By Tony Matthews The former Cardiff City, Liverpool, Swansea and Welsh international striker John Toshack has now been in football management for 40 years – that is some achievement.
He began his is playing career with his hometown club Cardiff, becoming the youngest player to make an appearance for the Welsh side when he made his debut in 1965. After establishing himself in the first-team, he went on to make over 200 appearances and scored 100 goals in all competitions for the Bluebirds.
In 1970, he joined Liverpool, where he formed a notable partnership with Kevin Keegan and Steve Heighway, helping the club win two League titles, the UEFA Cup twice and also the FA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. He netted 96 goals in 247 outings for the Reds before leaving Anfield for Swansea City as player-manager in March 1978.
He went on to guide the Swans to three promotions in four seasons, elevating them from the Fourth Division to the First Division. He added a further 30 goals to his tally (in 78 games) for the Welsh club and during his playing career, he notched a grand total of 220 goals 532 club appearances… and he also represented Wales at international level, winning 40 caps and scoring 13 goals.
Leaving Swansea after suffering relegation in 1984, he then embarked on a managerial career abroad, taking charge of teams in Portugal and Spain where he won the Copa del Rey in 1987 with Real Sociedad and the La Liga title with Real Madrid.
In 1994, he was appointed part-time manager of Wales, while still engaged by Sociedad but he resigned from the role after just 47 days, citing the strong support for former manager Terry Yorath among fans and a "political war" as reasons.
After a spell in Turkey with Beikta, he returned to Real Madrid for a second time but was sacked ten months later after refusing to retract criticism he had made of his players in a press conference following a defeat. In 2004, ‘Tosh’ was appointed full-time boss of Wales and remained in charge for six years. He later managed Macedonia’s national team and the Azerbaijani side Khazar Lankaran before going outside Europe for the first time in his career with Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca. Now aged 69, ‘Tosh’ is now plying his trade in Iran. Toshack’s managerial duties 1978–1984 Swansea City 1984–1985 Sporting CP 1985–1989 Real Sociedad 1989–1990 Real Madrid 1991–1994 Real Sociedad 1994 Wales 1995–1997 Deportivo 1997–1999 Beikta 1999 Real Madrid 2000–2001 Saint-Étienne 2001–2002 Real Sociedad 2002–2003 Catania 2004 Real Murcia 2004–2010 Wales 2011–2012 Macedonia 2013 Khazar Lankaran 2014–2016 Wydad Casablanca 2018 Tractor Sazi