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Famous Like Me > Footballer > S > Dennis Smith

Profile of Dennis Smith on Famous Like Me

Name: Dennis Smith  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 19th November 1947
Place of Birth: Staffordshire
Profession: Footballer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Dennis Smith (born November 19, 1947) is an English football manager and former player.

Smith was born at Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire. He began his playing career with Stoke City on leaving school in 1964 and played 493 games for the club until hanging up his boots in 1982 having scored 41 goals. During his time at Stoke he helped them to League Cup victory in 1972. He moved into management with York City after ending his playing career and in January 1985 guided the Third Division club to a famous victory over Arsenal in the FA Cup Third Round. He remained at Bootham Crescent until the summer of 1987 when he moved to Sunderland who had just been relegated to the Third Division for the first time in their history.

In his first season at Sunderland he guided them to the Third Division championship and promotion with a record 101 points. They achieved a top-half finish in the 1988–1989 Second Division campaign and reaching the playoff final in 1989–1990. They lost 1–0 to Swindon Town but were promoted a month later when Swindon were found guilty of financial irregularities and remained in the Second Division. Sunderland struggled throughout 1990–1991 and their battle against relegation from the First Division was lost on the last day of the season. Although they never threatened to win promotion from the Second Division in 1991–1992 they reached the FA Cup Final and lost to Liverpool.

Shortly after the end of the 1991–1992 season, Denis Smith resigned as manager of Sunderland and was replaced by Malcolm Crosby. He was soon back in the game as manager of Bristol City in the new Division One. But the club never looked like gaining promotion to the new FA Premier League and Dennis Smith resigned in May 1993. He made a return to management with Oxford United the following October but was unable to save them from relegation to Division Two.

In 1994–1995, Oxford United just missed out on the Division Two playoffs but in 1995–1996 were promoted back to Division One as runners-up of Division Two. They achieved a mid-table finish in the 1996–1997 Division One campaign but Smith resigned the following December with the club £10 million in debt—a financial crisis which lasted until the end of 2000–2001, by which time the club had been relegated to Division Three.

Dennis Smith was appointed manager of West Bromwich Albion two days before Christmas in 1997, but left after just 18 months. The Hawthorns club had developed a reputation for playing dull football and finishing just above the relegation zone in Division One, and Dennis Smith was unable to change this and he was sacked in July 1999.

In February 2000, Dennis Smith was appointed manager of Oxford United for the second time in seven years. He saved the club from relegation to Division Three but he was sacked after a terrible start to 2000–2001, a season which ended in Oxford getting relegated.

Dennis Smith made his return to management in October 2001 with Wrexham, replacing Brian Flynn who had resigned after 12 years in charge. He was unable to save the club from relegation to Division Three and his task for restoring the club's fortunes was made all the harder by the collapse of ITV Digital which left Wrexham with virtually no funds for buying new players with. But he proved all the odds wrong at the end of the 2002–03 season, when Wrexham finished third in Division Three and claimed the last automatic promotion place to Division Two. As credit for his achievements he won the League Managers Association Manager of the Year Award for the second time in his managerial career â€” he had won it 19 years earlier when guiding York City to the Fourth Division championship in 1984.

The 2004-05 season was extremely difficult for Wrexham, thanks to behind the scenes manoeuverings by club chairman Alex Hamilton who was trying to evict the club from its ground (now owned by another of his companies), and the club was placed in Administration to escape its creditors, becoming the first club to suffer a consequential deduction of ten points, which left the club in the relegation zone at the end of the season. Despite having to operate a hand-to-mouth cash-only existence, Dennis Smith still managed to take Wrexham to victory in the LDV Vans Trophy.

Wrexham A.F.C's directors have shown no intention of replacing Smith in spite of this setback, and hopefully he will be able to gain promotion back to League One at first time of asking in 2005-06.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Dennis Smith