Neil Warnock retires: What the legendary manager achieved that few others have

Neil Warnock
(Image credit: Getty)

For Neil Warnock, like Elizabeth I, it is 1603 and out. Unlike Elizabeth I, Warnock has retired from football management, ending a remarkable career, spanning 41 years, 18 jobs and some 1603 matches in the professional game, even in addition to those at amateur level in his time at Gainsborough Trinity and Burton Albion.

He was the irascible record-breaker. No one else in the history of English football has taken charge of more professional games and it there was something fitting that Warnock marked the milestone, his 1602nd match, with a moan about referees, it is a colossal achievement. His longevity stemmed in part from his promotion-winning capabilities, in part from an almost boyish love of the game that he retained while a pensioner.

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Richard Jolly

Richard Jolly also writes for the National, the Guardian, the Observer, the Straits Times, the Independent, Sporting Life, Football 365 and the Blizzard. He has written for the FourFourTwo website since 2018 and for the magazine in the 1990s and the 2020s, but not in between. He has covered 1500+ games and remembers a disturbing number of the 0-0 draws.