Sam Allardyce was born on 19 October 1954 in Dudley, West Midlands. He grew up on Dudley's Wren's Nest Estate and was educated at Sycamore Green Primary School and later at Wren's Nest Secondary School.

In taking over at St. James' Park, it will be his fourth managerial post in the English Leagues following spells at Blackpool, Notts County and Bolton Wanderers.

Sam's professionalism and enthusiasm for the game were carried from his playing career to life as a manager and it is those traits which made him the ideal choice for Newcastle United.

Playing Career

Sam Allardyce arrived at Burnden Park in 1969 as a 15-year old and turned professional with the Wanderers in November 1973. He made his league debut in November 1973 and was a regular member of the successful Wanderers sides in the mid 1970s who twice narrowly missed out on promotion to the old First Division. In 1978 he won a Second Division Championship medal with Bolton.

A tough, rugged no-nonsense centre-half, Sam, after a total of 214 first class games (184 league and Cup) left the Wanderers to join Sunderland in 1980 for a fee of £150,000.

When his spell at Roker Park came to an end he then played for Millwall, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Coventry City and Huddersfield Town before returning to Burnden Park for another spell in 1985. He only managed 14 appearances in his one season back in Bolton and then joined neighbours Preston North End where he helped them to win promotion from the old Fourth Division in 1987.

Full Record

1973-80 - Bolton Wanderers 184 (21)

1980-81 - Sunderland 25 (2)

1981-83 - Millwall 63 (2)

1983 - Tampa Bay Rowdies --

1983-84 - Coventry City 28 (1)

1984-85 - Huddersfield Town 37 (0)

1985-86 - Bolton Wanderers 14 (0)

1986-89 - Preston North End 90 (2)

1989-91 - West Bromwich Albion 1 (0)

1991-92 - Limerick --

1992 Preston North End 3 (0)

Total 445 (28)

Managerial Career

Sam Allardyce commenced his coaching career in football in his native West Midlands with West Bromwich Albion (as Assistant to Brian Talbot) whilst still playing for The Baggies. He then became Assistant Manager at Preston North End and Sunderland.

He became manager of Limerick in Ireland before taking charge at Blackpool. Whilst at Bloomfield Road he took The Tangerines to the 1996 Second Division play-off final. In 1997 he took charge of Notts County and won the Third Division Championship in 1998.

At Meadow Lane he won promotion at the first attempt by finishing top of Division Three at the end of the 1997/98 season. Notts County broke several club and national records, winning the title by 19 points and becoming the first post-war side to win promotion in mid-March.

Sam returned 'home' to Wanderers in October 1999 (taking over from Colin Todd on his 45th birthday) and in his first season at the Reebok Stadium, he guided them to the semi-finals of the FA Cup, League Cup and the First Division Play-Offs.

The following season, Wanderers put the disappointment of the previous season's play-off defeat behind them to record an emphatic 3-0 victory over Preston North End in the First Division Play-Off Final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. That result earned Wanderers promotion to the Premiership for the first time since 1997.

Allardyce enjoyed an excellent spell with Wanderers, witness consecutive finishing positions for the Trotters of eighth, sixth, eighth and seventh in the past four Premiership seasons. They also reached the Carling Cup Final in 2004, losing to Middlesbrough.

In 2005/06, Allardyce enjoyed the distinction of becoming the first manager in Bolton's history to lead out a Wanderers side in a competitive European fixture (UEFA Cup). Such was the reputation that Allardyce acquired during his tenure at the Reebok Stadium, the Football Association interviewed him for the England Head Coach's job, losing out to Steve McClaren.

Last season, although leaving at the end of April, his last match being a 2 - 2 draw at Chelsea, Wanderers once again clinched a spot in the UEFA Cup.

His experiences Stateside saw Allardyce apply many practices to football in this country (with regards to training, player management and tactics) and these innovative ideas helped him progress in football management.

Part of his reason for leaving Bolton was because he wanted to win silverware and he said recently, "I have had praise for what I've done, but there's nothing at the end of it. I want silverware. I'm determined to get it before my days are over."

Allardyce parted company with the Magpies on Wednesday, January 9, 2008 after just eight months in charge.