He is currently manager of Bolton Wanderers and is a former manager of Norwich City, Blackpool, Stockport County, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, Nottingham Forest and Leicester City. His biggest successes so far came at West Bromwich Albion, where he won promotion to the Premier League in 2002 and again in 2004.
He began his career at Plymouth Argyle, where he impressed enough for Everton to sign him for a £250,000 transfer fee. Megson struggled to establish himself in the Everton lineup, and after two years at Goodison, he moved to his father's old stomping grounds, Sheffield Wednesday, for a fee of £130,000.
Megson immediately gained a place in Wednesday's starting lineup, and was a member of the team that gained promotion to the top flight in 1983–84. In his three years at Hillsborough, he missed only three league games. In the summer of 1984, he was signed by Nottingham Forest, only for Brian Clough to decide he did not need him. Megson spent five months at the City Ground, without making a single first-team appearance before being sold to Newcastle United.
Megson played regularly for the Magpies for the remainder of the 1984–85 season, but lost his place in the lineup the following season, and moved back to Sheffield Wednesday. In his second spell with the Owls, Megson again established himself as an important member of the squad, and was rarely out of the starting eleven. In January 1989, he moved to Manchester City, where he spent three and a half seasons. He then moved to Norwich City on a free transfer in the summer of 1992, and spent three seasons at Carrow Road. He was an important member of the Norwich side that finished third in the inaugural season the Premier League and played in the UEFA Cup for the first time as a result. In his final season at Norwich, he was also assistant manager to John Deehan.
When Deehan resigned in the spring of 1995, Megson briefly took charge as caretaker manager, but failed to save City from the drop, losing four and drawing one of his five games in charge. In the summer, he also left Norwich and finished his playing career with short spells at lower division sides Lincoln City and Shrewsbury Town. Later the same year, he got a surprise return to Norwich when he was re-appointed manager following Martin O'Neill's sudden departure.
While still playing at Norwich City, Megson became assistant to manager John Deehan. He briefly left the club following Deehan's sacking in 1995, but returned to Carrow Road later the same year when new manager Martin O'Neill left to take charge at Leicester City. Megson managed the Canaries for the remainder of the 1995–96 season, but was sacked at the end of the season and replaced by Mike Walker.
In 1996, Megson became manager at Blackpool where he recorded only 21 wins in 52 matches. At Bloomfield Road, he was assisted by the former Manchester United midfielder Mike Phelan, but the partnership failed to bring a Division Two playoff place to the Seasiders, and Megson left at the end of the season.
Megson moved to Stockport County in 1997 and they came just two places short of the Division One playoffs in his first season as manager. After two seasons with Stockport, he was dismissed after the board alleged that he had applied for a manager's post elsewhere without their permission.
However, he was not unemployed for long, taking the manager's job at Stoke City. His tenure at the Britannia Stadium was brought to an end when the club was sold to an Icelandic consortium which appointed its own man, former Iceland national-team coach Gudjon Thordarson, to the manager's position.
The following season Megson took the club into the playoffs, winning the Manager of the Month award for November 2000 along the way. Albion lost to Bolton Wanderers at the semi-final stage, but the following year the club won promotion to the FA Premier League for the first time, overcoming the eleven-point lead of their fierce local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers in the closing weeks of the campaign. This achievement earned Megson the Nationwide Division One Manager of the Year award, as well as the medieval title Lord of the Manor of West Bromwich. However, the club was barely prepared for the financial challenges of life in the top flight and a bitter quarrel soon developed between Megson and the club's chairman Paul Thompson over what Megson perceived as the latter's interference in footballing matters. An undignified public showdown resulted in Thompson resigning from the board in order to forestall Megson's departure. The board elected Jeremy Peace as Thompson's successor, and in July 2002 Megson signed a new three-year contract with Albion. However in 2002–03 the club were relegated after just a single season in the Premier League.
Peace's financial prudence enabled Megson to mount a successful promotion campaign the following season, and return to the Premier League – but by the summer of 2004, the relationship between the two men had become strained. By September, after a poor start to the season, Megson's job appeared to be under threat. The following month Megson, whose contract was due to end in June 2005, announced that he would not sign a new deal if the club offered one. The board chose to interpret this as a resignation, and on 26 October Megson was dismissed. A settlement for the remainder of his contract was reached in November 2004.
On 13 September 2007, Leicester City chairman Milan Mandarić announced Gary Megson as the new manager of the club, citing Megson's "wealth of experience" as a deciding factor in the appointment. The Leicester side achieved its first League win under Megson on 6 October, 2007 with a 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough with goals from Gareth McAuley and an own goal by Akpo Sodje.
A month into Megson's tenure at Leicester, Mandarić rejected an approach from Bolton Wanderers for the manager's services. On October 23 however, Bolton announced that Megson was their first choice to become their new manager, and made a second approach for him. The club said they were also willing to compensate Leicester should Megson leave the Walkers Stadium. This second approach was also rejected by Milan Mandarić, but Megson was eventually given permission to speak to Bolton and he left Leicester on 24 October 2007, just 41 days and nine League games after his appointment.
Bolton had made a poor start to the 2007-08 season under Sammy Lee, and when Megson took over they were bottom of the Premier League table with only 5 points from 10 games. Megson's first game in charge was against Aston Villa on 28 October, and finished 1–1. He recorded his first win on 24 November when Bolton beat Manchester United, the champions and League leaders, 1–0; this was their first home victory over United for 30 years.
By the New Year Bolton were lying 16th in the Premier League table, but only two points ahead of Fulham who were 19th. In January 2008 they sold Nicolas Anelka to Chelsea for £15 million, and brought in no comparable replacement. In February 2008 however they beat Atletico Madrid (who at the time were lying fourth in La Liga) 1-0 on aggregate, winning 1-0 at home and drawing 0-0 away, to reach the last 16 of the UEFA Cup for the first time in the club's history.
Their League form remained poor, and a 4-0 defeat at Aston Villa on 5 April left them in 18th place, two points adrift of safety. But they proceeded to take 11 points from their last five games (including a 1-1 draw at Chelsea on the final day of the season) to secure survival in the Premier League - the first time Megson had achieved this as a manager.
|Norwich City||December 21 1995||July 31 1996||27||5||13||9||18.51|
|Blackpool||July 5 1996||July 1 1997||52||21||16||15||40.38|
|Stockport County||July 1 1997||June 25 1999||102||35||40||27||34.31|
|Stoke City||July 14 1999||November 15 1999||22||9||6||7||40.90|
|West Bromwich Albion||March 9 2000||October 26 2004||221||94||77||50||42.53|
|Nottingham Forest||January 10 2005||February 16 2006||59||17||24||18||28.81|
|Leicester City||September 13 2007||October 24 2007||9||3||2||4||33.33|
|Bolton Wanderers||October 25 2007||Present||45||12||20||13||26.67|
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