|Managing:|| West Bromwich Albion|
|Date of Birth:|| 02/05/1959|
Gary Megson was appointed as manager of West Bromich Albion in March 2000, replacing Denis Smith at The Hawthorns.
It was Gary's fifth managerial appointment having previously been in charge at Stoke, Stockport, Blackpool and Norwich.
As a player he spent 18 years in English football as a hard working midfielder for Plymouth, Everton, Nottingham Forest, Newcastle, Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City and Norwich.
Having played in Norwich's famous European victory over Bayern Munich in 1993/94, alongside Jeremy Goss and Robert Fleck, after The Canaries excellent third place finish in the Premiership the year before, Megson became assistant manager to John Deehan at Carrow Road when Mike Walker left the club for Everton.
His first experience at the helm was as caretaker boss following Deehan's departure in 1995 and it was an unhappy one as he was unable to prevent the team from being relegated to the First Division.
Following Martin O'Neill's short time in charge, Megson returned to Carrow Road - after spells as a player with Shrewsbury and Lincoln - as full-time manager but made way for Mike Walker's return in 1996.
He moved on to Blackpool for one year before returning to the North West - where he is fondly remembered by Manchester City fans - to manage Stockport County.
Succeeding Dave Jones at Edgeley Park, Gary guided County to a respectable 8th place finish in their first season in Division One, but the following season saw the club slip down the table and Megson left in June 1999.
He was soon in charge of Stoke City but his reign at the Britannia Stadium lasted just four months after disagreements with the board.
Stoke's loss was West Brom's gain. After several seasons of struggle, Megson kick-started one of the best seasons in several years at The Hawthorns.
The Baggies were fighting for a play-off spot for most of the second half of the season and they reached the top six of the Nationwide League First Division, qualifying to face Bolton in the play-off semi-finals.
Megson's team got off to a fantastic start against The Trotters, taking a 2-0 lead at the Hawthorns. But Sam Allardyce's team staged a late comeback in the first-leg to finish on level terms before cruising to a 3-0 win in the return leg and eventually going on to win promotion.
The failure to reach to reach the final was a disappointment but Megson was able to take heart from the fact that Albion were beaten by the eventual play-off champions.
His aim the following season was to reach the play-offs once again and give The Baggies another shot at promotion.
With Wolves and Manchester City looking odds-on to secure the top two spots in Division One, it seemed that Megson's team would indeed be in the play-offs but a disappointing finish to Wolves campaign saw West Brom's Black Country rivals take just 10 points from their last nine games and allowed The Baggies to snatch second place and automatic promotion to the Barclaycard Premiership.
A 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at The Hawthorns on the final day of the season secured West Brom's promotion and further enhanced Gary Megson's reputation as one the best young managers in the country.
Never one to hold back, Megson publically admitted to having disagreements with the club's chairman Paul Thompson and even stated that he could leave the club if certain differences were not resolved. Not wishing to lose the services of the man who had taken Albion into the top flight with such limited resources, Paul Thompson announced on at the end of April 2002 that he would be stepping down from his position.
Stoke, Stockport, Blackpool, Norwich
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LAURIE WHITWELL AT HAWTHORNS: Gary Megson nearly provided incoming Alan Pardew with a parting gift of three points but Newcastle staged a late comeback to avoid defeat. www.dailymail.co.uk