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Graeme Souness

Nationality: Scottish
Date of Birth: 06/05/1953


Graeme Souness moved to St.James Park in September 2004 after returning to English football management in March 2000 with Blackburn Rovers after spells managing in Italy, Portugal and Turkey.

During a glittering playing career, Graeme Souness was a three-time European Cup winner with the dominant Liverpool side of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and was a respected Scotland international who figured in three successive World Cup finals tournaments. Renowned for his tough-tackling in midfield, Graeme had started out as an apprentice with Tottenham, before moving to Middlesbrough.

After his five years at Anfield, he played in Italy with Sampdoria before returning to his homeland to become Rangers player/manager. He began his managerial career in typical style, by guiding the Glasgow side to three league titles and four Scottish league cups.

Graeme moved south of the border to rejoin Liverpool, taking over the Anfield hot seat, in 1991, but he could not reproduce the success he enjoyed as a player on Merseyside, with only an FA Cup triumph in 1992 to show for his efforts.

Following his departure in 1994, Souness had spells on the continent with Galatasaray, Torino and Benfica, returning briefly to England to manage Southampton in between his travels from Greece to Italy.

The Scot was tempted back into management in England by Blackburn Rovers, and was charged with the task of returning the club to their former status as one of the country's leading clubs.

This he managed in his first full season in charge, as Rovers finished runners-up to Fulham in the First Division having seen off the challenge of local rivals Bolton, who were later promoted as play-off champions.

Souness dedicated the team's promotion to the late chairman Jack Walker, who had passed away the year before.

The former Liverpool boss set about establishing Rovers in the top flight, with the likes of Gary Flitcroft, rising English stars David Dunn and Matt Jansen, and Republic of Ireland winger Damien Duff at the heart of his team.

Graeme's primary aim in the 2001/2002 season was to survive in the Barclaycard Premiership, although he believed Blackburn were capable of finishing in the top half of the table.

A reasonable start to the season was undone by a disappointing run, which dragged Rovers into a relegation fight. However, they managed to finish the campaign on a high note, having signed Manchester United striker Andy Cole, by winning the Worthington Cup in Cardiff and escaping the drop.

Previous Clubs

Blackburn, Southampton, Benfica (PO), Turin (IT), Galatasaray (TU), Liverpool, Rangers

Reproduced under permission from the League Managers Association.
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