Danny Wilson (footballer, born 1960)

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Danny Wilson
Wilson, Danny.jpg
Wilson in 2008
Personal information
Full name Daniel Joseph Wilson
Date of birth (1960-01-01) 1 January 1960 (age 59)
Place of birth Wigan, England
Height 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976–1977 Wigan Athletic 8 (1)
1977–1980 Bury 90 (9)
1980–1983 Chesterfield 100 (13)
1983 Nottingham Forest 10 (1)
1983Scunthorpe United (loan) 6 (3)
1983–1987 Brighton & Hove Albion 135 (33)
1987–1990 Luton Town 110 (24)
1990–1993 Sheffield Wednesday 98 (11)
1993–1995 Barnsley 77 (2)
Total 634 (97)
National team
1987–1992 Northern Ireland 24 (1)
Teams managed
1994–1998 Barnsley
1998–2000 Sheffield Wednesday
2000–2004 Bristol City
2004–2006 Milton Keynes Dons
2006–2008 Hartlepool United
2008–2011 Swindon Town
2011–2013 Sheffield United
2013–2015 Barnsley
2015–2017 Chesterfield
2019 Buxton (Caretaker)[1]
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Daniel Joseph Wilson (born 1 January 1960) is a former footballer and manager. He has previously coached Sheffield Wednesday, Bristol City, Milton Keynes Dons, Hartlepool United, Swindon Town, Sheffield United, Barnsley and Chesterfield.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Wigan, Lancashire, Wilson started his career with hometown club Wigan Athletic in the Northern Premier League, scoring once in eight appearances before moving to Bury in the Football League.[2] As a player, he won the Anglo Scottish cup with Chesterfield in 1981, and went on to win the League Cup with both Luton Town in 1988 and Sheffield Wednesday in 1991. His equaliser for Luton against Arsenal with seven minutes remaining in the 1988 final is arguably the most famous match-saving goal in the club's history. He was also a runner-up in both domestic cup finals with Sheffield Wednesday in 1993. He also won 24 caps for Northern Ireland, scoring one goal.

Managerial career[edit]


In 1993, Wilson and Viv Anderson joined Barnsley from Sheffield Wednesday on free transfers to become player-assistant manager and manager respectively. 12 months later, after a disappointing season, Wilson was appointed player-manager after Viv Anderson left to become assistant manager to Bryan Robson at Middlesbrough.

In 1994–95, Barnsley finished sixth in Division One. In an ordinary season this would have meant occupying a playoff place, but due to the Premier League reducing from 22 to 20 clubs, only two teams would be promoted (with fifth placed club occupying the final playoff place) and Barnsley missed out. The following season was a disappointment as the club finished mid-table.

In the following season, 1996–97, Wilson guided Barnsley to the Premier League as Division One runners-up. It was the first time that Barnsley had won promotion to the top division of English football. Although their stay lasted only a single season before relegation, Wilson's side reached the FA Cup quarter finals knocking out favourites Manchester United in the fifth round.

Sheffield Wednesday[edit]

In the summer of 1998, Wilson returned to his old club Sheffield Wednesday as manager and was hopeful of revitalising the club's fortunes. They had just finished 16th in the Premier League and five seasons earlier, when Wilson was still on the club's playing staff, they had reached both domestic cup finals and finished seventh in the first ever Premier League.

In 1998–99, Wilson guided Sheffield Wednesday to a respectable 12th place in the Premier League and had hopes for a top half finish the following season. But he was sacked the following March, having led the club only toward relegation.[3] Four Sheffield based MPs including David Blunkett called for his head in January 2000 (he picked up the Premier League's Manager of the Month award in January 2000) following some poor results like losing 8–0 to Newcastle United. Bassetlaw MP Joe Ashton said after his sacking: "Danny was a lovely fellow, but he couldn't do it (manage Sheffield Wednesday).[4]

Bristol City[edit]

In June 2000, Wilson was appointed manager of Division Two Bristol City on a four-year contract. He left the club at the end of the 2003–04 season after his contract was not renewed, having failed to achieve promotion at the club.[5]

Milton Keynes Dons[edit]

In December 2004, Wilson took over from Stuart Murdoch as the new manager of the League One side Milton Keynes Dons.[6] In his first season, he managed to save the club from relegation – they would have gone down had it not been for a 10-point penalty imposed on Wrexham who had gone into receivership.

Wilson was unable to save MK Dons from relegation to League Two at the end of the 2005–06 season, and he was sacked on 10 May 2006.[7]

Hartlepool United[edit]

On 13 June 2006, Wilson was appointed manager of Hartlepool United.[8] Wilson took over from Youth Team Coach Paul Stephenson who took temporary charge of the First Team for the late stages of the 2005–06 season. Hartlepool United were relegated alongside MK Dons to League Two.

In the 2006–07 season, he brought Hartlepool to second from top of League 2 and won promotion back to League 1.

He left Hartlepool United on 15 December 2008, leaving Chris Turner in temporary charge.[9]

Swindon Town[edit]

Appointed manager of Swindon Town on 26 December 2008, Wilson saved the team from relegation that season. Wilson brought in many new signings, including Gordon Greer, Alan O'Brien, Jonathan Douglas, David Lucas and Charlie Austin[10] After getting Swindon into the 10 League 1 Play-off Final, the club lost 0–1 against Millwall F.C..

The following 2009–10 play-off season saw Wilson and club chairman Andrew Fitton forge many relationships with Premier League and SPL sides, most notably Liverpool, Manchester City and Celtic, who all loaned Wilson players to aid his development of the squad. Wilson released youth team goalkeeper Jamie Stephens to the Liverpool youth academy, who in turn loaned Swindon Stephen Darby, who later scored the winning penalty that put Swindon through to the 2009–10 play-off final. Simon Ferry and Paul Caddis were loaned from Celtic, both having since been signed on permanent deals from the club. Wilson loaned Manchester City striker David Ball for the 2010–11 season. On 2 March 2011, Wilson resigned his post after a poor run of form that had seen the club slip into the relegation zone.[11]

Sheffield United[edit]

On 27 May 2011, Wilson was appointed the manager of Sheffield United. The appointment was greeted with some dissatisfaction amongst the fans, as approximately 400 gathered outside Bramall Lane to voice their anger at the appointment, particularly considering his links as a former player and manager of bitter rivals Sheffield Wednesday. Disapproving chants against his appointment could be heard throughout the announcing press conference. Wilson's subsequent statements suggested that he already felt the pressure resultant from having crossed the divide. As part of the restructure of the Blades managerial setup, captain Chris Morgan was promoted to a player-coach position. Morgan had played under Wilson during his earlier years at Barnsley. A couple of weeks later, Wilson appointed former Sheffield United player Frank Barlow as his assistant.[12]

Wilson made a positive start at the Blades, winning his first league game in charge with a 2–0 victory over Oldham Athletic. This was then followed up by a League Cup victory over Hartlepool United and a 2–0 home victory over Brentford in Wilson's first home league game. Wilson was named League One manager of the month for December 2011 after managing the Blades to league victories over Rochdale, Bournemouth, Notts County and Hartlepool United. Despite the Blades scoring 92 league goals and accumulating 90 points (finishing 3rd) in Wilson's first season in charge, the team lost on penalties in the 2011–12 League One play-off final against Huddersfield Town.

Wilson won the League One manager of the month award for October 2012 after guiding the Blades into the automatic promotion places, including a 19-game unbeaten run in all competitions. However, six months later he left Sheffield United on 10 April 2013 following a poor run of form.[13]


On 17 December 2013, Wilson was announced as manager of Barnsley for the second time, fifteen years after his previous departure. He took over following the sacking of David Flitcroft with Barnsley at the foot of the Championship table.[14]

On 12 February 2015, Wilson was sacked by Barnsley after a poor run of results.[15]


On 24 December 2015 he was named as new manager of Chesterfield, replacing Dean Saunders.[16] His second game in charge saw an impressive 7-1 victory against Shrewsbury Town.[17]

Wilson secured Chesterfield's League One status with a game to spare, ending the season in 18th place.[18]

The following season started brightly under Wilson, with Chesterfield remaining unbeaten in the opening three games of the season, winning two.[19]

Wilson was sacked as Chesterfield manager on 8 January 2017, following a 2-0 defeat at Bradford City, after a poor run of results.

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 7 January 2017[20]
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Barnsley England 2 June 1994 7 July 1998 201 74 55 72 36.82
Sheffield Wednesday England 7 July 1998 21 March 2000 80 23 17 40 28.75
Bristol City England 27 June 2000 5 June 2004 226 107 55 64 47.35
Milton Keynes Dons England 7 December 2004 21 June 2006 82 25 25 32 30.49
Hartlepool United England 31 June 2006 15 December 2008 133 58 29 46 43.61
Swindon Town England 26 December 2008 2 March 2011 121 44 40 37 36.36
Sheffield United England 27 May 2011 10 April 2013 106 55 31 20 51.89
Barnsley England 17 December 2013 12 February 2015 63 19 13 31 30.16
Chesterfield England 24 December 2015 8 January 2017 56 18 10 28 32.14
Total 1,066 422 276 368 39.55


As a player[edit]


Luton Town

Sheffield Wednesday

As a manager[edit]


Bristol City

Hartlepool United


Personal life[edit]

Wilson lives in Chesterfield with his wife Karen.[23] His son, Laurie, was also a professional footballer.[24]


  1. ^ https://www.betvictornorthernpremier.co.uk/buxton-thank-former-premiership-manager-60040
  2. ^ Hayes, Dean (1996). The Latics: The Official History of Wigan Athletic F.C. Harefield: Yore Publications. ISBN 1-874427-91-7.
  3. ^ "Owls sack Wilson". BBC Sport. 21 March 2000.
  4. ^ "Wilson sacking inevitable – MPs". BBC News. 21 March 2000.
  5. ^ "Wilson leaves Robins post". BBC Sport. 5 June 2004. Retrieved 5 June 2004.
  6. ^ "Wilson named Milton Keynes boss". BBC Sport. 7 December 2004. Retrieved 7 December 2004.
  7. ^ "MK Dons part company with Wilson". BBC Sport. 10 May 2006. Retrieved 10 May 2006.
  8. ^ "Wilson appointed Hartlepool boss". BBC Sport. 13 June 2006. Retrieved 13 June 2006.
  9. ^ "Hartlepool dismiss manager Wilson". BBC Sport. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  10. ^ "Wilson appointed Swindon manager". BBC Sport. 26 December 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  11. ^ "Danny Wilson quits as Swindon Town manager". BBC News. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
  12. ^ "Danny Wilson unveiled as Sheffield United manager". BBC Sport. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
  13. ^ "Sheffield United sack Wilson with former captain Morgan in charge until end of season". Daily Mail. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  14. ^ "Barnsley: Danny Wilson to become manager for second time". BBC Sport. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  15. ^ "Danny Wilson: Barnsley sack experienced manager". BBC Sport. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Danny Wilson: Chesterfield appoint ex-Barnsley manager". BBC Sport. 24 December 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  17. ^ "Chesterfield crushed fellow strugglers Shrewsbury to record their first league victory since late October". BBC Sport. 2 January 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Fixture List". Chesterfield FC. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  19. ^ "Chesterfield 2 -0 Walsall". BBC Sport. 16 August 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  20. ^ "Danny Wilson's managerial career". Soccerbase. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  21. ^ "Manager profile: Danny Wilson". Premier League. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  22. ^ "Boss nets gong". Sheffield United F.C. 6 January 2012. Archived from the original on 8 January 2012.
  23. ^ "Signing Ched Evans does not make us ogres". The Times. 15 August 2016.
  24. ^ "Harrogate Town sign Laurie Wilson from Alfreton Town". BBC Sport. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.

External links[edit]