* temporary/caretaker manager
Lennie Lawrence *
Unlike most modern football managers, Lennie Lawrence, who was in charge at Plymouth Argyle for a month in early 1978, never played the game as a professional.
Robin Michael Lawrence was born in Brighton in December 1947 and turned out for non-League sides Croydon, Carshalton Athletic and Sutton United. His first job in football management came in 1977, when he was appointed assistant to Mike Kelly at Home Park.
When Kelly left the club in February 1978, Lawrence was appointed caretaker manager. Under him, the team played five League matches, drawing three and losing two. The board then persuaded Malcolm Allison to return for a second spell in charge, and Lawrence left the club.
Following this less than glorious introduction to the world of football management, Lawrence reverted to coaching, helping Lincoln City to win promotion to the Third Division in 1981. Later that year, he became assistant manager of Charlton Athletic, stepping up to the manager's job in 1982. He stayed there for nine years, leading the team through the stormy years when the club came close to going out of business and when, in 1985, they had to leave their ground, The Valley. Throughout this time, though, he kept the club in the Second Division until, in 1986, they were promoted to the top flight for the first time in 29 years. Although they were relegated again four years later, he held onto his job for another season.
In the summer of 1991, Lawrence moved north to take over at Middlesbrough. The team were promoted to the Premiership at the end of his first season, but struggled at the higher level and were immediately relegated again. As at Charlton, he kept his job for another year before being replaced by Bryan Robson in 1994.
Never out of work for long, Lawrence then spent eighteen months at Bradford City. In November 1995, Bradford were challenging for promotion from the Second Division when he left them to manage Luton Town, who were then struggling in the First. Despite his best efforts, the Hatters were relegated at the end of the season, their place taken by his former club Bradford City.
Despite this, Lawrence remained in charge at Kenilworth Road until 2000, when he resigned after the team missed out on promotion. Once again, he was soon back in work, taking on the manager's job at Grimsby Town. With his help, the Mariners avoided relegation in 2001 and knocked holders Liverpool out of the League Cup the following season. Despite this, though, he was sacked in December 2001.
For the first time in his career, Lawrence then took a break from the game until he was persuaded to become a consultant to Cardiff City, then managed by Alan Cork. When Cork was sacked in February 2002, Lawrence took over, winning promotion through the playoffs in his first season. He stayed at Ninian Park for another two years, and resigned in 2005.
Lennie Lawrence is now Director of Football at Bristol Rovers, working alongside coach Paul Trollope. In their first year in charge, 2006-2007, the Gas were promoted to League One, and in 2007-2008 they reached the FA Cup quarter finals for the first time since 1958.
[Kindly supplied by Peggy Prior, author of The Gaffer Tapes, a series on Argyle's managers that first appeared in matchday programmes in 2007-08]
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