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Gerald Charles James Francis (born Chiswickmarker, 6 December 1951), is an English former footballer and manager, now working as First Team coach at Stoke City.

Playing career

Francis made his debut for Queens Park Rangers v Liverpool in March 1969. He was captain and central midfield player during the 1970s and was a key player in the QPR side which came within a hair's breadth of their first-ever league title in 1976. He won 12 caps for the England team between 1974 and 1976, and was captain for eight of those matches. He left QPR for in 1979, although he subsequently returned to QPR for a 2nd spell, before a move to . However this was a time when he suffered injury problems.

Later career

In 1983 he was appointed player-manager of Exeter City although they endured a difficult season. Francis then had further short playing spells at , and before a move to in 1985 yielded 32 league appearances.

Management career

Bristol Rovers

Following this playing spell he succeeded Bobby Gould as manager of Third Division side Bristol Rovers. In 1990 he guided the Pirates to the Third Division title and thus they won promotion to the Second Division, but a year later he returned to QPR as manager.

Queens Park Rangers

In 1992-93, QPR finished fifth in the inaugural Premier League - highest placed of all the Londonmarker teams. They finished ninth in 1993-94 and eighth in 1994-95, but in November 1994 Francis left Loftus Roadmarker for Tottenham Hotspur.

Tottenham Hotspur

1994-95 was a 'nearly' season for Tottenham. They finished seventh in the Premier League - two places off a UEFA Cup place - and lost to Everton in the semi finals of the FA Cup. Mid table finishes in the next two seasons were unconvincing and Francis resigned in November 1997 with Spurs battling against relegation from the Premier League. During his time at Tottenham Francis became resented by the fans over his handling of star player Darren Anderton. It has been argued that Francis is largely responsible for Anderton's recurring injuries, placing him in the team without sufficient time to recover, which resulted in Anderton only appearing in eight games in the 1995/96 season and 17 games in the 1996/97 season

Back to QPR

In September 1998, Gerry Francis was named as QPR manager for the second time. They had slumped since his departure four years earlier and were now Division One strugglers. He kept them clear of relegation over the next two seasons before finally resigning in February 2001 with a return to the lower half of the league imminent after more than 30 years. He briefly became Director of Football at QPR before beginning his second spell as manager of Bristol Rovers in June 2001.

Bristol Rovers again

Three successive wins at the start of the 2001-02 campaign gave the Pirates hope for promotion back to Division Two, but injuries soon took their toll on the side's form and Francis resigned just before Christmas. The Pirates continued to slide and missed out on relegation to the Conference by just one place. Francis has not been in management since.

Stoke City

On 4 October 2008, he was offered a position of first team coach at Newcastle United, however due to the uncertainty over the period of the role he decided to take up an offer from Stoke City to become their first team coach.

Media work

Francis occasionally appears as a football pundit on TV.

Managerial stats

Team From To P W D L W%
Exeter City 20 July 1983 14 May 1984 46 6 15 25 13.0%
Bristol Rovers 1 July 1987 13 May 1991 206 85 63 58 41.3%
Queens Park Rangers 1 June 1991 11 November 1994 158 59 47 52 37.3%
Tottenham Hotspur 15 November 1994 19 November 1997 142 55 42 45 38.7%
Queens Park Rangers 16 October 1998 25 February 2001 125 36 42 47 28.8%
Bristol Rovers 27 June 2001 24 December 2001 31 9 10 12 29.0%


References

  1. Soccerbase - Darren Anderton



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