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John Benjamin Toshack OBE (born 22 March 1949) is a Welshmarker football manager and former player. He is the current manager of the Welsh national football team, having taken on this role in late 2004, and briefly managed the national side once before in the early 1990s. He has also managed several others clubs including Swansea City, who he took from the Fourth Division to the First in three seasons.

As a player, he is best remembered for being part of the great Liverpool side of the 1970s, where he formed a formidable forward partnership with Kevin Keegan.

Cardiff City (1965-1970)

Born in Cardiffmarker, Walesmarker, Toshack started his footballing career with Cardiff City, signing for them as a 16 year old. He became the youngest ever player to play in a league match for the club when he came off the bench to make a goalscoring debut during a 3-1 win over Leyton Orient on 13 November 1965 at the age of 16 years and 236 days old, a record which would stand for 41 years until it was broken by Aaron Ramsey in 2007. Establishing himself in the side over the next few years, scoring his first hat-trick in January 1978 in an 8-0 win over Ebbw Vale in the Welsh Cup, he would go on to form one of the most lethal strike partnerships in the clubs history alongside Brian Clark.

Liverpool (1970-1978)

After four years at Cardiff City, he was signed by Bill Shankly for Liverpool on the 11 November 1970. Already a full international, Shankly paid £110,000 for the giant striker. Toshack made his debut 3 days later on the 14th in the goalless league draw with Coventry City at Anfieldmarker. His first goal came a week later on the 21st in a remarkable Merseyside derby at Anfield. With the game 0-0 at half-time Everton thundered into a 2-0 lead just after the start of the second half. 69 minutes in Steve Heighway pulled a goal back, this seemed to spring the Reds into life, Toshack's goal in the 76th minute completely turned the game around, then when Chris Lawler prodded home the 84th minute winner the fans almost lifted the roof off the Kop. Toshack's goal instantly made him a hit amongst the Anfield faithful, which was a good thing as they had initially voiced their concerns in paying so much for the Welshman.

In 1971, Kevin Keegan joined Liverpool from Scunthorpe United. Toshack and Keegan struck up an almost telepathic partnership with Toshack winning everything in the air and Keegan finishing the knock downs. They were a delight for commentators as their names rolled off the tongue easily, one famous piece of commentary by David Coleman went "Toshack, Keegan, one nil!" Such was their fame, the football magazine Shoot likened them to the comic book crimebusters Batman and Robin even taking a photograph of the pair dressed in the Dynamic Duo's costumes. By the time Keegan left for Germanmarker side Hamburg SV he had scored exactly 100 goals with a large percentage of them being set up by Toshack.

During his time with Liverpool Toshack scored 96 goals; he was part of the team that won the Football League Championship in 1973, 1976 and 1977, the FA Cup in 1974, and the UEFA Cup in 1973 and 1976. He played for the Welsh national football team at schoolboy, under-23 and full international level earning 40 caps and scoring 12 goals, including a hat trick against Scotland in the 1979 British Home Championship. However, his playing career was blighted by injuries and he was transferred to Swansea City A.F.C. as player-manager in 1978 (he already passed his coaching badge at the age of 18), where he succeeded Harry Griffiths.

Toshack is still held in high regard by the supporters of Liverpool and was voted in at No.34 on the Liverpool Football Club web-site poll 100 Players Who Shook The Kop, in which thousands of fans worldwide voted for their top 100 Liverpool players.

Management career

Swansea City (1978-1984)

He was an immediate success at the Vetch Fieldmarker, taking them from the Fourth Division all the way to the First Division in four seasons. Once they reached the top flight, the Swans were predicted by many to go straight back down, but they kicked off with a surprise 5-1 victory over Leeds United and topped the league at several stages of the season before finishing sixth. However, they were relegated the following year and then suffered a second successive relegation and eventually returned to the league basement in 1986 just 8 years after Toshack first took charge. Toshack won the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year in 1981.

It was around this time that Toshack received the OBE for his services to football.

Spells abroad and first spell with Wales (1984-2004)

In 1984, Toshack was appointed manager of the Portuguesemarker side Sporting Lisbon, but he only lasted one season in the post. His greatest success as a manager so far came in Spainmarker, where he managed Real Madrid twice, Real Sociedad three times, Deportivo La Coruna and Real Murcia. He has also managed the Turkishmarker side Beşiktaş J.K., Frenchmarker side AS Saint-Étienne and Italianmarker side Catania. He was appointed manager of Wales for the first time in 1994, but only spent 41 days in the post, resigning after a 3-1 defeat to Norway.

Welsh national team (2004-present)

Despite this, he was appointed to the post for a second time in November 2004. This was greeted with scepticism by many Welsh fans, as Toshack had often spoken negatively about the national side during the reign of his predecessor Mark Hughes (1999-2004), despite Hughes having taken Wales to within one game of the European Championship.

Personal life

Toshack's son Cameron, was also a professional footballer, making a handful of appearances for Cardiff City.


As a player

As player/manager

As a manager

Individual honours


External links

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