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John McGovern (footballer)

Personal information
Full nameJohn Prescott McGovern
Date of birth28 October 1949(age 67)
Place of birthMontrose, Scotland
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing positionMidfielder

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John McGovern (born 28 October 1949 in Montrose) is a Scottish former association football player and manager. McGovern is most famous for captaining the Nottingham Forest side that won the European Cup twice, under the management of Brian Clough.

Although McGovern was born in Scotland, he moved with his family to Hartlepool at the age of seven. He was a fine all-round athlete from an early age, but it was at rugby rather than football that he first excelled. At school in Hartlepool, he was the fly half and captain of the first XV. Switching to the round-ball code at 15, he was signed on apprentice forms by Brian Clough and in Hartlepool's first team at the age of 16.

At the age of 19 he became the youngest player to play in all four divisions of the Football League and during his playing career he won promotion with Hartlepool United, Derby County and Nottingham Forest. He also won two Scottish U23 caps, and was to go on a play over 500 league games during his career. He forged a long-lasting relationship with manager, Brian Clough, and assistant-manager, Peter Taylor, at both Derby County and Nottingham Forest, who recognised his footballing ability, despite his missing a muscle in his back.

McGovern transferred from Hartlepool United to Derby County for a fee of £7500 in September 1968, and by January he had established himself in the Derby side that was to win promotion back to the First Division and won the First Division title in 1972.

He was still with the Rams when Brian Clough controversially resigned as manager in October 1973, but Clough took him to Leeds United in August 1974 just after beginning what would be an ill-fated 44-day spell as manager of the Elland Road side. Clough made a quick management comeback in January 1975 with Second Division side Nottingham Forest in January 1975 and Clough signed him for Forest the following month.. McGovern went on to be captain of Nottingham Forest where he won the League Championship again along with two League Cups and two European Cups. He would end up spending more than seven years at the City Ground.

McGovern joined Bolton Wanderers as Player Manager in 1982 83, and he made a total of 16 League appearances for them before moving to Horwich RMI. . During his time at Bolton he had to work under tight financial restraints and therefore had to rely on a lot of the clubs younger players including Warren Joyce, Steve Thompson, Simon Farnworth and Jimmy Phillips all of whom are now working as football coaches themselves.

Assistant Manager at Plymouth Argyle and Hull City, Joint Manager at Rotherham United (with Archie Gemmill), and he was also Manager of Woking F.C. from 1997 to 1998.

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