Manchester: The City Years

Stuart Pearce

Stuart Pearce

Born: Hammersmith, 24 April 1962

11th March 2005 - 14th May 2007

Stuart Pearce was appointed caretaker manager of City in March 2005, following Kevin Keegan's resignation (Pearce was previously part of Keegan's coaching team). He enjoyed something of a honeymoon period, as City finished the season strongly and only narrowly missed out on European qualification. Robbie Fowler's missed penalty, in the closing minutes of the final game of the season against Midlesbrough ultimately cost City a place in the UEFA Cup, but Pearce was given the manger's job on a permanent basis.

In the summer of 2005 he signed Darius Vassell and Andy Cole from Aston Villa and Fulham respectively, and City started the season brightly with the new look strikeforce linking up well. Further funds were made available in the January transfer window, and Georgios Samaras joined in a £6m deal from Heerenveen. The Greek forward struggled to adapt to the pace of the Premiership, and City ended the season in disappointing fashion, finishing 15th after losing nine of the last ten games.

Pearce failed to bring about an improvement the following season, with City playing a dour brand of football that saw them score just 10 goals at home in the league, and none after New Years Day in 2007, a record low in top-flight English football. A humiliating league cup defeat to Chesterfield and training ground fight between Joey Barton and Ousmane Dabo added to Pearce's woes, and City in truth were fortunate to avoid relegation.

In February 2007 Pearce had been appointed manager of the England Under-21 team, initially part-time in conjunction with his role at City. He was sacked by the club in May 2007, and was subsequently replaced by Sven-Goran Eriksson.

All history and statistical material has been produced based on the research and writing of Manchester football historian Gary James ( It is maintained by Ric Turner & Gary James. All text remains the copyright of the original contributors.

Gary's book, Manchester - the City Years: Tracing the Story of Manchester City from the 1860s to the Modern Day, is available to order on Amazon.