January 31 – England’s First Manager Born

England was the birthplace of football, soccer as it is called in the United States, and as such hold the honor of being the first at many events in the game’s history but not so with appointing a team manager which first happened in 1947 when Walter Winterbottom was named England manager.

And it was on this day in soccer history in 1913 that Winterbottom was born.

Winterbottom was not only the first but the longest serving manager in team history.  He led the Three Lions in 4 FIFA World Cups.  And his task did not end with managing the game as Winterbottom was in charge of all aspects of the team from game strategies to travel, as well as accommodations and meals.

And today’s managers think they have it hard!

The first manager got off to a good start with a 7-2 victory over Ireland in September 1946 in his opener but will always be associated with one of his greatest losses.  Winterbottom was at the helm when mighty England lost to an amateur side from the United States in the 1950 FIFA World Cup, known as the ‘Miracle on Grass.’

Soccer Birthdays

1913 – Walter Winterbottom – First England national team manager
1949 – Johan Derksen, Dutch footballer and sports journalist
1971 – Dimitris Markos, Greek footballer
1976 – Traianos Dellas, Greek footballer
1978 – Fabián Caballero, Argentine footballer
1981 – Julio Arca, Argentinian football player
1982 – Andreas Görlitz, German football player
1985 – Adam Federici, Australian footballer
1986 – Yves Makabu-Makalambay, Belgian football goalkeeper

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