After considering Sir Bobby Robson, Ottmar Hitzfeld and Claudio Ranieri, Heart of Midlothian’s chairman Vladimir Romanov made the surprise announcement of Graham Rix the new team manager on this day in soccer history in 2005.
While Rix had experience helping lead Chelsea to the FA Cup in 1997 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup, a Charity Shield and the League Cup in 1998 as an assistant, the choice was a surprise as Rix was convicted and served 12 months in prison for having underage sex and indecently assaulting a 15-year-old girl
The fans did not like the personal history of the new manager but this did not slow Romanov down.
“I can understand the feelings of some Hearts fans. But, in Russia, we have a saying that a man that’s beaten by life is worth two that are unbeaten: which means that someone who has made a mistake is capable of becoming a better man.”
Former manager George Burley, who had lead Hearts to the top of the table, was rumored to have been sacked because he did not like the chairman intervening in team matters.
The new manager did not last long and was sacked on March 22 the following year.
1944 – Luigi Riva, Italian footballer
1959 – Alexandre Guimarães, Costa Rican football manager
1963 – John Barnes, English footballer
1972 – Marcus Stewart, English football player
1973 – Martín Palermo, Argentine footballer
1978 – Mohamed Aboutrika, Egyptian footballer
1978 – Rio Ferdinand, English footballer
1978 – Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Dutch footballer
1979 – Danny Fonseca, Costa Rican footballer
1984 – Jonathan Bornstein, U.S. national team player