Page 15 - TheManger09092011

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— STEVE BRUCE —
LEADERS
the
manager
AUTUMN 2011
THE GREAT
UNKNOWN
Although he’s been in the public eye for more than three
decades, there’s still a great deal we don’t know about
Steve Bruce and his football philosophy.
Te Manager
heads north to learn more about the Sunderland boss
WORDS
SUE MCKELLAR
PHOTOGRAPHY
BOWLES ASSOCIATES
FOR A MAN WHO’S BEEN
a
major face in English football for
more than 30 years, Steve Bruce still
retains a certain air of mystery. Tis
can be attributed largely to Bruce’s
humble approach when refecting on
his professional achievements. Such
humility, combined with a work
ethic garnered from his north-east
upbringing has seen Steve Bruce
impress in his 13 years as a manager.
Bruce was born in Corbridge,
Northumberland on New Year’s Eve
1960. Although he showed exceptional
promise as a schoolboy footballer, he
managed to elude the major clubs’
scouts and was about to start as an
apprentice with the Swan Hunter
shipyard when he was signed by
Gillingham, then operating in the
old third division. (Bruce travelled
to Kent for trials with another lad
from his local team, Wallsend Boys
Club, but was the only one of the
pair who was selected. His travelling
companion? Te future England
forward Peter Beardsley.)
Having moved steadily up the
football ladder (his 205 senior
appearances for Gillingham had been
rewarded by a move to Norwich
City in 1984) Bruce made the move
that defned his playing career, by
joining Manchester United during
the 1987/88 season. Although Bruce’s
move to United didn’t bring immediate
success, his signing marked the
beginning of a new era for the club
and the rest, of course, is history.
During his nine seasons at Old
Traford, Bruce played his part in
winning three Barclays Premier League
titles, three FA Cups, one League Cup
and the club’s frst European trophy in
more than two decades, the European
Cup Winners Cup. He was the frst
Englishman to captain a double-
winning team... but surprisingly he
was never selected to play for England.
Having led his team to another title
win in the 1995/96 season, Bruce (by
now 35 years old) decided to move on,
rather than become a ‘bit part’ player
in the club’s ongoing success story.