Neil Warnock: Footballer; football manager (1948-) | Biography
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Neil Warnock
Footballer; football manager

Neil Warnock

Neil Warnock
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Footballer; football manager
Is Sports official Athlete Football player Association football player Association football manager
From United Kingdom
Field Sports
Gender male
Birth 1 December 1948, Sheffield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Yorkshire and the Humber
Age 74 years
Height: 175
The details (from wikipedia)


Neil Warnock (born 1 December 1948) is an English football manager, currently managing Welsh side Cardiff City. His managerial career has lasted thirty-five years. He is also an established television and radio pundit working for several media outlets and a retired professional footballer.

He played as a winger for Chesterfield, Rotherham United, Hartlepool United, Scunthorpe United, Aldershot, Barnsley, York City and Crewe Alexandra, scoring 36 goals in 327 career league appearances. He retired in 1979 at just 30 to move into coaching.

His first managerial job was with non-League Gainsborough Trinity (1980–1981), Burton Albion (1981–1986) and Scarborough (1986–1989) winning promotion to the Football League with the latter in 1987. He then managed Notts County (1989–1993), leading them from the Third Division to the First Division in successive seasons, though he was sacked after the club were relegated the season before the First Division became the Premier League. After a brief spell at Torquay United (1993), he moved to Huddersfield Town (1993–1995), with whom he won promotion to the new First Division. He then resigned and joined Plymouth Argyle (1995–1997), leading them to the Second Division. After being sacked, he spent spells with Oldham Athletic (1997–1998) and Bury (1998–1999).

In 1999, he joined boyhood club Sheffield United, leading them to the semi-finals of the League Cup and FA Cup in 2003 and promotion to the Premier League in 2006. However, he resigned in 2007 after the club were relegated. He then took over at Crystal Palace (2007–2010), saving the club from relegation to League One. When the club went into administration, he left to join Queens Park Rangers (2010–2012), winning promotion to the Premier League with the club in 2011. He was sacked with the club in a precarious position and joined Leeds United (2012–2013). After being sacked by Leeds following a poor run of form, he was without a club for almost fifteen months until returning to Crystal Palace, now in the Premier League, in August 2014. In December 2014, he was sacked by Crystal Palace after a poor start to the season, which saw the club in the relegation zone. After a month as caretaker at Queens Park Rangers, Warnock returned to Rotherham United as manager in February 2016.

Playing career

After a brief stint working in a local undertakers Warnock started his professional playing career with Chesterfield in 1967, before moving on to Rotherham United, Hartlepool United, Scunthorpe United, Aldershot, Barnsley, York City and Crewe Alexandra, making a total of 327 league appearances in an eleven-year playing career. At Hartlepool he won the club's Player of the Season award in 1972. He finished his career at Crewe Alexandra in 1979, aged only 30, to concentrate on training as a coach.

Managerial career


After being involved in Sunday League coaching, his first full managerial job was with Northern Premier League side Gainsborough Trinity in 1981. Following this he managed Burton Albion and Scarborough. At Scarborough he and Paul Evans, his assistant, won the Football Conference title in 1987, making them the first team to win automatic promotion to the Football League following the abolition of the re-election system.

With Mick Jones

He had earlier spent time as a coach at Peterborough United, where he met Posh assistant boss Mick Jones. In late 1988, Warnock became manager of Notts County – then in the Third Division – with Jones as his assistant. Also joining the backroom staff were Warnock's assistant at Scarborough, Paul Evans, and ex-Scarborough physio Dave Wilson. The four helped County achieved successive promotions to reach the First Division for the 1991–92 season, with Warnock turning down lucrative offers to manage Chelsea and Sunderland during this time. However, Warnock was dismissed in January 1993 after County's relegation had cost them a place in the new Premier League.

In March 1993 he took over as 'consultant' at Torquay United, saving the club from relegation from the Football League. Warnock resumed his partnership with Jones, Evans and Wilson at Huddersfield Town, his appointment coming in July 1993.

Huddersfield Town

Warnock was quick to inject new blood into the Terriers' side, snapping up 'keeper Steve Francis, Darren Bullock, Ronnie Jepson, Tom Cowan and Pat Scully during his first season, all of whom would go on to become mainstays in the 1994/95 promotion season. He also showed faith in Centre of Excellence products such as Chris Billy, Simon Baldry and Andy Booth – a player then struggling to make the breakthrough who would go on to become a club legend in modern times. Despite these acquisitions Town struggled for most of the 1993/94 season, their last at Leeds Road, and Warnock was quick to offload fan favourites Iwan Roberts, Iffy Onoura and Chris Marsden while introducing a more direct style of play. He also did not enjoy the best of relationships with cult hero Phil Starbuck.

The run to the 1994 Football League Trophy Final (lost on penalties to Swansea City) coincided with an upturn in league form and a mass optimism further bolstered by the move to the new Alfred McAlpine Stadium for the 1994/95 season. Warnock's side won the Yorkshire Electricity Cup in late 1994. Warnock's side were genuine contenders for automatic promotion until falling away in the final few games to finish 5th (the final Play-Off spot that season owing to league re-structuring). They triumphed on penalties over 2nd-placed Brentford after two thrilling ties and went on to beat Bristol Rovers at Wembley.

He quit Huddersfield just days after their promotion, but made a swift and surprising return to management at Plymouth Argyle, who had just been relegated to Division Three.

Plymouth Argyle

In his first season as manager of Plymouth Argyle, Warnock took the club to Division Three play-off glory after finishing 4th in the league. The play-off semi-final was a memorable affair – Argyle played Colchester United and were 1–0 down from the 1st leg, but won 3–1 at Home Park in the 2nd leg. During this game, Warnock was sent off from the dug-out. Warnock responded to this by jumping into the crowd to watch the remainder of the match with the Argyle supporters.

The final was the first match that the club had played at Wembley Stadium. A header from Ronnie Mauge on 65 minutes gave Argyle a 1–0 win over Darlington and promotion to Division Two.

In February 1997, Warnock was surprisingly sacked as Argyle manager despite his popularity with the supporters.

Oldham and Bury

Following his successful period as manager of Plymouth Argyle, Warnock rounded out the 1990s with Oldham Athletic and Bury.

Sheffield United

Warnock with the Blades

He was appointed as manager of his boyhood club Sheffield United on 2 December 1999. In 2002–03, Warnock led Sheffield United to the semi-finals of the League Cup and FA Cup, only to lose to Liverpool and Arsenal respectively, as well as the First Division play-off final, with the Blades beaten 3–0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers. This was the first time in his management career that he had lost a play-off contest, as he had achieved four promotions via the playoffs in the 1990s.

In 2005 Jones resumed the partnership by taking up the assistant's post at Bramall Lane, and at the end of the 2005–06 season the club were promoted to the Premiership as runners-up in The Championship.

The Blades performed well in their expected relegation battle, and for a long time looked to be heading for survival. However a turning point in the season occurred with questionable and "ironic" victories for both West Ham against Manchester United and Wigan, courtesy of an ex Blade, on the final day of the season, condemning Warnock's side to relegation. Warnock claimed in his autobiography that minutes after the final game of the season, actor and Blades fan Sean Bean burst into his office, blaming Warnock for the team's relegation in a "foul-mouthed tirade" while Warnock's wife and daughter were present. Bean denied this, calling Warnock "bitter" and "hypocritical", and arguing that he would never use such language in front of another man's wife and children. Warnock resigned from the club following relegation to take some time out of football.

A major factor that caused Sheffield United's relegation was that West Ham United beat Manchester United in the final day of the season 1–0, with the goal scored by Carlos Tevez, whose contract was in question over third party ownership and who then signed for the champions the very next season. While all of this was happening, the Blades played Wigan Athletic at Bramall Lane and needed only 1-point to stay up, however, with the score at 1–1, a penalty was awarded to Wigan in injury time at the end of the first half. David Unsworth converted. The scoreline remained the same till the final whistle, sending the Blades back to the Championship after only one season. There was a slight irony that, earlier on in the season, Unsworth, whilst playing for Sheffield United, missed a penalty which could have changed the situation at the end of the season.

Crystal Palace

Warnock with Palace

He spoke to Milan Mandarić about the vacant managerial role at Leicester City in the summer, but was never handed the job. Simon Jordan spoke to Warnock about taking over at Crystal Palace following the sacking of Peter Taylor and, after initially not being keen over the job, he returned to football management with Palace on 11 October 2007. Having his personal friend Simon Jordan as Owner and Chairman was certainly a help in him getting the job. Jones returned from his own sabbatical to join Warnock's team as assistant. Under Warnock and Jones Palace made a massive turn-around, moving from relegation battlers to promotion contenders in the space of six months, with Warnock's use of youngsters a major factor in the improved performances and results. Palace made the play-offs in the end, but were beaten at the semi-final stage by Bristol City, who went on to lose to Hull City in the final.

Warnock stayed on for the 2008–09 season, but on taking the job a year earlier he had made it clear that the Crystal Palace job would be his last managerial role in football, with the club's finances beginning the take a turn for the worse. The 2009–10 season saw Palace perform well despite being heavily restricted by the club's poor financial position, which resulted in the club being placed in administration late in January. A 10-point deduction was imposed by the Football League for this. Crystal Palace's administrator commented that Warnock was 'let go' after telling the administrator he did not have the stomach for the fight to save the club.

Queens Park Rangers

On 1 March 2010, Warnock joined Queens Park Rangers as manager on a three-and-a-half-year deal after agreeing compensation with Crystal Palace. His first match in charge was an emphatic 3–1 home win against West Bromwich Albion.

He helped QPR comfortably avoid relegation in 2009–10 – including a 2–0 win against former club Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Warnock was awarded Manager of the Month for August 2010. Using a new 4–2–3–1 formation built around playmaker Adel Taarabt who went on win the Football League Championship Player of the Year 2011, QPR topped the table for the majority of the 2010–11 season and on 30 April 2011 were promoted as Championship champions after a 2–0 win over Watford.

Despite leading the club to the Premier League for the first time in 15 years, he was sacked on 8 January 2012 after the 1–2 home defeat to Norwich City on 2 January 2012. The owner of QPR, Tony Fernandes, said that the club slipped down to a dangerous league position (17th) after a recent poor form.

Warnock said: "Obviously I'm very disappointed but, having achieved so much, I leave the club with a great sense of pride. I have enjoyed my time here more than anywhere else and the QPR fans have been brilliant with me – they deserve success. My biggest regret is that the takeover didn't happen earlier, because that would have given me the opportunity to bring in the targets I'd pinpointed all last summer and probably given us a better chance to succeed in the Premier League. The board at QPR are hugely ambitious and I wish them every success for the future. I've been involved in the game a long time and I will be spending the immediate future with my family and friends before deciding my next career move."

Warnock had been spotted in Monte Carlo on 18 February with Leeds United chairman Ken Bates discussing the possibility of Warnock becoming Leeds' new manager.

Leeds United

On 18 February 2012, Warnock joined Leeds United as manager on a one and half-year deal taking him up to the end of the 2012–13 season. Before officially taking charge from caretaker manager Neil Redfearn he oversaw Leeds win 3–2 against Doncaster Rovers from the stands on 18 February with Warnock revealing he spoke to the players before the game and at half time. On 28 February 2012, Warnock made his first signing as Leeds manager by bringing in Danny Webber, whom he managed whilst at Sheffield United.

Leeds would go on to finish 14th in the Championship and during the summer of 2012 Warnock revamped the entire Leeds United team with several new signings. Warnock started the 2012–13 season with a home win in the League Cup beating Shrewsbury Town 4–0. Leeds would then go on to beat Wolves 1–0 at Elland Road on the opening day of the Football League Championship. On the takeover of Leeds United by Bahrain-based company GFH Capital in December 2012, the company stated Warnock was one of the reasons they took over Leeds United.

After a string of defeats and Leeds sitting 5 points off the relegation zone, Warnock parted company with Leeds United on 1 April 2013.

Return to Crystal Palace

On 27 August 2014, it was announced that Warnock would be appointed for a second spell in charge at Crystal Palace following the departure of Tony Pulis. However, after a poor run of form, and Crystal Palace ending up in the bottom three, Warnock was sacked by the club on 27 December 2014. He was succeeded by Alan Pardew on 2 January 2015.

Return to Queens Park Rangers

In 2015, Warnock returned to QPR as First Team Advisor. On 4 November Warnock was placed in temporary charge of QPR following the departure of Chris Ramsey from the club.

Rotherham United

On 11 February 2016, Neil Warnock was confirmed as the new Rotherham United manager for the remainder of the 2015-16 season, replacing Neil Redfearn. Warnock drew his first game in charge with a 0-0 draw against Birmingham City in a game which saw both Richard Wood and Joe Mattock sent off. He then lost his next two games, against Reading and Burnley, 2-0. Rotherham then went on an unbeaten run of 11 games including wins against Brentford (2-1), Sheffield Wednesday (1-0), Middlesbrough (1-0), drawing against Derby 3-3 after being 3-0 down with 8 minutes to go, and winning 1-0 at Portman Road against Ipswich. Warnock was awarded the Championship Manager of the Month for March. The final win of the run was at MK Dons, where a 4-0 thrashing all but sealed Rotherham's survival in the Championship at the expense of their opponents. The season closed with Warnock stating he wanted one last season managing in the Championship and Rotherham hoping to secure his services for 2016/17.

Cardiff City

On 5 October 2016, Warnock was appointed first team manager of Cardiff City.


Warnock, who is qualified as a referee, but has never officiated at the very top level, is renowned for his outbursts, which some see as controversial.


  • Stéphane Henchoz – Over an alleged spitting incident in the League Cup semi-final between Sheffield United and Liverpool.
  • Peter Swan – A player for Warnock at Argyle and Bury, he called Warnock "a prick". Swan refused to play when Warnock was appointed manager at Plymouth, and disrupted training sessions so as to engineer a move to Bury; when Warnock was later appointed as Bury manager, Swan again found a new club.
  • Stephen Hunt – After a match against Reading, Warnock condemned the behaviour of the Royals' Stephen Hunt. He is said to have commented: "Hunt has proved on a few occasions that he's a clever type, and his challenge on Nick Montgomery earlier in the game wasn't clever either". He also said he looked like he shouldn't be holding a pint.
  • Michael Johnson – In a 2005–06 Championship game with Derby County, Warnock reacted to a challenge by Johnson on Paul Ifill and was accused of playing a part in getting the opposition player sent off. This led to a face to face confrontation between the two and the Derby fans were incensed by Warnock's actions. Warnock asserted that the tackle was a bad one and that his reaction had made no difference to the outcome.
  • Shefki Kuqi – During a 2007–08 Championship game with Wolves, Kuqi was spotted gesturing at Palace fans whilst being substituted. As a result, the Finnish international was transfer-listed and fined two weeks' wages, with Warnock stating "I will be transfer-listing him immediately. I don't accept things like that, so that is the end of the matter." However it was not, as Kuqi would return the following season after an injury crisis and would gain popularity with some Palace fans, despite again upsetting them by refusing to lower his wage demands at the end of his contract and subsequently leaving the club.
  • El Hadji Diouf – As manager of QPR, Warnock criticised Diouf for his behaviour after a challenge between QPR's Jamie Mackie and Blackburn Rovers' Gael Givet left Mackie with a double fracture in his leg: "For many years I have thought [Diouf] was the gutter type – I was going to call him a sewer rat but that might be insulting to sewer rats. [...] I hope he goes abroad because I won't miss watching him. He is a nasty little person." Diouf later hit back at Warnock in a newspaper interview where he was quoted saying that Warnock “is a big shit”. On 11 August 2012, Neil Warnock signed El-Hadji Diouf for Leeds United on a temporary contract. Warnock and El Hadji Diouf got on so well, that the player was given an 18-month contract at Leeds in December 2012.
  • Jason Puncheon - Warnock criticised Puncheon over comments made on Talksport about how he wouldn't trust Puncheon to take a penalty. In response, Puncheon didn't take Warnock's comment very well and took it on Twitter with derogatory remarks about Warnock. As a result, Puncheon was charged by the FA following their investigation and fined for £15,000. After Warnock was appointed as the manager of Crystal Palace, Warnock revealed that he and Puncheon settled their differences following talks.


  • Gérard Houllier – See Stéphane Henchoz above. Also involved an argument about United's allegedly physical approach against Liverpool in the League Cup Semi Final 1st leg, a match in which Liverpool had 5 men cautioned to United's one.
  • Phil Thompson – See Stéphane Henchoz above.
  • Stan Ternent – A longstanding feud. Most recently in 2001, when Ternent accused Warnock of sending his then assistant manager Kevin Blackwell to listen to his half time teamtalk .
  • Gary Megson - The two clashed in 2002 after the Battle of Bramall Lane, an infamous match which saw Warnock's Sheffield United end with six players on the pitch against Megson's West Bromwich Albion. Megson claimed Warnock had deliberately tried to force an abandonment of the match although he denied this and added that "anyone who knows Gary Megson knows he is the biggest moaner around". Referring to Megson and Stan Ternent, Warnock would later comment "I don’t like either of them at all and I'm sure they don't like me".
  • Mick Jones – A long-term assistant to Warnock, the pair did not speak for several years after Jones opted to remain at Plymouth Argyle as manager after Warnock was sacked, rather than follow him to Oldham Athletic. The pair reunited as a managerial partnership again in 2005 at Sheffield United and achieved promotion in their first season back together, and were both at Queens Park Rangers.
  • Joe Kinnear – Kinnear remarked that Warnock was a 'prat' after a 1–1 draw between Sheffield United and Kinnear's Nottingham Forest in 2004–05.
  • Kevin Blackwell – Warnock told the press that he wished he'd had the money to spend on players that Blackwell had in the season 2004–2005. Blackwell had previously been Warnock's assistant at Sheffield United for several years and indeed Warnock had helped Blackwell out for years, working with him at Scarborough, Huddersfield, Torquay, Plymouth et al. Another dispute occurred on 18 April 2006 in a match between Leeds United and Sheffield United at Bramall Lane when Warnock was sent from the touch-line after making a comment to Blackwell over a tackle by Gary Kelly on a Sheffield United player that Warnock deemed a bookable offence, and would have resulted in the Leeds player being sent off.
  • Nigel Worthington – on 18 March 2006 Worthington apparently refused to shake hands with Warnock resulting in Warnock sticking two fingers up at him, an incident over which the FA charged Warnock with improper conduct.
  • Wally Downes – On 20 January 2007, in a match against Reading, Keith Gillespie was sent off seconds after he came on to the pitch, for swiping Reading's Stephen Hunt in the face. After a protracted departure from the pitch, Warnock performed a stamping motion on the sideline directed towards referee Mark Halsey – referring to an earlier tackle made by Steve Sidwell which Warnock felt warranted a red card as well. Reading coach Wally Downes took exception to his actions, and pushed Warnock, causing a mass brawl on the sidelines. Both Warnock and Downes were sent to the stands as a result. Later Wally Downes admitted a misconduct charge to the FA, was fined £2,000 and given a one-match touchline ban, but it did earn Downes a chant with the Reading fans referring to his attack on Warnock.
  • Gareth Southgate – Accused Southgate on Sky Sports News (shown 19 March 2007) of fielding a weaker starting XI against relegation-threatened Manchester City. Warnock claimed Southgate was "helping out" a friend, City manager Stuart Pearce.
  • Lee Johnson - In April 2016, whilst manager at Rotherham United, Warnock accused Bristol City manager Lee Johnson of 'inciting the crowd', called him a 'disgrace' and hit out at his father Gary Johnson by using the term 'like father, like son', following comments he made in the Bristol Post urging his players to win by 'aggression, good football or intimidation'.


  • Jim Rushton – Warnock, whilst manager of Huddersfield Town, was known to dislike Rushton. Huddersfield played Lincoln City in the FA Cup and Warnock was disappointed with Lee Sinnott and someone being carded and wasn't happy when he found out that Rushton was to referee a league game between the same two sides and Warnock asked for him to be switched as it would give Lincoln "an unfair advantage". Before the game Rushton said to Warnock that he knew he had wanted him switched. During the game Warnock was sent to the stands for pushing the linesman. Rushton also refereed the Autoglass Trophy Final in 1994 between Swansea City and Huddersfield. Huddersfield lost 3–1 on penalties.
  • David Elleray – Warnock called him a "bald-headed bloke", whilst criticising his decision making ability.
  • Graham Poll – Warnock said Poll was Arsenal's best midfielder after Sheffield United's controversial defeat to them in the 2003 FA Cup semi-final.
  • In a Sky Sports documentary, Warnock agreed to be filmed in a personal documentary about his life on and off the pitch. During a match at home to Ipswich Town, Warnock was seen to swear at and verbally abuse one of the assistant referees (also telling the then Ipswich manager that the assistant 'had been his best player'), perhaps revealing why Warnock is seen as one of the more controversial football managers in England.
  • Richard Beeby – Warnock heavily criticised Beeby in February 2008 after he played more stoppage time, than initially indicated, at the end of a match between Bristol City and Palace at Ashton Gate, which led to Bristol City equalising 25 seconds after Warnock thought the full-time whistle should have been blown, even claiming Beeby celebrated City's equaliser. Warnock was subsequently charged with "improper conduct" by the FA. In response, he "admitted the charge and requested a personal hearing". Warnock was subsequently fined £2,000.
  • Rob Shoebridge – Warnock heavily criticised Rob Shoebridge and his officials after another disputed incident at Ashton Gate, when Freddie Sears gave Palace what they thought was an early lead. However, Sears' effort rebounded back off of the stanchion at the back of the goal and out of it, leading to Shoebridge and his assistants signalling a goal-kick. Palace were then beaten in the penultimate minute of the game, and Warnock claimed that his side had been "cheated" out of a result.


  • Sheffield Wednesday – When asked by a reporter what he would do if he were manager of Sheffield Wednesday, Warnock famously replied, "As long as the whole of my salary was paid within 28 days, I would buy so many tosspots – although, come to think of it, their current squad would do – and fuck 'em up so badly. Then I’d retire to Cornwall and spend the rest of my life laughing my fucking head off." However, when Warnock was managing Crystal Palace in January 2010, it was revealed that Sheffield Wednesday chairman Lee Strafford was "seriously considering" Warnock as the club's potential new manager. At the time, Crystal Palace were suffering severe financial problems and were only a few points above Sheffield Wednesday, who were 23rd in the table. Wednesday supporters have since given Warnock the nickname "Colin", stemming from the fact that "Neil Warnock" can be anagrammed into the name "Colin Wanker": this has been picked up by fans of other clubs as well.
  • Leicester City – When Leicester restructured their debt after going into administration in 2002, enabling them to hold on to a string of Premiership stars who ordinarily would have been sold to stay afloat, they gained promotion to the Premiership, at the expense of Sheffield United, who had to make do with a play-off place. After United failed to gain promotion Warnock revealed his anger at the Leicester situation. Incensed that City could have got into such a state yet continued to compete at the top of the table, with no punishment, Warnock complained to the press, claiming United should have Leicester's place in the Premiership and the club should have been relegated or booted out the League. Any team now going into administration is automatically deducted 10 points, although even with this punishment Leicester would still have been two points clear of United, albeit with a far stronger team as a result of the move into administration. He added further problems between Leicester fans and himself on 15 July 2010. Warnock told the Ealing Gazette that Leicester were not as big as his current club, Queens Park Rangers.
  • Bury – Warnock's reputation started poorly with Bury fans and finally was destroyed when he was seen wearing a Sheffield Utd tie for an interview at Gigg Lane before a match against them. He had the accolade of receiving abuse from the whole stadium when Bury played away to Oldham Athletic where he was held in similar regard.
  • Chelsea – In October 2012, Warnock blasted a Chelsea's complaint against referee Mark Clattenburg, claiming that Chelsea players threatened Clattenberg and supported Clattenberg. Warnock had previously had history with Clattenberg when in an incident-filled game between Queens Park Rangers and Nottingham Forest in February 2011. After the match, Warnock described the official's handling of the match as "absolutely fantastic" and Warnock praised Clattenburg for being "so in control" despite a total of 27 fouls during the game.

Chairmen and directors

  • Sean Bean – In his autobiography, Made in Sheffield, Warnock claims that minutes after the final game of the 2006–07 season, actor Sean Bean, who was also a club director, burst into his office, blaming Warnock for the team's relegation in a "foul-mouthed tirade" while Warnock's wife and daughter were present. Bean denied this, calling Warnock "bitter" and "hypocritical", and arguing that he would never use such language in front of another man's wife and children.
  • Warnock is also critical in the autobiography of several of the chairmen and directors he worked with during his career. The most notable were Derek Pavis (Notts County), Dan McCauley (Plymouth Argyle), Terry Fisher (Huddersfield Town), and Ken Marsden (Gainsborough Trinity). However, Warnock insists in the same publication that he now gets on well with all of them.

Personal life

Previous to his football career, Warnock had a number of different occupations, most notably his time as a chiropodist, and a brief stint as a costume designer for a local theatre production.

Warnock has been a lifelong supporter of Sheffield United. He is married to Sharon and has five children, James, Natalie, Amy, Cosmo and William. As of 2010, he lived in Richmond, London and had a home in Cornwall.

Like many sportsmen and managers, Warnock is highly superstitious and has revealed many bizarre rituals including stopping at all traffic lights following a win regardless of whether they're red or green, watching the Sean Bean film When Saturday Comes the day before a big match, using the same razorblade, only urinating when he has held on for as long as possible and remaining in the dressing room after the players have left to play.

He has published two books, Neil Warnock's Wembley Way: The Manager's Inside Story with Rick Cowdery in 1996, which recalls Plymouth Argyle's Third Division play-off final win in the same year, and Made in Sheffield: Neil Warnock – My Story, his autobiography, published in 2007.



  • 1986–87: Conference winners (promotion to Division 4) – Scarborough
  • 1989–90: Division 3 Playoff winners (promotion to Division 2) – Notts County
  • 1990–91: Division 2 Playoff winners (promotion to Division 1) – Notts County
  • 1994–95: Division 2 Playoff winners (promotion to Division 1) – Huddersfield Town
  • 1995–96: Division 3 Playoff winners (promotion to Division 2) – Plymouth Argyle
  • 2005–06: Championship runners-up (promotion to Premier League) – Sheffield United
  • 2010–11: Championship winners (promotion to Premier League) – Queens Park Rangers

Manager of the month

  • 2002–03: (Division 1 Manager of the Month): January – Sheffield United
  • 2003–04: (Division 1 Manager of the Month): November – Sheffield United
  • 2004–05: (Division 1 Manager of the Month): December – Sheffield United
  • 2007–08: (Championship Manager of the Month): December – Crystal Palace
  • 2010–11: (Championship Manager of the Month): August – QPR
  • 2010–11: (Championship Manager of the Month): September – QPR
  • 2015–16: (Championship Manager of the Month): March – Rotherham United


  • 1982–83: Northern Premier League Challenge Cup winner – Burton Albion
  • 1993–94: Football League Trophy finalist – Huddersfield Town


  • Hartlepool United Player of the Year, 1971–72 season
  • BBC London Sports Personality of the Year 2011

Managerial statistics

Team From To Record
P W D L Win %
Scarborough 1 August 1986 1 January 1989 7001780000000000000♠78 7001300000000000000♠30 7001250000000000000♠25 7001230000000000000♠23 7001385000000000000♠38.5
Notts County 5 January 1989 14 January 1993 7002209000000000000♠209 7001900000000000000♠90 7001490000000000000♠49 7001700000000000000♠70 7001431000000000000♠43.1
Torquay United 15 February 1993 2 June 1993 7001150000000000000♠15 7000500000000000000♠5 7000500000000000000♠5 7000500000000000000♠5 7001333009999900000♠33.3
Huddersfield Town 15 July 1993 5 June 1995 7002108000000000000♠108 7001440000000000000♠44 7001340000000000000♠34 7001300000000000000♠30 7001407000000000000♠40.7
Plymouth Argyle 22 June 1995 3 February 1997 7001880000000000000♠88 7001350000000000000♠35 7001240000000000000♠24 7001290000000000000♠29 7001398009999900000♠39.8
Oldham Athletic 21 February 1997 7 May 1998 7001690000000000000♠69 7001270000000000000♠27 7001220000000000000♠22 7001200000000000000♠20 7001391000000000000♠39.1
Bury 2 June 1998 2 December 1999 7001770000000000000♠77 7001190000000000000♠19 7001290000000000000♠29 7001290000000000000♠29 7001247000000000000♠24.7
Sheffield United 2 December 1999 15 May 2007 7002388000000000000♠388 7002165000000000000♠165 7002100000000000000♠100 7002123000000000000♠123 7001425000000000000♠42.5
Crystal Palace 11 October 2007 2 March 2010 7002129000000000000♠129 7001470000000000000♠47 7001390000000000000♠39 7001430000000000000♠43 7001364000000000000♠36.4
Queens Park Rangers 2 March 2010 8 January 2012 7001840000000000000♠84 7001330000000000000♠33 7001270000000000000♠27 7001240000000000000♠24 7001393009999900000♠39.3
Leeds United 18 February 2012 1 April 2013 7001630000000000000♠63 7001230000000000000♠23 7001150000000000000♠15 7001250000000000000♠25 7001365000000000000♠36.5
Crystal Palace 27 August 2014 27 December 2014 7001170000000000000♠17 7000300000000000000♠3 7000600000000000000♠6 7000800000000000000♠8 7001176000000000000♠17.6
Queens Park Rangers 5 November 2015 4 December 2015 7000400000000000000♠4 7000200000000000000♠2 7000100000000000000♠1 7000100000000000000♠1 7001500000000000000♠50.0
Rotherham United 11 February 2016 18 May 2016 7001160000000000000♠16 7000600000000000000♠6 7000600000000000000♠6 7000400000000000000♠4 7001375000000000000♠37.5
Cardiff City 5 October 2016 Present 7001330000000000000♠33 7001140000000000000♠14 7000800000000000000♠8 7001110000000000000♠11 7001424000000000000♠42.4
Total 7003137100000000000♠1,371 7002551000000000000♠551 7002388000000000000♠388 7002432000000000000♠432 7001402000000000000♠40.2
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