Alan Curbishley will always be remembered as the manager who steered Charlton Athletic through a period of financial upheaval before establishing them in the Premier League during a 15-year managerial reign that transformed the club.
Curbishley won three promotions with the Addicks, one as a player, two as a manager, restoring them to a level not experienced since the early 1950s under Jimmy Seed.
Alan had two playing spells with Charlton during a playing career that also featured West Ham, Birmingham and Aston Villa.
He returned to the Valley in 1990 to take on a dual role as player and reserve coach. Shortly afterwards the manager, Lennie Lawrence, left for Middlesbrough and Curbishley took charge in partnership with Steve Gritt.
Alan oversaw a difficult period in which the club played at Upton Park before going back to The Valley following the ground’s refurbishment in 1992.
When Gritt departed in 1995 Curbishley took sole charge. Charlton lost out on promotion in the play-offs but persisted via the same route and reached the Premier League in 1998 after beating Sunderland on penalties.
They were relegated the following season but made an instant return after being promoted as champions of the then League One in 2000. Alan won the LMA’s prestigious Manager of the Year award in recognition of his feat.
There followed a period of sustained success in which Charlton established themselves as a highly competitive outfit in the Premier League. Their seventh place in 2004 was the club’s best finishing position since 1953.
Curbishley finally left the Valley, of his own volition to seek a new challenge, in 2006 after 729 games in charge – one short of the club record held by Jimmy Seed.
He joined another of his great loves, West Ham, in December, 2006 and kept them in the Premier League that season after a dramatic last-day victory at Manchester United.
During his time in charge at Charlton the club’s average Premier League position was 10th – a finish that was repeated in his only full season at West Ham in the 2007/08 season. He left Upton Park in September, 2008.
Curbishley is a member of the LMA management committee.
He was most recently the Technical Director of Fulham.