Nigel Pearson

Nigel Pearson was most recently the manager of Premier League club Watford.

During his playing career, he was a defender for Shrewsbury Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough. He captained Sheffield Wednesday to victory in the 1991 League Cup, putting in a Man of the Match performance against Manchester United in the final. He was also a key member of the Middlesbrough squad that won promotion to the Premier League as First Division champions in 1995 and he captained the team when they finished as runners-up in the 1997 FA Cup Final.

After hanging up his boots, he started his managerial career in December 1998 by taking charge of Carlisle United. In his one campaign at Brunton Park, he helped keep the club in the Football League thanks to a dramatic injury time goal, scored by loan goalkeeper, Jimmy Glass, on the final day of the season.

After a spell as first-team coach at Stoke City, he served West Bromwich Albion, Newcastle United and the England U21s as both assistant manager and caretaker manager. He also enjoyed a brief period as manager of Southampton in 2008, before joining Leicester City later the same year.

In his first campaign at Leicester, he oversaw promotion back to the second tier as League One champions. After a year in charge of Championship side Hull City, Pearson returned to Leicester in 2011 for a second spell at the helm. After reaching the play-offs again in 2013, he finally led the club to promotion to the Premier League as champions in 2014. This achievement was recognised when he was voted the LMA Championship Manager of the Year, and although he left the club just a year later, by then he had built the team that would go on to win the Premier League the season after his departure.

After spells at Derby County and in Belgium with OH Leuven, Pearson returned to the Premier League in December 2019 when he was appointed manager of Watford. He was close to pulling off a remarkable escape from relegation when he unexpectedly left the club in July 2020.