Sam Allardyce Biography

Tue 03 August 2021 | 10:30

We all know him from his impressive coaching days at Bolton Wanderers in the 2000s. In this article, we will take a look at Sam Allardyce biography.

Sam Allardyce, born 19 October 1954 in Dudley, is an English professional football coach and former player, who played the major part of his career as a defender for Bolton Wanderers. He is usually mentioned by the nickname Big Sam.

Sam Allardyce is born and raised in the town of Dudley, in the Mid-West of England. In 1973 he joined Bolton Wanderers, where he played as a centre-back. He won the second league with the team and was promoted to the Premier League. He spent 7 years at Bolton, then moved to Sunderland. In his career, he also played for such clubs as Huddersfield Town, Preston North End and Tampa Bay Rowdies.

His managerial career began in 1989, as assistant manager of West Bromwich Albion. He was appointed manager of Blackpool in 1994. Although he achieved the club's best result for years, he was fired for missing out on promotion to the top flight. In 1999 he was named manager of the club where he started his career, Bolton Wanderers.

In his first season, Allardyce was able to get them promoted to the Premiership play-offs, where they lost to Ipswich Town. During the same first year, they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup. They also made it to the playoffs a season later, which they won this time. Hence it gave Bolton a return to the Premiership after an absence of three years.

Both the 2001/2002 and 2002/2003 seasons were marked by changes at the club. Bolton finished eighth in the Premiership in the 2003/2004 season and reached the League Cup final. The following year the club finished sixth and won promotion to the European competition for the first time in their history. Allardyce stepped down as Bolton coach in April 2007.

All You Need to Know About Sam Allardyce Biography

From 15 May 2007 to 9 January 2008 he was in charge of Newcastle United. Then on 17 December 2008, he became the coach of Blackburn Rovers, where he worked until 13 December 2010. Between 2011 and 2016 Big Sam had spells with West Ham United and Sunderland, before being announced as England head coach.

It was on 27 September 2016 that he was disciplinarily sacked from his position as national team coach in connection with a corruption scandal. After that short spell, he has worked as coach of Crystal Palace, Everton and West Bromwich Albion and is currently unemployed.

Sam Allardyce Information

Now that you know him better, in this section of

Sam Allardyce biography

, we will share some general information about him such as

Sam Allardyce nationality

to let you know him even more. Stay tuned.

Sam Allardyce Bio

  • Full Name: Samuel Allardyce

  • Nickname: Big Sam

  • Profession: Professional Coach

Sam Allardyce Physical Stats

  • Weight: 95 Kg

  • Height: 1.91 m

  • Eye Color: Brown

  • Hair Color: Grey

Sam Allardyce Football Information

  • Position: Defender

  • Jersey Number: 5

  • Professional Debut: 1971

Sam Allardyce Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 19 October 1954

  • Birth Place: Dudley, England

  • Zodiac Sign: Libra

  • Nationality: English

Stay tuned to this section of

Sam Allardyce biography

as we will share some information about

Sam Allardyce childhood

and more.

Sam Allardyce Early Life

He went to Sycamore Green Primary School and then to Wren's Nest Secondary School. When he was a child he loved Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. and had a dream of one day playing for and coaching the team.

As a young boy in the football-mad country, Sam Allardyce took to the culture at an early age. He turned out for the semi-professional team in his hometown of Dudley Town. During his time there, he was able to achieve the childhood dream of many a youngster when he was signed by

Bolton Wanderers

at the age of 15, a club that would later become one of the key drivers for some of the iconic moments of his coaching career.

Allardyce played for Bolton Wanderers' youth team, claiming some honours with the team before eventually signing his first professional contract on his 17th birthday.

He made his first appearance for the senior team when he was 19 years old, appearing in his side's defeat in a League Cup match. Following his debut, he would go on to play for Bolton Wanderers 227 times, scoring 26 times and spending a total of seven seasons at the club.

In 1980 Allardyce was signed by Ken Knighton to play for Sunderland, for whom he made 25 appearances in the 1980/81 season. He also played for Huddersfield Town,

Coventry City



and Preston North End, captaining the latter to promotion to the Third Division in 1986/87.

He had a short spell in the United States, playing for Tampa Bay Rowdies, before heading back to England and playing for Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Preston North End, West Bromwich Albion and a couple of others.

Throughout his playing career, he went on to play a total of 578 games, scoring 42 times. His individual honours as a player include helping his team win the English second division in 1978 and being named in the PFA fourth division team of the year in 1987.

Having played in the United States, Sam Allardyce applied many American football practices to football in terms of coaching, player management and tactics. Such innovative approaches helped him to progress well as a football coach.

Sam Allardyce Profile

In February 1989, Sam Allardyce was appointed assistant (player-coach) to coach Brian Talbot at West Bromwich Albion - somewhat ironically, since Allardyce was a fan of Wolverhampton Wanderers, arguably one of Albion's greatest rivals.

As a player, Allardyce made just one appearance for Albion in this period, when he came on as a substitute against Newcastle United in November 1989. His tenure at the Hawthorns would last two years until he and Talbot were dismissed after the club was relegated to the Third Division for the first time in its history.


He then stepped into the role of player-manager at Limerick and led the League of Ireland team to promotion by winning the First Division by the maximum number of points in 1991-92 in his only season at the club. His League of Ireland playing debut came on 6 October 1991.

Stay tuned to this section of Sam Allardyce biography as we will share some information about his coaching career at

Preston North End


Preston North End

Allardyce returned to England and Preston North End for the beginning of the 1992-93 season to take over as Les Chapman's assistant coach, in addition to playing for the club, after a successful season in Ireland. Nevertheless, after ten games, Chapman was fired and Allardyce was appointed interim coach.

Allardyce's short stint as manager was remarkable, producing a string of good performances and picking up much-needed points along the way. However, the club's board of directors believed that Allardyce's inexperience as a manager would be a problem and decided in December 1992 to appoint the experienced John Beck, who brought in Gary Peters to become his assistant.

Allardyce would remain Beck's second assistant at Preston for 18 months. Blackpool, Preston's main rivals, approached him for the manager's job in July 1994 after Billy Ayre was dismissed, and Allardyce accepted without hesitation. He played his last game for Preston in 1992, ending a 20-year playing career.


During Allardyce's time at Bloomfield Road in the 1995-96 season,


had their most successful season in years; nevertheless, he was fired by chairman Owen Oyston from his prison cell on 29 May 1996, at the end of the season, after they failed to win promotion to Division One.

Unfortunately, Blackpool finished third, losing out on direct promotion on the last day of the season, and was defeated in the semi-finals of the promotion play-offs by Bradford City having won 2-0 away at Valley Parade, only to lose 3-0 at home in the second leg. Allardyce currently has the highest winning percentage of any Blackpool manager in British league matches with 44.57%.

About five years after his sacking from Blackpool, Allardyce claimed he still had no idea why Blackpool released him. "We missed out on promotion by one point," Allardyce told the Daily Mail.

"Even then it had all been done over next to nothing, and for the final months of the season, I barely saw Owen Oyston. Still, he always guaranteed me, no matter what happened, that my job would be safe. I turned up for that meeting after I was told we would discuss the new terms of my contract. I was told instead that I was being fired. It was cold, calculated, premeditated, like that. I left there with ₤10,000, no job, and desperately concerned that my reputation had been damaged forever."

Then Allardyce had a short-lived spell in Peter Reid's coaching team at Sunderland A.F.C., before signing for Notts County. Stay tuned to this section of

Sam Allardyce biography

as we will share some information about his Notts County career.

Notts County

Sam Allardyce made his return to football in January 1997 as head coach of struggling Division Two

Notts County

. He came too late to save them from relegation, but they were able to return to the division at the first attempt in the 1997-98 season by winning Division Three.

They broke several club and national records, claiming the title with a 19-point winning margin and being the first team in the post-war period to win promotion in mid-March. He was in charge at Meadow Lane until 19 October 1999, when he was back in Bolton Wanderers, this time as head coach.

Bolton Wanderers

Following Allardyce becoming manager, and although they were in the bottom half of the table at the time he took over, Bolton made it to the Division One promotion playoffs in 1999/2000, only to lose to Ipswich Town, and progressed as far as the semi-finals of the League Cup and FA Cup.

Bolton enjoyed an even better season in 2000-01, advancing to the playoff final where they defeated Preston North End 3-0 and clinched promotion to the Premier League following a three-year absence. After the promotion, Allardyce said he was planning to retire from football after his ten-year contract with Bolton Wanderers expired.

Bolton was briefly top of the Premier League after collecting ten points from their first four matches in the 2001/02 season. Nevertheless, the team was not strong enough to keep up and their safety in the top flight of English football was not guaranteed until the penultimate game of the season. The next season they were still in trouble, escaping relegation by just two points and one place.

Following two years in the lower reaches of the table, Bolton made substantial improvements and eventually established themselves in the Premier League. Allardyce's side finished eighth in the 2003/04 season and made it to the final of the League Cup, losing 2-1 to Middlesbrough.

Allardyce guided his team to sixth place in the Premier League in the 2004/05 season, thereby qualifying Bolton for the UEFA Cup for the first time in the club's history after they finished on equal points with 2005 UEFA

Champions League

winners Liverpool. During the early months of the 2005/06 season, Allardyce again led Bolton to the top of the league and into the second round of the UEFA Cup as well. Bolton would eventually finish eighth that season.

At the beginning of 2006, it was officially confirmed that Sven-Göran Eriksson would be stepping down from the England national team after the 2006 World Cup, and as a highly successful English manager, Allardyce was a leading candidate for the job. Bolton confirmed that they would allow him to speak to the Football Association if they were to offer him the job. Nevertheless, the English FA never did, and the England coaching job was eventually given to Steve McClaren.

There was speculation on 28 April 2007 that Allardyce was leaving the manager's job at Bolton after the end of the 2006/07 season, a scenario that was first denied by the board of directors. Nevertheless, Bolton then announced the following day that Allardyce would be leaving the club after eight years with immediate effect. Meanwhile, Sammy Lee was announced as his successor the following day.

On 12 May 2007, Allardyce told the Mail on Sunday that part of his reason for leaving Bolton was his ambition to win silverware. He said: "I've been lauded for what I've done, but there's no more at the end of the day. I want trophies. I'm committed to getting it before my days are over."

Allardyce received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton on 16 June 2010, for the close ties he has maintained with the town.

Sam Allardyce's final gamble at Bolton was as ambitious, sensible and profitable as his entire tenure as manager of Bolton Wanderers had been. Although he went on to become manager of his country, the Dudley-born manager would not be as successful in the years that followed his greatest work.

Newcastle United


Newcastle United

manager Glenn Roeder stepped down on 6 May 2007, Allardyce was the leading candidate in the press to replace him, and Newcastle United confirmed that Allardyce had a meeting with club chairman Freddy Shepherd in London. It was announced by Newcastle United on 15 May 2007 that Allardyce agreed to a three-year contract to coach the club.

As of 21 May 2007, Allardyce had already let six Newcastle players go before the start of the 2007/08 season. These included Olivier Bernard, Craig Moore, Oguchi Onyewu, Titus Bramble, Pavel Srníček and Antoine Sibierski. Meanwhile, Allardyce signed his first player as manager of Newcastle United on 7 June 2007, recruiting Australian international Mark Viduka from local rivals Middlesbrough on a free transfer.

Later he added utility man Alan Smith from Manchester United, defenders David Rozehnal from Paris Saint-Germain, Caçapa from Olympique Lyon, Geremi from Chelsea, José Enrique from Villarreal CF and midfielder Joey Barton from Manchester City. His summer signings were wrapped up by the last-minute purchase of defender Abdoulaye Faye from his former club Bolton.

In spite of putting together what looked like a very promising squad, following a good start to the season, then a series of disappointing performances before Christmas, and after picking up just one point from a total of six from bottom sides Wigan and Derby, it was speculated that Allardyce's time at Newcastle might be threatened, provoking protests from fans who saw him as largely out of favour because of poor results and a poor style of play.

Sam Allardyce left Newcastle United on 9 January 2008 after a mutual agreement with the club, which led to the termination of his contract.

Blackburn Rovers


Blackburn Rovers

appointed Allardyce as head coach on 17 December 2008, when he signed a three-year contract with the club. The first game under his guidance was against Stoke City at Ewood Park, which resulted in a 3-0 win for Blackburn. That was the first game of Blackburn's nine-match unbeaten streak, which ended with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa.

Blackburn had seven more victories since, including a 2-1 away win over Fulham. In the away games, Blackburn won only two, but at Ewood Park, the team won five, drew four and lost only one. Allardyce finished his first season at Blackburn in a goalless draw against West Bromwich, and the team finished 15th in the standings.

In the 2009/10 season, Blackburn advanced to the semi-finals of the FA Cup, in which they suffered a defeat to Aston Villa. Blackburn defeated their arch-rivals, Burnley FC, twice that season, as well as Allardyce's former club, Bolton Wanderers. Blackburn had spent most of the season in the middle of the Premier League table under the leadership of Big Sam, with impressive performances when playing at their home stadium.

So, Blackburn never lost a game at Ewood Park against the so-called "big four", with goalless draws against Liverpool and Manchester United, a 1-1 draw with Chelsea and a 2-1 win over Arsenal. The Rovers finished 10th in the Premier League in the 2009/10 season, defeating Aston Villa in the last round of the league. Sam Allardyce was sacked as head coach of Blackburn on 13 December 2010, after their 2-1 away loss against Bolton.

West Ham United

On 1 June 2011, Allardyce was named manager of the newly relegated

West Ham United

and signed a two-year contract. He pledged to play "attractive football" on his way to bringing West Ham back to the Premier League, following the "traditions of the club", and denied accusations that he played boring, ball-playing football at his previous clubs.

His first match as manager was a 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City on 7 August 2011. Although they were in third place in the Championship in March 2012, Allardyce's style of play was once again challenged, just as it had been at his previous club, Newcastle United. Fans at West Ham called for more play on the ground rather than aerial balls.

West Ham returned to the Premier League in May 2012 following just one season in the Championship by winning the promotion play-off final. This promotion was described by Allardyce as their best achievement to date.

One hectic transfer season in 2012 saw Allardyce sign eleven players, which included Jussi Jääskeläinen, Mohamed Diamé, Modibo Maïga, James Collins, Alou Diarra, Matt Jarvis, Andy Carroll and Yossi Benayoun. The first Premier League game for Allardyce in charge of West Ham came on 18 August 2012, in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa.

On 11 May 2013, Allardyce extended his contract with West Ham for a further two years, until the end of the 2014-15 season. His contract renewal happened when West Ham was in 10th place in the Premier League, a place in which they finished at the end of the season.

A number of analysts suggested that despite Allardyce's promise to play attractive football, upon returning to the Premier League he once again encouraged a return to ball-playing, which in combination with his defensive tactics led to criticism from supporters, the press and other coaches.

Allardyce rejected the accusations, stating that West Ham was "more than a ball-playing team". Following a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge in January 2014, Chelsea boss

José Mourinho

compared West Ham's football to "19th-century football", saying "This is not the best league in the world, this is 19th-century football."

During an away match against West Bromwich Albion in April 2014, a group of West Ham fans demonstrated their displeasure with the style of football the team was playing under Allardyce by holding up a banner reading "Fat Sam Out, killing WHU". After finishing the 2014-15 Premier League as 12th-placed on 25 May 2015, the club announced that they would not be renewing his contract as manager.


Sam Allardyce was named head coach of


on 9 October 2015, with which he signed a two-year contract. Sam succeeded Dick Advocaat at Sunderland, who guided the team to only 3 points in the first 8 matches of the English Premier League and settled in penultimate place in the standings.

They claimed their first win of the season in their second league game under the guidance of Allardyce on Matchday 10 when the Black Cats thrashed Newcastle 3-0 in the Tottenham derby. Unfortunately, the following game was a 2-6 defeat at the hands of


and in December they lost all five of their games in the English

Premier League


In February, the team's situation really improved, starting with an away draw with Liverpool (2-2), then a 2-1 home win over Manchester United. Sunderland ended up with only three defeats in their last 14 games (after fifteen in their first 24 games) and was able to escape from the relegation zone to the bottom of the table in 17th place.

England national team

Allardyce took charge of the

England national team

, which had previously failed at Euro 2016, on 22 July 2016. His contract was for two years. England defeated Slovakia 1-0 in their first match under Allardyce. But a scandal soon erupted: The Daily Telegraph published a video of the coach demanding £400,000 as an intermediary during talks with Asian journalists.

In the video, they identified themselves as businessmen. Sam asked the money to use his position to push through transfer negotiations, and also revealed that he had knowledge of how to bypass FA rules on player transfers. In addition, during conversations with journalists, Sam was critical of his predecessor Roy Hodgson's performance as national team coach and called the FA's decision to demolish Wembley a stupid one.

His contract was terminated by mutual consent of the parties on 27 September 2016 following the scandal.

Crystal Palace

On 23 December 2016, he was appointed head of

Crystal Palace

, taking over from Alan Pardew. The team was in a challenging situation at the time, with eight defeats in their ten previous EPL games and just one point away from the relegation zone. Allardyce signed a 2.5-year contract.

It took Allardyce a while to establish the team's game: during the first five games of the league under his leadership, Crystal Palace picked up only one point and fell into the relegation zone of the Premier League.

Furthermore, they were also eliminated from the FA Cup. The first victory in the English Premier League with Crystal Palace for Allardyce was on 31 January: they beat Bournemouth 2-0. However, the team again lost the next two games and by mid-February, the side was already at the bottom of the table.

But from the next game onwards, Crystal Palace began their climb up the standings, winning four consecutive games. They defeated Middlesbrough, West Bromwich Albion, Watford and eventual champion Chelsea.

Not long after, Palace also managed a 3-0 win over Arsenal and an away win over Liverpool (2-1). With these results, the team kept themselves safe from relegation and, despite only one win in the last five games, Crystal Palace finished 14th in the Premier League at the end of the season. On 24 May 2017, Allardyce resigned as the club's head coach.


On 30 November 2017, he became Everton's head coach, with whom he signed a 1.5-year contract. He coached his first match as head coach on 2 December, in which the Toffees defeated

Huddersfield Town

2-0. Allardyce left the club on 16 May 2018.

West Bromwich Albion

He took charge of

West Bromwich Albion

on 16 December 2020. Under Allardyce, the team picked up 1 point in their first four games and also suffered a loss to Blackpool in the FA Cup. On 16 January 2021, Allardyce won for the first time in charge of the team, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 in the derby.

Allardyce decided to depart the club when the season finished when they were relegated a few matches before the end of the season, although the board wanted to continue his work. In doing so, Allardyce failed for the first time in his career to retain his club's place in the top tier.

Stay tuned to this section of Sam Allardyce biography as we will share some information about his coaching style.

Style of Play

Allardyce was a pioneer in the use of statistical systems to analyse specific game data, a technical resource he had learned about during his time in the United States.

By mathematically studying football, Allardyce was able to know, for example, that his team had to play at a specific speed per second, higher than that of their opponents, that they would have to score first in certain matches to reduce the percentage of defeats exponentially, or that they would have to avoid conceding goals in a certain number of matches during the season.

Thus, depending on the match analysed and with these instructions as a general guide, Allardyce would form more defensive or offensive plans, of greater or lesser pace, with this or that tactical or technical action highlighted, all based on the teams to be faced.


Especially during his time with Bolton, he was regarded as one of the best English coaches at the time, but after his scandal when he was England coach, his reputation in the game has sharply declined.

Sam Allardyce outside Football

He has been in football for over forty years and, and so, he has been able to build a significant net worth from his earnings both as a player and as a manager. He is also an entrepreneur and has investments in multiple businesses, which include a piano bar, a restaurant and a social club. According to reports, he has a net worth of $10 million.

Sam Allardyce Personal Life

In this section of Sam Allardyce biography, we will take a look into his personal life, sharing some information about things like

Sam Allardyce religion


Sam Allardyce life story


Family, Children, and Relationships

He was born in 1954 in a newly built community house in Ash Green on the Old Park Farm Estate in Dudley, Worcestershire. Sam is the son of Robert Allardyce (1916-1989) and Mary Agnes Allardyce (1918-1991). He has an older brother, Robert Jr, who was born in 1951. He also has a sister.

He has been married to Lynne Ward since 1974. Sam met her when he was playing in the youth ranks of Bolton Wanderers and the two are together since then. Their long union has been blessed with two children: Craig in 1975 and Rachael in 1979. Their son, Craig Allardyce became a football agent after retiring as a footballer.


Sam Allardyce is amongst the most active football coaches in different charity projects. For instance, in December 2020, he and Harry Redknapp managed two sides in a charity match that was played to raise funds for Covid-19 relief.

Legal Issues

Allardyce and his son, Craig, were implicated in the BBC documentary Panorama on 19 September 2006 for taking bribes from agents for recruiting some players. Two agents were filmed secretly, each independently stating that they had bribed Allardyce via Craig. He denied taking or asking for bribes.

Sam Allardyce Career Statistics

In this section of Sam Allardyce biography, we will take a look into his career on the international and club level. Stay tuned.


Sam has played a total of 578 matches during his career, scoring 42 goals. For the most part of his career, he has been a Bolton player.


As of 23 May 2021, Sam Allardyce has managed his teams in a total of 1060 matches and has a win ratio of 38.8 percent with 411 wins, 283 draws and 366 defeats.

Sam Allardyce Honors

AS a player, he has won the Football League Second Division with Bolton and was named in the PFA Team of the Year in 1986-87.

All of the honours he has won as a manager was in the lower leagues of English football, including Football League Third and First Division with Notts County and Bolton. He has also won the 2012 Football League Championship play-offs with West Ham.

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