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With nearly 20 years as a player - plus almost 25 years as a coach and manager - under his belt, Sam Allardyce is one of the most recognisable figures in British football. 'Big Sam' has been a robust defensive general throughout the seventies and eighties, and an imposing touchline presence as a gaffer since 1994. Before he took the England manager's job in July 2016, he was the second longest-serving manager in the Premier League, behind Arsene Wenger. Over the last 42 years, Allardyce has seen it all. The game he so loves is radically different to that in which he made his debut back in 1973, and in telling his wonderfully colourful story for the very first time, Allardyce talks intriguingly about the changing face of players and managers. His autobiography positively crackles with characteristic insight, honesty and hard-hitting opinions.
Sam Allardyce was born in Dudley in the West Midlands in 1954, and supported Wolverhampton Wanderers as a boy. Between 1973 and 1992, he played for Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland, Millwall, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Preston North End, West Bromwich Albion and Limerick. His coaching and managerial career has been even longer. As a manager he has served at the helm of Blackpool, Notts County, Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United, Sunderland, England and Crystal Palace. As a player, Allardyce won the Second Division with Bolton in 1978. As a manager, he won the First Division in Ireland with Limerick in 1992, the Third Division with Notts County in 1998, the First Division Play-off final with Bolton in 2001 (where he also reached the League Cup final in 2004), and the Championship Play-off final with West Ham in 2012. In addition, he has won the Premier League Manager of the Month award on six separate occasions.