Loading... Please wait...

Our Newsletter

You Recently Viewed...

Dave Bassett

Bookmark and Share


Manager of various football clubs, now Director of Football at Leicester City.
Managerial highlights: Wimbledon 1981-87); Sheffield United (1988-95); Nottingham Forest (1997-99); Leicester City (2001-02). Career achievements: 1000 games as League Manager; FA Cup Semi-Final 1993 with Sheffield United;
member of the League Managers Association.

Saturday 6th April 2002 was the day of Dave Bassett’s last game as a league manager and it was a day of mixed emotions. After having been presented with a crystal vase, by Sir Alex Ferguson, in recognition of achievement in reaching 1000 games in charge, Bassett then saw his Leicester City side beaten by Manchester United, the result condemning them to relegation from the premiership.

Having already agreed to hand over the reigns to his assistant Micky Adams he received a standing ovation from the Leicester fans who acknowledged his feat in reaching the landmark that has only been achieved by five other managers in English football: Alec Stock, Sir Matt Busby, Jim Smith, Graham Taylor and Dario Gradi.

Affectionately known as 'Harry', Bassett plied his trade at several clubs with considerable success. He is probably best known for guiding his unfashionable Wimbledon side to the first division in the 1980s after taking over from Dario Gradi at Plough Lane in 1981. Considering the fact that Wimbledon had only been elected to the Football League in 1977, it was an astounding achievement.

Bassett formed the original 'Crazy Gang' and although he left in 1987, many of the players he had signed took The Dons to an unexpected FA Cup victory in 1988 under Bobby Gould.

A short and, as he readily admits, unsuccessful spell at Watford followed before Bassett moved north to Sheffield United where, once more, he achieved successive promotions. Arriving at Bramall Lane in January 1988, he could not prevent United from being relegated to the third division but he took them straight back up the following season and then led them back into the top flight, where they remained until 1994.

The Blades also reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1993 but were beaten at Wembley by their neighbours and arch-rivals Sheffield Wednesday. Bassett left The Blades in December 1995 but soon returned to management with Crystal Palace, immediately taking them into the first division play-offs.

Having narrowly missed out on promotion, losing to Leicester in the final at Wembley, and seemingly and failed to mount a serious challenge the following season - although they were later promoted after winning the play-offs under Steve Coppell - Bassett left Selhurst Park after a year in charge and became General Manager at Nottingham Forest, assisting player-manager Stuart Pearce.

'Harry' was made the team manager at the City Ground in May 1997 as Forest were relegated from the premiership and yet again he won promotion the following year, immediately returning the club to the top flight by claiming the first division championship. It was to prove a disappointing return however as the team struggled to stay in touch with their premiership rivals and Bassett left in January 1999 with Forest at the foot of the table.

Before the start of the 2000/01 season he took the reins at Barnsley following John Hendrie's exit from Oakwell. His remit was to return the Yorkshire club to the premiership and he very nearly did so. The Tykes went all the way to the division one play-off final, where Bassett was to lose out once again as Ipswich secured a 4-2 victory to earn promotion.

It came as something of a surprise when it was announced on 19th December 2000 that Bassett was leaving Oakwell after he and the club agreed to a 'parting of ways' following discussions with the board about the future of the club. His credentials as a hard-working and successful motivator are well-renowned and it was hardly surprising when Leicester City turned to him to help lift them from the bottom of the premiership table following Peter Taylor's exit in October 2001.

Bassett drafted in his former assistant from Nottingham Forest Micky Adams, who left his position as manager of second division Brighton and Hove Albion to team up with 'Harry' with a view to eventually taking over in the hot-seat. Adams' chance came a little sooner than he expected however as Bassett's famous 'Houdini' act did not materialise at Filbert Street and Leicester were relegated.

Having remained with the club as Director of Football, Bassett's experience is sure to be of considerable value to The Foxes in the coming seasons as they establish themselves in their new £30million stadium and 'Harry' remains a valued, extremely committed and well-respected member of the League Managers Association. He is also one of a trio on the panel that votes for the Scottish Mutual Performance of the Week, alongside Sir Alex Ferguson and Howard Wilkinson.

For further information and appearance fees for this sporting personality please contact the office on 01702 202036 or Click Here for our email enquiry form.