English Premiership

Bruce desperate for silverware

2014-05-16 19:29
Steve Bruce (AP Photo)

London - While much has been made of Arsene Wenger's long trophy drought at Arsenal, it has largely escaped critical attention that the man who will walk out alongside him at Wembley for Saturday's FA Cup final has never won silverware in 16 years as a manager.

Steve Bruce has nonetheless been in demand throughout that time, serving seven different clubs with varying degrees of success.

As Alex Ferguson's captain at Manchester United, helping the club to dominate English football throughout the 1990s, he established a reputation as a serial winner.

Unlike Ryan Giggs and the famed "Class of 92" who eventually joined him in the first team, however, Bruce had to fight his way up from the lower divisions after being rejected by the club of his boyhood dreams.

That was Newcastle United, one of several clubs in the north of England who turned down the chance to sign him as a young midfielder playing for Newcastle Schools.

He would have become an apprentice plumber had lowly Gillingham in the south-east of the country and the Third Division not taken him on in 1978.

Converted into a powerful central defender, Bruce became an England youth international, moved after six years to join Norwich City in the top division and made the step up to Manchester United in 1987, a year after Ferguson's arrival at the club.

With Gary Pallister alongside him in a formidable defensive partnership, United won almost a dozen trophies, including the Premier League and FA Cup three times each and the 1991 European Cup Winners Cup.

Bruce's most celebrated contribution was to score two headed goals in stoppage time at home to Sheffield Wednesday to earn a crucial victory in the run-in to United's first title for 26 years in 1993.

Yet unlike Pallister, he was never selected for England.

For one reason or another, managerial stints at his first four clubs - Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town, Wigan Athletic and Crystal Palace - were all short ones.

He finally settled at Birmingham City, where he had played after Manchester United.

In six years they were promoted twice and relegated once, but he became unhappy under the controversial new owner Carson Yeung and left for two years with Wigan Athletic.

Regularly linked with his first love, Newcastle, he finally made it back to the north-east in 2009 but as manager of their big rivals Sunderland.

Sacked two years later, Bruce joined Hull and took them back to the Premier League in his first season, guiding them to safety and reaching the club's first FA Cup final.

Since the semi-final victory by 5-3 over Sheffield United at Wembley, the team's form has tailed off with four defeats in the last five games, including a 3-0 home loss to Arsenal.

"Of course we're rank outsiders," Bruce told the club's website (www.hullcitytigers.com).

"I think that is the actual beauty of the FA Cup.

"It's like what we saw last year. Manchester City were huge favourites but Wigan went and won the thing.

"For me, things like that are why this is the greatest competition. There's always been shocks and it's a one-off game.

"It's the mighty Arsenal with all their history, tradition, huge support and a huge club against the smaller club and the attraction is the ability of the smaller club to turn them over.

"The FA Cup Final is a place where heroes are made."

His own dreams may once have been about achieving that in a Newcastle shirt but having received a winner's medal three times with Manchester United, Bruce is now desperate to become a winning manager at last.

Read more on:    hull city  |  fa cup  |  steve bruce  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

23 October 2016
Manchester City v Southampton, Etihad Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Manchester United, Stamford Bridge 17:00
29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.