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Top 25 Players - Chris Coleman

Despite being born in Swansea in October 1970, Coleman first signed schoolboy terms with Manchester City. But in 1987, at the age of 17, he returned home to sign for the Swans. He spent three years at the Vetch, making nearly 200 appearances in a Swansea shirt. During this period he established himself as one of the top Welsh talents, and in 1990 he was snapped up for 275,000 by Crystal Palace.

While at Palace he broke into the senior Wales squad, making his debut as a substitute against Austria. He experienced Premiership football until Palace`s relegation at the end of the 1994-95 season.

But he was soon back in the Premiership when reigning Premiership Champions Blackburn Rovers paid 2.8m for his services in 1995. His spell in the north was a short one, ended in 1997 when he took the surprising step of dropping two divisions to join Fulham.

At the time Fulham had been taken over by Mohamed al Fayed, and had bid ambitions of heading towards the Premiership. By now, Coleman was widely touted as the best defender outside of the Premiership and became the solid foundation for Kevin Keegan's team. Fulham were on their way up through the division with Coleman as captain. But things took a tragic turn for the worse when Coleman`s Jaguar spun off the road, leaving Coleman with serious injuries.

Coleman broke both his legs, an ankle and damaged his knee in the collision, as well as suffering complications with infections. He underwent many months of rehabilitation, but after a reserve-team match in March 2002 he reluctantly admitted he would never regain full fitness. He was given an emotional farewell at the end of his final appearance for Wales at the Millennium Stadium, having scored 4 goals during his 32 international caps.

Having made a big impact at Craven Cottage during his playing days, he was asked to join Fulham's coaching staff in October 2002, and by the end of the season he was caretaker manager following the dismissal of Frenchman Jean Tigana. At first he insisted that he didn`t want the job on a full-time basis, but after a five-game spell at the helm which included three wins and a draw, he was offered the job on a permanent basis & accepted it. This deal made him the Premiership`s youngest manager. He guided the club to ninth in the table in 2003-04; they finished 13th in 2004/2005 and the following year recorded 13 home wins on their way to 12th spot.



Sold to: Crystal Palace for 275,000 (1990)

Claim to fame: Making nearly 200 appearances for his hometown club & winning 32 Welsh caps

Where is he now? Forced into retirement after a car crash in 2002, currently manager at Fulham F.C

Quote from Fulhamfc.com: "A born leader, strong, tall, and commanding in the centre of Fulham`s defence, Coleman went on to play under Paul Bracewell and then, with the arrival of Jean Tigana, was a key part of the team which went on to win the Division One title. Although his participation in that season was cut short his influence was immense and he was greatly missed by players and fans alike. The man who was one of the Club`s most popular leaders on the pitch is fast becoming a Fulham hero from the dug out."




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The Journalist

Writer: KevinE Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday October 4 2006

Time: 4:09PM

Your Comments

nice article and he was a class player and is fast becoming a great manager ... one of my more favourite prem managers ! Is Sam ricketts to be part of this series ?
dazednconfuzed
great player. remember him from years ago. deffo one of my favs.
bdazzler1
He was a good player but i think he can be a better manager and he has had a big headstart with starting early. He must of been really guttered when he got the bad injury.
jono_forest
great article
swanzboichris
definitely a great player. shame it ended the way it did though
idroppedmyguts
Ricketts appearing in the top 25? You must be joking mate!
KevinE
yer i would have to agree with that kev mate no chance in hell. nice to see chris get in there my old man played with him from schoolboys rite up intill he got called up by man city. my old man has always spoke very highley of him its nice to see him on the list.
swansea_till_i_die
quality player, would love to see him at the swans in a managerial/coaching capacity!!
Mule79
p.s wouldnt put Sam ricketts in the top 250
Mule79
When he first got into the swans sde he was outstanding for such a young man. He played for us in those days when, unfortunately, we had to sell our best young players so that the club could survive.
willow
A very good article and idea - look forward to the next 24.
willow
i agree mule79 mate lol
swansea_till_i_die
 

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