Hampshire Famous Face Nigel Adkins

As the 2022-23 football season ended with a triumphant treble by Manchester City, we thought it would be fitting to fill the 6 week void by paying homage to former Southampton manager and Eversley resident, Mr Nigel Adkins.

 

Born in Birkenhead on 11th March 1965, as a footballer, Nigel Adkins would spend some of his youth career playing at Liverpool as a goalkeeper before getting released in 1983. The goalkeeper would stay local though joining Tranmere Rovers where he would make over 80 appearances in three seasons before making the move to Wigan Athletic for £3,000.

 

Adkins spent the majority of his career with The Latics registering over 150 games whilst unfortunately suffering a double spinal fracture at just 23. In 1993, Nigel would start his managerial journey joining Welsh club Bangor City where, as a player-manager he finished as runners up in the Nathaniel MG Cup (Welsh League Cup) in 1993-94 and winning the JD Cymru Premier (Welsh Premier League) for two consecutive seasons (1993-1994 and 1994- 95). Under Adkins, Bangor experienced two seasons playing in the European Cup.

 

Having played 95 times for Bangor, Adkins officially retired from playing football at the age of 31 and his time at Bangor would also see him complete his Honours Degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Salford as well as attain his UEFA A Licence Coaching Award. After his success in Wales, Adkins moved to Lincolnshire where he accepted the role of Physiotherapist at Scunthorpe United. Nigel advanced his education further whilst at The Iron, completing a Diploma in Sports Psychology. Adkins’ role would also enhance as he combined his job of Physiotherapist with that of Goalkeeper Coach and Fitness Coach.

 

In November 2006, after a decade of being a Physio, Scunthorpe United appointed him as manager. Adkins’ time as manager saw some great success at the club, winning the League One title in 06-07, and the League One Play Off in 2009, after getting relegated in 2008.

 

In the 2010-11 campaign, after a bright start with Scunthorpe in the Championship, Adkins would join Southampton who were, at the time, sitting 23rd in League One. An incredible turnaround saw the former goalkeeper take The Saints to promotion, finishing 2nd in League One. The following season Adkins achieved 2nd place again and got Southampton promoted to the Premier League. Achieving back to back promotions with the club, considering where The Saints were when Adkins took over, was voted as the moment of the decade by Southampton fans.

 

Despite lifting the club a phenomenal 51 places from when he took over, Nigel was by sacked by Southampton in early 2013 with them sitting in 15th position in the Premier League.

 

Nigel Adkins would go on to have spells in management with Reading, Sheffield United, Hull City, where he managed his 500th English League Game, and most recently Charlton Athletic, leaving The Addicks in October 2021.

 

This May, Adkins went full circle returning back to Tranmere Rovers as Technical Director.

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