Trevor Anderson

Biography

Name Trevor Anderson.
Born 3rd March 1951 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Nationality Northern Ireland.
International caps 22 Northern Ireland caps (4 goals).
Posh debut Hereford Utd 0 - 0 Peterborough Utd 26/12/1977, Third Division.
First Posh goal Portsmouth 2 - 2 Peterborough Utd 14/01/1978, Third Division.
Links Trevor Anderson's page at Wikipedia

Trevor Anderson was born in Belfast in 1951 and impressed as a teenager at Portadown. He caught the attention of English sides aged 21, helping the County Armagh club to second place in the league and scored in the cup final defeat to Coleraine in 1972. He joined Manchester United for a fee of £10,000 in October that year.

Links were naturally drawn with the club’s other Ulster-born forward, George Best, whose illustrious career at Old Trafford was drawing to its close. As Anderson said at the time, “There will only ever be one George Best. Nobody can match that… But then again there will only ever be one Trevor Anderson.”

Manager Frank O’Farrell, however, was sacked within weeks of Anderson’s arrival, and his replacement, Scotland manager Tommy Docherty, chose not to give him his début until the final day of March 1973. Nevertheless, Anderson made his Northern Ireland in May, scoring a brace against Cyprus in a World Cup Qualifier.

Despite impressing at international level, he was to still only played a small part at club level, and Manchester United were relegated the following season. He then moved down a further league to sign for Division Three side Swindon Town in November 1974 for £25,000, scoring on his debut against Chesterfield. He impressed, averaging a goal in nearly every third game, including a hat-trick of penalties in a 5–1 win against Walsall in April 1976.

John Barnwell bought him to London Road in December 1977 for a fee of £20,000 and Anderson appeared in every match that season, only for the Posh missed out on promotion on goal-difference. He played his final matches for Northern Ireland while at London Road, appearing in the 1978 British Championships, drawing with Scotland then losing to England and Wales, before coming off the bench to score against Denmark in a World Cup Qualifier, earning his 22nd cap and fourth international goal. Anderson only managed two goals the following season and the Posh were relegated to the Division Four, prompting a return home.

He joined double-champions Linfield and help his new club continue their dominance. His impressive form earned him a recall to the Northern Ireland squad for the 1981 British Championships, but he remained unused. Anderson won every medal the local game had to offer, including 6 league titles and 2 cup wins, as well topping the goal-scoring charts in 1984 and 1986. Indeed in 1986, as a 35 year-old, he won the Northern Ireland Football Writers’ Association Player of the Season Award.

Anderson retired from playing at the end of the following season to become Linfield’s youth team manager. In October 1992 he was promoted to manager of the senior team, winning two league titles and two Irish Cups in his first three seasons in charge.

In the 1993/94 Champions League Linfield lost to Georgian side Dinamo Tbilisi 3–2 on aggregate, only to be reinstated when their opponents were expelled from the competition for alleged match fixing. In the first round proper they won the first leg against FC Copenhagen 3–0, only to lose the second 4–0 after extra time. This proved costly, as victory would have meant a lucrative financial tie against eventual champions AC Milan in the next round.

The club were then to become less dominate, and in November 1995, having suffered a 3–0 defeat at home to Glenavon, rumours about Anderson’s future began to circulate. The board fully backed their manager, who said he didn’t expect anything else. “When you are manager of Linfield there is always going to be pressure, it comes with the territory.”

Despite spending £100,000 on new players during the summer of 1996 and having being made 2–1 favourites by some bookies, Anderson jumped ship in the middle of another disappointing season, as ambitious Chairman Joe Rice of First Division side Newry Town appointed him Director of Football. One local journalist described this move, “as if the manager of Liverpool had resigned to take over Doncaster Rovers.”

Newry won the league in Anderson’s first full season at the club, prompting accusations that the club had brought their way to promotion. “The rumour is that Joe’s cheque-book never shuts, but the facts are different. This team has cost considerably less than £20,000.”

In March of the following season, with the club challenging for a European place, joint managers Harry Fay and Ollie Ralph suddenly announced their departure following a 2–1 defeat at Anderson’s former club Linfield. Nevertheless, Newry finish fourth, earning a place in the Intertoto Cup. They overturned a first leg deficit to defeat Hrvatski Dragovoljac of Zagreb in what is regarded as the finest début in Europe by a Northern Irish club, before being knocked out by Germany’s MSV Duisburg.

Rice, however, then left the club as a result of constant boardroom friction, and Anderson was to follow. He was still technically contracted to the club, but had no contact with his employers. He stated, “The last six months put me off football. I could not stomach what was done to Joe Rice, our former chairman … I haven’t lost my love for the actual game, just the politics within.”

The duo were soon to return to football, however, as Rice became Chairman of debt-ridden Ards, with Anderson installed as manager. He won the First Division in first full-season in charge, but after a poor start to life in the Premier League he stood aside to become Director of Football, with former Larne boss Frankie Parks taking the hot seat. Anderson said, “At this stage, I’ve no idea if I’ll return to team management. In the Ards job, it was often a case of banging my head against a wall because of massive injuries and lack of resources. I feel I can do more good seeking out talent for next time.”

No improvement was made, however, as the club finished bottom. The crisis deepened as the club’s ground, Castlereagh Park, which had been sold to try and reduce their debts in 1998, was demolished, leaving the club homeless.

In October he moved south of the border to become manager of Dundalk, who had also been relegated, despite winning the FAI Cup. “It is another challenge and a different one at that,” said Anderson. “I like pitting myself against the unknown and I’m doing that with this job.”

Anderson was unable to repeat his earlier successes, however, and, following a series of disappointing results, tendered his resignation on 1 May 2004 alongside Chairman Des Denning, Vice-Chairman Frank Mullen and Finance Director Frank Keating.