Last week I reported on the likelihood of Eric Steele, the recently employed Blackburn goalkeeping coach. Mark Hughes had his own man for the job, Kevin Hitchcock, when he took at the position at Manchester City, meaning that Steele joined Paul Ince at Blackburn less than a month ago.
Obviously United moved too slowly and missed out on securing his services. However, 19 days later, following negotiations, Steele was Old Trafford bound. Danny Simpson‘s recent move to Blackburn couldn’t possibly have been part of the deal, sweetening up Incey to clinch the deal…
But who is Eric Steele?
Steele began his playing career as a goalkeeper at Newcastle United in 1972.
His next club was Peterborough United where he established himself as first-choice keeper and set a record for most consecutive league appearances (124) that still stands today.
Within the next 12 years he moved from club to them, to Brighton & Hove Albion, then Watford, and finally Derby County. He won five promotions in his time with those clubs.
Steele he retired to run a pub in 1988 before establishing Eric Steele Coaching Services, which provided goalkeeping coaching to Manchester City, Leeds United, Derby County, and Barnsley, as well as working overseas in Australia, Switzerland, Norway, Germany and the United States.
He took on a permanent position at Derby County for four years, starting 1997, before being appointed goalkeeping coach at Aston Villa in 2001. He even had a stint as the manager before Martin O’Neil was appointed.
In 2007, he became the new Manchester City goalkeeping coach, following the departure of Tim Flowers to Coventry City as assistant to Iain Dowie.
Tony Coton, whose boots Steele will be filling, speaks extremely highly of our new employee.
“Eric Steele was my goal keeping coach when I was a player at Manchester City, and it soon became evident that after just a couple of training sessions that Eric was a unique and talented coach,” he said. “Eric was different due to his innovative teaching style. Every session was a challenging and interesting, and his breadth and depth of knowledge was second to none. Because of this I decided to call Eric “The Guru”, a name that he is now known by throughout the premier league.”
With Ben Foster set to claim the number 1 spot in the next two years, let’s hope Steele can make all the difference to him!