Great Scot

DEREK Adams is the 12th Scot to have managed Argyle, four of whom have been at the helm for one of the Pilgrims’ eight promotions.

Alloa-born BOB JACK was the making of Plymouth Argyle, the Pilgrims’ answer to Arsenal’s Herbert Chapman, Manchester United’s Sir Matt Busby, or Liverpool’s Bill Shankly.

Bob, a Scottish winger, was among the tranche of players who joined Argyle in 1903 when they turned professional and entered the Southern League, and was appointed player-manager in 1905. After a respectable fifth-place finish, he dropped down a division with Southend. After two Southern League Second Division titles, he returned to Home Park as manager and club secretary. This time, he lasted just a little bit longer. After winning the Southern League title in 1912-1913, he was at the helm as Argyle became a Football League club in 1920; when they won their first ever title – the Third Division – in 1930; and still there in 1938, when he retired. 

Between Bob’s two spells, WILLIAM FULLARTON, from Ardrossan in Ayrshire, was handed the reins for the 1906-1907 campaign, before the Pilgrims did away with the post altogether for three seasons. 

Falkirk’s JIMMY RAE was one of 12 players who played for and managed the Pilgrims. After 283 matches at Home Park either side of, and during, the second world war, he became manager early in the 1947-1948 season and held the post for eight years. The club was relegated to the Third Division (South) in 1949-1950, but bounced back as champions two years later before Jimmy achieved the highest position of any Argyle manager – fourth in Division Two. He did it using just 17 players, five of who made just 21 appearances between them.

In 1960, for the first time in Argyle’s history, two men – both Scots – were put jointly in charge of the first team: former players NEIL DOUGALL, from Falkirk, and GEORGE TAYLOR, from the north coast village of King Edward, who had scored the winning goal for Aberdeen when they beat Rangers in the 1946 Scottish League Cup Final at Hampden. The arrangement did not work and, after Vic Buckingham accepted, then turned down, the offer to manage the Pilgrims (alone), George was demoted to chief trainer, leaving Neil in sole charge. He kept Argyle in the second division but lasted only a few months before another reshuffle, with Ellis Stuttard moving from assistant-trainer to manager; Neil being demoted to chief coach/trainer; and George remaining as chief trainer. The Pilgrims’ fortunes immediately picked up. 

Scottish international ANDY BEATTIE, an Aberdonian, was manager of Argyle in the 1963-1964 Second Division season. The first manager of the Scottish national side – for six matches in 1954, including a fairly disastrous World Cup campaign that culminated with a 7-0 defeat against Uruguay – came in after an 11-game winless start to the season and did not want a permanent job at Home Park, but was tasked with saving the Pilgrims from relegation to the Third Division. They finished the season in 20th place, having cobbled together just eight wins, survived the drop with a goal average just 0.05% better than Grimsby,

Perth’s BOBBY MONCUR managed the Pilgrims between 1981-83. After two middling Third Division seasons, he fell out with the Home Park board over the signing of Tommy Tynan and the failure to sign Tynan’s Newport County strike partner John Aldridge and was sacked.

Poet DAVE SMITH came west from Southend – and a year and a half selling insurance – and won promotion as Third Division runners-up in 1985-1986. The following season 1986-1987, Argyle finished seventh in the old Second Division, just one win away from the play-offs in the first year of the post-season competition. The Ciderman carried on for one more season before his heart was captured by hometown club Dundee.

The next Scot off the rank also won promotion – twice in three seasons – and would make most fans’ top three of the club’s all-time great gaffers. PAUL STURROCK, from Ellon in Aberdeenshire, had enjoyed a stellar career as a player in Scotland and already managed Dundee United and St Johnstone with some success when he was appointed Argyle manager on Hallowe’en 2000.

He took a Third Division team heading in the wrong direction and immediately turned things round before steering the club he revitalised to the 2001-02 Third Division championship. They accrued more points in that campaign than any other Pilgrims’ side, a club and divisional record of 102, and conceded fewer goals in their season than any other Greens team apart from the 1921-22 Third Division (South) runners-up, who played four fewer matches: 31 wins, six defeats, and 27 clean sheets are stats which speak for themselves.

Two years later, 2003-2004, Luggy took Argyle nearly all the way to the Championship before leaving the Pilgrims to join Premiership Southampton in March. His former assistant Kevin Summerfield kept the good ship Pilgrim on course before Glaswegian BOBBY WILLIAMSON arrived with three matches of the campaign to go. The first of those – at home to Queens Park Rangers – saw Bobby win a title in his first game in charge, although he did have the good grace to admit he felt like a gatecrasher at the Pilgrims’ party.

Following Luggy proved to be something of a poisoned chalice and, after a mid-table finish in 2004-05 and a poor start to the following campaign, Bobby was sacked, leaving assistant JOCKY SCOTT, another son of Aberdeen, to hold the reins for four matches – one win, two draws, one defeat – until the arrival of Tony Pulis.

Paul Sturrock returned after Ian Holloway left for Leicester City in November 2007 but found it impossible to repeat the magic of his previous spell at a Championship club at the beginning of its fall towards administration.

He achieved a tenth-place Championship finish in 2007-2008 despite having to sell off much of the family silver, but only just avoided relegation the following term. After a poor start to the 2009-2010 campaign – four wins from 17 matches – he was replaced by Paul Mariner.

Argyle’s Scottish Managers

1905-1906 Bob Jack
1906-1907 William Fullarton
1910-1938 Bob Jack (1 promotion)
1948-1955 Jimmy Rae (1 promotion)
1960 Neil Dougall/George Taylor
1961 Neil Dougall
1963-1964 Andy Beattie*
1981-1983 Bobby Moncur
1984-1988 Dave Smith (1 promotion)
2000-2004 Paul Sturrock (2 promotions)
2004-2005 Bobby Williamson
2005 Jocky Scott*
2007-2009 Paul Sturrock
2015- Derek Adams
* = temporary/caretaker manager

Scottish Pilgrims
Russell Anderson: 11 full caps
Doug Baird: 1 Under-23 cap
Andy Beattie: 7 full caps 
Bobby Bell: Schoolboy international
Paul Bernard: 2 full caps
Robert Brown: 3 full caps
Chris Clark: 2 B caps
John Clayton: Schoolboy international
Stevie Crawford: 25 full caps
Neil Dougall: 1 full cap
Rab Douglas: 19 full caps
Billy Forbes: Junior international
Paul Gallagher: 1 full cap 
Jimmy Gauld: Youth international 
Alex Govan: Youth international
Alan Gow: 1 B cap - 2007 v Finland
David Gray: 1 Under-21 cap 
Jimmy Hamilton: Scotland Youth 
Bill Harper: 11 full caps
Jamie Laird: Schoolboy international
Scott Laird: Under-19 international
Jimmy Logie: 1 full cap
Alex MacDonald: 6 Under-21 caps 
Jamie Mackie: 9 full caps
Steve MacLean: 4 Under-21 caps 
Brian McAllister: 3 full caps 
Kieran McAnespie: 4 Under-21 caps
Mike McCartney: Schoolboy international
David McNamee: 4 full caps 
Bobby Moncur: 16 full caps
Jim Paterson: 9 Under-21 caps 
Dave Provan: 5 full caps
Jimmy Rae: Schoolboy international
Paul Sturrock: 20 full caps 
Gary Teale: 13 full caps 
Lee Wilkie: 11 full caps