Gerry Francis
GERRY
FRANCIS

Gerry Francis was confirmed as assistant Head Coach at West Bromwich Albion in January 2015 as part of Tony Pulis's coaching team.

Gerry was formerly first team coach at Crystal Palace in December 2013  where he once again teamed up with Tony Pulis.

Francis was part of Pulis's coaching staff at Stoke City during an extremely successful spell where they went onto establish the club in the Barclays Premier League.

Previously, Francis returned to manage Bristol Rovers in June 2001, fourteen years after first accepting the manager's post with The Pirates.

He immediately named Rovers caretaker manager Garry Thompson as his assistant and vowed to "get the club back on the road to recovery."

Francis had revealed that he was stepping down as QPR manager just four months earlier and was succeeded by ex-Rovers boss Ian Holloway, who had himself been Bristol manager until January.

QPR had struggled under Francis in the final season of his second spell in charge at Loftus Road but he insisted that his departure had nothing to do with the club's position in the league and was concerned more with the financial situation at the club and his own personal wishes.

Francis had returned to QPR in November 1998 after first Stewart Houston and then Ray Harford had found the going tough in the managerial hot-seat.

His association with The Hoops started at an early age as Francis was the product of the successful Queens Park Rangers youth scheme of the late 60's and played for the club for 11 years in two different spells.

He was an important member of the side that finished as runners up to Liverpool in the 1975 –76 season and went on to captain the team, as well as earning several caps for England.

His international career was curtailed by injury and he had spells with Crystal Palace and Coventry in between his spells at Loftus Road.

His first managerial post came with Exeter City in 1983, where he was Player/Manager. After the Devon side finished bottom of the third division, Francis was sacked by the board. His playing career neared its end with a handful of games for Cardiff City, Swansea City and Portsmouth during the first half of the 1984-85 season.

Gerry then joined Bristol Rovers, in September 1985, and turned out for 33 league games for them before becoming manager in July 1987.

During his first stint as Rovers' boss Gerry gained a reputation for astute financial management and for spotting potential in players from lower and non-league teams. After four successful years at the Memorial Ground he was appointed as Manager at QPR.

Francis built a young side around the experienced Ray Wilkins and managed to retain key players such as Les Ferdinand. Rangers finished fifth in the first season of the Premier League (1992/93)and the future looked good but they could not maintain their excellent form and Francis became unsettled when it appeared that Chairman Richard Thompson had approached former player Rodney Marsh with the intention of relieving the manager of some of his responsibilities in 1994.

After a month of negotiations Gerry resigned and took over from Ossie Ardiles at Tottenham Hotspur. He had three mixed years at White Hart Lane before leaving when Christian Gross arrived from Switzerland. Gerry said that he wanted a break from football and had no intention of returning in the near future.

In November 1998, QPR Chairman Chris White made an approach to Francis to return to his 'home' club once again. At the time Rangers were at the bottom of the First Division and had no money available for new players. Gerry admitted that it was a decision made with his heart and not his head but his return was a welcome boost for the fans and after another season of struggle, relegation was avoided on the last day of the season.

The 2000/2001 season also saw Rangers dragged into a relegation battle, eventually leading Francis to step down as manager as the club drafted in Ian Holloway, who had played under Francis at both Bristol and QPR.

Holloway's arrival could not prevent them from relegation however as Garry Thompson, Holloway's temporary successor at Bristol, also fought in vain to stop The Pirates from sliding into Division Three.

After managing QPR, Francis worked with the England U19 youth team and later joined Stoke City as the club's First Team Coach in the Barclays Premier League.

Honours (1)
  • league-titles
    • Bristol Rovers:
      • Football League Division Three Champions, (1999-05-05)
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