Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Redfearn: Neil David (Neil)

2014-2015 (Player Details) (Manager Details)

Born at Dewsbury on 20th June 1965, he was the sixth highest, at the end of the 2012-13 season, in the number of League games ever played in the Football League, totalling seven hundred and ninety from 1982 to 2004. With thirty-five with Bolton Wanderers, a hundred with Lincoln City, forty-six with Doncaster Rovers, fifty-seven with Crystal Palace, twenty-four with Watford, sixty-two with Oldham Athletic, two hundred and ninety two with Barnsley, thirty with Charlton Athletic, seventeen with Bradford City, twenty-two with Wigan Athletic, forty-two with Halifax Town, fifty-four with Boston United and nine with Rochdale. He started as an apprentice at Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest signing professional forms in August 1981, but never progressed to first team level and left for Bolton Wanderers on a free transfer on 23rd June 1982. He stayed at Burnden Park for almost two years leaving for Lincoln City on 23rd March 1984, for 8,250, after scoring once in thirty-five starts and also playing for F.A. Cup and two League Cup games without scoring. He made his debut for the Imps in a 1-1 home draw with Exeter City on 31st March 1984 and went on to score thirteen League goals in in one hundred League games of which four were as a substitute and a further one goal in fourteen other matches before playing his final game for them in a 1-2 defeat at Cardiff City on 3rd May 1986. His next move was to Doncaster Rovers for 17,500, a fee fixed by tribunal, on 22nd August 1986 and he stayed there for one season, making his debut the following day in a 1-2 loss at Mansfield Town, being ever-present with fourteen goals in forty-six League starts and seven starts and one game from the bench in which he did not find the net. He moved to Crystal Palace on 31st July 1987 for 100,000 and soon established himself there as an integral part of their midfield with Geoff Thomas and Andy Gray, supplying the ammunition for the Ian Wright/Mark Bright scoring machine. After Andy Gray left the club, in 1988-89 he found himself being regularly substituted and he also left the club for Watford for 150,000 on 22nd November 1988, having scored ten goals in fifty-seven League starts and making eight other starts without scoring. His time at Vicarage Road was not happy and he was once more on the move on 21st January 1990, again for 150,000, after three goals in twenty-two starts and two games from the bench in the League and four goals in twelve starts in other competitions. He moved to Oldham Athletic once more for 150,000 and scored the goal that took the Latics back into the First Division in 1991, but after Mike Milligan returned to the club he was on the move once more, this time to Barnsley, when 150,000 changed hands. While with the Latics he had scored sixteen goals in fifty-six starts and six games from the bench as well as four more in eleven starts and one game from the bench in the Cup competitions. It was a defining move for Redfearn as he spent seven years at Oakwell which coincided with a destinct upswing in fortune for the Tykes. It culminated with him scoring seventeen goals from midfield as Barnsley finished runners-up in the First Division to gain automatic promotion to the EPL. This gave him the chance to play in the top flight and he managed to top score once more with ten goals and though Barnsley were relegate he had made an indelible impression on other Premiership opponents and on 25th June 1998 newly-promoted Charlton Athletic paid 1 million for his services to keep him in the top flight, even though by then he was well into his thirties. While at Oakwell he scored seventy-two League goals in two hundred and eighty-nine starts and three from the bench. He also scored twelve goals from forty-six starts in the Cup competitions. Unfortunately he did not settle in London and after just one season at the Valley having scored just three goals in twenty-nine starts and one game from the bench in the League and three more games in the two Cup competitions, he went back to Yorkshire to join Bradford City for 250,000 on 31st July 1999. However Redfearn was now in his mid-thirties and could only manage one League goal in fourteen starts and three more from the bench and four more, one of which was from the bench in the two Cup competitions, without scoring. On 17th March 2000 he moved across the Pennines to Wigan Athletic for 112,500 and again struggled for a regular spot and one year later on 16th March 2001 he left Wigan after scoring seven goals in twenty-five games, all but four of them in the starting League side. He also played six other games. He went to Halifax Town on a free transfer and satayed until the end of the following season, scoring six goals in forty-two League games, of which three were from the bench, and made four starts in Cup-ties. It was while at the Shay that he had his first taste of management, when he had two spells as caretaker-manager from 30th August to 12th October 2001 and 1st March to 25th April 2002. On 29th July 2002, after Halifax Town had been relegated, he joined Boston United on a free transfer. He was with the Pilgrims for almost two years scoring twelve League goals in forty-six starts and eight games from the bench, he also scored once in three starts and one game from the bench in other games. He joined Rochdale on 18th March 2004 and started nine League games before moving to Scarborough on 16th June, just three months later. It seemed at one time that he was bound for Halifax Town as player-manager, and then it seemed like he was favourite for the same post with Rochdale but in the end he took on the post of player-coach with the Football Conference club, Scarborough, where he scored eighteen times in fifty-seven starts and another seven from the bench. When Manager Nick Henry was sacked, Redfearn took over as caretaker Manager on 24th October 2005, and was confirmed as permanent Manager on 1st November 2005 and remained in that position until 6th July 2006 when he resigned. He signed as a player for Northern Premier League First Division side Bradford Park Avenue for the 2006-07 season even though he had turned forty. He stayed at Park Avenue until March 2007 when he moved to rivals Stocksbridge Park Steels but left on 19th June 2007 to manage Conference side Northwich Victoria, but a string of poor results saw them bottom of the League and caused him to resign on 17th September 2007. He joined Northern Premier League Premier Division club Frickley Athletic as a player in mid-September 2007 but was soon on the move once more, this time to Bridlington Town on 5th November. He was not there long either as he left in January 2008. He was appointed as York City's youth team coach in early-February 2009 before he joined Emley in July 2008, while still carrying on his his commitments to the York City youth team. He next moved to Salford City of the Northern Premier League Division One North in October 2008 before taking over as caretaker manager at York on 21st November 2008. After Martin Foyle's appointment as manager on 24th November, he took up the position of assistant manager at the club. In late December 2008 he became the coach to Leeds United's under-eighteen team on a full-time basis, thereby severing any ties with York City. He became head of the Leeds Academy and assumed responsibility for the Leeds reserve team in early December 2010 after Neil Thompson had been sacked. He was appointed caretaker manager at Leeds on several occasions, the first being following the sacking of manager Simon Grayson on 1st February 2012. he was in charge of the team for the 3-0 win over Bristol City on 4th February. Ken Bates gave him charge of the team for the ensuing three games. There were two wins and two defeats before he was replaced as permanent manager by Neil Warnock on 18th February. The fruits of his coaching were showing as the Under-eighteen team finished close runners-up to Newcastle United in April 2012, Secondly on 1st April 2013 following the departure of Neil Warnock, he again took charge of the first team for the next game at the Valley, which saw Leeds defeated 1-2 by Charlton Athletic on 6th April 2013. In April 2013 new manager Brian McDermott announced that Redfearn would become the new First Team Coach as well as combining his role as Reserve Team/Development Squad manager. When McDermott left in May 2014 Redfearn stood down from his role of first team coach to continue his role as reserve team/development squad manager as well as his role of Academy Manager. On 28th August 2014, Redfearn was appointed caretaker-manager (head coach) for the third time, after both David Hockaday and his assistant Junior Lewis had been sacked. This time Redfearn fared much better and Leeds beat Bolton Wanderers at Elland Road two days later then after the international break they continued their run by drawing at Birmingham City and scoring a suprise 3-1 win a Bournemouth against the highly rated hosts and finished his temporary term by beating Huddersfield Town 3-0 at Elland Road on 20th September. He seemed to be in line for the position permanently, but the club announced on 23rd September that Redfearn would be stepping back to his prior duties and would be "Academy manager and head of coaching" and that Darko Milanic would be appointed the new Head Coach of Leeds United on a two year deal and he would be joined at Leeds by his SK Sturm Graz Assistant Novica Nikcevic. Leeds did not win any of their next six games under the new head coach and on 25th October, after a 1-2 home defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers, Milanic was sacked and Massimo Cellino announced that Redfearn would be the new Leeds head coach. When Redfearn took over Leeds were precariously placed at eighteenth on the table and in immanent danger of being sucked into the vortex of relegation. There was no immediate improvement, but after sinking as low as twenty-first after the 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers on 10th January 2015, he took the team on an upward curve to pilot them away from the bottom and with fine performances against teams, such as Bournemouth, Derby County and Middlesbrough, who all led the table when United beat them he had ensured safety long before the season ended. He did this by putting faith in the young players that he had reared through the club's Academy and by the end of the season, Sam Byram, Lewis Cook, Alex Mowatt and Charlie Taylor were considered regulars and others such as Kalvin Phillips and Chris Dawson had proved their ability to hold their own at Championship level. When Redfearn had accepted the appointment as head coach on 27th October 2014, he did it on the firm understanding that should his first-team contract not be renwed at the end of the season, then he would resume his former position as head of the Leeds Academy. Despite being a firm favourite with the fans he had to endure all kinds of restrictions and impediments from the Italian players and officials, ranging from being told not to play leading goalscorer, Mirco Antenucci, as his contract stated that he would have a one year extension should he score twelve goals in the season, to six players bought from Italy all declaring themselves unfit contrary to medical evidence the day prior to the game at Charlton Athletic on 18th April 2015 and the suspension of his Assistant Coach, Steve Thompson. It, therefore, came as little surprise, when President Massimo Cellino did not extend his contract at the end of the season and seemingly he went back to his old position with the Academy and Uwe Rosler was appointed Chief Coach on 20th May 2015 with Redfearn supposedly taking charge of the Leeds Academy once more. It did not turn out that way as it soon became apparent that Cellino felt that Redfearn's popularity with fans undermined any chance the Italian of ever winning over the Leeds faithful and it did not take long for Redfearn to form the opinion that his position had become untenable and he resigned. It was reported on By Mark Walker, in the Daily Mail of 17th July 2015 that "Neil Redfearn has resigned from his post as Leeds United academy manager, claiming his position had been made 'untenable' by the club's ownership. Redfearn was officially offered to return to his previous job with the academy in May following his six-month stint as first-team head coach last season, but has accused the club of not letting him return to his post. The fifty-year-old was involved in a bitter fall-out with Leeds owner Massimo Cellino, who opted not to extend Redfearn's spell as head coach. Leeds appointed Uwe Rosler in May and Redfearn has claimed the offer to return to his academy role was 'not genuine'. Redfearn said in a statement: 'It is with great sadness that I am resigning from my employment at Leeds United with immediate effect. 'I am desperately disappointed that Adam Pearson's 'offer' of a return to my old position as Academy manager was not genuine and the club have since made my position untenable by refusing to let me take up my post at Thorp Arch. 'I would, however, like to place on record my thanks to everyone connected with the first team, including the fans, for making last season both productive and beneficial after a difficult start. 'Very importantly I would like to pay a special tribute to the Academy where I proudly worked along with others for the best part of six years. 'The LUFC academy is now regarded as one of the most productive in the country and last season proved testament to that with the continued development of Sam Byram, Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook, Charlie Taylor, Kalvin Phillips, Lewis Walters and Chris Dawson amongst a crop of outstanding young players to wear the Leeds badge of honour and to don the famous white shirt. 'The Academy Philosophy and Coaching programme that I wrote and developed will be part of my legacy to this great club and hopefully will help shape more top young professional footballers moving forward." It was a sad end to a person who had served the club loyally and with integrity for six and a half years. He was linked with the vacant Doncaster Rovers Manager's position in early September 2015.

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