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

Heckingbottom: Paul

2018-2018 (Player Details) (Manager Details)

Born in Barnsley on 17th November 1977, Heckingbottom grew up in Royston, where he attended Royston Comprehensive School, but his allegiancies were always with Barnsley FC. However, it was Manchester United that took him on as a trainee in 1993 but did not offer him a professional contract at the end of his apprenticeship in 1995, despite glowing references from Sir Alex Ferguson, who once described Paul Heckingbottom as the most complete schoolboy footballer he had ever seen. So he joined Sunderland at the start of the 1995-96 season. He was loaned out by the Black Cats to gain experience and on 17th October 1997 he was loaned to Scarborough for the rest of the season and there he started twenty-eight and came on once as a substitute in League games and also started one game in the Football League Trophy. While he never made a first team appearance at the Stadium of Light he did gain more experience with loan spells at Hartlepool United and Darlington. He was at Hartlepool from 25th September 1998 to 24th October 1998 in which he scored once in five League starts. His goal came four minutes before half time in his debut appearance on 26th September 1998 in a 1-2 home defeat by Peterborough United, when he levelled the scores at 1-1. After an unsuccessful trial with Bolton Wanderers, his loan to Darlington started on 17th March 1999 and he started ten League games before the end of the season, before the club signed him on a permanent basis, on a free transfer in August 1999. He made his debut for his new club on 7th August 1999 in a 1-0 away win over Halifax Town at the Shay Stadium. He remained at the Feethams for three seasons, scoring five goals in one hundred and five starts and four games from the bench in the League, one goal in eight starts in the F.A. Cup, and four starts in the League Cup, five starts in the Football League Trophy and three in the 1999-2000 season League Division 3 play offs, in which they defeated Hartlepool 2-0 away and 1-0 at home before going down to Peterborough United at Wembley by 1-0 on 26th May 2000. Out of contract at Darlington, he was available on a Bosman transfer and on 3rd July 2002, he was signed by First Division Norwich City on a three year contract and free transfer, to give them cover at left back for Adam Drury, despite strong interest from Championship club Burnley. He had started seven and come on as a substitute in eight League fixtures and also one from the bench in the League Cup, when the Canaries, on 8th April 2003, announced that he would be available on a free transfer. After initial interest was shown by the financially challenged Bradford City in early June 2003, a two year deal was agreed by the player on 3rd July 2003. So, despite interest from Colchester United, Southend United and Doncaster Rovers he moved to Valley Parade, returning to his native Yorkshire and Division One, but despite Heckingbottom being a regular and making forty three starts in the League and one each in the F.A. Cup and the League Cup and having a fine season the club was relegated to Division Two in April 2004. Because of the club's dire financial position, players were encouraged to find new clubs. On May 16th 2004, Sheffield Wednesday showed interest in bringing Heckingbottom to Hillsborough. This came to fruition on 21st May 2004 with he signed a two year contract with Wednesday. At Hillsborough he scored four League goals in forty-four League starts and one from the bench and and started one League Cup game and added a further two goals in the F.A. Cup in a 2-4 home defeat by Charlton Athletic on 7th January 2006. It proved to be his final games for the Owls as he was loaned to Barnsley less than a week later and a week after that he signed a contract with his home-town club. He went on to score one League goal and make forty-eight starts and played four games from the bench as well as starting one game in the F.A. Cup. He started all three League One play-off games, which saw Barnsley go down a Oakwell to Huddersfield Town by the single goal before going to the John Smith's Stadium where they pulled off a 3-1 win to take them to the Millenium Stadium to meet Swansea City on 27th May 2006. The final finished at 2-2, but Barnsley prevailed in the penalty shoot-out with Heckingbottom being one of the successful marksmen. On 16th July 2007 he returned to Bradford City on loan until 1st January 2008, starting twenty-three League games, One start in each of the F.A. Cup, League Cup and Football League Trophy. He signed a permanent contract on 8th January 2008 and went on to make a further thirty League starts as well as one in the League Cup and Football League Trophy and another from the bench in the F.A. Cup before moving to Conference side Mansfield Town on 2nd June 2009.He scored once in eleven starts in the League and also started twice in the F.A. Cup before going on loan to rivals Gateshead in the January 2010 transfer window, but part of the stipulations of the loan was that he did not play against Mansfield in his new club's first fixture.He started fifteen League games for Gateshead before returning on 31st May 2010. He was one of many players released by the Stags at the end of the 2009-2010 season and he was quickly signed by Gateshead on 7th June 2010 on a free transfer. He started eleven League games in the 2010-11 but left to return to Yorkshire at the end of the season, signing for Harrogate on 1st June 2011. At the end of the 2011-12 season he turned his attention to coaching and on 29th May 2012, he was appointed as Director of Pontefract Colleries' Academy side for 16-18 year olds, working closely with Collsí first team manager Brendon Ormsby. He then joined Barnsley as a development coach. On 4th December 2013, he was appointed as caretaker assistant manager following the sacking of manager David Flitcroft who was replaced by Assistant Manager Micky Mellon. Barnsley sacked manager Danny Wilson on 12th February 2015 and the Academy coaches, Mark Burton and Paul Heckingbottom became joint caretaker managers. Heckingbottom again became caretaker manager at Oakwell when Lee Johnson departed in February 2016. He led them to a Johnstone's Paints trophy win and a League One play-off finals victory over Millwall on 29th May 2016 which saw Barnsley promoted to the Championship. In 2016-17 they finished fourteenth in the Championship. Heckingbottom was linked with the vacant manager's position at Sunderland in mid-November 2017. He signed a new rolling contract with Barnsley, but just three days later, on 6th February 2018 he joined Leeds as manager to replace the sacked Thomas Christiansen. He was contracted to Leeds until the end of 2018-19, with United having paid Barnsley £500,000 in compensation. Unfortunately for Leeds he had no more success than his predecessor, but did introduce several new young players to the Leeds team. On 15th June 2018, he was sacked as Leeds wanted to install a more experienced coach and Marcelo Bielsa took over soon afterwards.

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