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On this day in 2012: Steve Clarke replaces Roy Hodgson as West Brom boss

West Brom appointed Steve Clarke as their new manager on this day in 2012 (Martin Rickett/PA)
West Brom appointed Steve Clarke as their new manager on this day in 2012 (Martin Rickett/PA)

Steve Clarke moved up from a decade as an assistant manager to become West Brom’s head coach on this day 10 years ago following the departure of Roy Hodgson to England.

Hodgson had remained with the Baggies until the end of the Premier League season but was released early from his contract in order to prepare the national team for Euro 2012.

West Brom moved for Clarke, whose departure as Liverpool assistant manager had only been confirmed a couple of days previously following Kenny Dalglish’s sacking, and he agreed a two-year contract.

Steve Clarke holds up a West Brom scarf
Steve Clarke took his first managerial job at West Brom in June 2012 (Martin Rickett/PA)

“Becoming a head coach in my own right has always been an ambition of mine and I feel I have served my apprenticeship,” said Clarke, who spent 14 years coaching at Chelsea, Newcastle, West Ham before Liverpool.

“I’ve done everything I could as an assistant.

“It’s a process I’ve gone through, with a plan in mind to work as hard as I could alongside some of the best managers and coaches in the world, learning as much as possible from them, before stepping out on my own.

“I’ve taken something from every manager I’ve worked with and I’ve felt ready to make the step up for some time.”

Steve Clarke celebrates a West Brom goal
Clarke guided West Brom to eighth place in his first season (Jon Buckle/PA)

In his first season Clarke guided West Brom to an eighth-placed finish – their best in the Premier League – with a club-record 49 points and 14 wins.

However, the following year results took a dive and the Scot was sacked in December 2013 after a fourth straight defeat left the club two points above the relegation zone. At that point West Brom had won just seven of 34 league matches in the calendar year.

He has since had spells with Reading and Kilmarnock and, since May 2019, has been manager of the Scotland national team.