Steve Perryman MBE
Steve's first taste of football management came at 3rd division Brentford, where he joined firstly as player/assistant manager in 1986. Steve became manager after only a few months at the club and together with assistant Phil Holder, the club was largely reshaped with a vibrant youth policy.
Steve managed Brentford between 1986-1990 and although Steve felt that the objective of promotion was important, he took great pleasure in seeing the youth team develop and felt that it was important to build the club from the bottom. In 1989 Brentford reached the sixth round of the F.A. Cup beating second division Manchester City & Blackburn Rovers along the way. Brentford were drawn away against Liverpool in the sixth round and although they lost at Anfield it was a great occasion for the club in its centenary year. The club also enjoyed a great league season in which they finished one spot off the play-off places, in 7th, in a season which included a run of 15 matches without defeat.
The club grew during Steve's reign and the youth team was thriving, reaching the semi finals of the F.A. Youth Cup. Steve resigned before the start of the 1990/91 season, saying that he felt he had done all he could at the club.
Steve's next managerial position came at 2nd division Watford, who had made a disastrous start to the season and were bottom, 7 points adrift. Steve joined in December 1990 and since leaving Brentford had been scouting for Middlesborough. It was a mammoth task to turn Watford's fortunes around and avoid relegation, a task Steve relished. Steve said on joining "It is a perilous position, but if I didn't think the team was capable of second division status next season, I wouldn't have taken the job." Steve brought in former Spurs manager Peter Shreeves as his assistant. Results began to improve immediately and in the next eight games, Watford were unbeaten, drawing 5 and winning 3.
The season's turning point came with a crucial 2-1 away win at Middlesborough, which was part of an end of season run, in which Watford won 7 of their last 10 games. An away victory at Oxford Utd, secured 2nd division survival. It was a marvelous achievement, against all the odds. It was testament to Watford's survival that fellow strugglers West Brom went 10 games unbeaten at the end of the season and were still relegated. The following seasons were seen as a chance to rebuild and get the club back on track. Changes were made to the squad and after Peter Shreeves departure, Steve brought in former Spurs colleague Peter Taylor as his assistant. The season brought some mixed results but a great end of season run saw the club finish in 10th place.
The following season again was one of rebuilding, the highlight was a magnificent cup victory against Leeds Utd, and a marvelous home win against league leaders Newcastle Utd. The season finished with Watford in mid-table safety. Steve resigned at the end of the season, and rejoined Spurs, becoming assistant manager to former Spurs team mate Ossie Ardiles. The chance to rejoin his boyhood club was one that Steve felt he could not turn down.
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