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Barrow appoint ex-Tottenham, Birmingham, Leicester player and former Gillingham boss

Barrow announce the decision to appoint ex-Tottenham, Birmingham, Leicester player and former Gillingham boss Stephen Clemence.

This is according to Pete O’Rourke, who on Thursday night, tweeted: “Former Gillingham boss Stephen Clemence has agreed a deal to become Barrow’s new manager.”

In November 2023, Clemence became head coach of League Two side Gillingham in his first managerial appointment of his career.

But on the 29th of April 2024, following the final match of the season, he was sacked having led the club to a 12th place finish, six points off of the playoff places.


We’re delighted to announce that former Tottenham Hotspur Midfielder, Stephen Clemence has joined Barrow as our new Head Coach on an initial two-year contract.

During his playing days, Clemence made 176 Premier League appearances for Birmingham City and Spurs, before he retired at then Championship side, Leicester City following three seasons at the King Power Stadium.

Following his retirement from football in 2010, Clemence joined Sunderland as a Reserve Team Coach. He was soon promoted to a first-team coach at the Black Cats while they were managed by Steve Bruce.

Bruce continued to keep Clemence as part of his coaching staff for the best part of the next twelve years as the former Blues Midfielder became Bruce’s Assistant Manager at some big clubs including, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, and Hull City.

After over a decade of coaching experience behind him, Clemence secured his first Managerial role when he took over the reins at Gillingham in November 2023.

During his spell with The Gills, performances drastically improved as the Kent-based side played some lovely football, but despite a top-half finish, he was relieved of his duties at the end of the 2023-2024 season.

Following an extensive hiring process, we’re now delighted to announce Clemence as the new Head Coach at the SO Legal Stadium.

He comes in to replace Pete Wild, who left Barrow a week ago, with the club saying: “Following a post-season review Barrow AFC can confirm that it has today parted company with their manager Pete Wild.

“It became apparent during the review that the Club and Pete had different perspectives on the way forward, so it was mutually agreed that this was the best and most appropriate way to proceed.

“We wish Pete well in his future endeavours.

“All other members of the Management team remain in place reporting to our Sporting Director, Iain Wood.”

Back to Stephen Clemence now and he spoke in a statement via LMA about his departure from the club, saying: “It has been a privilege to manage Gillingham Football Club and I would like to thank Brad and Shannon Galinson, and Paul Scally for giving me the opportunity.

“As the club stated in its official statement, we have worked hard to improve performances and the style of play. I am disappointed to have left my position, as I feel certain that the improvements we’ve made, coupled with positive recruitment this summer, would have delivered greater consistency and ultimately the success that we all wanted.

“I would like to personally thank my assistant, Robbie Stockdale, for his hard work and support, as well as my backroom staff. Your commitment and determination did not go unnoticed. I’ve enjoyed working with you all.

“I would also like to thank the players for their dedication. They understood what we were trying to achieve and the methods we were using todo this. It has been a pleasure to be your head coach and I wish you all every success going forward.

“I must share my gratitude to the wider staff across the club – fantastic people who work tirelessly – my family and I have loved getting to know you.

“A word for the supporters; you are the lifeblood of this great club and your support home and away meant so much. Thank you for getting behind the players. I sincerely hope that there is success ahead for you. I wasn’t ready for it to be my ‘Last Waltz’, but that’s football and life, and I’m proud to have represented this special club, and hope our paths cross again in the future. I would like to take this opportunity to wish the club and its new management team the very best of luck next season and beyond.

“I am determined to be a head coach or manager again. I’ve loved the challenge and learnt so much. I love coaching and enjoy being part of a team, striving to deliver success, but I also know that I can lead a group and manage a football club. The experience has only hardened my resolve to deliver a team that will entertain supporters, bring pride to a club and a town, and win football matches.”

This is how fans reacted as Barrow appoint the ex-Tottenham, Birmingham, Leicester player and former Gillingham boss Stephen Clemence…

@EmlynTimmons: Brilliant manager in the making

@Deutsch_Gills: Good luck Stephen. When we meet during the season, I am sure you will have a warm welcome back.

@cricketers1893: Made up he’s found a club so soon. Really thought he was let down by Gills. Will be interesting to see him with a full pre season. Thought he did really well for us. Good luck Clem. You’ve got a decent one there @BarrowAFC one I’ll be following #UTG #Gills

@BlueBrazil1975: Watch him smash it.

@Truebluejock: Good luck to him (bar two games vs us). Given time and his own players I’ve no doubt he will be a success.

@doubleshotcappu: I hope he takes RS with him. They made a good team in my view.

@LuvmeGills: Best of luck Stephen. Go smash it at Barra 👍

@kingy_01: Fair play, good luck to him

@Josh064729531: Goodluck to him, happy he’s found a new job so quickly

@ghentinkent: Well done Clem. Decent bloke who many wanted to have more time at the Gills. Hope you smash it #UTG

@thomasmarkham_: Fair play to him

@keelan_____: Good luck Clem!

@herbiekat29: If true then welcome aboard. Just remember wear your Barrow heart on your sleeve and do us proud. That is all we ask

@Zigger00: Didn’t realise Gillingham let him go. Didn’t see that coming. I thought he was doing OK. More than happy happy with this though.

@mikedwards91: Hope he smashes it

@JamesH0403: The comments on this make me chuckle a tad, won five of his last twenty games and didn’t build a bond with the supporters at all. Yet the comments suggest Barrow are lucky getting him. Good luck to the bloke but it’s a big job to take after failing with us.

@GillsInTheBlood: A nice enough bloke, good luck to him.

@tonywoodrow12: So pleased for Stephen Clemence and wish him all success.

@RuddyNuisance: I think this is an *okay* appointment but feels like a bit of a knee jerk reaction to what happened with Wild and wanting a head coach who’ll do what he’s told rather than the best manager we could have got in given we’re a more attractive proposition than we were two years ago.

@ScoopsFM: Can’t wish nothing but the best to him. Seemed a decent bloke with a clear definition on what he wanted to achieve and how he wanted us to play. He’ll get time to prove what he can do there. A perfect opportunity for him. #Gills

@DomGFCBallard: Good luck to the bloke 👍🏻

@GillsCountry: Good luck Clembo, was just settling into summer recruitment mode when I heard you were off. Thought you deserved the summer and the start of next season at least, thoroughly decent bloke and wishing you every success. Glad coaching us lot hasn’t put you off and you’re still keen

@Fin_Seath72: Not sure what to make of this. I’d imagine he’ll do better but can never tell really. The return fixtures should now be more fun

@StephenHarkinn: Let the show Clemence

@ThommoGFC: Wasn’t expecting to see this, best of luck to him 👍

@GillinghamFCSC: If true, good luck to Stephen Clemence at Barrow. We look forward to seeing you back at Priestfield next season.

@Henry_Htph14: Straight back in for Clem and actually not a bad appointment

@OwenLDBR: Surprised a team who finished above us saw what he did here and decided to take that punt but fair enough, good luck to him.

@DanielLaw99: Let’s hope for the best

@IntoTheFray_YT: Happy he’s getting another chance but I do fear for Barrow. Lot of complaints about Wild’s style of football, but it delivered great results. If this new direction doesn’t work, they could find themselves in a bit of trouble. Fingers crossed recruitment is good!

@RobHawley81: Didn’t have a good spell with us but pleased to see him get another job so quickly. Came across as a nice bloke, good luck to him.

@LewisKnt9: Very mixed opinions. Pretty uninspiring but better than some of the names thrown about but is it any better than what we had?

@BirdsOfBlue1990: I don’t know what my thoughts are on this after what he did at gills

@Naylor94: Best of luck to him. No hard feelings against the guy.

@EmEeSeven: Our nicest, most successful, most talented and most personable manager of the past few years. Good luck to him!

@deanmcbeano: Poor Barrow…

@amudennett: Good luck Clem. Will be watching @BarrowAFC closely to see how he does as I reckon with time and the players he wants, he’ll do well.

@joelsmith_07: Really pleased for him. A good manager in the making was let down massively at gills. Hopefully he does well for them 🤞

@josh_read18: Hope it works out for him

@GillsYeti: 👀👀👀 very interesting appointment. Wish SC nothing but the best, apart from when they come to Presitfield ofc 😂

@Only_Gills: Wish him the very best of luck. Hopefully, he has learnt from the mistakes he made with us and does well with Barrow. Would have no issue with them finishing just behind us in second 🤣 #Gills

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