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New Nottingham Forest boss Martin O'Neill began his managerial career at Grantham Town

Former Grantham Town manager Martin O'Neill has been appointed as the new manager of Nottingham Forest following the departure of Aitor Karanka.

Sixty-six-year-old O'Neill's first managerial position was at Grantham, after he was approached by the Gingerbreads in the late 1980s in an attempt to raise the profile of the club.

After much work by club director Kevin Green and chairman Tony Balfe, former Nottingham Forest, Notts County, Norwich City, Manchester City and Northern Ireland player O'Neill took over the reins at Grantham for the first away game of the 1987/88 season at Merthyr Tydfil.

Martin O'Neill (right) and Terry Curran at London Road. (6544804)
Martin O'Neill (right) and Terry Curran at London Road. (6544804)

During his two seasons at London Road, O'Neill's signings including Football League stars Alan Kennedy, John Robertson, Kenny Burns, Terry Curran, Mick McGuire and Gary Crosby – the latter being snapped up by Forest manager Brian Clough midway through the 1987/88 season for a club record of £20,000.

The Gingerbreads just missed out on promotion in O'Neill's first season and they finished fifth in 1988/89, before the Irishman moved on to pastures new.

O'Neill's managerial career went from strength to strength, with great success at Wycombe Wanderers, Norwich City, Leicester City, Celtic, Aston Villa and Sunderland, before taking on the Republic of Ireland job for the last five years.


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