Neil Warnock has announced his retirement from management, drawing a line on a 42-year career in which he won a record number of Football League promotions and managed an unprecedented 1,603 games.
The 73-year-old left Middlesbrough, his 16th different club, by mutual consent in November and told Sky Sports on Saturday he would not return to the bench.
“I just thought it was the right time, really, coming to the end of the season, there’s not really a job you’re going to get before then,” he said on Soccer Saturday.
🗣️ “The time is right”— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) April 9, 2022
“I really have had a good race. I’m enjoying things that I haven’t done for years, I’m spending a lot of time with my family, my dogs and I’ve also started riding a bike.
“I’m not saying that the enthusiasm is gone, I haven’t lost it, but when I see some of my friends who have health problems, there comes a time when you have to let your family enjoy your time a little more. , particularly my wife Sharon.”
Known for his outspoken opinions, particularly toward officials, Warnock made a career of instilling a fighting spirit in his flanks and oversaw eight promotions.
After retiring from his playing career at the age of 30 to become a manager, the former winger began his managerial career at Gainsborough before joining Burton.
He led Scarborough to the Football League in 1987, and then won back-to-back promotions to guide Notts County to the First Division in 1991.
Warnock’s third Football League promotion came with Huddersfield in 1995, only for him to resign days later and move to Plymouth, whom he would guide to promotion from the Third Division 12 months later.
Although relegations with Oldham and Bury continued, Warnock was given the reins of his boyhood club Sheffield United in 1999, winning promotion to the Premier League as Championship runners-up in 2006.
However, he left the club a year later, ending the longest spell of his career with a single club, after defeat to Wigan on the final day of the season condemned them to relegation.
Warnock returned to management with Crystal Palace, then led QPR to the Premier League in 2011. After spells at Leeds and Rotherham, Warnock led Cardiff to the Premier League in 2018 before ending his career at Middlesbrough.
But Warnock said now was the time to focus on other things.
“When you are a manager, you are very selfish, you take your work home, whether you are high or low, and it is very difficult for your wife and children,” he added.
“It’s hard to replicate the final whistle when you’ve won a match, there’s nothing like that in normal life, and you have to realize that you’re not going to feel that buzz again in that situation. But I’m going to do a couple of nights at the theater, and I guess I’ll still be nervous before they do!