A PREMIER league manager has been helping a college achieve its fundraising goal with a talk about the ups and downs of his decades-long career.
Newcastle United’s head coach Steve McClaren spent three hours with guests at Carmel College, Darlington, to raise money for the parent teachers association.
The sportsman’s evening is expected to raise more than £2,500 to replenish PTA coffers following the purchase of a £30,000 disabled access school minibus.
More than 100 people attended the presentation arranged through parent Lisa Marsh.
PTA chairman Jane Bower said: “We have just raised the money for the minibus, which is amazing and we are now ready for the next project, which will be chosen by the school council.”
Assistant principal Eve Hannaford added: “We are hoping the next project will have something to do with grassroots sports development, a subject we know Steve is very keen on.”
Mr McClaren highlighted the highs and lows of a long and illustrious career. “I always had a competitive edge, it was something instilled in me by my father,” he said. “I always hated losing and at 54 still find it painful.”
He told the audience that he had started as an apprentice in Hull and felt he was a pretty average player, slow but with the ability to pass.
“I didn’t score many goals and was going to go into business with my wife when I accidentally jumped into coaching,” he recalled. “I got a bigger buzz out of coaching and realised I had found my purpose. It made me want to get up in the morning and be the first into work. I have never looked back.”
Self-effacing and humble, Mr McClaren described his roller-coaster ride through the football league, with Hull, Derby, Bristol and Oxford before becoming assistant coach with Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson, managing Middlesbrough and securing the top job with England.
He then rebuilt his career in Europe including with the Dutch side FC Twente and Wolfsburg in Germany before returning to QPR and Derby.
Now at Newcastle United he is in the process of rebuilding their fortunes. “It’s a club I have always wanted to manage since I played them at Middlesbrough,” he said. “It’s like a double dream – being back in the Premiership and at Newcastle. When I look back at my humble beginnings and what I am doing now I do have to pinch myself.”