FORMER Dudley Town youngster Sam Allardyce is set to be named as the new England manager following weeks of speculation.
The 61-year-old has been the favourite to replace Roy Hodgson and it now seems that he will be confirmed as the Three Lions’ new boss on Thursday.
Allardyce has had a long managerial career that started in 1994 with Blackpool and has subsequently taken him to Notts County, Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham and Sunderland.
He grew up on the Wren’s Nest estate in Dudley, studying at Sycamore Green Primary School and later at Wren’s Nest School.
A Wolves fan growing up, Allardyce made just two appearances for West Midlands (Regional) League side Dudley Town, his brief spell being cut short after his school found out!
Allardyce was just 14 when he made his Town debut, playing alongside his brother, Robert, for the club’s reserves.
He trained with Wolves and West Brom and had a trial with Aston Villa but he left the West Midlands at just 15 after Bolton offered him an apprenticeship.
He went on to play for Sunderland, Millwall, Coventry, Huddersfield, Preston and West Brom before moving into management.
Allardyce told the Express & Star: “I played for Dudley and Brierley Hill Schools, Staffordshire Boys and Birmingham and District Boys.
“I played for my youth club and I played with my brother a couple of times for Dudley Town. But when the teachers found out they stopped me because I was only 14 or 15 so I would have been playing against lads who were four years older than me.
“I wasn’t very happy at the time because I’d only managed to play a couple of reserve games, but they did the right thing for me because I could have got a serious injury.
“When I left school I had to look around for people offering me the opportunity to become a professional and the best offer was from Bolton.
“None of the Midlands clubs made me an offer, which was disappointing because I had to leave home.”