Trevor Brooking

Sir Trevor Brooking
Brooking at a book signing in 2014
Personal information
Full name Trevor Brooking
Date of birth (1948-10-02) 2 October 1948 (age 75)
Place of birth Barking, Essex, England
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Midfielder
Youth career
1965–1966 West Ham United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966–1984 West Ham United 528 (88)
1984 Manurewa 1 (0)
1985 Newcastle Blue Star 1 (0)
1985 Kelmscott 6 (0)
1985 Cork City 2 (0)
Total 538 (88)
International career
1966–1967 England Youth 6 (0)
1971 England U23 1 (0)
1974 The Football League XI 1 (1)
1974–1982 England 47 (5)
Managerial career
2003 West Ham United (caretaker)
2003 West Ham United (caretaker)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Sir Trevor David Brooking, CBE (born 2 October 1948) is a former England international footballer, manager, pundit and football administrator; he now works as director of football development in England.

He spent almost his entire career at West Ham United, making 647 appearances for the club. He won the 1975 FA Cup and the 1980 FA Cup in which he scored the only goal. He was also the club's player of the season on four occasions and caretaker manager on two occasions in 2003. Brooking played 47 times for England, scoring five times. He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1981, elevated to Commander of same order (CBE) in 1999, and knighted in 2004. In 2009, a stand at Upton Park was named after him. Since retiring from playing, he has taken up a number of positions in broadcasting as an on-air analyst and in football and sports administration.

Club career

West Ham United

Brooking was born in Barking Maternity Hospital to mother Margaret and father, Henry Charles (known as Harry), who was a police officer in the Metropolitan Police. Brooking attended Ripple Infants School and left Ilford County High School with 11 O-levels and 2 A-levels. His father took him to see his first West Ham United game at Upton Park, a 1–1 draw against Liverpool on 19 April 1958, when he was nine years old. Aged fifteen he trained at both Tottenham and Chelsea. However, West Ham manager Ron Greenwood watched him with scout Wally St Pier, and Brooking was offered apprenticeships by all three clubs, with only West Ham allowing him to stay on at school to finish his studies. Despite his parents being offered £500 and a car by manager Tommy Docherty to gain his signature for Chelsea he remained at school signing an apprenticeship deal with West Ham on 24 July 1965, his parents receiving no fee.

In June 1967, Brooking made his senior debut in a friendly for West Ham against Grasshopper Zürich in Switzerland. His league debut came in place of wide-right Brian Dear on 29 August 1967 in a 3–3 draw with Burnley at Turf Moor. His first goal came on 26 December 1967 in a 4–2 away win at Leicester City. His first season saw him play 28 games, scoring nine goals. His second season saw 37 appearances and eight goals. His only hat-trick came on 6 April 1968 in a 5–0 home defeat of Newcastle.

In December 1969, during his third season, Brooking chipped a bone in his ankle in a game against Nottingham Forest. The club signed Peter Eustace for £90,000 to take his place; his recovery took longer than expected, and he considered giving up the game. However, he returned to playing and with the departure of Martin Peters to Tottenham in March 1970, Brooking became a regular in midfield. His place in the side came under threat in the 1971–72 season with the purchase of midfielder Tommy Taylor, and Brooking was transfer-listed at his request. However, the failure of the defensive partnership between Bobby Moore and Alan Stephenson saw Stephenson dropped and Taylor being moved into defence; Brooking remained an ever-present for the rest of the season and was voted Hammer of the Year.

During the 1972–73 season he came to the attention of Derby County manager Brian Clough, who offered West Ham £400,000 for Brooking and Moore. However, Greenwood refused to let the pair leave. Again, in 1974 Tottenham manager Bill Nicholson offered £425,000 for the signature of Brooking. According to Brooking in his autobiography, this move was not pursued as he felt Nicholson, a manager he admired, was coming to the end of his Tottenham career and was unsure which manager would follow him.

He won the FA Cup twice, in 1975 with Brooking scoring a vital goal in a 2–1 win in a fourth round replay away at Swindon Town and 1980; in the latter, he scored another vital goal in a 2–1 win in a third round replay against West Bromwich Albion and the only goal in a 1–0 win over Arsenal in the final with a header. Brooking scored what was considered goal of the year in the Golden Goals Competition on ITV, according to the panel (Dave Sexton, Pat Jennings, Vic Railton and Bernard Joy) for the 1976 British League season.

Brooking was a member of the West Ham team which won the Second Division in 1981. He also appeared in the 1975 FA Charity Shield, the 1976 European Cup Winners' Cup Final, the 1980 FA Charity Shield and the 1981 Football League Cup Final. His last game for West Ham came on 18 May 1984 in 1–0 home defeat by Everton. In total he made 647 appearances and scoring 102 times, wearing the number 10 jersey, his total appearances for West Ham beaten only by Billy Bonds, Bobby Moore and Frank Lampard Sr. He had a testimonial match against an England XI in October 1977.

Later career

During the 1984 New Zealand National Soccer League season, Brooking made a single appearance for Manurewa, playing in a 2–2 draw against Auckland University.

Brooking accepted an invitation to play for Blue Star in a Wearside League game against Coundon on 28 April 1985. Blue Star had paid for him to fly to Newcastle as their guest and reportedly paid him an appearance fee of £500.

In 1985, Brooking played six times for Western Australian club Kelmscott, also helping to coach the club's youth sides.

Later that year, Brooking played briefly for Cork City, making two appearances.

International career

Brooking made his England debut on 3 April 1974 in a 0–0 draw against Portugal. He played 47 times, scoring five goals but only appeared twice in major tournaments. At Euro 1980 in Italy he played in England's opening game against Belgium which was a 1–1 draw, but was dropped for the second game, against Italy which England lost 1–0. Re-instated to the starting eleven against Spain he scored England's first goal in a 2–1 win. Due to injury World Cup 1982 was to see him limited to playing as a substitute against Spain on 5 July 1982. Playing for only the last half-hour of the game, Brooking forced one excellent save from the Spanish goalkeeper, Luis Arconada, but with England needing to win to qualify for the semi-final a 0–0 draw saw them eliminated. This was to be his final international appearance.

Style of play

Brooking was primarily right-footed, but was comfortable on his left foot, due to repeated practice. He played as an attacking midfield player, known for his controlled passing and midfield authority. Early in his career he was vulnerable to being out-muscled by opposition players (leading his teammates to nickname him 'Cyril' after Cyril Lord the carpet salesman, as Ron Greenwood told him "you're always on the floor"). He lacked pace, leading to another nickname, Boog, after a slow baseball player called Boog Powell the team had witnessed during a tour of the US. He was rarely booked or sent off during his West Ham career and due to his gentlemanly approach to the game where he rarely contested a referee's decision he picked up another nickname, Hadleigh, after a television upper class and urbane detective played by Gerald Harper.

Managerial career

In April 2003, after West Ham manager Glenn Roeder collapsed due to a brain tumour, Brooking, having long been on the board at West Ham, briefly took over as caretaker manager. The club were fighting relegation from the Premier League. Brooking took charge of three games. His first game resulted in a 1–0 win at Manchester City with a goal from Frédéric Kanouté. His second saw West Ham beat Chelsea 1–0, with a goal from Paolo Di Canio. The final game of the season saw West Ham draw 2–2 at Birmingham City resulting in relegation, albeit with 42 points, a record number for a relegated team in a 38-game season.

After the first three games of the 2003–04 season with West Ham now in the First Division, Roeder was sacked after West Ham suffered an away defeat to Rotherham United and Brooking was again installed as caretaker manager. He managed for eleven games, losing only once, to Gillingham, a 2–0 away defeat in which Jermain Defoe was sent off. In October 2003 he was replaced by Alan Pardew, who was appointed on his recommendation.

Media career

In 1984, Brooking joined the BBC as a pundit, and has featured on radio and television commentary since, including the BBC's Match of the Day and coverage of World Cups and European Championships. He was also the co-commentator in the Pro Evolution Soccer video game series, alongside Peter Brackley until Pro Evolution Soccer 6.

Football administration

Brooking was chair of the Eastern Region Council for Sport and Recreation from 1987 until 1997, and between 1999 and 2002 he was chairman of Sport England. In January 2004, he joined the Football Association as Director of Football Development, a role which gave him control of coaching and development in English football, as well as a role in appointing future England managers.

He was a key part of the selection process for the successor of Sven-Göran Eriksson, revealed in May 2006 to be Steve McClaren. In 2004, he was knighted for his services to sport.

Personal life

In June 1970, he married Hilkka, a Finnish au pair. The couple have two children: Collette and Warren.

In 1970, along with schoolfriend Colin McGowan, Brooking started a book binding company, Colbrook Plastics Limited in Stratford, East London. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Essex in 2001. In October 2014, his autobiography, Trevor Brooking, My Life in Football, was published.

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season Division League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
West Ham United 1967–68 First Division 25 9 3 0 0 0 0 0 28 9
1968–69 32 7 2 0 3 1 0 0 37 8
1969–70 21 4 0 0 2 0 0 0 23 4
1970–71 19 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 20 2
1971–72 40 6 4 0 10 1 0 0 54 7
1972–73 40 11 2 0 2 0 0 0 44 11
1973–74 38 6 0 0 2 0 1 0 41 6
1974–75 36 3 8 1 3 1 3 0 50 5
1975–76 34 5 1 0 4 1 10 3 49 9
1976–77 42 4 2 0 3 0 0 0 47 4
1977–78 37 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 39 4
1978–79 Second Division 21 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 22 2
1979–80 37 3 7 2 8 1 2 0 54 6
1980–81 36 10 3 0 7 0 6 0 52 10
1981–82 First Division 34 8 2 0 5 1 2 0 43 9
1982–83 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1983–84 35 4 3 0 5 2 0 0 43 6
Total 528 88 40 3 55 8 24 3 647 102
Newcastle Blue Star 1984–85 Wearside League 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Cork City 1985–86 League of Ireland 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Career total 531 88 40 3 55 8 24 3 650 102


Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
England 1974 7 0
1975 1 0
1976 7 0
1977 4 1
1978 6 0
1979 8 0
1980 7 2
1981 4 2
1982 3 0
Total 47 5
Scores and results list England's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Brooking goal.
List of international goals scored
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 16 November 1977 Wembley, London, England  Italy 2–0 2–0 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 24 May 1980 Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland  Scotland 2–0 2–0 1980 British Home Championship
3 18 June 1980 Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy  Spain 1–0 2–1 UEFA Euro 1980
4 6 June 1981 Nepstadion, Budapest, Hungary  Hungary 1–0 3–1 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification
5 2–1


Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
P W D L Win %
West Ham United (caretaker) 24 April 2003 12 May 2003 3 2 1 0 066.7
West Ham United (caretaker) 24 August 2003 20 October 2003 11 7 3 1 063.6
Total 14 9 4 1 064.3


Brooking was appointed as Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1981, elevated to Commander of same Order (CBE) in 1999, and knighted in 2004.

In November 2015, Brooking was awarded 'Global Football Ambassador' at the 4th annual Football Business Awards.

Sir Trevor Brooking Stand

Millwall fans segregated in the upper tier of The Sir Trevor Brooking Stand
The Sir Trevor Brooking Stand at the London Stadium

In 2009 West Ham United announced that from 8 August, the start of the 2009/10 Premier League Season, 'The Centenary Stand' at Upton Park would be named 'The Sir Trevor Brooking Stand' in his honour. The stand was used by away supporters and had been the scene for crowd disturbances. In 2009 in a match between West Ham and Millwall seats were torn out by Millwall fans and hurled towards West Ham fans. In subsequent seasons, Millwall fans were segregated to the upper tier of the stand and kept at least 30 yards from West Ham fans to prevent crowd disturbances. A stand at the Olympic Stadium is also named after Brooking and used by West Ham after their move from the Boleyn Ground from the start of the 2016–17 season.

It is obviously a terrific honour (to have the stand named after me), which I am very grateful for because this is my club. It will be my club forever. The great thing was being able to spend my whole career with West Ham, having a stint as caretaker manager and as a director. I still try and get to most of the home games. On my travels, if I am in a cab or something then everyone talks to me about West Ham because they know I am associated with the club. It is something I am only too pleased about whenever it happens. We have a very passionate and loyal support

–Sir Trevor Brooking speaking to

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