Rob Newman (footballer)

For other people named Rob Newman, see Rob Newman (disambiguation).
Rob Newman
Personal information
Full name Robert Nigel Newman
Date of birth (1963-12-13) 13 December 1963
Place of birth Bradford on Avon, England
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1991 Bristol City 394 (52)
1991–1998 Norwich City 200 (14)
1997–1998Motherwell (loan) 11 (0)
1998Wigan Athletic (loan) 8 (0)
1998–2002 Southend United 72 (11)
2007–2008 Bournemouth 0 (0)
Total 685 (77)
Teams managed
2001–2003 Southend United
2005–2006 Cambridge United
2006–2008 Bournemouth (Assistant Manager)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Robert Nigel "Rob" Newman (born 13 December 1963 in Bradford on Avon) is an English football coach and former player.


Newman signed for Bristol City as an apprentice in October 1981, later serving as club captain and eventually playing 483 games for the club, leaving him seventh on Bristol City’s all-time appearances chart.[1]

After three consecutive relegations Bristol City were in financial turmoil in 1982. Eight of the club’s top-earning players - known as the 'Ashton Gate Eight' - saved the club by ripping up their contracts and taking redundancy.[2] On 6 February 1982 Bristol City played Fulham at Ashton Gate in the first match following the departure of the eight senior players. The team was populated with several young reserve team players, including an 18-year-old Newman.[3]

Having been with the club at this low point, Newman was a key figure in improving the club’s fortunes. Playing predominantly in central midfield and defence, he helped the club win promotion to Division 3 in 1984,[4] win the Freight Rover Trophy in 1986[5] and achieve a further promotion, to Division 2, in 1990.[6]

Newman was sold to Norwich City for £600,000 in 1991. He was a member of the Norwich team that finished a club record third in the FA Premier League in 1992–93 and went on to play a part in the defeat of Bayern Munich in the following season's UEFA Cup.

During his time with Norwich, Newman was initially used in 1991–92 as a central midfielder, where he managed to score several important goals. He even deputised as a forward covering for injuries. He was ultimately primarily played in central defence in the majority of games for Norwich, particularly later on in his career. Newman was noted for his determination, versatility and a very hard (if not always accurate) shot.

During a dead ball competition at Wembley in 1994, it was found that Newman had the hardest shot in the league at the time.[7]

After his playing days, Newman became a manager in the lower leagues of English football. He had a short time spell at Southend United before being appointed assistant manager to Steve Thompson at Cambridge United in December 2004. Following Thompson's departure from an unsuccessful spell which led to Cambridge's relegation from the Football League, Newman was appointed manager in May 2005.

Newman built a squad with very little money and showed his abilities in scouting little-known players. He also gained the support of the majority of Cambridge fans, earning him the nickname of 'Buzz Lightyear', owing to his facial likeness to the character from the motion-picture Toy Story. Some fans even set up a fan site (see below), and wore Buzz Lightyear masks in homage to him.

However, he was sacked following United's 3–1 defeat by Exeter City on 1 September 2006 that left the club second-bottom of the Conference.

The following month, the new Bournemouth manager Kevin Bond appointed Newman as his assistant. Newman also played for the Bournemouth reserves team. Most of the time, it was when Reserve Team Manager Eddie Howe played a youthful side to help stabilise the defence. Occasionally, he was included in Bournemouth first team, being named a sub in the match against Carlisle after the team had only 14 fit first team players. He made his Bournemouth début away to Bristol Rovers in a Football League Trophy South Section Area Second Round match, appearing as a substitute. Bournemouth went on to win the match 1–0. Newman was sacked along with Kevin Bond and Eddie Howe in September 2008.

Newman is currently head of Manchester City's Spanish scouting team.


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