Birmingham City, Newcastle United and Spurs figure sacked from first manager's job after five months

Stephen Clemence was a coach at Newcastle United as well as Sunderland. He followed Steve Bruce to several different clubs. (Image: Getty Images)Stephen Clemence was a coach at Newcastle United as well as Sunderland. He followed Steve Bruce to several different clubs. (Image: Getty Images)
Stephen Clemence was a coach at Newcastle United as well as Sunderland. He followed Steve Bruce to several different clubs. (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images
A former Birmingham City player that became an Aston Villa coach has his lost job just days after the season ended.

Former Birmingham City midfielder Stephen Clemence has been relieved of his duties as head coach of Gillingham.

Clemence has been let go by the League Two outfit after just five months in the role. The 46-year-old was appointed as Neil Harris' successor in November and guided the club to a 12th-placed finish.

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Gillingham was Clemence’s first job as a manager himself having worked as a coach at various different clubs. His contract length was never disclosed though he had spoken about his plans for next season before he was sacked.

Explaining the decision, managing director Joe Comper said: “Stephen and Robbie are great characters and are good people. We have been met with a really difficult decision, whether to stick with them in the hope results turn around after changes to the playing squad in the summer, or to bring some fresh impetus to the club at a time when a new person can spend time assessing and assembling a squad that they believe can take us forward, hopefully towards League One next season.

"Our supporters have backed us heavily over the past two seasons and we are impatient to achieve success for them, and feel that our best chance of having that success is by making a change at this point.”

Clemence played for Birmingham City from 2003 to 2007 after joining from Spurs following a six-year spell. He played 135 times for Birmingham, mainly in the Premier League and played a season in the Championship when they were relegated in 2006. The Liverpool-born midfielder retired in 2010 and would follow Steve Bruce to Sunderland, Hull City, Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle United and West Brom.

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Jack Grealish, who was bought by Manchester City for a reported £100m from Aston Villa hailed Clemence's role in his development. The 28-year-old won a treble last season and gave an insight to the influence he had on him.

Speaking to BirminghamLive in January 2017, Grealish said: “I asked Stephen if he could help me and make me a better player. I am really close with him, he is the closest I have been out of all the assistant managers I have had.

“We go through all of my clips and discuss where I am going right or wrong. I am glad to have someone like Stephen taking the time out to help me and improve.” 

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