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Sam Allardyce was born in Dudley in the West Midlands in 1954, and supported Wolverhampton Wanderers as a boy. Between 1973 and 1992, he played for Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland, Millwall, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Preston North End, West Bromwich Albion and Limerick. His coaching and managerial career has been even longer. As a manager he has served at the helm of Blackpool, Notts County, Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United and Sunderland. As a player, Allardyce won the Second Division with Bolton in 1978. As a manager, he won the First Division in Ireland with Limerick in 1992, the Third Division with Notts County in 1998, the First Division Play-off final with Bolton in 2001 (where he also reached the League Cup final in 2004), and the Championship Play-off final with West Ham in 2012. In addition, he has won the Premier League Manager of the Month award on six separate occasions. He left West Ham in May 2015, and in October 2015 he was appointed manager of Sunderland.
With nearly 20 years as a player - plus almost 25 years as a coach and manager - under his belt, Sam Allardyce is one of the most recognisable figures in British football. 'Big Sam' has been a robust defensive general throughout the seventies and eighties, and an imposing touchline presence as a gaffer since 1994. He is the second longest-serving manager in the Premier League, behind Arsene Wenger.