Adrian Heath

Adrian Paul Heath (born 11 January 1961) is an English football manager and former player. He is currently serving as head coach of Major League Soccer club Minnesota United FC. As a player, he is best known for his six seasons at Everton, where he won two First Division titles and an FA Cup. As a manager, Heath initially worked in his native England before moving abroad to Orlando City, an expansion side in the American second division. Orlando City had the best start of any newly founded team in the history of American soccer,[3][4] winning multiple honours before joining MLS in 2015.[5]

Adrian Heath
Personal information
Full name Adrian Paul Heath[1]
Date of birth (1961-01-11) 11 January 1961[2]
Place of birth Newcastle-under-Lyme, England[2]
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing position Striker/Attacking midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1982 Stoke City 95 (16)
1982–1988 Everton 226 (71)
1988–1989 Espanyol 24 (1)
1989–1990 Aston Villa 9 (0)
1990–1992 Manchester City 75 (4)
1992 Stoke City 6 (0)
1992–1995 Burnley 115 (28)
1995–1996 Sheffield United 4 (0)
1996–1997 Burnley 5 (0)
Total 559 (120)
National team
1981–1982 England U21 8 (3)
Teams managed
1996–1997 Burnley
1999 Sheffield United
2005 Coventry City (caretaker)
2007 Coventry City (caretaker)
2008–2010 Austin Aztex
2011–2014 Orlando City (USL)
2015–2016 Orlando City
2017– Minnesota United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing career

Born in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, Heath started his playing career at Stoke City having joined the club from playing in the local Lads and dads League.[2] He signed a professional contract at 17 and played in the reserves under the guidance of player coach Howard Kendall, Heath's impressive performances helped the second string to 2nd in the Central League and saw him win the club's young player of the year award. Known as "Inchy" due to his small stature, he burst on to the first team scene in 1979–80 displaying great maturity in the First Division and scoring two vital goals at the end of the season which ensured Stoke's survival.[2] He scored seven goals in 41 matches in 1980–81 and five in 20 in 1981–82.[2] With Heath fast becoming one of the most sought after midfielders in the country Richie Barker allowed him to join Everton in January 1982 for a then club record fee of £750,000.[2]

He became Everton's top scorer in his first full season, scoring 18 in all competitions in the 1983–84 season. Despite the fact that Heath only played 17 games in the 1984–85 campaign due to injury, his scoring got into double figures every season until 1988 and he was a key member of the Everton teams which won the league championship in 1984–85 and 1986–87. A goal for which many fans remember Heath is credited with changing Everton's fortunes in the 1983–84 road to the League Cup final at Oxford United. Grabbing a poor Kevin Brock back-pass, Heath scored a goal away at Oxford to equalize the match and earn Everton a chance to turn things around.

Heath then had a spell in Spain with Espanyol. After a single season he returned to England, where he spent the remainder of his career. In 1990 Manchester City manager Howard Kendall signed Heath from Aston Villa. Heath was one of a number of former Everton players signed by Kendall, and the transfer marked the third different club at which Heath had played under Kendall.[6] His debut came as a substitute against Charlton Athletic in January 1990.[6] During the 1990–91 season Heath forged a strike partnership with Niall Quinn, the short and agile Heath contrasting with Quinn's aerial ability. The pair started 33 matches together, though Heath scored only one goal, in the second match of the season.[7] Heath then had a barren run that lasted 46 matches[8] and came to an end in November 1991, when Heath scored two goals in a League Cup tie at Queen's Park Rangers.[9] As the 1991–92 season progressed, Heath lost his place in the team to young striker Mike Sheron.

In March 1992 Heath briefly returned to his first club Stoke City, until the end of the 1991–92 season.[2] In that brief spell back at the Victoria Ground Heath played in six league matches a play-off match against Stockport County and also played in the 1992 Football League Trophy Final which saw Stoke beat Stockport 1–0.[2] Heath also had a notable three-year stint at Burnley from 1992–95, where he helped them lift the 1994 Second Division play-Off trophy. Following a brief period at Sheffield United, he returned to Burnley as player-manager before retiring at the end of the 1996–97 season.

Managerial career


Heath began his managerial career as player-manager of Burnley in March 1996. He left after the 1996–97 season having finished ninth in the Second Division. He worked with former Everton teammate Peter Reid at Sunderland, managing Sunderland Reserves to a Pontins League championship in 1999.[10] That summer, he was appointed manager of Sheffield United but he left the club after only five months. He later followed Reid to Leeds United and Coventry City. When Reid left Coventry in January 2005, Heath stepped in as caretaker. He remained at the club under Reid's successor Micky Adams and again acted as caretaker in January 2007 before leaving the club after Iain Dowie was appointed.[11][12]

United States

Heath was appointed manager of USL-1 expansion team Austin Aztex in February 2008[13] after a meeting with owner Phil Rawlins in a pub in Newcastle Under Lyme.[14] In 2010, the team relocated to Florida to become Orlando City, playing in the USL PRO division. In Orlando, Heath led the team to two regular season titles and the league championship in their first two years. Heath was named USL coach of the year both years.

After their successes in the USL, Orlando City SC was granted an expansion franchise in MLS for the 2015 season with Heath at the helm. On 21 November 2014, Heath signed a contract extension committing him to Orlando City through to the end of the 2017 MLS season.[4] Heath was sacked by Orlando City on 7 July 2016 following a 4–0 defeat against FC Dallas.[15]

In November 2016, Heath was hired as head coach for Minnesota United prior to their first season in MLS after a tenure in the North American Soccer League.[16] The team struggled in its early games, partially due to several of their players being called for international duty. Through the first four games Minnesota United conceded 18 goals, more than any other MLS team had allowed in the first six games of a season.[17] Heath got his first win as United's manager with a 4–2 home victory over Real Salt Lake.[18]

Career statistics

As a player


Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Stoke City 1978–79 Second Division 2000200040
1979–80 First Division 385104000435
1980–81 First Division 386211000417
1981–82 First Division 175102000205
Total 951641900010817
Everton 1981–82 First Division 226000000226
1982–83 First Division 38105140004711
1983–84 First Division 361272114005418
1984–85 First Division 17110041512613
1985–86 First Division 26106231524015
1986–87 First Division 41113043425216
1987–88 First Division 2998172204612
1988–89 First Division 72002010102
Total 22671296351117530793
Espanyol 1988–89 La Liga 241000000241
Total 241000000241
Aston Villa 1989–90 First Division 90102000120
Total 90102000120
Manchester City 1989–90 First Division 122000000122
1990–91 First Division 351203020421
1991–92 First Division 281105210353
Total 754308230896
Stoke City 1991–92 Third Division 60000040100
Total 60000040100
Burnley 1992–93 Second Division 43195310105022
1993–94 Second Division 4194130505310
1994–95 First Division 270324000342
1995–96 Second Division 4000101060
Total 11528126907014334
Sheffield United 1995–96 First Division 4010000050
Burnley 1995–96 Second Division 3000000030
1996–97 Second Division 2000000020
Career Total 55912050136313315703151

As a manager

As of 21 July 2019[20]
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Burnley 7 March 1996 27 June 1997 71 26 18 27 036.62
Sheffield United 15 June 1999 23 November 1999 23 7 5 11 030.43
Coventry City 6 January 2005 23 January 2005 3 1 0 2 033.33
Coventry City 17 January 2007 19 February 2007 5 1 1 3 020.00
Austin Aztex 2008 2010 68 24 15 29 035.29
Orlando City (USL Pro) 2011 2014 122 82 23 17 067.21
Orlando City (MLS) 2015 7 July 2016 78 26 21 31 033.33
Minnesota (MLS) 29 November 2016 Present 94 35 14 45 037.23
Total 462 202 109 151 043.72

Personal life

Adrian Heath's son, Harrison, is also a footballer.[21]



Stoke City


Orlando City


  1. "Adiran Heath profile". Zero Zero. Archived from the original on 20 August 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  2. Stoke City 101 Golden Greats. Desert Islands Books. 2002. ISBN 1-874287-55-4.
  5. Veness, Simon (19 March 2014). "Adrian Heath guides Orlando City to the promised land of MLS".
  6. Penney, Ian (1995). The Maine Road Encyclopedia. Edinburgh: Mainstream. p. 93. ISBN 1-85158-710-1.
  7. James, Gary (2006). Manchester City – The Complete Record. Derby: Breedon. p. 449. ISBN 1-85983-512-0.
  8. Buckley, Andy; Burgess, Richard (2000). Blue Moon Rising: The Fall and Rise of Manchester City. Bury: Milo. pp. 32–3. ISBN 0-9530847-4-4.
  9. James, Manchester City - The Complete Record, pp. 450–1
  10. "Football: Heath takes over at Blades". The Independent. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  11. "Adams sacked by City". BBC Sport.
  12. "Dowie takes over as Coventry boss". BBC Sport. 19 February 2007.
  13. "Aztex Announce Head Coach". Austin Aztex Soccer Club. SunHerald. 21 February 2008. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  14. "Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando". 30 October 2014.
  15. DelGallo, Alicia. "Orlando City fires head coach Adrian Heath". Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  16. "Minnesota United names Adrian Heath head coach ahead of first MLS season". ESPN FC. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  17. "New England condemns Minnesota to inglorious record; Timbers toppled". ESPN FC. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  18. "Minnesota United finally won their first match with of mix of good attacking and a Nick Rimando error". FOX Sports. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  19. Adrian Heath at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  20. "Adrian Heath". Soccerbase. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  21. "Orlando City signs Harrison Heath, son of coach Adrian Heath – Orlando Sentinel". Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  22. "USL PRO Awards Winners Announced 2011". USL Pro. Archived from the original on 27 May 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  23. "USL PRO Awards Winners Announced 2012". USL Pro. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
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