Graham Roberts

Graham Paul Roberts (born 3 July 1959) is an English retired footballer and manager who played as a defender for numerous clubs including Tottenham Hotspur (where he won the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup), Rangers (where he won the Scottish League and Scottish League Cup), Chelsea (where he won the Second Division) and West Bromwich Albion. He was also capped six times by England. He subsequently served as the head coach of the Pakistan national team and Nepal national team.

Graham Roberts
Personal information
Full name Graham Paul Roberts
Date of birth (1959-07-03) 3 July 1959
Place of birth Southampton, England
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1973–1977 Southampton
1977–1978 Portsmouth
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1979 Dorchester Town 0 (0)
1979–1980 Weymouth 29 (6)
1980–1986 Tottenham Hotspur 209 (23)
1986–1988 Rangers 55 (3)
1988–1990 Chelsea 70 (18)
1990–1992 West Bromwich Albion 39 (6)
1994–1995 Stevenage Borough 11 (1)
1995–1998 Yeovil Town 6 (1)
1998 Chesham United
1998–1999 Slough Town 10 (0)
Total 429 (58)
National team
1984 England B 1 (0)
1983–1984 England 6 (0)
Teams managed
1992–1994 Enfield
1995–1998 Yeovil Town
1998–1999 Chesham United
2000–2001 Hertford Town
2001 Boreham Wood
2001–2003 Carshalton Athletic
2004 Braintree Town
2005–2006 Clyde
2010–2011 Pakistan
2011–2012 Nepal
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing career

Early career

Roberts was born in Southampton, and joined his local club, Southampton F.C, as an associate schoolboy in October 1973, but failed to make the grade and was released, joining Portsmouth in March 1977.[1] He was sold to Dorchester Town where he impressed before joining local rivals Weymouth. From there he was sold to Tottenham Hotspur in May 1980 for £35,000.

Tottenham Hotspur

Roberts was a member of the successful Tottenham Hotspur side of the early 1980s, winning two FA Cups and a UEFA Cup in 1984, scoring in the second leg of the final against Anderlecht, and then scoring his penalty as Spurs won the final on a shootout.


He moved to Rangers in 1986 for £450,000 and won the Scottish Premier Division in his first full season and the Scottish League Cup a year later. Whilst at Rangers he was involved in a controversial Old Firm derby at Ibrox Park on 17 October 1987. During a very bad-tempered match three players were sent off and in the aftermath Roberts, his team-mates Terry Butcher and Chris Woods and Celtic player Frank McAvennie were all charged with conduct likely to provoke a breach of the peace. McAvennie was found not guilty, while Roberts was found not proven, although Butcher and Woods were both convicted and fined.[2] During the course of the match Roberts, who had taken over as goalkeeper after Woods was sent off, was involved in a second controversy when he "conducted" Rangers supporters in a rendition of "The Sash", although Roberts would subsequently claim that he did not realise they were singing that song, a traditional Ulster loyalist anthem, when he made the gesture.[3]


He joined Chelsea in August 1988 for £475,000 and helped the side emphatically win the Second Division championship in 1988–89.

West Bromwich Albion

He later moved to West Bromwich Albion, where he played out the remainder of his professional career.

International career

Roberts won six caps for England.[4]

Coaching career

Roberts was manager of Enfield from 1992 until 1994, and went on to manage Yeovil Town between 1995 and 1998. He was later manager of Chesham United during the 1998–99 season.[5] He was appointed manager to Hertford Town in 2000, but left in February 2001 when he became manager of Isthmian League club Boreham Wood.[6] Despite leading the club to Division One title, he resigned from the post in July.[7] He was then appointed manager of Carshalton Athletic, who he guided to the Isthmian League Division One South title in 2002–03 before leaving the club.[8] Roberts briefly managed Braintree Town at the end of the 2003–04 season.[9]

In June 2005, Roberts was appointed manager of Clyde. He only had three players under contract, and held open trials in an attempt to get new players. Roberts gave the supporters their greatest day in years, when his Clyde side defeated Celtic in the Scottish Cup in January 2006.[10] Earlier in the season, Clyde took Rangers to extra time at Ibrox Stadium in the Scottish League Cup. Roberts was sacked by Clyde in August 2006 after allegations he made racist remarks.[10] An employment tribunal found that the allegations were "either highly exaggerated or possibly not true" and awarded Roberts £32,000 compensation for unfair dismissal.[10]

In September 2010, he was hired as consultant to the Pakistan national football team to assist the coaching staff.[11] Roberts was appointed as head coach in the following month.[12]

He then joined the Nepal national football team in January 2011. In March 2012 he stepped down as coach after a 3-0 defeat to Turkmenistan in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup.[13]


As a player

Tottenham Hotspur




  1. Holley, Duncan; Chalk, Gary (2003). In That Number – A post-war chronicle of Southampton FC. Hagiology Publishing. p. 614. ISBN 0-9534474-3-X.
  2. "From the archive: the Old Firm shame game of 1987 (From Herald Scotland)". 17 October 1987. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  3. "When Saturday Comes - Hard As Nails". 9 July 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  4. "Graham Roberts England career". englandstats. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  5. Chesham United Non-League Club Directory
  6. Hard man Robbos the spur for Wood Watford Observer, 7 February 2001
  7. Borehamwood Boss In Quit Shock Tewkesbury Admag, 26 July 2001
  8. History Carshalton Athletic
  9. Manager search is not untried territory for Braintree Town's Board Braintree and Witham Times, 16 May 2016
  10. "Ex-Clyde boss wins dismissal case". BBC News. 29 June 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
  11. Siddiqui, Abdul Hafeez (26 September 2010). "PFF to hire consultant and foreign coach". Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  12. "Former Tottenham hardman Graham Roberts becomes boss of Pakistan's national side". Daily Mail. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
  13. "1981/82 Charity Shield". Retrieved 4 November 2019.
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