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Brian Kerr (football manager)

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Brian Kerr (football manager)

Brian Kerr
Personal information
Full name Brian Kerr
Date of birth (1953-03-03) 3 March 1953
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Teams managed
Years Team
1986 Drogheda United (assistant manager)
1986–1996 St Patrick's Athletic
1997–2003 Republic of Ireland Under 20's
2003–2005 Republic of Ireland
2009–2011 Faroe Islands

Brian Kerr, (born 3 March 1953) is an Irish football manager. Born in Dublin, Kerr grew up playing football and boxing. At the age of 13, he took his first coaching role with the Crumlin United under 11 side. Realizing later that he didn’t have the talent to become a top player, he decided to focus on coaching. In 1986 he was appointed manager of the League of Ireland side St. Patrick’s Athletic. In 1992, when the club was facing liquidation, Kerr was among the investors who raised IR£82,000 to help save the club. In December of 1996 he left the St. Pats to become the technical director of the Football Association of Ireland, but he is still idolized by the St. Pats fans. He worked with the Republic of Ireland youth and also with the senior side. He was appointed on January 26, 2003 as the full-time manager. In 2007, Kerr became the Director of Football of the St. Patrick’s Athletic football club. Then, in 2009, he was confirmed as the head coach of the Faroe Islands national football team.

He has managed two senior national teams. He managed his native Republic of Ireland national football team and most recently, the Faroe Islands national football team.[1] He currently works as a studio analyst and co-commentator for RTÉ Sport and TV3.


  • Early days 1
  • St. Patrick's Athletic 2
  • Republic of Ireland Youth coach 3
  • Republic of Ireland Senior Side 4
  • St. Patrick's Athletic Director of Football 5
  • Coach of Faroe Islands 6
  • Honours 7
    • Managerial 7.1
    • Individual 7.2
    • Managerial statistics 7.3
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early days

Kerr was born in Dublin, growing up in Drimnagh, a suburb in south west Dublin. He began playing football for noted schoolboy side Crumlin United along with future world champion athlete Eamonn Coghlan. He also boxed with Drimnagh Boxing Club as his father the internationally famous many-time Irish Amateur bantamweight champion Frankie Kerr, was a coach there. At age 13, Kerr took his first coaching role when appointed to the Crumlin United under 11 side. He gained employment in University College Dublin as a trainee technician, while following his football interests. Kerr, although playing for Shelbourne F.C. B team, realised he did not possess enough talent to make it to the top as a footballer and at an early age decided to concentrate on coaching.

He was then invited by Liam Tuohy to manage Shamrock Rovers B side in 1974. Kerr managed the Irish Technical Schools team during this time.

He was reserve team manager at Shelbourne F.C. in 1978 and after a stint playing for Bluebell United he was appointed assistant manager at Shels in 1983. The following season he moved to Home Farm where he was involved in a bizarre incident, involving a pig and a flag pole in November 1984.[2]

He coached under Liam Tuohy with the Irish Youth side that reached the World Cup finals in 1985. He resigned in April 1986.[3]

Soon after he was appointed assistant manager at Drogheda United under Mick Lawlor (footballer) but left following Lawlor's resignation in November.

St. Patrick's Athletic

In December 1986 Kerr was appointed manager of League of Ireland side St Patrick's Athletic. Kerr told reporters that as a fan of St. Pats, this appointment was a "dream come true". Within 3 weeks Kerr had won his first senior trophy as St. Pats won the Leinster Senior Cup. It was the Inchicore side's first trophy in a decade. Traditionally one of Ireland's poorer clubs, Kerr immediately set about rebuilding the squad on a shoe string budget. He acquired several players from junior and schoolboy football (such as future international Curtis Fleming) and rescued others from reserve leagues. This included John McDonnell, who went on to become manager of the club himself. St. Pats drew 1–1 with Dundalk F.C. in the last game of the 1987/88 season when a win would have seen St. Pats gain their first league title since 1956. In 1990, Kerr led St. Pats to that long cherished league championship.

As financial troubles hit St. Pats, Kerr was forced to offload his star players and all bar John Treacy left by 1993. In 1992, with the club facing liquidation, Kerr was among a group of investors (many of whom re-mortgaged their houses) who raised IR£82,000 which helped save the club from extinction. Once again Kerr was left the job of rebuilding a totally new squad and once again he showed he was more than capable as St. Pats won the league again 1996. In December 1996 he shocked St. Pats by quitting to become technical director of the Football Association of Ireland. Kerr is still idolised by fans of St Patrick's Athletic and most commentators attribute the further success the club have had largely down to work started by Kerr.

Republic of Ireland Youth coach

As part of his technical director remit, Kerr was manager of Republic of Ireland sides from Under-16 to Under-20 level. His first major tournament was the 1997 World Youth Championships. Kerr surprised many commentators by bringing 3 players from the League of Ireland but was proved correct when Republic of Ireland won bronze medals by finishing third. The undoubted star of the Irish team was Damien Duff.

The following year Kerr guided Republic of Ireland to an unprecedented double by winning both the Under-16 and Under-18 European Championships. No Irish team had ever won a major trophy before (and none have won since). A number of the players involved would go on to win full international caps, such as John O'Shea and Robbie Keane. In 1999 Republic of Ireland were knocked out of the World Youth Championships by hosts Nigeria on penalties in the quarter final. He again qualified Ireland for the 2003 World Youth Championships before taking up the position of manager of the senior national side.

Republic of Ireland Senior Side

After two defeats in the opening two qualifying games for Euro 2004, national manager Mick McCarthy resigned from his post. On 26 January 2003, Kerr was appointed as the new full-time manager. This was welcomed by most sections of the media and fans alike. Following a draw at home to Russia, and a defeat in Switzerland, Republic of Ireland finished 3rd, and were out of the competition.

In qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Kerr's team lost once, drew 5 and won 4. The Republic of Ireland finished in 4th place in the group. For the second time, Kerr's squad failed to qualify. Kerr came in for heavy criticism from sections of the media, who saw his tactics as negative. Kerr himself felt that the media were being excessively intrusive and unhelpful, in his efforts to perform his job. Kerr responded by refusing to entertain media questioning concerning his decision making. As a result of Ireland's failure to qualify their FIFA world ranking dropped.

In October 2005 Kerr's contract was not renewed by the FAI.[4] Kerr was personally disappointed. He was replaced by Steve Staunton. In 2006 Kerr became a director of Sport against Racism Ireland (SARI). Kerr is a regular contributor on radio, television and to newspapers (including the Irish Times) as a soccer pundit.

St. Patrick's Athletic Director of Football

In March 2007 Kerr returned to St. Patrick's Athletic football club, this time taking a position as Director of Football, a role to which he was appointed by new club owner Garrett Kelleher.[5] His duties at the club included technical support to the management team, as well as scouting of youth players. On 19 May 2008 Kerr announced his resignation from his role as director of football at St Pat's with immediate effect. Despite being strongly linked with a vacant managerial position at Cork City a number of months later, a return to Irish club management for Kerr was not to materialise.

Coach of Faroe Islands

On 6 April 2009, Brian Kerr was confirmed as head coach of the Faroe Islands national football team.[6] He stated on the Irish talk show Tubridy Tonight that the Faroese language was '50% Norwegian, 50% Gaeilge'. His first game as manager was on 10 June 2009 against Serbia in Tórshavn, in which they lost 2–0.[7][8]

Brian's assessment of his squad: Apart from four players who play full-time in Denmark and another in Iceland the rest of Kerr’s 22-man squad is made up of part-time players who are either working or studying. “We have four carpenters, at least six full-time students – one of them had to fly to Copenhagen and back for an exam this week – two policemen, an accountant, one fella works in a sports shop, two teachers, Andreas works in a bowling alley, and he’s doing a bit of carpentry as well. Simun is full-time in Iceland, Suni works in a fish factory, I think Frodi's a builder, Jakup is a teacher but he's on the town council as well, he's like a TD. That's kind of the run of it. The pool is quite limited, there's no one at Milan we've missed out on. The Granny Rule isn't much help either, the Faroese haven't been huge at emigration."[9]

On 9 September 2009, the Faroe Islands won 2–1 against Lithuania in a 2010 World Cup qualifying game, their first World Cup qualifying win since September 2001.[10] On 17 November 2009, a documentary aired on RTE called Away with the Faroes, about Kerr taking over as the Faroes boss.

On 12 October 2010, the Faroe Islands drew 1–1 against Northern Ireland in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier for their first point of the qualifying campaign.[11] This point was built upon with a 2–0 win over Estonia on 7 June 2011, a first Euro qualifier win for the Faroes since their 1995 victory over San Marino. The win still left Faroe Islands bottom of the table, but with 4 points.[12] On 26 October 2011, Brian Kerr stepped down as coach of the Faroese national team, after Faroe Islands Football Association (FSF) announced that "it was not possible to agree a new contract with Brian Kerr".[13] "I gave it the best I could and I spent a lot of time away. I'm happy enough that we moved forward in the last three years and we had some very special days" he said on leaving.



St Patrick's Athletic
Republic of Ireland U-20
Republic of Ireland U-18
Republic of Ireland U-16


Managerial statistics

As of 28 March 2015
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Republic of Ireland January 2003 October 2005 33 18 11 4 54.55
Faroe Islands April 2009 July 2011 16 2 2 12 12.50


  1. ^ "Kerr takes on Faroe Islands post".  
  2. ^ The Irish Times – Wednesday, November 28, 1984
  3. ^ The Irish Times – Wednesday, April 9, 1986
  4. ^ "Kerr is axed as Republic manager".  
  5. ^ "Kerr back in game with St Pat's".  
  6. ^ The Irish Times – Monday, April 6, 2009
  7. ^ "Kerr has taken to the Islands". Irish Times. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  8. ^ "Serbia eye finals after beating Faroe Islands 2–0". The Guardian (London). 10 June 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2009. 
  9. ^ "Kerr has taken to the Islands". The Irish Times. 6 June 2009. 
  10. ^ "Faroe Islands 2 – 1 Lithuania". ESPN. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2009. 
  11. ^ "Kerr delighted with Faroe result". RTÉ Sport. 12 October 2010. Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  12. ^ "Faroe Islands 2 – 0 Estonia". RTÉSport. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  13. ^ "Brian Kerr steps down as coach for the Faroese National Team". 26 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 

External links

  • Ireland Record
  • 2003 Interview
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