Born: Sheffield, 8 November 1961

Position: Left back

Signed: 14 July 1994 (free transfer)

Fulham debut: Fulham 0-1 Preston North End, 10 September 1994

Fulham appearances: 38

Fulham goals: 14


Appointed: 19 February 1996

Sacked: 25 September 1997

Games managed: 63

Won: 30 (47.6%)

Drawn: 16

Lost: 17

Fulham honours: Division Three runners-up (1996-97)

Micky Adams had been at Craven Cottage for eighteen months as a player-coach, having signed for the club on a free transfer at the end of his Stoke City contract, when he was handed the reigns after his mentor Ian Branfoot was moved upstairs. London’s oldest professional club were in danger of drifting out of the Football League and Adams, something of an unknown quantity as persistent injuries had restricted him to only 38 first-team games, had only just started coaching. But the Yorkshireman’s impact was immediate. He used the nous gained from a playing career that spanned more than 500 games to lift the Whites away from the relegation zone and then told the press he should be judged on what he delivered in his first full season in charge.

Without a significant budget as Fulham were still in financial crisis, Adams reshaped his squad by making signings on the cheap or for nominal fees – including Paul Watson, Danny Cullip, Glenn Cockerill, Richard Carpenter and Darren Freeeman – whilst transforming the much-maligned Mick Conroy into a penalty box poacher. His unfashionable side remarkably achieved Fulham’s first promotion in fifteen years and would have won the Division Three title had the Football League not been persuaded to switch the tiebreaker from goal difference to goals scored by his own chairman, Jimmy Hill.

Adams’ achievements put Fulham on the footballing map and they were bought by the Harrods owner Mohamed Al-Fayed during the close season. The club’s board lauded their promising young manager as Fulham’s Sir Alex Ferguson, handing him a five-year contract to ward off interest from Southampton, but he was sacked within six weeks of the new season getting underway as Al-Fayed brought in Ray Wilkins and Kevin Keegan. Adams went on to begin Brighton’s rise up the divisions in a nomadic managerial career but is still fondly remembered as Fulham’s unlikely saviour.