Russell Dave Image 3 Sheffield Wednesday 1939

Russell Dave Image 3 Sheffield Wednesday 1939


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Methil, Fife born wing half Dave Russell began his football career with Dundee Violet in 1933 and joined Scottish League Dundee in 1934, where he spent a season before moving to East Fife. He was part of East Fife’s triumphant 1938 Scottish Cup winning team that beat Kilmarnock 4-2 in a replay, their only Scottish Cup win, and one of only two clubs from the second tier of Scottish football to win the Cup. Russell played 92 games for The Fifers before joining Sheffield Wednesday for the next season, where he was an ever-present as the club finished third in Division Two. As it did with so many players, the Second World War effectively finished Russell’s career, having made 51 appearances for The Owls.

After a stint in the Royal Air Force, Russell became a coach for the Danish Football Association before returning to England in 1950 to take up a coaching role at Bury. In December 1953, Russell became the manager and led The Shakers for eight years. The club played 379 games under him between 1953 and 1961, winning 154, losing 139 and drawing 86 match. However, whilst at Bury, finances were a severe problem for Russell, and in 1957 they suffered relegation from Division Two for the first time in 63 years. Fortunes soon turned around though for the Scotsman, and he guided Bury back to Division Two in the 1960-61 season as Division Three Champions.

He then took over as manager of Tranmere Rovers in December 1961, at the time two divisions lower than Bury, replacing Walter Galbraith who had been in charge for less than a year. After near misses and disappointments along the way, he finally steered Rovers back to the Third Division at the conclusion of 1966-67 season. In December 1969 Russell became the club’s general manager to allow his long-time coach, Jackie Wright, to take over the managerial reins, having guided the team to 167 wins and 130 defeats over a 379-game and eight-year stint as manager. In 1978 Russell left the club for the final time. Since then, one of the hospitality suites at Tranmere’s Prenton Park ground has been named after Russell.

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