Stuart Pearce MBE

Stuart Pearce MBE

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Former England Defender & U21 Manager

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Stuart moved up the ranks from non-league football to playing for England and managing both U21 and Team GB squads, and Manchester City. He is used to working under pressure: famously missing a penalty at Italia 90, scoring at Euro 96 – and deciding not to pick an out-of-form Beckham at London 2012. Stuart talks from hard-earned experience about beating his doubts, taking big risks, making tough decisions and “delivering your best to your employers.”


In an impressive and high-profile career, Stuart Pearce has played and coached at the highest level. As well as being a stalwart of the England team throughout the 1990s, he managed the national side, Manchester City, the England Under-21s, and the British Olympic team.

Stuart was one of the last of the generation of players to move up the ranks of club football, starting out in non-league before moving to Coventry City and then Nottingham Forest. It was at Forest that his career took off, quickly becoming captain and a popular player in over a decade at the club, during which time he also made his England debut.

Quickly establishing himself as an uncompromising, professional part of the England team, Stuart’s first World Cup was the celebrated Italia 90 competition. The team reached the semi-finals against West Germany and hopes were high. The match was drawn and an infamous penalty shoot-out saw both Stuart and teammate Chris Waddle miss their spot kicks. An emotionally draining experience was laid to rest in the team’s next major tournament, Euro 96 where Stuart fought hard to retain a place in the squad. Another shoot-out in the quarter-final against Spain saw Stuart step up and score, and produced one of the most enduring images in English football as he celebrated in front of the Wembley crowd.

After spells at Newcastle United and West Ham, Stuart moved to the resurgent Manchester City, where he ended his playing days and took over from Kevin Keegan as manager. He was then appointed England Under-21 manager, guiding the team to a semi-final and a final in subsequent European competitions. He also took on a coaching role with the senior team. He went on to manage the Olympic team for the London 2012 games, as well as a return to Notts Forest.

In entertaining presentations, Stuart speaks about his varied career from electrician to World Cup star. He considers the lessons in dedication, motivation, leadership and teamwork he’s learned, as well as the importance of taking and sticking to hard decisions, such as not selecting David Beckham for the Olympic team.

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