Eric Worthington
Personal information
Full name Eric Senior Worthington[1]
Date of birth (1925-12-29)29 December 1925
Place of birth Sheffield, England
Date of death 16 November 2006(2006-11-16) (aged 80)
Place of death Sydney, Australia
Position(s) Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1943–1945 Golders Green
1945–1947 Willesden
1947–1949 Queens Park Rangers 0 (0)
1949–1951 Watford 24 (4)
1951–1953 Dover
1953 Bradford City 2 (1)
1953–1961 Margate
Managerial career
1972 England women
1974 Australia U23
1975 Australia (caretaker)
1976 Papua New Guinea
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Eric Senior Worthington (29 December 1925 – 16 November 2006) was an English professional footballer and football coach who played as a forward. After a playing career which included spells in the Football League with Watford and Bradford City, he was appointed the first ever manager of the England women's national team in 1972. He later coached the men's national teams of Australia and Papua New Guinea. He is a member of Australia's Football Hall of Fame.

Playing career

After two years at Queens Park Rangers without appearing in the first team, Worthington made his Football League debut with Watford after joining in August 1949. He combined his duties as a schoolmaster and professional footballer, making 30 appearances for the Hornets over two seasons before dropping into non–league with Dover.[2] A prolific spell with Dover saw a brief return to the league ranks with Bradford City in September 1953, before, weeks later, he was back in Kent with Margate while doing a teacher training course.

Worthington remained with Margate eight years, overcoming injuries to make 243 appearances in both attack and midfield, scoring 36 goals and captaining the team on occasion. He retired in 1961 to take up a position at Loughborough College.[3]

Coaching career

Worthington was the original manager of the England women's national football team, taking charge for their first official match against Scotland in 1972.[3] The following year he was appointed director of coaching by Australian Soccer Federation and was tasked with overhauling the entire structure of football coaching in Australia.[4] He was later hailed as an "outstanding servant" and "pioneer",[3] though his administration's apparent preference for British coaches led to allegations of "jobs for the boys" and a "pommie mafia".[5] In 1975 Worthington took charge of the Australia national soccer team for four friendlies at B level.[6]

Worthington coached the Papua New Guinea national team during their Olympic qualifiers in 1976. He retired as director of coaching in 1989 and his last official role was taking an Australian student select team to his home city of Sheffield for the 1991 Summer Universiade.[4] He was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1999.[3]


  1. ^ "Eric Worthington". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  2. ^ Trefor Jones (1996). The Watford Football Club Illustrated Who's Who, p. 249; ISBN 0-9527458-0-1.
  3. ^ a b c d Jeff Trice. "Eric Worthington profile". Margate FC History. Archived from the original on 3 November 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b Jim Shoulder (19 July 2007). "Coach's game plan for football". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  5. ^ Michael Cockerill (5 March 1987). "Soccer's pommie mafia, does it exist, or is it just fiction?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  6. ^ Thomas Esamie, Andrei Libin and Greg Stock. "Socceroo B Matches for 1975". Oz Football. Retrieved 1 October 2011.