Armenia coach Ian Porterfield has died aged 61. Porterfield had been undergoing treatment for colon cancer, and he passed away on Tuesday evening.
Armenia had been steadily improving under Porterfield's guidance and he was in the dugout last month when they achieved one of their most remarkable results, a 1-1 draw with Portugal in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2008™. The Armenia job was the latest in a long line of exotic postings for the Scottish manager, who will be best remembered in Britain for what he achieved as a player rather than as a coach.
Born in Dunfermline, he started his career with Scottish side Raith Rovers FC but moved south of the border to make his name in English football during a spell at Sunderland AFC. He became a hero there by scoring the winning goal against odds-on favourites Leeds United AFC in the 1973 FA Cup final to secure one of the biggest shock results of the age. Having finished his playing career at Sheffield Wednesday FC, he moved on to manage Rotherham United FC and then Sheffield United FC, helping them win two promotions before being dismissed in 1986. He then coached Aberdeen FC and Reading FC before spending two seasons as manager of Chelsea FC between 1991 and 1993.
That was to be his last English posting for a while as he stepped in to take charge of the Zambian national team shortly after an air crash had robbed the African nation of some of its finest players. After spells as coach of Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe, he made an ill-starred return to England as assistant manager of Bolton Wanderers FC in 1996. Subsequent seasons saw him take charge of Oman, Trinidad & Tobago and Korean club side Busan I'Park before he was named Armenia manager in April 2006.
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