One ex-Claret replaces another

Last updated : 31 January 2002 By Tony Scholes

When Ray Graydon was sacked as Walsall manager many expected his assistant Chris Nicholl to step into the job for the second time. However rather than give former Southampton boss Nicholl the job they got rid of him too.

Colin Lee has taken over as manager and brought in someone who worked with him at Wolves, another ex-Claret and another former Southampton manager Dave Merrington.

Merrington spent his entire playing career at Burnley during the 1960s and early 70s but left the club for Bristol City in the summer of 1971. An injury prevented him from ever making his debut for them and he joined the coaching staff. He soon returned to Turf Moor coaching the reserves during Jimmy Adamson's time as manager.

He left the Turf shortly after Adamson to join him at Sunderland as assistant and even had a short spell as caretaker manager there when Adamson moved on to Leeds before joining him again at Elland Road. When Adamson left the Leeds job he said goodbye to football but Merrington has remained in the game, continuing for a time at Leeds before moving on to Southampton. In 1995/96 season he was manager of Southampton in the Premiership but after keeping them up on the last day of the season was sacked.

From there he joined the staff at Wolves and worked with Mark McGhee and Colin Lee. He and Lee were even touted for the Burnley job in 1998 when Stan was appointed. Today the 56 year-old has rejoined Lee as they hope to keep Walsall in Division One.