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RAY MATHIAS

RAY MATHIAS
Year(s) 2001 & 2002-2003
Honours None
Raymond "Ray" Mathias (born 13 December 1946) is an English football coach and former player. He has spent most of his career in the lower leagues of English football. Mathias played for Tranmere Rovers between 1964 and 1985, and remains their record appearance holder having played 637 games

for the club. After his retirement he spent three years as manager of Wigan Athletic, briefly returning to the role for the 1998–99 season; between these two spells he returned to Tranmere as a coach, and later managed the sidebefore moving on to Chester City in a caretaker role.He was appointed interim manager of Stockport County on 9 March 2011until the endof the season, when County were relegated from the Football League for the first time in 106 years. Owing in part to an impressive home record, Mathias was appointed full-time County manager in May 2011, but departed just two weeks later following the takeover of the club by Tony Evans.

Career
Playing
Born in Liverpool, Mathias spent his entire playing career with Tranmere Rovers from 1964 to 1985 and earning two testimonials in the process; a true one-club man, making 567 Football League appearances. His most notable achievement being winning promotion from the Fourth Division in the  1975–76  season. He made 637 appearances for Tranmere in all competitions, a club record.

Coaching
After retiring from playing, Mathias joined the coaching staff at Wigan Athletic and spent three years in charge of the Latics from 1986–89. The highlight of this spell was leading Wigan to the FA Cup quarter-finals in 1987. He later returned to Tranmere as a coach but then returned to Wigan as manager for the 1998–99 season; despite leading the club to victory in the Football League Trophy final at Wembley and the Second Division play-offs he lost his job shortly afterwards. After once again becoming part of the managerial set-up at Tranmere and spells as caretaker manager, he was finally handed the reins on a permanent basis in 2002 but sacked a year later. Mathias then had an unsuccessful caretaker spell at Chester City in 2004 and briefly worked as assistant manager at Bury in 2005. In October 2006 he was appointed as assistant manager to Paul Ince at League Two strugglers Macclesfield Town. The pair were able to guide the Silkmen to an unlikely survival before moving to Milton Keynes Dons where they achieved more success, winning the League Two championship and the Football League Trophy. They subsequently moved on to top-flight team Blackburn Rovers in June 2008. On 18 December 2008 Matthias was relieved of his duties along with Archie Knox following the sacking of Paul Ince and the subsequent arrival of Sam Allardyce as the new Rovers manager. On 4 February 2011 Ray joined Stockport County as Technical Advisor to Peter Ward and Alan Lord. On 9 March 2011 Ray was appointed manager of Stockport County until the end of the season, with Peter Ward and Alan Lord stepping back to coaching roles. Mathias then became the first manager in Stockport County history to relegate the club from the Football League. On 25 May 2011 Ray was given the Manager's job at Stockport County on a full-time basis "After a lengthy process during which we interviewed a number of high calibre applicants for the role" according to Chief Exec Graham Shaw. However, he was dismissed from the position in favour of Dietmar Hamann on 5 July 2011, and subsequently left the club.

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MOTTO: UBI FIDES IBI LUX ET ROBUR which means "Where there is faith, there is light and strength."

Designed by Ned O'Toole, Paul Harmon and Oisín Ronan.
Special thanks to Tranmere Rovers Football club for the information.
Also to Keith Taberer, Des Ferguson, Joanne Duggan for supplying some of the photos.