David William Moyes (born 25 April 1963) is a Scottish former footballer and the outgoing manager of English Premier League club Everton. He was the 2003, 2005 and 2009 League Managers Association Manager of the Year. He is also on the Committee for the League Managers Association in an executive capacity. In May 2013, Moyes was appointed to succeed Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager starting July 2013.
Moyes made over 540 league appearances as a centre half in a playing career that began with Celtic, where he won a championship medal. He then played for Dunfermline Athletic and ended his playing career with Preston North End. He became a coach at Preston, working his way up to assistant manager before eventually taking over as manager in 1998, his first managerial position.
Moyes became manager of Everton in March 2002 and under him the club qualified for the Champions League in 2005 and reached the FA Cup final in 2009. Upon reaching his tenth anniversary at the club Moyes received praise from many fellow managers including Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger and Kenny Dalglish for his achievements at Everton, despite operating with a limited budget. His service to Everton was also raised in Parliament by Steve Rotheram MP. Moyes is the third-longest serving manager in the Premier League and the English football league system as a whole, behind Ferguson and Wenger.
Moyes enjoyed a career that encompassed playing at a number of different clubs, usually as a centre half, beginning at Celtic, where he won a championship medal and made 24 league appearances, and ending with Preston North End.
Moyes made over 550 league appearances in his career before becoming a coach at Preston, working his way up to assistant manager before eventually taking over as manager in 1998.
Preston North End
Moyes took over as Preston manager in January 1998, taking over from Gary Peters as the club struggled in Division Two and were in danger of relegation. He had spent much of his playing career preparing for management, taking coaching badges at just 22 years of age and compiling notes on managers he had played under, their techniques and tactics. Preston avoided relegation at the end of the 1997–98 season and reached the Division Two playoffs the following season which they failed to win. The following season though, Moyes guided Preston to the Division Two title and a promotion to Division One. An even greater achievement perhaps was to steer Preston into the Division One playoffs the season after that, with largely the same squad. Preston lost in the final of the playoffs in May 2001. One month later, Moyes signed a new five-year contract with the club. Towards the end of the following season, he left for Everton, to take over from fellow Scotsman Walter Smith in March 2002. Moyes was in charge of Preston 243 times, of which his team won 113 games, lost 63 and drew 67.
Moyes joined Everton on 14 March 2002 and at his unveiling press conference, declared that Everton were ‘The People’s Club’ on Merseyside. He said:
“I am from a city (Glasgow) that is not unlike Liverpool. I am joining the people’s football club. The majority of people you meet on the street are Everton fans. It is a fantastic opportunity, something you dream about. I said ‘yes’ right away as it is such a big club.”
His first game in charge was against Fulham at Goodison Park. Everton won the game 2–1, with David Unsworth scoring after just thirty seconds.
Prior to his appointment, Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright contacted Moyes and invited him to his home in London to discuss the available position at Everton. Moyes was reluctant as he was driving from Preston to Bristol on a scouting mission, he was looking at Nathan Ellington. After the game, Moyes drove from Bristol to London where he met Kenwright for an hour, after the meeting he drove back to Preston from London – a 550-mile round trip.
Everton managed to sustain a good run of form and avoided relegation, which was a genuine threat when he was originally appointed. Despite having a history and list of honours only surpassed by the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United, the past decade had not been a successful time for the Toffees, with an FA Cup win in 1995 and a sixth place finish in 1996 being about the only bright spots for the club that side of 1990.
Moyes prepared for his first full season in charge at Everton by signing Chinese international Li Tie, Nigerian defender Joseph Yobo and Goalkeeper Richard Wright and axed older players such as Jesper Blomqvist and David Ginola. Everton were edged out of qualification for the following season’s UEFA Cup on the last day of the season by Blackburn Rovers, following a defeat to Manchester United, and finished 7th in the league. Moyes was awarded LMA Manager of the Year for the first time, to go with the Premier League Manager of the Month award for November 2002, when the Toffees had been in the Champions League places.
For the 2003–04 season Moyes signed Kevin Kilbane from Sunderland, James McFadden from Motherwell, Nigel Martyn from Leeds United and Francis Jeffers returned on loan from Arsenal. Poor results followed though and Everton did not win a game in 2004 until 28 February. A confrontation between Moyes and Duncan Ferguson at Everton’s training ground was said to be symptomatic of the problems at the club. On 12 April 2003 Moyes was sent to the stands during a game against West Brom by referee Steve Bennett for using foul and abusive language and for improper behaviour. Everton finished 17th with 39 points, the lowest total in the club’s history (although survival had been confirmed some time earlier), just avoiding relegation.
During the summer of 2004, despite the turmoil surrounding the club’s recent form, Moyes managed to bring in Tim Cahill and Marcus Bent. To this day, Cahill is considered to be one of Moyes’ best signings, scoring 15 goals in his first season playing for Everton. Those who left the club were Tomasz Radzinski, Tobias Linderoth, David Unsworth and, most significantly Wayne Rooney. Later the Daily Mail published extracts from Rooney’s autobiography, claiming that Moyes had forced Rooney out of the club and then leaked the details to the press. Moyes went on to sue for libel before settling out of court when Rooney apologised and agreed to pay for damages. Moyes donated the undisclosed damages from the suit to the Everton Former Players’ Foundation.
During the 2004–05 season Everton went on to surpass all expectations by finishing fourth in the league and securing a place in the following season’s Champions League, Moyes again being awarded the LMA Manager of the Year award. Moyes then broke club’s transfer record to bring in striker James Beattie in January and, as influential midfielder Thomas Gravesen left, Mikel Arteta came in on loan.
At the beginning of the 2005–06 season, Everton struggled again and were battling relegation when they had been expected to push for Europe. Their European adventure was short lived as well. Moyes fought back by signing Nuno Valente, Andy van der Meyde, Simon Davies, and Phil Neville; signed Matteo Ferrari on loan; and made Mikel Arteta a permanent signing. They climbed from bottom place in late October to a secure 11th place finish at the end of the season.
Moyes broke the club transfer record for a second time at the start of the 2006–07 season with the £8.6m acquisition of Andrew Johnson. Joleon Lescott was also signed from Wolves while goalkeeper Tim Howard arrived on a loan deal, which was later made permanent. All of these players would prove to be successful signings, further enhancing Moyes’s reputation as a team builder. Whilst Everton’s league form flourished again, their record in the FA Cup under Moyes did not improve: in the third round they crashed out 4–1 to Blackburn Rovers. An improved league position of sixth was secured along with UEFA Cup football for the next season.
It was the 2007–08 season that Everton displayed the most consistency and stability since Moyes arrived at the club, finally ending the cycle of alternating between the top and bottom halves of the league. In his sixth full season in charge, Moyes secured fifth place in the league and reached the semi-final of the Football League Cup as well as the last 16 of the UEFA Cup, eventually being beaten on penalties by Fiorentina. Moyes also signed four more players who went on to become very important players for Everton: Yakubu was signed for another record fee of £11.25m, Steven Pienaar for £2.05m after an initial loan, Phil Jagielka was brought in for £4m, and Leighton Baines was signed for a fee that could rise to £6m. All of this gave Everton and its fans cause for optimism as a string of strong performances broke the pattern inconsistency which saw league finishes of 15th, 7th, 17th, 4th and 11th under Moyes. His reputation as a disciplinarian could be seen to manifest in Everton’s yellow card count. They received just 27 yellow cards all season – the lowest in the league and 6 fewer than their nearest rival Liverpool.
Moyes recruited Steve Round as his assistant manager for the 2008–09 season to replace Alan Irvine, who had taken over as Preston North End manager the previous winter. Everton’s first new player of the season, Lars Jacobsen, was brought in 2 games into the season. This was shortly followed by the signings of Segundo Castillo and Louis Saha. On deadline day, Moyes secured the services of goalkeeper Carlo Nash on a free transfer, and Marouane Fellaini for a club record £15 million. On 14 September Moyes was sent to the stands by referee Alan Wiley during a game against Stoke City. He was later fined £5,000 by the FA for improper conduct and warned about his future behaviour.
At the end of the transfer window January 2009, Moyes brought in Brazilian international striker Jô on loan from Manchester City. On 14 October 2008, Moyes agreed to extend his Goodison Park stay by a further five years. On 19 April 2009, Moyes led his team to an FA Cup semi-final victory over Manchester United, after a penalty shootout, to reach the final for the first time since 1995. In the final, Everton were beaten 2–1 by Chelsea despite taking a lead through Louis Saha in the opening minute.
In the summer of 2009 Moyes sold Joleon Lescott to Manchester City for £22m, after a saga which lasted for the entire transfer window. With the £22m from the Lescott sale, Moyes brought in Johnny Heitinga, Sylvain Distin and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. He also signed Jo on a season long loan and Lucas Neill on a free transfer. Moyes was named as Premier League Manager of the Month for January 2010 after 3 wins and a draw. Moyes’ took charge of his 600th match as a manager on 6 February 2010 in the Merseyside Derby against Liverpool which resulted in a 1–0 defeat. Everton ended the season in 8th place, failing to qualify for Europe for the 1st time in 4 years despite a run of only 2 defeats in their last 24 league games.
On 21 April 2010 it was reported that Alex Ferguson had apparently endorsed Moyes as his successor as manager of Manchester United when he eventually retires.
On 14 May 2010, Moyes revealed that he would be interested in taking up the Celtic job in the future; that job did indeed become vacant at the end of the 2009–10 season with the departure of Tony Mowbray, but Moyes did not put his name forward for the vacancy and Neil Lennon was appointed instead.
On 12 August 2010, Moyes dismissed speculation linking him with the manager’s job at Aston Villa left vacant by the resignation of Martin O’Neill. Moyes admitted an improper conduct charge in September in relation to his behaviour towards referee Martin Atkinson following a 3–3 draw with Manchester United. He was fined £8,000 with his assistant also admitting to the same charge. At the end of the 2010/11 campaign Moyes was once again linked with the Villa job, following Gérard Houllier’s heart scare and he replied to the speculation “As far as I know I’m here and I’m the manager. I want to have a club, though, where I can give the supporters something, I really do. I want a good fresh challenge when we come back next summer and hopefully that will be the case.”
“Mr. David Moyes is probably a fine example to everybody in government of stability and making the right decisions for the long term.”
— Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport,
In January 2012, Moyes became the fourth manager, after Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger and Harry Redknapp, to record 150 wins in the Premier League. He celebrated his 400th Premier League game in November 2012 with a 2–1 win against Sunderland.
In May 2013, following Ferguson’s retirement at Manchester United and with his own contract expiring at the end of the season, Moyes informed Everton that he would leave the club to succeed Ferguson.
On 9 May 2013, Manchester United announced that Moyes would take over from Alex Ferguson as manager starting 1 July 2013 on a six-year contract.
Career outside management
During the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Moyes provided commentary for selected matches for BBC Radio 5 Live. Moyes co-owns the racehorse Desert Cry which was trained by Donald McCain.
Moyes has one daughter, who goes to Archbishop Temple School in Preston, where he previously managed Preston North End. He also has a son called David who went to college in Preston. Moyes’ father, David Sr., is a scout at Everton and previously a coach at Drumchapel Amateurs where Moyes began his career. His full-time occupation was as a pattern-maker and later a lecturer at Anniesland College in North Glasgow. Moyes’ mother, Joan, hailed from Portrush in Northern Ireland and worked in clothes stores in Glasgow. David’s cousin, Dessie Brown is secretary of Coleraine Football Club.
He is a supporter of the Labour Party and in 2010 backed Andy Burnham to be leader in the Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 2010. As a boy, he grew up supporting Rangers despite playing for Old Firm rivals Celtic.
Scottish League Premier Division (1): 1981–82
English Associate Members’ Cup (1): 1986
Preston North End
Football League Third Division (1): 1995–96
Preston North End
Football League Second Division (1): 1999–2000
LMA Manager of the Year (3): 2002–03, 2004–05, 2008–09
Premier League Manager of the Month (10): November 2002, September 2004, January 2006, February 2008, February 2009, January 2010, March 2010, October 2010, September 2012, March 2013.