Date of birth
Paul Cook was appointed manager of Wigan Athletic on May 31 2017, returning to the club where he made his debut as a player.
One of the brightest new managerial talents in the lower leagues, he finished in the top six on each of his first four full seasons in the Football League/EFL, twice as League Two winners for Chesterfield and Portsmouth respectively - and was named League Two Manager of The Year for the 2016-17 season.
After finally retiring from playing at the age of 38, he began managing at Southport in 2006, before really cutting his teeth as a coach with Sligo Rovers in Ireland between 2007 and 2012, winning two FAI Cups, a League Cup and qualifying for the UEFA League. His first Football League job was with his former team Accrington Stanley in 2012, whom he joined in February 2012 before moving to Chesterfield in October of that year.
Born in Liverpool in 1967, Cook made his Football League debut for Latics aged 18 in May 1985, having signed the previous summer from non-league Marine in his native Merseyside.
A cultured midfielder with a sweet left foot, he was part of a great young Wigan Athletic team in the 80s who reached the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup in 1987 and narrowly missed out on promotion to the second tier for what would have been the first time in the club’s history. Unfortunately, financial necessity dictated that Cook, alongside other club products many of whom went on to have good careers at a higher level – Paul Jewell, David Lowe, Steve Walsh, Warren Aspinall, Paul Beesley, Peter Atherton, Joe Parkinson – were sold to balance the books.
Cook went on to play over 600 league games for Norwich City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Stockport County, Tranmere Rovers, Burnley and Accrington Stanley - in the top flight for Norwich and Coventry – and returned briefly to Wigan on loan from Burnley in the 2001-02 season, under his former Wigan team mate Paul Jewell.