An electrician by trade, Stuart started his playing career at non-league Wealdstone. He signed for Coventry at the age of 21 and quickly established himself as a tough but fair left back with a lethal left foot. After 2 years at Coventry he moved to Nottingham Forest under the leadership of Brian Clough where he spent 12 years, most of that time as Club Captain. Affectionately known as ‘Psycho’ by his legions of fans, his loyalty, commitment and dedication to Forest has ensured he will always be a legend at the City Ground.
Spells at Newcastle and West Ham followed. During his time at Newcastle the team reached 2 FA Cup Finals and competed in the Champions League. When Harry Redknapp came calling, Stuart made the move south and enjoyed a successful 2 year stint winning Hammers player of the year in his second season. He finished his playing career with a year at Manchester City helping them to win the Championship and promotion into the Premier League. Stuart finally hung up his boots at the age of 40.
Internationally Stuart played under 5 England Managers; Bobby Robson, Graham Taylor, Terry Venables, Glenn Hoddle and Kevin Keegan. Making his debut against Brazil at Wembley in 1987, Stuart went on to represent his country 78 times of which 9 were as Captain, playing in the 1990 World Cup and both the 1992 and 1996 European Championships. Stuart’s emotional celebration on scoring his penalty in the 1996 European Championship has become one of football’s most iconic images. You will be hard pressed to find a more passionate and patriotic man to have pulled on an England shirt.
Stuarts playing career saw him play over 1000 games, play professionally for 19 seasons and he captained every team he played for from the age of 10 until he retired. In 1999 Stuart was awarded a MBE for his services to football.
When Stuart’s playing career came to an end, he stayed on at Manchester City as a coach under manager Kevin Keegan. Stuart was made caretaker manager following Keegan’s departure and after a successful start was given the job on a full-time basis, staying at City for 2 years. Stuart was also appointed England U21s head coach initially on a part-time basis and then when Manchester City ended he took on the U21s job full-time. During his 6 years in charge of England’s young lions he took them to 4 successive U21 European Championships and reached a semi-final and final. A record at U21 level.