Former Middlesbrough boss steps down as manager of Barnsley and Huddersfield Town's new League One rivals

Former Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray has stepped down from his role as manager of Birmingham City.

Mowbray took the reins at St Andrew’s in January, when he was drafted in to replace Wayne Rooney. However, he stepped away from on-site management duties in February before taking a formal medical leave of absence in March.

Gary Rowett was installed as interim boss but was unable to prevent the Blues falling out of the Championship. Following the conclusion of the campaign, Mowbray has taken the decision to leave Birmingham on a permanent basis.

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In a statement, Mowbray said: “As people will be aware, I am currently undertaking a period of extended convalescence following significant and unexpected surgery earlier in the year which required that I take a period of medical absence.

Tony Mowbray has stepped down as manager of Birmingham City. Image: Ben Roberts Photo/Getty ImagesTony Mowbray has stepped down as manager of Birmingham City. Image: Ben Roberts Photo/Getty Images
Tony Mowbray has stepped down as manager of Birmingham City. Image: Ben Roberts Photo/Getty Images

“Throughout this period, I have watched every Birmingham City game along with every training session, whilst I have remained in positive and constructive dialogue with Tom Wagner, Garry Cook and Craig Gardner.

“Over the very recent days, it has become apparent to me that I will not be fully fit to resume my duties as manager of Birmingham City in the timescale that would allow the club to best prepare for the forthcoming season and therefore, I have regrettably decided to step away from my role at this time.

“Once I have fully recovered, it is important to me that I then spend some quality time with my wife and my boys before I fully commit to work.

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“I am extremely grateful to Tom Wagner for the genuine warmth that he has shown towards me during what has been a challenging time, not only for me personally but also for the club. I firmly believe that under Tom’s stewardship coupled with the football expertise that Garry offers, Birmingham City have a very bright future ahead.

“I would like to thank everybody associated with the club who has supported me during these unprecedented times, and I would like to especially thank the Birmingham City supporters for your affection, your kindness, and your support in the relatively short period of time I have been with the club. Whilst I step down as manager of Birmingham City, I now become a Blues fan and I wish everybody at the club nothing but absolute success in the future.

“Once I have fully recovered and have spent some quality time with my family, I intend to make a return to football management at the appropriate moment. I hope that the privacy of my family and I will be respected at this time. Thank you for your ongoing support, Tony.”

Birmingham’s owner, Tom Wagner, said: “We are disappointed that Tony will not be coming back to lead the team forward but respect his decision to put his health and his family first. In a short period of time at Blues, Tony demonstrated excellent leadership skills and a work ethic that galvanised all around him. He is an outstanding human being and will always be welcome at St. Andrew’s @ Knighthead Park.”

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