Brian Marwood was a winger and striker who was one of an elite group of players to emerge from the Hull City squad assembled by manager Mike Smith in the early 1980s that went on to greater things. Born in Seaham Harbour on the Durham Coast, Marwood was an apprentice at City from the age of 16 and signed professional terms in February 1978, but despite his promise he was not used Ken Houghton. Yet when Smith took over the helm at City in January 1980 he immediately introduced Marwood to the first team in a midfield role. Used intermittently for the remainder of the season, Marwood was reintroduced to first team action in October 1980 at the tail end of a terrible winless streak. Marwood scored his first goal for the Tigers in November 1980 during a 3-1 win at Millwall that briefly halted the slump, and remained a first team pick for the rest of the season that ended in relegation under the temporary charge of Bobby Brown and Chris Chilton.
Marwood was now established as City’s right winger and for the next three seasons he was a near ever present as the Tigers went through administration, rebuilt under Colin Appleton and won promotion back to the Third Division. Marwood was pivotal to this rise, scoring 12 league goals in Appleton’s first season of consolidation (the Tigers finished 8th) and 19 goals in the subsequent promotion season. In 1983/84 City swept up the Third Division table and Brian scored another 16 league goals, but the Tigers stumbled at the very last hurdle, needing a 3-0 victory at Burnley to secure promotion and only winning 2-0 – Marwood scored both. Within a few weeks Appleton had left for Swansea City and Marwood was sold for a handsome £115,000 fee.
In June 1984 Marwood signed for a Sheffield Wednesday side newly promoted to the First Division under the guiding hand of manager Howard Wilkinson. In four seasons Marwood was a first team fixture. In 1985/86 the Owls finished 5th in the First Division and reached the FA Cup semi-finals. Marwood was joint top goalscorer in the League with centre forward Lee Chapman, a duo that made a fearsome strike force across the top flight.
In March 1988 a £800,000 fee was paid for Marwood to join Arsenal, who were top six contenders and League Cup finalists – though Marwood was cup-tied for the Wembley final that the Gunners lost 2-3 to Luton Town. Marwood was an immediate success, combining with Arsenal target man Alan Smith in the same way he had complemented Lee Chapman at Hillsborough. The Gunners won the First Division in 1988/89 with Smith scoring 25 league goals and Marwood chipping in with nine more – though injury meant Marwood missed the last five league games of the season, including the tumultuous 2-0 win over Liverpool that sealed the title with the last kick of the season. Five years after his near-miss at Burnley, a 2-0 win was finally enough for Marwood to taste real success, albeit from the sidelines.
Injuries dogged Marwood throughout 1989/90 season, he made only 19 appearances for Arsenal and was replaced in the first team at the end of the season by Swedish winger Anders Limpar. He moved to Sheffield United in September 1990 for a £350,000 fee – a less than popular move amongst the Wednesday fans that once cheered him on at Hillsborough. In two and a half seasons Marwood only managed 22 appearances and was loaned to Middlesbrough. His playing career drew to a close in 1994 after short spells at Swindon Town and Barnet.
In 1990 Marwood was elected Chairman of the PFA, the Professional Footballers’ Association. He fulfilled that role until 1993, then became a regular TV and radio pundit and worked in sports marketing for Nike. In 2009 Marwood was appointed a senior football administrator at Manchester City and was an important part of the backroom staff that saw the Citizens dominate the Premier League during the 2010s. By 2019 Marwood was the Managing Director of Global Football for City Football Group, focussed on overseeing the many teams across the world that were associated with Manchester City as a parent club.
In November 1988, during the height of his form at Arsenal, Marwood made his solitary England senior appearance in a friendly in Riyadh against Saudi Arabia, playing only nine minutes as a substitute to become England 1,011th debutant.
Date/Place of Birth: 2 May 1960, Seaham Harbour
Hull City First Game: 12 January 1980, Mansfield Town H (Division Three), 19 years, 341 days old
Hull City Final Game: 24 May 1984, Bournemouth H (Associate Members’ Cup Final), 24 years, 109 days old
Hull City (1978-1984), Sheffield Wednesday (1984-1988), Arsenal (1988-1990), Sheffield United (1990-1992), Middlesbrough (1992, loan), Swindon Town (1992-1993), Barnet (1993-1994)
Hull City Record
Career: 191 apps, 53 goalsBrian Marwood
|1980/81||31 (0)||4||6 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||2 (0)||0|
|1981/82||40 (2)||12||6 (0)||1||0 (1)||0||-||-||2 (0)||0|
|1982/83||40 (0)||19||2 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||3 (0)||1|
|1983/84||39 (0)||16||2 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||5 (0)||0|