Where Are They Now: Paul Bracewell

by Ashley Houghton

We catch up with former star.

Paul Bracewell had three spells with Sunderland between 1983 and 1997, making over 250 appearances for the Black Cats.

His first spell, in 1983, lasted a year before he moved to Everton and spent five years at Goodison Park.

Bracewell won the European Cup Winners Cup with the Toffees before returning to Roker Park and leading the Lads to the 1992 FA Cup final which they would lose to Liverpool.

He would then join Newcastle United prior to returning to Wearside to lead Peter Reid’s side to promotion back to the top flight, a time he has fond memories of.

“I had three spells with Sunderland, the first was just for a year and then the next two speels lasted three years each,” he told

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, the promotion under Peter Reid and the FA Cup Final were particular highlights.

“It was also special to play at both Roker Park and the fantastic new Stadium of Light.”

During his time with Everton, Bracewell was capped three times by England, the proudest achievement of his career.

“I think when you are at school on the playground you want to become a professional and play for your country.

“I was lucky enough to represent England at under-21 and senior level.”

Bracewell joined Fulham after his final spell with the Black Cats as player-assistant manager to Kevin Keegan.

Keegan would go on to manage the England national side leaving Bracewell with his first opportunity as a manager, an experience he fully enjoyed.

“When I came back to Sunderland I was player-assistant manager to Peter Reid which gave me an appetite for management.

“When I took the reins at Fulham I thought I did a decent job, but obviously the chairman didn’t.

“I then went on to have an enjoyable stint at Halifax before becoming a national coach at the FA.”

And, since then Bracewell has set up the Complete Football Academy in Newcastle where kids aged 5-6 up to non-league players practice their skills.

Bracewell has been a director for six years and is delighted with the progress made at the centre.

“Being a father opens your eyes to the opportunities available for young kids, I’ve seen kids running round on muddy, horrible surfaces,” he added.

“With the 3G surfaces at Complete Football we can see with our own eyes the kids techniques improving, which is good.

“It would be nice if one day somebody from one of our centres makes it and refers to starting at the Complete Football centre.”