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There to be Shot At


    Pages: 250 Size: 234mmx153mm ISBN: 9781909245617 Hardback Publication: 21st September 2017


    Rejected by Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa as a teenager, Coton became a professional footballer the hard way, grafting as an amateur footballer before getting his big break with Birmingham City, the club he supported as a boy. A reputation as a fine young goalkeeper followed. Coton was to become widely regarded as the best goalkeeper to never play for England.

    At Watford, the late Graham Taylor saved Coton from jail. He then made a surprise move from Manchester City to Manchester United and finally to Sunderland before retiring after a series of horrific injuries.

    Coton soon became the first ever full-time goalkeeping coach under Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford just a few months before United won a unique Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble. Coton spent nine years working under the most successful and enigmatic managers football has seen and eventually also assumed the role of identifying potential new keepers following the great Peter Schmeichel’s departure from the club.

    Coton has since had spells working at the coalface of football. He has scouted for Bolton, Wigan and Queens Park Rangers and was temporarily Mick Harford’s assistant manager at QPR. There was also a lucrative spell in Abu Dhabi, working as a goalkeeping coach at Al Ahli. At the age of 54 and after surviving a heart condition, Tony is now back where it all started: Aston Villa. He has since been promoted to head of recruitment by Steve Bruce.

    From non-league to the top of the Premier League; from the Birmingham Six to a model professional, Coton has done it all.

    There to be Shot At chronicles the rise and fall of a goalkeeping legend.


    Born in Tamworth, Tony Coton played more than 500 games during a 16-year goalkeeping career with Birmingham City, Hereford United, Watford, Manchester City, Manchester United and Sunderland. After retiring in 1997 with a broken leg he joined Sunderland as a reserve-team manager, before moving to Manchester United a year later to become their first full-time goalkeeping coach. He has worked as a scout for numerous clubs and served briefly as assistant manager to Mick Harford at QPR. He is now head of recruitment at Aston Villa. 

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