The Ken Furphy art of Man Management

Ken Furphy, a former Watford manager between 1964-1971, passed away on January 17 this year. He made over 500 appearances for Darlington, Workington and Watford in a career that began at Everton in 1950.

He was seen as a progressive manager, particularly during his time with Watford; so much so that he allowed cameras to record a team meeting that took place prior to an FA Cup tie against reigning European champions Manchester United in 1969.

Watford, in the Third Division at the time, were given little hope against the might of the Red Devils.

Ken Furphy and his team conspired to get a totally unexpected 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. The team were inspired by their manager.

I wanted to share the video of the team meeting because it gives us an insight into how to get the best out of people.

  • Ken puts absolute trust in his players, having the faith in them to go about their job professionally, despite the relative gulf in class.
  • He provides simple, clear information to each player about what’s expected of them.
  • He outlines his player’s strengths and helps them manage where their opponent may have an advantage.
  • He uses positive language to re-affirm his belief in each individual’s ability.

What stands out to you about Ken’s man management style?


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