Ex-Coventry City boss reveals 'significant and unexpected' surgery & sets out future intentions

Tony Mowbray manager of Birmingham City
Former Sky Blues boss Tony Mowbray has stepped down as manager of Birmingham City -Credit:Anna Gowthorpe/REX/Shutterstock

Former Coventry City manager Tony Mowbray has penned an emotional message after taking the difficult decision to walk away from his job as manager due to illness, revealing that he has undergone 'significant and unexpected surgery'.

Mowbray temporarily stepped down from his duties at Birmingham City in mid-February to undergo medical treatment and it has now been confirmed that he will not return to his post. The 60-year-old has taken the decision to stand down after it became apparent that he wouldn’t be fully fit in time to lead pre-season training.

The former Sky Blues boss, however, has vowed to return to management in the future after a period of convalescence and time spent with his wife and three sons.

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Blues start next season in League One for the first time in 30 years following relegation from the Championship. Mowbray has given the club the best chance to prepare correctly by making his decision known two weeks after the climax of the 2023/24 campaign.

Mowbray, whose managerial career has spanned 20 years, 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.

“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.

“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, that 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.”

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