Birmingham City manager Tony Mowbray suddenly steps away from the job for ‘medical


Birmingham City boss Tony Mowbray has sensationally stepped away from his role to have ‘medical treatment’ – just over a month since he replaced Wayne Rooney at St Andrew’s. 

Mowbray, 60, has only presided over eight games since taking charge on January 8, with players said to have been left ‘stunned’ by the shock news after the veteran coach informed his squad during a meeting at their training ground on Monday morning. 

It is unclear what illness Mowbray has been diagnosed with but the club confirmed he would be stepping aside for six to eight weeks.  

His last game in charge was a 2-1 win at home to Sunderland on Saturday, his third win since replacing former boss Rooney. Assistant manager Mark Venus will replace him temporarily, alongside coaches Ashley Cole, Pete Shuttleworth and Maik Taylor. 

A club statement read: ‘Birmingham City can confirm that Manager, Tony Mowbray, requires medical treatment which means he will be temporarily stepping away from the on-site management of the Club for a period of approximately six to eight weeks.

Birmingham City boss Tony Mowbray has stepped away from the team after requiring treatment for a 'medical diagnosis'

Birmingham City boss Tony Mowbray has stepped away from the team after requiring treatment for a ‘medical diagnosis’ 

Mowbray was last pictured on Saturday

He guided Birmingham to a 2-1 win over Sunderland

Mowbray was last pictured on Saturday after guiding Birmingham to a 2-1 win over Sunderland

‘Assistant manager, Mark Venus, will assume temporary responsibility for the team with immediate effect.’

Mowbray said the club had been ‘incredibly supportive’ of him as he confirmed the news – and said he would continue to provide his guidance to the coaching staff. 

‘Following my recent LMA Health Assessment I have received a medical diagnosis that will require me to receive treatment. Undergoing treatment will necessitate that I temporarily step away from the Technical Area as Manager of Birmingham City Football Club. 

‘Until I return, my assistant manager, Mark Venus, will take temporary charge of the team, supported by coaches Ashley Cole, Pete Shuttleworth and Maik Taylor. I will continue to provide advice and counsel while undergoing treatment.

‘The Club has been incredibly supportive of me and my family and we are very grateful. I know that everyone will be respectful of our privacy at this time.’

A number of his former sides have been quick to wish their old boss well and a speedy recovery on social media. 

‘Get well soon Mogga, wishing you all the very best from everyone at MFC,’ Middlesbrough, who he managed from 2010-13 – wrote on X.

‘Wishing you a speedy recovery, Tony,’ added Sunderland, where Mowbray took charge of 65 games. ‘We’re all behind you.’

Mowbray only took over from Rooney last month and looked to have made a positive impact

Mowbray only took over from Rooney last month and looked to have made a positive impact

‘Everyone at West Bromwich Albion wishes Tony all the best with his treatment and a speedy recovery,’ added the Baggies, Mowbray having spent almost three years in the dugout at the Hawthorns. 

Blackburn Rovers added: ‘Everyone at Blackburn Rovers wishes Tony Mowbray a speedy recovery.’ 

There were also messages of support from fellow former charges Ipswich and  Coventry City, as well as tributes from a number of Football League sides as football leant its support to Mowbray. 

Mowbray has three children with his second wife, Amber, who he married in 2001 after hanging up his boots and taking on a coaching role at Ipswich Town. 

His former wife, Bernadette, passed away in 1995 after losing a four-year battle with cancer on New Years Day. 

The pair brought forward their wedding day after learning of Bernadette’s diagnosis, and her family are said to have fully supported his decision to remarry six years after her death.  

Birmingham City chief executive officer, Garry Cook, said: ‘Our thoughts are with Tony, his wife Amber, and family. We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming Tony back to the Club to continue the excellent work that he has started. 

‘In the meantime, Mark Venus, Ashley Cole, Pete Shuttleworth and Maik Taylor, will be given all the support they need to lead the Club forward.’

Mowbray married first wife Bernadette in 1994 before she passed away on New Years Day 1995

Mowbray married first wife Bernadette in 1994 before she passed away on New Years Day 1995

Mowbray and his wife Amber (pictured) have three sons following their marriage in 2001

Mowbray and his wife Amber (pictured) have three sons following their marriage in 2001

The news will come as a huge shock to the squad, who have endured a turbulent campaign but looked like they had turned a corner under Mowbray’s leadership following a dismal start to Rooney’s reign. 

Rooney himself was axed after just 15 games in charge, winning just twice as performances took a nosedive since replacing John Eustace in October.  



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