On this day in 2007: Steve McClaren sacked by England after Euro 2008 failure

Steve McClaren was sacked as England manager 15 years ago following the failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

The axe fell on McClaren on November 22, 2007, the day after a 3-2 defeat by Croatia at a rain-soaked Wembley ended England’s qualification hopes and saw the manager dubbed the “wally with a brolly”.

A hastily arranged Football Association board meeting at Soho Square rubber-stamped McClaren’s departure after just 18 games in charge.

The England bench react during the defeat by Croatia
The England bench react during the defeat by Croatia (Martin Rickett/PA)

Then FA chairman Geoff Thompson said: “Like every England fan, we are bitterly disappointed that we have failed to qualify. I know Steve feels that disappointment more than anyone.

“Of course, we have no divine right to play in any major tournament – but it is quite right that qualification is expected.

“I would like to thank Steve for the work he has done. His commitment to the job cannot be questioned, and I wish him the best for the future.”

McClaren, whose achievements as Middlesbrough boss earned him the England role, described it as “one of the saddest days of my career”.

Steven Gerrard (centre) looks dejected at the final whistle
Steven Gerrard (centre) looks dejected at the final whistle (Martin Rickett/PA)

“Eighteen months ago (when he was appointed) was the proudest day of my career and I was honoured to be the England head coach, and for 18 months I’ve enjoyed every minute,” he said.

“It is a sad day to have been relieved of my duties but I understand the decision of the FA.”

Fabio Capello was appointed as England manager the following month while McClaren headed to the Netherlands, winning the Eredivisie title with FC Twente.

The 61-year-old has since held coaching roles with Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest, Derby, Newcastle and QPR and is currently an assistant to Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag.