Russell OSMAN

Russell Osman - Southampton FC - Biography of his Southampton football career.

Photo/Foto: Stuart Franklin

Date: 11 November 1989

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      Central Defender
      Saturday, 14 February 1959
      Ilkeston, England.
  • England
  • Ipswich Town FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 3rd September 1977 in a 1-0 win at home to Chelsea (Aged: 18)
    • Club Career
      (Mar 1976-July 1985)
      294 League apps, 17 goals
  • Leicester City FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 17th August 1985 in a 3-1 win at home to Everton (Aged: 26)
    • Club Career
      108 League apps, 8 goals
  • Southampton FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 27th August 1988 in a 4-0 win at home to West Ham United (Aged: 29)
    • Club Career
      92 League apps (+4 as sub), 6 goals
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Russell OSMAN - Southampton FC - Biography of his Southampton football career.


Saints manager Chris Nicholl knew a thing or two about centre-halves, having been one himself and, in the summer of 1988, he rescued Russell Osman from playing 2nd Division football with Leicester City. The stylish central defender had won fame and England recognition under Bobby Robson at Ipswich and yet to turn 30, he still had plenty to offer in top-flight football. The fee of £325, 000 had to be settled by an independent tribunal as the clubs could not agree a price. He settled quickly, making his debut in the opening match of 1988-89, a 4-0 drubbing of West Ham and throughout that season partnered Kevin Moore and then Neil Ruddock in the heart of the defence. His steadying influence was of particular use to the latter who, although a fine defender, sometimes got carried away in the heat of the moment. The following season Russell continued in much the same vein but added another dimension to his play by becoming something of a goal scorer. He scored 4 in as many games at the beginning of 1990 including a couple of crackers at The Dell against Everton.


Saints eventually finished 7th and had, during the year, played some impressive football. With Shearer, Rod Wallace and Le Tissier in the forward line there were plenty of goals scored and some notable scalps taken including a memorable 4-1 defeat of Liverpool. Russell was ever reliable and again began the 90-91 campaign in possession of the no. 6 shirt with Moore and Ruddock disputing the right to be his partner. The season was not a patch on the previous one and although the club finished 8 points clear of relegation the Board decided to dispense with Nicholl's services. One of the manager's last actions had been to sanction the signing of Jon Gittens from Swindon and Russell had been displaced for the final run in. New manager, Ian Branfoot, initially picked him at left-back for the opening four games of 1991-92 but he was not happy playing there and with the signing of Steve Wood, not to mention the emergence of Richard Hall, Russell's days were numbered and he duly accepted a £60,000 transfer to Bristol City in the December. (Duncan Holley).


1976–1985    Ipswich Town    294    (17)
1985–1988    Leicester City    108    (8)
1988–1991    Southampton    96    (6)
1991–1994    Bristol City    70    (3)
1995             Sudbury Town        
1995             Plymouth Argyle    0    (0)
1995–1996    Brighton & Hove Albion    12    (0)

1996             Cardiff City    15    (0)

Total        595    (34 games)