Steve Daley is a former football midfielder. The most notorious incident in his career was his British record transfer to Manchester City in 1979, later described in a 2001 Observer article as “the biggest waste of money in football history”.
The son of footballer Alan Daley, Steve began his football career as an apprentice at Wolves, after arriving at the club via their feeder team Wath Wanderers based in Yorkshire. He signed professionally in 1971, and made his first team debut later that year on September 18, coming on as substitute in a 0-2 defeat at Newcastle United.
He won a League Cup winners medal with the club in 1974 and played in their run through to the 1972 UEFA Cup Final, scoring a vital goal in the semi final against Ferencváros inside the first minute. He was an ever-present in the 1976-77 season, scoring 13 goals, and a further 8 the following season saw him receive an England ´B´ call up. He played 6 times for the ´B´ side during 1978, scoring twice.
In September 1979, Steve was transferred to Manchester City for a fee of £1,437,500, a British record. He struggled at Maine Road, and gained a reputation as a big-money misfit. Twenty months later, he was transferred to the Seattle Sounders of the NASL for £300,000, little more than a fifth of his original transfer cost. He made the NASL All-Star second team in 1982 and 1983 before moving back to Britain.
He joined Burnley, but soon returned to North America to play for the San Diego Sockers. His professional playing career ended at Walsall in 1986, although he continued to turn out for non-league sides such as Lye Town and Kettering Town. Following his retirement from playing, Steve intended to become a coach, and briefly managed non-league Telford United and Bromsgrove Rovers
Now Steve works on the speakers circuit, and is very popular at sportsman’s evenings.
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