Lawrie McMenemy started his footballing career with Newcastle United before moving to non-league Gateshead in the late 1950s. An injury ended his career in 1961, but he moved into coaching and spent three years as coach with the club.
In 1964 he was appointed manager of Bishop Auckland and transformed them from a struggling side into Northern League champions and also took them to the third round of the FA Cup.
Lawrie McMenemy moved to Sheffield Wednesday F.C. in 1966, where he spent two years as a coach before he got his big break as manager of Doncaster Rovers F.C. where he remained until May 1971. He became manager of Grimsby Town until July 1973, when he was approached by Southampton to fill the vacant assistant manager post, he later became manager.
In 1976, Lawrie McMenemy guided Southampton, to an FA Cup final victory overManchester United and in 1978, the Saints won promotion to the First Division.
Lawrie left Southampton in 1986 to join Sunderland A.F.C. as managing director. After 2 years he left the club for a break from football. He returned to the game in 1990 to become assistant manager to England boss Graham Taylor, managing the Under 21 side, and picking out the future talents like Darren Anderton and Steve McManaman.
In 1993 McMenemy returned to Southampton in a new position as Director of Football. In McMenemy’s first season back at Southampton, the Saints finished 10th in thePremiership. After a difference of opinions with the new Southampton chairman, Lawrie resigned and a year later in 1998 was appointed manager for the Northern Ireland team.