Former ‘Caps player Ray Lewington to be assistant manager for Euro 2012
Vancouver Whitecaps FC are pleased to share with fans that former Whitecaps FC midfielder Ray Lewington has been appointed as assistant manager to the English national football team for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship (EURO 2012) in Poland and Ukraine. Currently the first team coach of Fulham FC in the English Premier League, Lewington will join newly-appointed England manager Roy Hodgson for EURO 2012 before returning to The Cottagers in time for next season.
Lewington’s impressive resume as both a player and a manager includes being on the roster of the celebrated Vancouver Whitecaps side that won the 1979 North American Soccer League (NASL) Soccer Bowl championship. That year, Whitecaps FC famously defeated Tampa Bay Rowdies at Giants Stadium to claim the 1979 Soccer Bowl title before returning home to a parade of more than 100,000 exuberant fans. The committed midfielder was a key member of the famous squad, playing in all but two matches. He would receive the start in each of his 29 regular season and eight playoff appearances for Whitecaps FC during that championship season.
Vancouver have another reason to be thankful to Lewington, as the Englishman recognized the talents of current 'Caps captain Jay DeMerit. In 2004, DeMerit had been playing with seventh-tier English side Northwood when he managed to impress Lewington during a preseason friendly. Lewington was the manager of Watford FC at the time and felt that DeMerit did enough to earn a two-week trial with the club. Following the trial, the centre back signed a one-year contract with Watford and quickly became a regular starter for Lewington, helping the Hertfordshire club to the English League Cup semifinals that season.
In 2011, Lewington was inducted along with the other members of the legendary 1979 champion Whitecaps FC squad into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum under the category of ‘Team of Distinction’.