PAUL Groves made his name as a player at Grimsby Town where he enjoyed two fruitful spells. He captained the club and later went on to manage them.
A central midfielder, Groves also played in the Football League for Leicester City, Lincoln City, Blackpool, West Bromwich Albion and Scunthorpe United.
His playing career, which included spells in non-league with Belper Town, Burton Albion, York City and Stafford Rangers, spanned 20 years between 1986 and 2006.
Born in Derby, Groves joined Leicester for £12,000 in April 1988 and made 19 appearances for the Foxes before moving to Blackpool where he became a regular.
His first spell at Grimsby began in August 1992 when he was signed by manager Alan Buckley for £150,000. Groves established himself as one of the Mariners’ most consistent performers.
He reunited with Buckley at West Brom in 1996 before moving back to Grimsby after just one season at the Hawthorns.
In 1998, Groves skippered the Mariners to victory against Cherries in the final of the Auto Windscreens Shield at Wembley and also captained them to promotion in the same season.
Following Lennie Lawrence’s sacking in 2001, Groves was appointed player-manager at Grimsby. Sacked himself in 2004, he remained as a player until he moved to Scunthorpe in 2004.
Spells in non-league with York City and Stafford Rangers followed before Groves joined the coaching staff at Portsmouth in July 2006.
Appointed caretaker manager at Pompey in November 2009, Groves then worked under Avram Grant at Fratton Park. He also served Harry Redknapp, Tony Adams and Paul Hart while with the club.
In July 2010, Groves joined West Ham as senior coach, again working under Grant, before parting company with the Hammers just a year later following their relegation from the Premier League.
His next port of call was Dean Court when he was appointed youth team manager in July 2011. And following Lee Bradbury’s exit as manager in March 2012, Groves took over on a caretaker basis.
He took charge of eight league games last season, winning two and drawing four, before he was appointed on a permanent basis in May.
Groves’s tenure came to an end following just 12 matches in the hot-seat – one of the briefest spells in the club’s history.
He presided over a solitary league win – at Yeovil last month – and was relieved of his duties following three successive defeats.
Pressure had mounted on Groves following last night’s 3-1 defeat at Crawley Town.
In his post-match interview, Groves vowed not to quit. But those words proved his last as Cherries manager.