After Sam Allardyce left Bolton Wanderers in 2007, second-in-command Sammy Lee took over the managerial reins. Little Sam's stay at the helm of the Trotters was very short. The new manager was sacked after 11 games, having picked up only one win in that span. After leaving Bolton, Sammy Lee made a return to Liverpool as an assistant to Rafa Benitez and the scene of his best playing days, having spent nine years at Anfield as a professional. In 2011, Lee left the red part of Merseyside with his contract cancelled by mutual consent and returned to Bolton, this time heading up the club's development squad.
Bury's Gigg Lane Stadium is just ten miles and a division away from the Reebok Stadium with the Shakers plying their trade in League One. Their former manager, Alan Knill, along with assistant Chris Brass, left Gigg Lane in March of 2011 to take over Scunthorpe, leaving youth team manager Richie Barker to take over the club on a caretaker basis. Barker was eventually handed the full time job but would leave in summer of 2012 to manage Crawley Town. Caretaker manager Peter Shirtliff will not be Barker's permanent successor, having taken just three points from eight games.
The Shakers have confirmed that they have a five-man shortlist for the job with Sammy Lee, Phil Brown, Nigel Worthington, Sammy McIlroy, and Brian Laws in the running. Bury had stated that they want the new man in by the club's trip away to Stevenage.
Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, Phil Brown waxed lyrical about the position:
"I'm desperate to get back at some stage,"
"That can be in any division, with any football club talking the same sense as me that can be improved with the opportunity or chance to get promotion to take the club forward.
"If that were the case I'm interested in a club that is without a manager at the moment."
There have been a lot of calls from the fans lately to get Phil Brown in as an assistant to Owen Coyle. Brown has been without a club since leaving Preston North End in December of last year. Meanwhile, the Bolton Wanderers U-18 squad is fairing well under the tutelage of Sammy Lee, sitting pretty at the top of their group table with four wins and one draw from five games.