Bruce signs for Birmingham

Steve Bruce, the 35-year-old Manchester United defensive stalwart, yesterday joined First Division Birmingham City on a free transfer.

Bruce is the first major signing of Trevor Francis, who replaced Barry Fry as Birming- ham manager earlier this month. The possibility of a coaching role at St Andrew's has apparently tempted Bruce to chose the lower division side over another season with the Double winners.

"It will be a terrible wrench leaving United," Bruce said. "But at this stage of my career the offer from Trevor Francis is too good to turn down."

Bruce, who made his United debut in 1987, helped guide the club to three championships in four seasons. However, he was left out of the squad for the FA Cup final victory over Liverpool. Alex Ferguson, the United manager, said: "We have had to concur with Steve's wishes. That is the very least we owe him. It gives him the chance to extend his career and it is a marvellous challenge for him."

United, meanwhile, have been seeded for next season's expanded European Champions' League but Rangers, the Scottish title holders, will have to qualify for the 24-club competition.

The assertion of Frank Clark, the Nottingham Forest manager, that Jason Lee's career had taken a downward spiral because of derision meted out by BBC 2's Fantasy Football League was itself roundly ridiculed.

The 25-year-old forward, whose distinctive dreadlocks and poor form have been a continuing source of amusement for the programme's hosts, Frank Skinner and David Baddiel, has been transfer-listed.

But Clark's claim that the pounds 200,000 signing from Southend has been victimised was roundly dismissed in a statement issued by the comedians' agents.

"Frank Clark is wrong to blame us for Jason Lee's decline," it read. "He bought the player in the first place and now is deciding to sell him. It is obviously convenient to blame us."

Kenny Jackett has become the Watford manager in a reshuffle at Vicarage Road that sees Graham Taylor, the former England manager who returned to the club last season, elevated to general manager.

Jackett, who made more than 400 appearances for Watford before a knee injury cut short his career six years ago, yesterday appointed Luther Blissett as his No 2. Last season the former team-mates shared the first team, reserves and youth coaching duties as the club were relegated from the First Division.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower