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.

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week