Ryan Thomas Lowe (born 18 September 1978) is an English football manager and former professional player, who is the current manager of League One club Plymouth Argyle. His playing career, as a striker, began at Burscough in 1999 and he became a Football League player with Shrewsbury Town the following year. He played for eight league clubs in all and had three spells at Bury. In the second half of the 2010–11 season, Lowe established a Bury club record by scoring a goal in each of nine consecutive league games.
Lowe playing for Tranmere Rovers in 2013
|Full name||Ryan Thomas Lowe|
|Date of birth||18 September 1978|
|Place of birth||Liverpool, England|
|Height||5 ft 9.5 in (1.77 m)|
|Plymouth Argyle (manager)|
|2008||→ Stockport County (loan)||4||(0)|
|2012–2013||Milton Keynes Dons||42||(11)|
|2015–2016||→ Crewe Alexandra (loan)||6||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Lowe ended his playing career at Bury who had signed him again in January 2017, this time as player-coach. He became caretaker-manager twice in 2017–18 after first Lee Clark and then Chris Lucketti were sacked. Lowe retired from playing in March 2018 during his second caretaker appointment. In May 2018, despite their relegation to League Two, Bury offered Lowe the position of full-time manager on a two-year contract to the end of the 2019–20 season. After guiding the club to promotion back to League One, he left Bury on 5 June 2019 to take over at newly relegated Plymouth Argyle, managing them to an immediate return to League One.
Born in Liverpool, Merseyside, Lowe played for Liverpool's youth team between 12 and 13, before breaking his ankle. He returned to the team aged 15 before again leaving the club. While at Liverpool, he formed a friendship with Steven Gerrard.
After Liverpool, Lowe played with Southport's youth team and non–league Liverpool teams Sandon Dock and Waterlook Dock before joining Burscough. He moved into the Football League with Shrewsbury Town in time for 2000–01.
Shrewsbury Town and Chester City
After almost five years with the Shrews (which included a season in the Football Conference), Lowe switched to Football League Two side Chester City on 22 March 2005. He spent a year at Chester, which included scoring twice in a shock FA Cup 3–0 win over Nottingham Forest on 3 December 2005 before leaving the club by mutual consent shortly after the return of manager Mark Wright.
Lowe joined Football League One side Crewe Alexandra in time for 2006–07 season. He enjoyed a successful debut for the Railwaymen, scoring the opening goal; assisting David Vaughan's goal and earning the man of the match in Crewe's 2–2 draw with Northampton Town on 5 August 2006. Lowe continued his form over the first few games of the season, scoring a further two goals in late August. However, the arrival of Rodney Jack to the club saw him lose his starting place for much of September. He returned to the starting line up on 30 September 2006 against Carlisle United. Lowe scored his only hat-trick for Crewe as they ran out 5–1 winners at the Alexandra Stadium.
After spells in and out of the Crewe side, Lowe joined Stockport County on loan on 27 March 2008. His transfer was not made permanent and he was not included in the side which clinched promotion in the play-off final against Rochdale at Wembley Stadium.
Return to Chester City
On 2 July 2008, Lowe returned to Chester on a two-year deal, becoming the club's fifth summer signing after Anthony Barry, Jay Harris, David Mannix and Paul Taylor. Lowe scored twice including a penalty, in his first home game back for Chester against Leeds United in a 5–2 loss in the League Cup on 12 August 2008 and repeated the feat in a 5–1 thrashing of Barnet later in the month.
Lowe went on to comfortably finish as Chester's leading scorer with 18 goals (16 in the league), in a season which ended with the side suffering relegation from Football League Two. He received the club's player of the season award before the final match of the campaign against Darlington. The following week it was announced Lowe had left Chester by mutual agreement, with several Football League clubs interested in signing him.
On 10 June 2009, Bury confirmed the signing of Lowe on free transfer Lowe scored his first goal for Bury on 18 August 2009 away at Hereford United in a 3–1 win. Also, Lowe scored in Bury's 1–0 victory over rivals Rochdale, in the fixture at Gigg Lane. He scored his 100th league goal on 9 October 2010, bagging a brace against local rivals Accrington Stanley.
At the beginning of the 2010–11 season, he was named vice-captain by Alan Knill. On 1 March 2011, Lowe broke a 53-year-old club record by scoring in eight consecutive league games in a 3–0 victory over Shrewsbury Town at the Greenhous Meadow. After a goal in the following 3–0 victory over Hereford on 5 March he extended the record to nine games. On 25 April he scored Bury's third in a 3–2 win over league leaders Chesterfield in the 87th minute, promoting his side to League One.
On 31 August 2011, Lowe joined Bury's fellow League One team Sheffield Wednesday for an undisclosed six figure fee.
Milton Keynes Dons and Tranmere Rovers
On 1 August 2012, Lowe signed for League One side Milton Keynes Dons for an undisclosed fee and was signed on a two-year deal after limited chances at Hillsborough. On 21 June 2013, Lowe agreed to cancel his Milton Keynes Dons contract and agreed to join Tranmere Rovers on a free transfer with a two-year deal.
Second contract with Bury
Return to Crewe Alexandra
On 23 November 2015 Lowe rejoined his former club Crewe Alexandra on loan until 5 January 2016, and in his first appearance scored a stoppage time winner at Colchester United. He signed a new full contract with Crewe in May 2016, and on 6 August made his third scoring Crewe debut with the first goal in a 2–1 win at Stevenage. Three days later, Lowe scored both Crewe goals in a 2–1 League Cup tie win at Sheffield United.
Player-coach at Bury
In January 2017, Lowe returned to Bury in a player-coach role. Following the sacking of manager Lee Clark in October 2017, Lowe was appointed caretaker-manager, taking charge for Bury's FA Cup first-round tie at National League side Woking. He remained in charge for six games (two wins, two draws, two defeats) until 22 November when Chris Lucketti was appointed Clark's successor, with Lowe becoming player-coach again. In January 2018, after Lucketti was sacked, Lowe was again appointed caretaker-manager, this time until the end of the season, with Ryan Kidd as his assistant. He decided to end his playing career to concentrate on management and coaching. His last match as a player was for Bury against Bristol Rovers on Friday, 30 March 2018 in League One.
In May 2018, Lowe was appointed full-time manager of Bury on a two-year contract. Bury had just been relegated and, to "sort out the mess of the previous season" and prepare for the 2018–19 season in EFL League Two, Lowe was very busy in the transfer market with eleven players being transferred out or released, and another eleven being transferred in, all of them on free transfers. He said that players who did not fulfil their potential had to go and be replaced by players with some passion who "could get bums off seats at Gigg Lane".
After a shaky start to the season in which the new team found its feet, Bury had reached fourth place in the table when they travelled to promotion rivals Mansfield Town on Boxing Day. They lost that match and dropped to sixth place but then began an unbeaten run which firmly established them in the top three. In addition, Lowe led them to the semi-final stage of the EFL Trophy, Bury's best-ever showing in this tournament, before they were defeated by League One Portsmouth. In recognition of his success in turning the team around, Lowe was three times awarded the EFL League Two Manager of the Month award – in November 2018, January 2019 and February 2019.
On 5 June 2019, Lowe was announced as manager of Plymouth Argyle, guiding them to a third-place finish and an immediate return to League One in a season interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom.
Style of management
Lowe's managerial style has been influenced by Jürgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Rafa Benítez and Lowe's long-time friend Steven Gerrard, among others. He is attack-minded, and Bury in 2018-19 were one of the Football League's highest-scoring teams; their style, described as "gung-ho", soon brought success as the club finished second in League Two and earned promotion back to League One. Lowe explained in an interview with The Guardian that he wanted to instil a "winning philosophy" and that, by outscoring their opponents, Bury would have a greater chance of achieving that goal. The on-field strategy is effectively a 3-1-4-2 formation.
|Club||Season||Division||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Shrewsbury Town||2000–01||Third Division||30||4||0||0||2||0||1||0||33||4|
|Chester City||2004–05||League Two||8||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||8||4|
|Crewe Alexandra||2006–07||League One||37||8||0||0||2||1||5||3||44||12|
|Stockport County (loan)||2007–08||League Two||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||0|
|Chester City||2008–09||League Two||45||16||1||0||1||2||1||0||48||18|
|Sheffield Wednesday||2011–12||League One||26||8||4||1||0||0||0||0||30||9|
|Milton Keynes Dons||2012–13||League One||42||11||6||1||3||0||0||0||51||12|
|Tranmere Rovers||2013–14||League One||45||19||2||1||2||0||1||0||50||20|
|Crewe Alexandra (loan)||2015–16||League One||6||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||2|
|Crewe Alexandra||2016–17||League Two||22||5||2||0||2||2||2||1||28||8|
- Includes appearances in the Football League Trophy.
|Bury (caretaker)||30 October 2017||22 November 2017||6||2||2||2||33.33|
|Bury||15 January 2018||5 June 2019||75||32||21||22||42.67|
|Plymouth Argyle||5 June 2019||present||100||42||21||37||42.00|
- Player of the Season: 2008–09
- PFA League Two Fans' Player of the Year 2010–11
- League One Player of the Month: August 2011, November 2013
- League Two Player of the Month: January 2010, September 2010, February 2011, April 2011
- EFL League Two Manager of the Month: November 2018, January 2019, February 2019
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 258. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
- "Ryan Lowe - FIFA 06 - Player Stats".
- "Bury's Ryan Lowe: "Jürgen Klopp complimented me on my style and system"". The Guardian. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
- "Scouse in the House: Sheffield Wednesday's Ryan Lowe explains his footballing journey". Liverpool Echo. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- "Lowe signs for City". chester-city.co.uk. 22 March 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
- "Vote for Ryan". chester-city.co.uk. 5 December 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
- "Ryan Lowe departs City". chester-city.co.uk. 31 March 2006. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
- "Striker signs". Stockport County F.C. 27 March 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2011.[permanent dead link]
- "Blues complete midfielder swoop". TEAMtalk.com. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008.[permanent dead link]
- "Chester City 1 Darlington 2". Chester Chronicle. 2 May 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2009.
- "Lowe let go by Chester". Liverpool Daily Post. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
- "Lowe signed by Bury". Bury F.C. 10 July 2009. Archived from the original on 23 July 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
- "Chesterfield 2–3 Bury". BBC Sport. 25 April 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- Sheffield Wednesday sign Ryan Lowe on two year deal, 31 August 2011, news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- Ryan Lowe: MK Dons cancel homesick striker's contract, 21 June 2013, news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
- Striker Ryan Lowe has agreed to join Tranmere Rovers on a two–year contract, 21 June 2013 Twitter.com. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
- "Bury re-sign Tranmere Rovers veteran striker". BBC Sport. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
- "Colchester 2–3 Crewe". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- "Ryan Lowe: Crewe Alexandra sign Bury striker for a third time". BBC Sport. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- "Match Report: Stevenage 1-2 Crewe Alexandra". BBC Sport. 6 August 2016.
- "Sheffield Utd 1-2 Crewe Alexandra". BBC Sport. BBC. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- Morse, Peter (24 January 2017). "Crewe Alex target new signings to ease Lowe blow". Crewe Chronicle. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- Nelson, Craig (31 October 2017). "Ryan Lowe appointed Bury caretaker manager ahead of Sunday's FA Cup tie at Woking". Bury Times. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
- "Chris Lucketti: Bury appoint Scunthorpe United assistant as new manager". BBC Sport. BBC. 22 November 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
- "Chris Lucketti: Bury manager sacked after two months in charge". BBC Sport. BBC. 15 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- Bonnar, Neil (10 May 2018). "Ryan Lowe appointed permanent manager of Bury Football Club on two-year contract". Bury Times. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
- "Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month: November winner". 7 December 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
- "Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month: January winner". 8 February 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
- "Sky Bet League Two: February Manager of the Month winner". 8 March 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
- "Ryan Lowe: Plymouth Argyle appoint Bury manager as new boss". BBC Sport. BBC. 5 June 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
- "League One & League Two clubs vote to end seasons early". BBC Sport. 9 June 2020. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
- "Tables - League Two - England - Results, fixtures, tables and news - Soccerway".
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2000/2001". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Games played by Ryan Lowe in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- "Managers – Ryan Lowe". SoccerBase. CenturyComm. Retrieved 20 March 2019.