Edwin Charles May was an English football player and manager. He was the coach for Highlanders Football Club from 2001 to 2002 when they won the league title in both years in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League. He also coached Black Rhinos Football Club and the now defunct Amazulu Football Club.
Eddie May was born on 19 May 1943 and died on 14 April 2012. May was born in Epping, and played for Dagenham, Southend United, Wrexham and Swansea City.
May's first League employers were Southend United, whom he joined from Dagenham in January 1965, making his debut for the Third Division Shrimpers that spring as a left-back. Soon, though, the muscular six-footer found his natural position as a dominant centre-half, majestic in the air, powerful and unfailingly courageous, but his fine personal form could not prevent the Roots Hall side from sinking to the bottom division in the spring of 1966. He went on to make 100 league appearances, scoring 3 times for the Shrimpers, before moving to Wrexham in June 1968 for a fee of £5,000.
In June 1968 May was sold to Fourth Division rivals Wrexham for £5,000 and he settled rapidly at the Racecourse Ground, playing an influential role as the Robins were promoted in 1970 as runners-up to Chesterfield. Thereafter he became captain, leading John Neal's enterprising side to Welsh Cup success in 1972 and in two other rousing knockout campaigns. In 1973-74 Wrexham reached the last eight of the FA Cup, beating the soon-to-be-crowned Second Division champions Middlesbrough and top-flight Southampton before bowing 1-0 to Burnley, then among the top six clubs in the country.
Then in 1975-76 May was an inspirational part of the side which made it to the quarter-finals of the European Cup- Winners' Cup, where they went down 2-1 on aggregate to the illustrious Belgians, Anderlecht. The following August, aged 33 and having missed only 34 League games in his eight seasons in North Wales, he was freed to join Fourth Division Swansea City having spent the 1975 summer with NASL side Chicago Sting. During his Swans career he scored 8 times in 90 games and was a member of the 1978 promotion winning squad. May retired from the game shortly after.
In recent years, May was inducted into The Wrexham FC Hall of Fame.
May loved the game far too much to leave it and later in 1978 became a coach at Leicester City, contributing to the Foxes' Second Division title campaign of 1979-80 under Jock Wallace. During his time at Filbert Street May played a pivotal part in the progression of striker Gary Lineker having initially taken him under his wing as youth team manager. He then moved to South London and became assistant manager to Lennie Lawrence at Charlton Athletic between 1983 and 1986, the year in which the Addicks were second division runners up. Next came coaching berths in Qatar, Kenya and Iceland, a month in charge of cash-strapped Newport County in the wake of their 1988 demotion from the Football League, a spell as No.2 with Lincoln City and more coaching in Norway before he accepted the reins of Cardiff City in the summer of 1991 following a stint helping the club's youngsters. May was voted the most popular Cardiff City manager of all time.
There after came brief stints in charge of Torquay United, Dundalk in the Republic of Ireland and Brentford, followed by coaching assignments around the world, including jobs in Finland, Zimbabwe (where he led the Highlanders club to two league championships), South Africa, Uganda and Malawi.
- 1992-93 Division Three title and Welsh Cup double winner (Coaching Cardiff City)
- Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League winner x2 (2001 and 2002 coaching Highlanders Football Club).
May died at the age of 68 at his home in Barry, South Wales on April 2012. His ashes are scattered at the memorial garden at The Cardiff City Stadium and a Memorial Plaque hangs on the Ninian Park Gates in his honour.
- , Wales Online, Published: 14 April, 2012, Accessed: 6 May, 2020