Middlesbrough hero temporarily stepping away from manager role due to ‘serious illness’

Tony Mowbray will miss Middlesbrough’s upcoming trip to St Andrew’s

Tony Mowbray will be taking a break from his role as Birmingham City manager while he receives treatment for what has been described as a ‘serious illness’.

In a statement from the club on Monday morning, it was confirmed that the Middlesbrough hero will have to step back from his duties for six to eight weeks, in a shock announcement for the Championship club. He will therefore be absent when Boro visit St Andrew’s in a fortnight.

Mowbray took the reins at the Midlands club at the start of January after the club ended the tumultuous period of Wayne Rooney’s management. Mogga guided the Blues to four wins from his eight games in charge so far, most recently beating former club Sunderland 2-1 on Saturday. He is said to have told his players and staff on Monday morning in a private meeting before the club statement.

Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray


In the statement, Mowbray says: “Following my recent LMA Health Assessment I have received a medical diagnosis that will require me to receive treatment. Undergoing treatment will necessitate that I temporarily step away from the technical area as manager of Birmingham City Football Club.

“Until I return, my Assistant Manager, Mark Venus, will take temporary charge of the team, supported by coaches Ashley Cole, Pete Shuttleworth and Maik Taylor. I will continue to provide advice and counsel while undergoing treatment. The club has been incredibly supportive of me and my family and we are very grateful. I know that everyone will be respectful of our privacy at this time.”

Birmingham City chief executive officer Garry Cook, said: “Our thoughts are with Tony, his wife Amber, and family. We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming Tony back to the club to continue the excellent work that he has started.”

In his absence, including for the Boro game on March 6, Birmingham will be led by Mowbray’s long-term assistant Mark Venus. The Hartlepool-born coach served as his assistant at Boro and then took interim charge after his departure, with Steve Gibson saying at the time he was among the list of candidates to get the job permanently before Aitor Karanka’s appointment.

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