On 9 March 1994, the national team lost against Norway at Ninian Park and started and finished John Toshack’s first period in charge as Wales manager.
Although Wales came within the width of the crossbar of qualifying for the World Cup in November 1993, the Football Association of Wales decided to end Terry Yorath’s five-year term as manager and start the journey to Euro 96 – to be held over the border in England – with a clean slate.
At the end of January 1994, John Toshack was appointed new Wales manager, taking the job part-time as he was in his second spell as manager of Real Sociedad in Donostia at the time.
Toshack’s managerial reputation was impressive as he had led Real Madrid to the Championship, scoring 107 goals in La Liga – a record that still stands – less than four years previously.
However, Wales’s performance was disappointing and the final score 1-3 to Norway, with Chris Coleman’s last minute goal not much of a consolation.
Toshack resigned following the result.
After the match Toshack suggested that he hadn’t expected to hear the crowd chanting Terry Yorath’s name for long periods and reading between the lines, it didn’t sound like he wanted to be caught in the middle of a battle between the fans and the FAW.
Toshack hadn’t managed a team in his homeland since leaving Swansea a decade earlier in 1984 and following his resignation after the game against Norway, Toshack would not return to manage in Wales for another decade, when he was appointed manager for the second time in November 2004.
Jason Perry won his only cap for Wales in the game on this day in 1994 and Toshack gave Nathan Blake, who was with Sheffield United at the time, the first of his 29 caps.
By Wales’s next game a month later, the team’s third manager in as little as 6 months had been appointed – Mike Smith, in his second spell in charge.
09/03/1994: Wales 1-3 Norway
Neville Southall, Jason Perry, Andy Melville, Eric Young, Chris Coleman, David Phillips, Barry Horne, Nathan Blake (Mark Pembridge 59′), Ian Rush, Mark Hughes (Ceri Hughes 46′), Gary Speed (Dean Saunders 59′)