Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince was signed by Roy Evans from Inter Milan in 1997 and was immediately installed as the new captain.
Ince played his first game for West Ham in his late-teens and after 93 appearances and 12 goals for The Hammers, he thought it would be time to move up a notch and joined Manchester United. Atfer trophy-laden years at Old Trafford he moved to Inter Milan in 1995 in a 7 million pounds move. He made quite a name for himself in his two years in Italy. Manchester United had first option on him if he ever decided to come back to England but Alex Ferguson waived his rights to sign the self-called "Guv'nor" and Roy Evans was one happy chappy when he secured his services.
His new captain was finally in place ready to take over the reigns from John Barnes and Ince's arrival was seen by many as the answer to providing the steel in midfield which hadn't been replaced since the departure of Steve McMahon.
Paul's two years at Anfield can probably be considered as neither success nor failure. He had the experience and determination to do well but that was not enough to see his new employers win any silverware.
Ince's relationship with new manager Gerard Houllier turned sour and he left for Middlesbrough in 1999. He also played league football for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Swindon Town (where he was player-coach) and Macclesfield Town, the latter also being the club that gave him his first step on the managerial ladder.
In June, 2007 Paul Ince was appointed manager of the rapidly-improving Milton Keynes Dons and under his leadership the Dons won the League Two championship as well as the Football League trophy at Wembley. There was much speculation in the media that bigger clubs than Milton Keynes were interested in acquiring his services; and on the 22nd of June, 2008 it was announced that he had been appointed manager of Premier League Blackburn Rovers. It was possibly the right club but at the wrong time. He lasted less than six months before being dismissed a few days before Christmas following a run of bad results.
Ince always fought hard as a player and despite the unhappy period at Ewood Park it probably won't be long before another club offers him an apportunity to resume his managerial career.
Ultimately, it wasn't 'another club' that came looking for Ince; it was 'the same club' ... Milton Keynes Dons. Their manager Roberto di Matteo had been lured away by West Bromwich Albion after Tony Mowbray's move from the West Midlands to Glasgow Celtic. So on the 3rd of July 2009 Dons Chairman Peter Winkelman welcomed Ince back to Milton Keynes so that he could complete the "unfinished business" he had left when leaving for his unsuccessful spell at Blackburn. Ince had taken the Dons to the League Two title and a winning day out at Wembley for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final in 2007.
Winkelman's desire that Paul Ince should "build on the momentum he helped create" was very admirable even though it was only a few months after Ince had shown himself incapable of successfully managing a club in a division that was two rungs higher than the place Milton Keynes Dons were currently in (League One).
Other Clubs: West Ham, Man Utd, Inter Milan, Middlesbrough, Wolves, Swindon Town, Macclesfield Town