Best-known for his playing days at Manchester United and his time as Jack Charlton’s assistant manager with the Republic of Ireland, Honiton-born, Maurice Setters played for Exeter City as a teenager in the mid-1950s. Playing just ten times for the Grecians, he was only eighteen when he moved to West Bromwich Albion where he enjoyed considerable success before moving to Old Trafford. He also had good spells at Stoke City and Coventry City.
He started his career with Exeter City and quickly progressed via the reserves to make his first team debut against Southend United in March 1954 his only outing that season. He added a further nine league appearances in 1954-55.
He was transferred to West Bromwich Albion in January 1955 for a fee of £3,000, the Grecians stating that they didn’t want the player to go but it was of financial necessity. He went on to make 120 league appearances for West Bromwich Albion as well as playing 16 times for the England Under-23 side to add to his caps he won at schools and youth level. He was included in England's 1958 FIFA World Cup squad as a reserve player but did not travel to the tournament or play in any matches.
In January 1960 he left for Manchester United in a £30,000 transfer. As well as playing 159 league games for United (scoring 12 goals) he was also in the team that won the F.A. Cup in 1963. Signing for Stoke City in November 1964 for £30,000 he added a further 86 league outings before moving to Coventry City in a £25,000 deal where he played 86 league matches. Setters ended his Football League career with Charlton Athletic, signing for them in January 1970 and staying until the end of the season featuring in 8 league matches.
He became manager of Doncaster Rovers in May 1971 until November 1974. He left in unhappy circumstances and won a case for unfair dismissal. It was some time before Setters was involved in football again, when he became a coach at Sheffield Wednesday in November 1980. He was then appointed assistant manager and coach to Rotherham United in 1983 and a year later was working as chief scout to Newcastle United. Having worked with Jack Charlton at Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle, the pair of them became manager and assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland in 1986, and took them to the 1988 European Championships and the 1990 World Cup Finals.
Maurice Setters died in November 2020 aged 83 after spending his final years in a residential home in Doncaster.