Walsall Player 176. Ally Brown


Alistair “Ally” Brown (born 12 April 1951) is a Scottish former football player who played as a striker. He made 496 league appearances over an eighteen-year career in the Football League, scoring 141 goals.

Ally WBA v Valencia 78
He began his career at Leicester City, and helped to fire the “Foxes” to promotion out of the Second Division in 1970–71. He then helped the club to win the 1971 Charity Shield, before he moved on to West Bromwich Albion. He helped the “Baggies” to win promotion out of the Second Division in 1975–76, before helping the club to qualify for European football. He spent some time in 1981 playing in America for the Portland Timbers. In 1983 he moved to Walsall via Crystal Palace. He signed with Port Vale in July 1984, and helped the “Valiants” to win promotion out of the Fourth Division in 1985–86, before he retired in May 1986. A quality finisher, he was the top-scorer over the course of at least one season at Leicester, West Brom, Walsall, and Port Vale. He later worked as a pub landlord and warehouseman in the Midlands.
Brown started his career at Leicester City, who were relegated out of the First Division in 1968–69. They finished third in the Second Division in 1969–70, two points shy of promotion. Brown finished as the club’s top scorer in 1970–71 with 17 goals, as Leicester claimed promotion as the division’s champions under Frank O’Farrell’s stewardship. He played in the 1971 FA Charity Shield victory over Liverpool at Filbert Street. He was the club’s top scorer again in 1971–72 under Jimmy Bloomfield, scoring seven goals, including one against rivals Nottingham Forest. He made 121 appearances for the “Foxes” in all competitions, scoring 35 goals. He then left Filbert Street for West Bromwich Albion.
West Brom suffered relegation out of the First Division under Don Howe in 1972–73, finishing four points short of safety. They finished five places and five points off the promotion places in 1973–74, before finishing three places and eight points short of promotion in 1974–75. Johnny Giles was then appointed as manager at The Hawthorns in July 1975, and Brown finished as the club’s top scorer in 1975–76 with ten goals, as Albion secured the third and final promotion place by a one point margin. They then finished seventh in 1976–77. Despite a managerial merry-go-round that saw Ronnie Allen replaced by John Wile and then Ron Atkinson, Albion managed to secure European football with a sixth place finish in 1977–78. Brown scored 18 goals in 41 appearances in 1978–79, playing up front with Laurie Cunningham and Cyrille Regis, as the “Baggies” posted a third place finish, some nine points behind champions Liverpool. They dropped to 10th in 1979–80, before shooting back up fourth in 1980–81, eight points behind champions Aston Villa. Brown played for Portland Timbers on loan in 1981, scoring nine goals and bagging six assists in 24 NASL appearances for Vic Crowe’s side. However Atkinson left West Brom in 1981, along with Bryan Robson and Remi Moses, and Ronnie Allen could only take the club to two points above the drop zone in 1981–82. New boss Ron Wylie took the club back up to 11th in 1982–83, the last of Brown’s ten seasons at the club. He made a total of 279 league appearances for the “Baggies”, scoring 72 goals.
Brown played for Second Division Crystal Palace in 1983, before moving on to Alan Buckley’s Walsall in the Third Division. He finished as the club’s top scorer in 1983–84 with 15 goals, his only season at Fellows Park. In July 1984 he joined Port Vale, then in the Fourth Division under John Rudge’s stewardship, making his debut in a 1–0 defeat to Mansfield Town at Vale Park on 25 August 1984. With 21 goals in 49 games in the 1984–85 season he became the club’s top scorer, forming a deadly midfield pairing with Robbie Earle However the next season he struggled with injuries and retired from the game in May 1986, at the age of 35. His six goals in 33 games did though help the secure the “Valiants” the fourth automatic promotion place.

 

SENIOR CAREER
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
1968–1971 Leicester City 101 (32)
1971–1983 West Bromwich Albion 279 (72)
1981  Portland Timbers (loan) 24 (9)
1983 Crystal Palace 11 (2)
1983–1984 Walsall 38 (13)
1984–1986 Port Vale 67 (22)
TOTAL 520 (150)

Walsall Player 175. Des Bremner


Desmond George Bremner (born 7 September 1952) is a Scottish former professional football midfielder. He made more than 600 league appearances for clubs in both Scotland and England, was a member of Aston Villa’s European Cup-winning team of 1982, and was capped for the Scotland national team.
Born in Aberchirder, Banffshire, Bremner began his football career with Banff-based Highland League club Deveronvale before joining Hibernian in 1971, turning professional in November 1972. He made his only appearance for Scotland while with Hibs in March 1976, coming on as a substitute for Kenny Dalglish in the game against Switzerland.
He moved to Aston Villa in 1979 for a fee of £275,000 and quickly settled as a regular in the side. In his second season with the club he was an ever-present as they took the Football League title, their first for 71 years. The following season Bremner was a member of Villa’s European Cup-winning side.
He left the club in September 1984, rejoining his former Villa manager Ron Saunders, who by then was managing local rivals Birmingham City. He helped Birmingham to promotion back to the First Division, relegation back to the Second Division the following season, and a further relegation to the Third Division before moving to Fulham on a free transfer in August 1989. He joined Walsall in March 1990 on non-contract terms and subsequently played for Stafford Rangers before retiring in 1991.
After retiring as a player he worked for the Professional Footballers’ Association, subsequently becoming the managing director of the financial division of the organisation.
His brother Kevin was also a professional footballer.

DesAV

YOUTH CAREER
Deveronvale
1971–1972 Hibernian
SENIOR CAREER
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
1972–1979 Hibernian 199 (18)
1979–1984 Aston Villa 174 (9)
1984–1989 Birmingham City 168 (5)
1989–1990 Fulham 16 (0)
1990 Walsall 6 (0)
1990–1992 Stafford Rangers 40 (0)
1994 Sutton Town  ?  ?
NATIONAL TEAM
1974–1976 Scotland U23 9 (2)
1976 Scottish League XI 1 (0)
1976 Scotland 1 (0)

Walsall Player 174. David Bevan


David Bevan (born June 24, 1989) is an Irish footballer who plays for Rushden & Dimonds as a goalkeeper. He began his career with Aston Villa in the Premier League, but left for League One side Walsall without making a first-team appearance at Villa Park. After a single season at Walsall, he dropped to non-league football. Bevan has also represented the Republic of Ireland at various youth levels.
Born in Cork, Ireland, Bevan joined English football at the start of the 2004–2005 season when he joined Aston Villa’s academy from the Irish club College Corinthians. He joined up with Hull City on loan for part of the 2006–07 season, making a few youth team appearances for the club. After returning to Villa, Bevan found first and reserve team chances limited and was sent out on an initial month’s loan to Conference North side Tamworth, on September 23, 2008 to gain some experience.
Bevan made his debut for the Lambs on September 27, 2008 in the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round tie away at Worcester City, which ended in a 1–0 away win at St. George’s Lane. The loan was eventually extended for an extra month. He made twelve first team appearances in all competitions during his loan spell, this included getting a red card in the FA Cup tie with Barrow. His final appearance for Tamworth came in the league in the 1–2 defeat to Alfreton Town at The Lamb Ground on December 9.
At the start of the 2009–10 season he was sent out on loan again this time to Conference North side Ilkeston Town. His debut came on August 8 in the league away at Droylsden, where the Robins lost 2–0 at the Butcher’s Arms Ground. His final appearance for Ilkeston came in the league tie with Corby Town on August 19, which ended 2–2 at Rockingham Triangle.
His final loan spell away from Villa Park came when he joined Conference North side Solihull Moors on a month’s loan on December 4, 2009. He made his debut for the Moors against Southport in a 3–0 away defeat at Haig Avenue.
His stay at Villa came to an end in the summer of 2010 when his contract expired and he was released. He was offered a contract by League One side Walsall, and completed the deal on July 14, 2010. He was persuaded to sign from the recently departed Saddler and Republic of Ireland U19 team mate and goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin. He made his debut for the Saddlers on 8 January 2011 in the league clash away at Tranmere Rovers, which ended in a 3–3 draw at Prenton Park. Over the course of the remainder of the season, Bevan made three more appearances for Walsall, but in spite of the fact that he had overtaken rival Jonny Brain in the goalkeeping pecking order, he was released at the end of the campaign by Saddlers manager Dean Smith.
Following his release from Walsall, Bevan joined up with Daventry Town, managed by former Aston Villa player Mark Kinsella. He remained there for three months, covering for regular Daventry goalkeeper Joe Mellings who was out with an injury. He moved on to Evesham United in November 2011, playing three games in total for the club. He soon moved on to play for Hinckley United, joining up with former Aston Villa team-mate Calum Flanagan. He moved on once again in December, signing with Sutton Coldfield Town of the Northern Premier League Division One South on loan. He was dual-registered, allowing him to play for both Sutton Coldfield Town and Hinckley United. In January 2012, Bevan signed for Rugby Town. He made 55 league appearances for Rugby before moving on to Boldmere St. Michaels ahead of the 2013–14 season. He then signed for Rushden and Diamonds for 2014-15 season. No further deatils.

Davidbevan WFC

CLUB INFORMATION
CURRENT TEAM
Boldmere St. Michaels
YOUTH CAREER
College Corinthians
2004–2008 Aston Villa
2006  Hull City (loan)
SENIOR CAREER
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2010 Aston Villa 0 (0)
2008  Tamworth (loan) 7 (0)
2009  Ilkeston Town (loan) 4 (0)
2009  Bedworth United (loan) 8 (0)
2009–2010  Solihull Moors (loan) 2 (0)
2010–2011 Walsall 4 (0)
2011 Daventry Town 12 (0)
2011 Evesham United 3 (0)
2011–2012 Hinckley United 2 (0)
2011–2012  Sutton Coldfield Town (loan) ? (?)
2012–2013 Rugby Town 57 (0)
2013–2014

2014-

Boldmere St. Michaels

Rushden & Diamonds

?

?

(?)

(?)

Walsall player 173. Tom Bennett


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No pictures available.
Thomas McNeill “Tom” Bennett (born 12 December 1969 in Bo’ness, near Falkirk) is a Scottish former footballer.
Bennett joined Aston Villa on schoolboy forms aged 14, and was given a professional contract in 1987. However, he remained on their books as a senior pro for just one season before being released without making a first team appearance in July 1988. He joined fellow Midlanders Wolverhampton Wanderers the following day and made his league debut on 10 January 1989 as a substitute in a 2-0 win against Cardiff. He made the vast majority of his Wolves appearances between 1990-1992 (in the second tier), and from then onward made only sporadic first team outings. He was eventually sold in June 1995 to Stockport County for £75,000. At Edgeley Park, he quickly became a first choice player and was part of the team that won promotion from the Second Division in 1996/97, a season which also saw them reach the League Cup semi-finals. Here, he played in his preferred midfield role rather than the full-back position he had usually occupied with his previous club. His career at County was interrupted by a broken leg sustained at Birmingham in January 1998. This injury ended his status as an automatic choice and he made just 17 further appearances for the club over the following two seasons. After 146 appearances in total, he left Stockport for Walsall in July 2000, after previously having had two loan spells with them. He became their captain and helped them gain promotion to the First Division via the play-offs in his first full season, beating Reading in the final. He was a virtual ever-present in their first season back in the second flight, but departed at its conclusion for Boston United.
He played in Boston’s inaugural season in the Football League, but left midway through their second season for fellow League Two side Kidderminster Harriers. However, Harriers were relegated from the league at the season’s end and Bennett returned to his native Scotland with Hamilton Academical. His return proved short-lived though as he managed just three games in all before injury called time on his playing career.
Since leaving football, he joined a rock band as vocalist in the Stockport-based “Fracture” Here is the information from Fratures page on the internet..

Fracture  were first formed by Rodger Wylde and Tom Bennett and their first official gig was on Friday 20th November 1998 in an attempt to raise money for Children in Need. Initially the duo were only going to ʻbuskʼ in the city of Manchester to raise some money for the charity but also, I seem to remember, it was a bit of ʻegoʼ trip to realise the pent up rock star dreams the pair always held!

As news spread of the musical event, plans changed and the line up grew. Music teacher and County fan, John Gerhity, came in on bass guitar, ex-player Brian Croft played drums alongside rhythm guitarist / singer Rodger and lead guitarist / singer Tom.

The concert was held in Countyʼs banqueting suite with 300 tickets being sold raising over £1,000 for the charity. A Dvd was made of the original Fracture gig and Tom has still yet to see the event. Rodger has the only copy of the evenings proceedings which may become available to purchase! It is very funy, interesting and, musically, surprising on some songs given the number of songs crammed in to only 4 weeks rehearsals!!

The name Fracture was chosen as the band name because of the fact that Tom had just recovered from a broken leg, so it seemed appropriate, short and catchy.

Over the next twelve years the Fracture line up changed a few times with the addition of club doctor, Steven Greenhough, coming in on bass guitar and is still a member to this day. At one point Pete Collins, a County fan, came in on lead guitar to free main lead singer Tom Bennett up from the constraints of guitar playing while singing.

The next few years saw turmoil in the ranks of Fracture, ex-County pro James Flood became the bands lead singer for a while, mainly because he could actually sing! But, after going AWOL before a gig, leaving the band ʻhigh and dryʼ on the night, Floody was quickly ʻbinnedʼ, never to return! Pete Collins left due to transportation problems – he couldʼnt carry his guitar on his motorbike! A similar fate to Floodyʼs ʻno showʼ awaited Brian Croft on drums but this ʻsackingʼ lead to an unbelievable capture in 2007 on drums of Keith Chadwick.

Keith was an original member of the 90ʼs Manchester Indie band Northern Uproar who had 3 top ten CDʼs and at one point toured with Oasis!

Fracture, in 2006, played a small gig in Rodgerʼs home town of Sheffield and Keith, who was affectionately know as ʻMooneyʼ after Keith Moon of The Who, was jokingly heard to say as the band had finished their sound check, ʻthe last gig I played in Sheffield was at the Area in front of 10,000 people! How times change!ʼ

Collinsʼ departure saw the enrollment to the band of a work colleague of the Docʼs who could play lead guitar Dave ?. Wow and how he could play! Dave was like was like Jimi Hendrix and vastly broadened the repertoire of the band. As Tom and I said to each other when Dave had auditioned and agreed to join Fracture, ʻsurrounding ourselves all these good musicians really took the focus from the two of us and make us look miles better than we really were!!ʼ

Mooney was a Fracture regular for three years before his job took him to the east coast of England and he was no longer able to rehearse. Dave move on to a new band that paid him – fair enough – was not the kudos of being in Fracture reward enough?!! Oh well.

It is common knowledge that all bands have their internal differences and Fracture were no exception. Tom and ʻthe Docʼ, Steve, were constantly at each others throats because Tom rarely practiced his chords for the few songs he had to know while Rodger sang. Tom was often heard to say, at rehearsals before a song started that he was playing guitar on, ʻwhat are the chords to this one?ʻ This infuriated Steve immensely and many an argument had to be calmed down by the the diplomatic Rodger who managed to hold the peace on many occasion.

It was a sad day, however, when Tom decided to ʻcall it a dayʼ with Fracture and he left. It was at this point that the band were in a state of flux with a few guests appearing to sing with Rodger who was now fronting the band. At his own admittance he was not the greatest singer in the world but he could rival Farhouk Bulsara (Freddie Mercury) as a front man!! Former player Leon McSweeney aided and abetted Rodger as lead singer at one gig, soon after Tomʼs departure. And, on another occasion, ex X Factor finalist Carolyn Poole (wife of ex-County player David) duetted with Rodger at one gig performing ʻMustang Sallyʻ with the pair dancing seductively during the mid song guitar solo!! Rodger was quoted as saying, in the post gig press conference referring to the dance, “I thought Iʼd died and gone to heaven!”

In Fractureʼs last gig the line up was Rodger Wylde – lead singer, Steve ʻThe Docʼ Greenhough – bass, Daniel OʼDonnell – drums, David Poole – rhythm guitar, James Vincent – lead guitar and guest vocalist Phil Brennan.

At the moment Fracture is in a transitional period, so wait and see what the next line up will be for Rodgerʼs 2013 25th Year Testimonial Tour!

 

YOUTH CAREER
Gaerdoch United
1984–1987 Aston Villa
SENIOR CAREER
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1988 Aston Villa 0 (0)
1988–1995 Wolverhampton Wanderers 115 (2)
1995–2000 Stockport County 110 (5)
1999–2000  Walsall (loan) 4 (1)
2000  Walsall (loan) 7 (2)
2000–2002 Walsall 78 (5)
2002–2004 Boston United 79 (1)
2004–2005 Kidderminster Harriers 24 (0)
2005 Hamilton Academical 1 (0)

Walsall player 172. Joe Bambrick


• Joseph Gardiner Absolom “Joe” Bambrick, (3 November 1905 – 13 October 1983), was an Irish footballer who played for Chelsea, Walsall, Glentoran, and Linfield.
• Bambrick scored 12 goals in 11 games for Ireland, including six in one game against Wales.
• A former gas worker of medium build, he was a prolific goalscorer, adept at getting into good scoring positions and athletic enough to make the final touch count. “Head, heel or toe, Slip it to Joe” became a famous catch-phrase when referring to him. His scoring of six goals for Ireland v Wales at Celtic Park on 1 February 1930 in a 7–0 win, still remains the record score for a British Isles player in an international fixture.
• Bambrick scored Chelsea’s goal in their highest-attended competitive match at their ground Stamford Bridge. A crowd of 82,905 watched the 1-1 draw with local rivals Arsenal on 12 October 1935.

Joe is one of few footballers who get blue placques on their home, but on thewall of the house he lived in. is one commemorating him hitting two hatricks in one game.

Joe Bambrick JBPlacque

 

YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
1926–1927 Glentoran 22 (28)
1927–1935 Linfield 183 (286)
1935–1938 Chelsea 59 (34)
1938–1939 Walsall 35 (15)
TOTAL 299 (364)
NATIONAL TEAM
1928–1938 Ireland (IFA) 11 (12)
1927–1932 Irish League XI 12 (9)

Walsall player 171. Chris Baird


 

Christopher Patrick “Chris” Baird (born 25 February 1982) is a Northern Irish footballer who plays for Premier League side West Bromwich Albion and the Northern Ireland national football team. He has previously played for Southampton and Fulham.
Baird started his career at Northern Irish club, Ballymena United, before moving to Southampton in 1998.
Baird made his debut for Southampton on 22 March 2003 as a late substitute for David Prutton in a 2–2 draw at home with Aston Villa. His second appearance came in a 6–1 defeat at Arsenal, when he came on after 26 minutes, with Arsenal already 5–0 up.
Baird’s first start came on the final day of the 2002–03 League season, in a 1–0 win at Manchester City. A week later, he started for Southampton in the 2003 FA Cup Final, also against Arsenal. Southampton lost the match 1–0, but Baird was voted as the Saints man of the match.
He subsequently made two successful loan spells away from Southampton – two months at Walsall, where he played regularly in the first-team, and a month at Watford.
In the 2003–04 season, Baird made only four league appearances for Southampton, and none at all in the following season. Following Southampton’s relegation from the Premiership, Baird re-established himself in the Southampton squad and was singled out for praise by Southampton manager George Burley. He started 16 league games in the 2005–06 season.
In the first game of the 2006–07 season, away to Derby County on 6 August 2006, he was drafted into the centre half position when Claus Lundekvam went off injured in the sixth minute. On 25 November 2006, in his 50th first-team game for Southampton, he scored his first professional goal in a 2–1 victory over Luton Town.
He spent most of the 2006–07 season in central defence, and at the end of the season he was the winner of the Saints Player of the Season award.
Baird left Southampton on 12 July 2007 to move to Premier League club Fulham for £3.025m. Having initially worn the number 34 shirt, he changed to the number 6 for the 2009–10 season. Although typically a centre-back, and often surplus to requirements behind the rarely injured pairing of Aaron Hughes and Brede Hangeland, manager Roy Hodgson brought out a versatility in Baird which made him indispensable for long periods at Fulham, where first he filled in very successfully at right-back when John Paintsil was injured, and then due to the injuries to Dickson Etuhu and Danny Murphy he was often used in a central midfield role during the 2009–10 season, returning to right-back when they regained fitness. His success at right-back also earned him a start in the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final against Atlético Madrid ahead of the fit-again Paintsil.
On 14 September 2010 Baird signed a new contract with Fulham, keeping him at Craven Cottage until at least the summer of 2013, and on 28 December 2010 he scored his first and second goals for Fulham against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium in a 2–0 victory. This was voted the second Fulham “Goal of the Season” by the Fulham fans, just behind his team-mate Mousa Dembélé. Both were long-range strikes, earning him the nickname “Bairdinho” amongst Fulham fans.
Baird was charged with abusive and insulting gestures towards a match official during a match against Liverpool on 9 May 2011, after he played the full 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card by referee Lee Mason in the 5–2 defeat at Craven Cottage. He then subsequently missed the last two games of the season against Birmingham City and Arsenal and was replaced by Philippe Senderos.
The 2011–12 season was a less successful one for Baird. With the arrival of Martin Jol as manager he found it difficult to get games, having to rely mostly on injuries to in-form right-back Stephen Kelly, but his proven versatility meant that he was almost always on the bench, and was the go-to substitute for central midfield, right-back and sometimes centre-back as well.
With Kelly falling out of favour in the early part of the 2012–13 season, and injuries to players like Mahamadou Diarra, plus the departures of Danny Murphy, Mousa Dembélé and Dickson Etuhu, Baird has become a regular in central midfield again, alongside Steve Sidwell, and with just those two goals at Stoke to his name for Fulham in 113 games prior to 20 October 2012, he scored in consecutive weeks at the end of October, the first being the winner in the 1–0 defeat of Aston Villa and then scoring a header in a 3–3 draw with Reading on 27 October 2012.
Baird was one of twelve players released by Fulham at the end of the 2012–13 Premier League season. After leaving Fulham, he attracted the interest of Queens Park Rangers, Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers.
Despite training with QPR for two weeks and receiving a contract offer, Baird signed for Reading on 20 September 2013 on a deal until January 2014. He made his debut the next day in a 3–1 win over Derby at Pride Park.
After being left without a club since leaving Reading in January, Baird signed for Burnley on 20 March 2014 on a short-term deal until May 2014.
Baird returned to the Premier League on 7 July 2014, signing a one-year contract at West Bromwich Albion.
In June 2003, Baird made his Northern Ireland début against Italy in a 2–0 defeat. Since then, he has been a regular member of the national side, despite playing little domestically between 2003 and 2005. .
ChrisB

?–1998 Ballymena United
1998–2001 Southampton
SENIOR CAREER
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2007 Southampton 68 (3)
2003  Walsall (loan) 10 (0)
2004  Watford (loan) 8 (0)
2007–2013 Fulham 127 (4)
2013–2014 Reading 9 (0)
2014 Burnley 7 (0)
2014–2015

2015

2016

West Bromwich Albion

Derby County

Fulham (Loan)

19

14

7

(0)

(0)

(0)

NATIONAL TEAM
Northern Ireland U18 4 (0)
2002–2003 Northern Ireland U21 6 (1)
2003– Northern Ireland 77 (0)

Walsall player 170. Keith Andrews


Full name
Keith Joseph Andrews

Date of birth
13 September 1980 (age 36)

Place of birth
Dublin, Ireland

Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)

Playing position Defensive midfielder Number 5

Club information

Current team
Watford (on loan from Bolton Wanderers)

Youth career

1997–1999  Stella Maris

Senior career

Years                         Team                                              Apps        (Gls)
1999–2005           Wolverhampton Wanderers             65            (0)
2000                       Oxford United (loan)                            4             (1)
2003                       Stoke City (loan)                                16             (0)
2004                       Walsall (loan)                                    10             (2)
2005–2006           Hull City                                               29             (0)
2006–2008           Milton Keynes Dons                          78           (19)
2008–2012            Blackburn Rovers                              70             (5)
2011                         Ipswich Town (loan)                          20             (9)
2012                        West Bromwich Albion                       14             (2)
2012–                     Bolton Wanderers                               26             (4)
2013–2014            Brighton & Hove Albion (loan)          31             (1)
2014– 2015           Watford (loan)                                        4             (1)
2015                        Milton Keynes                                          5             (0)                          National team1996     Republic of Ireland U17             1              (0)
2008–2014          Republic of Ireland                              35              (3)

Keith WBA

Keith Joseph Andrews (born 13 September 1980) is an Irish association footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Football League Championship team Watford on loan from Bolton Wanderers and the Republic of Ireland national team.
Andrews began his career at Wolves, where he was their youngest captain for more than a century. His club career has also involved stints at Hull City and Milton Keynes Dons, as well as loan spells at Oxford United, Stoke City andWalsall while he was at Wolves. While at Milton Keynes Dons he was club captain, helped secure promotion for his team with a vital goal, helped win his team the Football League Trophy by scoring in the final at Wembley and was named in the PFA Team of the Year.
A full international since 2008, Andrews has gained over 30 caps for the Republic of Ireland and was selected forUEFA Euro 2012.
Andrews began his career as a trainee at Wolves, progressing from their academy to the first team. He made his senior debut on 18 March 2000 in a 2–1 win at Swindon. He continued his progress with the First Division club in the 2000–01 season, becoming a regular player as Dave Jones took over midway through. He went on a loan spell at Oxford United, scoring once against Swansea City.[2] Back at Wolves, the final match of that season saw him become their youngest captain for more than a hundred years, at 21 years old, in a game against Queens Park Rangers.He signed a new four-year deal the following season but found himself out of the starting line-up after several new midfielders were acquired in the summer, resigning him to the substitutes bench and sporadic appearances over the next few seasons. To gain playing time, he spent half of the 2003–04 season on loan at Stoke City and the latter half at Walsall, where he scored two league goals against Millwall and Ipswich Town. He did however return to Molineux in between to make his only Premier League appearance for Wolves (against Newcastle United).The midfielder returned to Wolves’ team post-relegation in 2004–05 and gained his most appearances for the club during that season. However, he moved on at the end of his contract to join Hull City. In total, he made 72 appearances for the Midlanders, scoring once in a League Cup tie at Rochdale.
His new start with the Hull saw him sidelined again though, as he picked up an injury in only his second appearance for the team – in a match against his previous team, Wolves. He returned to the team in December after nearly four months out and featured in all but one of their remaining fixtures in what proved to be his only season for the club.
After a single year at Hull, he moved to Milton Keynes Dons of League Two for the 2006–07 campaign where he became club captain. He lost out on promotion in the play-offs, despite scoring in the semi-final tie with Shrewsbury Town.
However, the next year, now under the managerialship of his former Wolves team-mate Paul Ince, brought Andrews success. He scored the winning goal in a match at Stockport County on 19 April 2008 that saw the club promoted to League One, and also scored the opening goal of their 2–0 victory over Grimsby Town with a penalty in the Football League Trophy at Wembley. The season ended with him being voted into PFA Team of the Year and having already won the League Two Player of the Year Award at the Football League Awards. Andrews was then named at number 38 in a FourFourTwo poll of the top 50 football league players, as well as being named the best player in League 2. MK Dons then had a fight on their hands to keep hold of their inspirational skipper with interest from a number of Premiership and Championship clubs. He featured in MK Dons’s first three games of the 2008–09 season but then was sold to Blackburn Rovers managed by former manager Paul Ince.
Andrews ended a summer of speculation over his future when he completed a transfer to Premier League club Blackburn Rovers on 3 September 2008 in a three-year deal worth and rising up to £1m depending on appearances made for the football club over the coming years. The move temporarily reunited him with his former MK Dons manager Paul Ince before he was sacked as Rovers manager. He made his debut as a substitute on 6 September 2008 against West Ham United, a game in which Blackburn lost 4–1. Andrews made his home debut against Arsenal, on his 28th birthday, Arsenal went on to win the match 4–0. He scored his first goal for Blackburn in the 90th minute during a 2–2 draw with West Bromwich Albion. Due to injuries sustained by first team regulars, Andrews has featured frequently for the Rovers first team, occupying a defensive central midfield role. In July 2009, Andrews signed a new four-year deal, which will see him contracted to Blackburn until 2013. On 25 September 2010, Andrews came on for Steven Nzonzi on 66 minutes against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road in a 2–1 win for his first game of the 2010–11 campaign. The 2010–11 season was a frustrating one for Andrews as he only made six appearances in all competitions for Rovers due to injury.
Andrews agreed to a six-month loan move to Ipswich Town on 12 August 2011. This loan includes an option to buy the player permanently. A day later he made his debut in a 1–0 loss to Hull City and then 3 days later his first goal came against Southampton. This was followed by goals against Peterborough United and Leeds United. Steve Kean, the head coach of Blackburn Rovers, hinted that Andrews’ may return to his parent club in January 2012, after a successful loan spell with Ipswich. This was contrary to Andrews’ ambitions, who when responding to reports that Paul Jewell, the Ipswich head coach, wanted to sign him on a permanent deal, stated in an interview with the BBC that, “I don’t particularly like the way I was treated at the club [Blackburn]. Not just the manager, the club in general.”
Andrews completed a late deadline day (31 January 2012) free transfer to Albion, after handing in a transfer request at Blackburn. Andrews signed a six month contract. On 12 February, Andrews scored his first goal for West Brom and their fourth against former club Wolves in a 5–1 win. Andrews then made it two goals in two appearances as he scored Albion’s fourth in a 4–0 victory over Sunderland two weeks later. Andrews then made it three wins in three appearances as he produced another solid performance in the 1–0 win over Chelsea.
Andrews become a free agent as his West Brom contract ended at the end of the season.
Andrews signed for newly relegated Football League Championship club Bolton Wanderers on 29 June 2012 after agreeing a three-year contract. He made his debut on 18 August in the away game at Burnley and on 22 December he scored his first goals for Bolton scoring twice from the penalty spot in their 5–4 defeat against Peterborough United
Following the permanent signing of Jay Spearing, Andrews first-team place at Bolton was no longer assured. On 9 August 2013, Andrews signed a season-long loan deal at fellow Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion.] He scored his first goal for Brighton in a 1–1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday on 1 October 2013.
On 24 July 2014, Andrews completed a move to fellow Championship side Watford joining on a season-long loan deal. Andrews made his Watford debut from the start in theLeague Cup first-round tie at Stevenage on 12 August 2014.
Andrews made his full international debut for the Republic of Ireland on 19 November 2008, coming on as a second half substitute and scoring a goal as part of a 3–2 home defeat in a friendly match against Poland. He played his first competitive match for Ireland, being unlucky to have a goal disallowed in a 2–1 World Cup qualification group match victory over Georgia. He was also present in Paris for France 1–1 Ireland (18 November 2009).
After being ever-present in Ireland’s midfield during their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, he missed the start of their UEFA Euro 2012 campaign due to an injury-hit Premier League season. He returned to the Irish squad for the Nations Cup games againstNorthern Ireland and Scotland. He made an instant comeback to the Irish team with a good all round performance against Northern Ireland.
On 7 June 2011, Andrews scored his second international goal in a 2–0 victory over four-time FIFA World Cup winners Italy in a friendly game in Liege, Belgium. His third international goal came in the shape of Ireland’s first goal, a header, in the 4–0 victory in the first leg of the UEFA Euro 2012 play-off against Estonia in Tallinn, the second leg of which secured qualification for UEFA Euro 2012 with a 1–1 draw in Dublin.
Andrews played every moment of Ireland’s UEFA Euro 2012, until the very end of the final game when he was sent off against Italy. On 10 June 2012, in Ireland’s first game of Group C against Croatia, Andrews failed to score despite having a number of clear shots on goal and actually succeeding in hitting the woodwork; Ireland fell to Croatia by a score of 3–1. Andrews’s poor luck continued in the following game as Ireland crashed out of the tournament, falling to Spain by a score of 4–0 on 14 June 2012, before he was led off the field in a rage after receiving a red card in Ireland’s final group game against Italy, a game the team lost 2–0. Thus Ireland finished the campaign bottom of Group C with no points, having conceded nine goals and equalling the worst performance by a team in European Championships history. Nevertheless, The Irish Times said he was “arguably Ireland’s best performer in the tournament”. Andrews was named as Irish Player of the Year for 2012. He finished his career on loan at Watford and returned to play 5 games at Milton Keynes Dons and then retired.