Matthew Lee “Matt” Richards (born 26 December 1984) is an English footballer who plays for Dagenham & Redbridge.
Matt is a graduate of the Ipswich Town academy, and made his debut in the UEFA Cup against Avenir Beggenaged just 17. He received his only England under-21 cap for appearing in the England U21 victory over Ukraine U21 in August 2004. He played a prominent role in Joe Royle’s Play-off semi-finalist making teams in 2003/04 and 2004/05. When Club Captain Jim Magilton was made manager in 2006–07 Richards found himself out of favour.Originally regarded as a left-back, he is now much more comfortable as a midfielder, either playing on the left or in the centre.
On 18 September 2007, Richards joined League One side Brighton & Hove Albion on a provisional one-month loan deal, although the Seagulls had allegedly been tracking the player all through the summer of 2007.
Richards’ loan deal at Brighton was extended by a further two months, running up until 18 December 2007 . He played 14 League games in total during his three-month loan at the Withdean and ex-Brighton manager Dean Wilkins expressed his interest on loaning the player until the end of the 2007/08 season. On 17 January 2008, it was revealed that Richards had agreed to join Brighton on loan for the remainder of the 2007–08 season.
Richards once again rejoined Brighton on loan until the end of December 2008 on 21 July 2008.
Richards made his Ipswich return in 2009 under new manager Roy Keane starting against Cardiff in a 3–0 win at Ninian Park. This would turn out to be his last game for the club as he was released on 14 May 2009.
Richards had a trial spell with Burton Albion scoring in a friendly against Ilkeston Town, however following a successful trial at League One side Walsall, Richards penned a two-year contract with the Saddlers. Richards stated his desire to sign on at Walsall on Twitter, however, this was not possible.
Richards impressed during a trial period with Shrewsbury Town and underwent a medical at the Greenhous Meadow on 27 July 2011, with the deal expected to be completed in the following days. He signed a two-year deal with the Shropshire outfit on 28 July 2011, and scored his first goal in Shrewsbury colours on 8 October in a 3–2 home win over Barnet. The season finished with Shrewsbury earning promotion to League One with Richards playing in excess of 30 games and earning players, and fans player of the year awards.
Richards was released by Shrewsbury at the end of the 2012–13 season and joined Cheltenham Town on 5 July 2013.
Richard joined League Two side Cheltenham Town on 5 July 2013. He scored his first goal for Cheltenham in a 3–1 defeat to Plymouth Argyle on 17 August 2013.
In August 2015, he signed for League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge on a one-year deal after impressing whilst on trial during pre-season.
Full name Matthew Lee Richards
Date of birth 26 December 1984 (age 30)
Place of birth Harlow, England
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Current team Dagenham & Redbridge
2000–2002 Ipswich Town
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2009 Ipswich Town 148 (8)
2007 Brighton & Hove Albion (loan) 14 (0)
2008 Brighton & Hove Albion (loan) 14 (0)
2008–2009 Brighton & Hove Albion (loan) 23 (1)
2009–2011 Walsall 86 (12)
2011–2013 Shrewsbury Town 85 (12)
2013–2015 Cheltenham Town 91 (8)
2015– Dagenham & Redbridge 3 (0)
2004–2005 England U16 5 (0)
2005–2006 England U17 5 (0)
2006 England U18 1 (0)
2004 England U21 1 (0)