Stephen Ward (footballer)

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Stephen Ward
Stephen Ward - Ireland debut.jpg
Ward playing for the Republic of Ireland at the 2011 Nations Cup
Personal information
Full name Stephen Robert Ward[1]
Date of birth (1985-08-20) 20 August 1985 (age 34)[2]
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[3]
Playing position Left-back / Winger
Club information
Current team
Stoke City
Number 3
Youth career
Home Farm
Portmarnock
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2007 Bohemians 74 (11)
2007–2014 Wolverhampton Wanderers 222 (9)
2013–2014Brighton & Hove Albion (loan) 44 (4)
2014–2019 Burnley 101 (3)
2019– Stoke City 2 (0)
National team
2003–2004 Republic of Ireland U19 5 (3)
2005–2008 Republic of Ireland U21 13 (4)
2007 Republic of Ireland B 1 (0)
2011–2018 Republic of Ireland 50 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:58, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Stephen Robert Ward (born 20 August 1985) is an Irish professional footballer who plays for EFL Championship club Stoke City. He is able to play in a variety of positions, primarily left-back, but also in left midfield and as a striker.

Ward began his senior career with Bohemians in his native Ireland, before moving to English Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2007. Featuring regularly, he was part of their promotion to the Premier League two years later and played over 230 times for the club. Following consecutive relegation's though he was transfer listed and after spending the 2013–14 season on loan at Brighton & Hove Albion he eventually left to return to the Premier League with Burnley in 2014. He spent five seasons at Turf Moor making 113 appearances for the Clarets before joining Stoke City in June 2019.

From 2011 until his retirement from international football in March 2019, he had been a regular member of the Republic of Ireland's international squads, and played at UEFA Euro 2012 and UEFA Euro 2016.

Club career[edit]

Bohemians[edit]

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Ward grew up in Portmarnock where he attended St Helen's Primary School and Portmarnock Community School.[4] Ward played schoolboy football for Home Farm and Portmarnock before joining Dublin-based League of Ireland side Bohemians in the summer of 2003.[5] He scored twice on his debut as a substitute against Skerries Town in the FAI Cup on 15 August 2003. Ward played as a forward for Bohemians before converting to a left-back.[6] His form in Ireland attracted interest from various English sides including Sunderland and Wolverhampton Wanderers.[7] The 2006 season with Bohemians ended up being his last and he made a total of 93 appearances for the club, scoring 26 times.[5]

Wolverhampton Wanderers[edit]

After a successful trial, Ward joined English Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers in January 2007 on a two-and-a-half-year deal.[8] The fee, although undisclosed, was reported to be £100,000.[9]

Ward had a bright start to English football scoring three times in his first six games, earning him the Championship Player of the Month Award for February 2007;[10] his first goal came against Plymouth Argyle on 3 February.[11] He featured in all of Wolves remaining 2006–07 fixtures as they reached the play-offs where they lost 4–2 on aggregate to Black Country rivals West Bromwich Albion.[12] The next season was less successful for Ward as he was mostly used in an unfamiliar left midfield role, covering for the injured Matt Jarvis, but announced he was happy to play anywhere.[13] Later on in the season, Ward himself also suffered injury woes as he was struck down with patellar tendinitis that ruled him out for four months.[14] He played 31 times in 2007–08 as the team narrowly missed a second successive play-off spot finishing in 7th position.[15]

The 2008–09 season again saw Ward adopt a new position as he was converted to a makeshift left-back, after George Elokobi sustained knee damage in only the third game of the campaign.[16] Despite the emergency purchase of natural full back Matt Hill, Ward was often preferred in the spot anyway.[17] Ward only missed four Championship matches helping Wolves win the title and earn promotion to the Premier League.[18]

Ward began the club's return to the top flight in the left-back role, but he soon suffered a cartilage injury that kept him out of action for two months.[19] Returning in December 2009 he was sent-off by Andre Marriner against Liverpool a decision which angered manager Mick McCarthy.[20] Ward he made a total of 22 league appearances in 2009–10 as the club managed to avoid an immediate return to the second tier, finishing in 15th.[21] At the end of the campaign Ward signed a contract extension with Wolves.[22]

During the 2010–11 season, Ward filled a variety of roles, playing left-back, left midfield and as a striker. One game up front saw him net his first Premier League goal, when he scored the only goal of the game against Liverpool at Anfield on 29 December 2010.[23] He was part of the team that avoided relegation on the final day of the season as results went their way after a 3–2 defeat at home to Blackburn Rovers.[24] Ward played 41 times in 2011–12 as Wolves suffered relegation to the Championship, finishing bottom of the table.[25] Ward scored Wolves' first goal back in the Championship a 3–1 win against Barnsley on 20 August 2012.[26] However Wolves would go on to have another poor campaign in 2012–13, suffering a second successive relegation.[27]

Loan to Brighton & Hove Albion[edit]

After Wolves suffered a second consecutive relegation to enter League One in 2013, Ward was one of a group of players made available for transfer by the club's new head coach Kenny Jackett.[28] On 16 August 2013, Ward was loaned to Brighton & Hove Albion for the 2013–14 season,[29] where he made 47 appearances as the club reached the play-offs but were defeated at the semi-final stage by Derby County. Brighton then agreed to a permanent deal with Wolves for Ward over the close season,[30] but interest from the Premier League halted the move.[31]

Burnley[edit]

On 15 August 2014, Ward moved to newly promoted Premier League side Burnley, signing a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee.[32] Ward made only ten appearances for Burnley in 2014–15 due to injuries as the side suffered an immediate relegation.[33] In 2015–16 Burnley went on a 23-unbeaten run which saw them gain promotion back to the Premier League as champions.[34] Ward only missed one league match in 2016–17, playing a total of 38 times helping the Clarets avoid relegation, finishing in 16th position.[35] Ward signed a contract extension in August 2017, keeping him contracted at Turf Moor until 2019.[36] Ward scored in a 3–2 win away at champions Chelsea on the opening day of the 2017–18 season.[37] Ward made 28 appearances as Burnley had a successful campaign finishing in 7th, qualifying for the UEFA Europa League.[38] Ward lost his place in the side to Charlie Taylor in 2018–19, only making ten appearances. On 12 May 2019, it was confirmed he would leave Burnley at the end of his contract on 1 July 2019.[39]

Stoke City[edit]

On 26 June 2019 Ward joined Stoke City, signing a initial one-year contract.[40]

International career[edit]

Ward in action during Euro 2012

Ward received his first full call-up to the Republic of Ireland national team squad on 4 May 2011, for friendlies against Northern Ireland and Scotland as well as a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier against Macedonia.[41][42] He made his national team debut on 24 May 2011 in a Nations Cup game against Northern Ireland, where he opened the scoring in a 5–0 victory.[43] Ward made his competitive debut for the Republic of Ireland against Slovakia in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match, during which he kept a clean sheet in a 0–0 draw. Ward scored his second international goal in the second leg of the play-off for UEFA Euro 2012 against Estonia, sealing Ireland's place in their first major tournament since 2002 with an unprecedented 5–1 aggregate win.[44]

Ward was picked in Trapattoni's 23-man squad for the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine,[45] going on to play in all three of their matches in the tournament before their group stage elimination.

He played in three of Ireland's four matches at Euro 2016 as the Boys in Green made the knockout stages, losing to France in the Round of 16.[46][47]

He announced his retirement from international football on 14 March 2019 after missing out on the final squad for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia.[48][49]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 31 August 2019
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Bohemians 2003[50] LOI Premier Division 6 0 ? ?
2004[50] LOI Premier Division 16 2 ? ?
2005[50] LOI Premier Division 29 7 ? ?
2006[50] LOI Premier Division 23 2 ? ?
Total 74 11 93 26
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2006–07[51] Championship 18 3 1 0 2[a] 0 21 3
2007–08[52] Championship 29 0 1 0 1 0 31 0
2008–09[53] Championship 42 0 1 0 1 0 44 0
2009–10[54] Premier League 22 0 2 0 0 0 24 0
2010–11[55] Premier League 34 1 3 0 0 0 37 1
2011–12[56] Premier League 38 3 2 0 1 0 41 3
2012–13[57] Championship 39 2 1 0 1 0 41 2
Total 222 9 11 0 4 0 2 0 239 9
Brighton & Hove Albion (loan) 2013–14[58] Championship 44 4 1 0 0 0 2[a] 0 47 4
Burnley 2014–15[59] Premier League 9 0 0 0 1 0 10 0
2015–16[60] Championship 24 1 2 1 1 0 27 2
2016–17[35] Premier League 37 1 1 0 0 0 38 1
2017–18[38] Premier League 28 1 0 0 0 0 28 1
2018–19[61] Premier League 3 0 2 0 1 0 4[b] 0 10 0
Total 101 3 5 1 3 0 4 0 113 4
Stoke City 2019–20[62] Championship 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
Career total 443 27 17 1 8 0 8 0 495 43
  1. ^ a b Appearances in Football League Championship play-offs
  2. ^ Appearances in UEFA Europa League

International[edit]

Source:[50]

Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Republic of Ireland 2011 9 2
2012 9 0
2013 2 0
2014 9 0
2015 2 0
2016 9 1
2017 9 0
2018 1 0
Total 50 3

International goals[edit]

Republic of Ireland score listed first, score column indicates score after each Ward goal.[50]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition Ref
1 24 May 2011 Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland 1  Northern Ireland 1–0 5–0 2011 Nations Cup [63]
2 15 November 2011 Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland 9  Estonia 1–0 1–1 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying play-offs [64]
3 31 May 2016 Turners Cross, Cork, Ireland 33  Belarus 1–2 1–2 Friendly [65]

Honours[edit]

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Burnley

Republic of Ireland

Individual

  • Football League Championship Player of the Month: February 2007

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Updated squads for 2017/18 Premier League confirmed". Premier League. 2 February 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  2. ^ Hugman, Barry J. (ed) (2008). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2008–09. Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-84596-324-8.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 429. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Stephen hits new heights at Euros". Irish Independent. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Stephen Ward on homesickness, beating Germany & the frustration of not playing". The42. TheJournal.ie. 23 January 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Stephen Ward played for Bohemians as a striker and feels he can be an attacking threat for Ireland from full-back". The Irish Sun. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Cats to take a look Ward". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Ward ready to sign". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 15 January 2007. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012.
  9. ^ "Wolves poised to tie up Fleming". BBC Sport. 19 January 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Wolves star earns February honour". BBC Sport. 4 March 2007.
  11. ^ "Wolves 2-2 Plymouth". BBC Sport. 3 February 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  12. ^ "West Brom 1-0 Wolves". BBC Sport. 16 May 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Ward happy with his Molineux role". BBC Sport. 10 July 2008.
  14. ^ "Ward glad at lucky escape". Birmingham Mail. 8 March 2008.
  15. ^ "Wolves 1-0 Plymouth". BBC Sport. 4 May 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Wolves hamstrung without wingers". BBC Sport. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  17. ^ "Hill thrilled with Wolves debut". BBC Sport. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Wolves 1-0 Doncaster". BBC Sport. 3 May 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  19. ^ "Wolves hit by Stephen Ward blow". Birmingham Mail. 2 October 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  20. ^ "Wolves boss McCarthy unhappy with red card at Liverpool". BBC Sport. 27 December 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  21. ^ "Wolverhampton 1 - 1 Blackburn". BBC Sport. 24 April 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  22. ^ "Defender Stephen Ward pens new Wolves deal". BBC Sport. 25 May 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  23. ^ "Mick McCarthy praises Wolves' match-winner Stephen Ward". BBC Sport. 30 December 2010.
  24. ^ "Wolverhampton 2 - 3 Blackburn". BBC Sport. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  25. ^ "Wolves needed 'freshening up', admits Stephen Ward". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  26. ^ "Wolves 3–1 Barnsley". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  27. ^ "Brighton 2–0 Wolves". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  28. ^ "Four players transfer listed". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 24 June 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013.
  29. ^ "Stephen Ward joins Brighton as Gordon Greer signs new deal". BBC Sport. 16 August 2013.
  30. ^ "Brighton agree deal for Stephen Ward". Birmingham Mail. 14 August 2014.
  31. ^ "Brighton sign Joao Carlos Teixeira from Liverpool on season loan". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  32. ^ "Stephen Ward: Burnley sign long-serving Wolves defender". BBC Sport. 15 August 2014.
  33. ^ "Injured defender Stephen Ward targeting return to Burnley first team". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  34. ^ "Charlton 0–3 Burnley". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  35. ^ a b "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  36. ^ "Stephen Ward: Burnley defender signs new contract until 2019". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  37. ^ "Chelsea 2–3 Burnley". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  38. ^ a b "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  39. ^ "Stephen Ward will leave Burnley when his contract expires". Lancashire Telegraph. 12 March 2019.
  40. ^ "Republic star becomes sixth signing…". Stoke City. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  41. ^ "Ireland call up Ward". Setanta Sports. 4 May 2011. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  42. ^ "Ward gets Ireland nod for FYROM game". UEFA. 4 May 2011.
  43. ^ "Rep of Ireland 5–0 N Ireland". BBC Sport. 24 May 2011.
  44. ^ Mason, Glenn (15 November 2011). "Ireland 1–1 Estonia". RTÉ Sport. Archived from the original on 16 November 2011.
  45. ^ "EURO 2012 squad named". Football Association of Ireland. 7 May 2012.
  46. ^ "Euro 2016: Stephen Ward's fitness hopes improve for Republic's France game". BBC Sport. 25 June 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  47. ^ Hafez, Shamoon (26 June 2016). "France 2–1 Republic of Ireland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  48. ^ "Stephen Ward announces international retirement". RTÉ Sport. 14 March 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  49. ^ "Stephen Ward: Burnley full-back ends Republic of Ireland career after 50 caps". BBC Sport. 15 March 2019.
  50. ^ a b c d e f "Stephen Ward". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  51. ^ "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  52. ^ "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  53. ^ "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  54. ^ "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  55. ^ "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  56. ^ "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  57. ^ "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  58. ^ "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  59. ^ "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  60. ^ "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  61. ^ "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  62. ^ "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2019/2020". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  63. ^ "Rep of Ireland 5–0 N Ireland". BBC Sport. 24 May 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  64. ^ "Republic of Ireland 1–1 Estonia (5–1 agg)". BBC Sport. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  65. ^ "Republic of Ireland 1–2 Belarus". BBC. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.

External links[edit]