|Full name||Alfred Manuel Petta|
|Date of birth||6 August 1974|
|Place of birth||Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|Height||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Playing position||Left winger|
|1993–1994||→ Dordrecht '90 (loan)||9||(0)|
|1994–1995||→ RKC Waalwijk (loan)||21||(1)|
|2004||→ Fulham (loan)||8||(0)|
|2008||Para Hills Knights||4||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 August 2011.
† Appearances (Goals).
Born in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Petta's early playing career was with Feyenoord, from the age of 13 to 21, but he never became a regular in the first team during that period, having loan spells at Dordrecht'90 and RKC Waalwijk. His frustration led to a move to England in 1996 after he was spotted by Ipswich Town scouts.
He signed for them, but in his first season found it difficult to adapt to the more physical British game, making only six appearances. The Ipswich manager at the time, George Burley, was determined that his potential would not go to waste, and with hard work he was able to develop his game and physical resilience, with Bobby finally establishing himself in the first team, on the left side of midfield, making more than 80 appearances and scoring nine goals.
However he eventually became frustrated at Ipswich and did not sign a new contract. This resulted, in July 1999, in a free transfer to Celtic. Petta's first season at Celtic proved to be somewhat difficult, with the Dutchman turning in a series of underwhelming performances in his 17 appearances. The arrival of Martin O'Neill as manager of Celtic in the summer of 2000 would provide Petta with a new lease of life. Possibly the highlight of his career was during the early managership of Martin O'Neill; Petta became a regular in the team that achieved the domestic treble in 2001 and played in the 6–2 victory for Celtic over Rangers in the first Old Firm game of that season – his form throughout that season also saw him called up to the Dutch national team but injury prevented him from playing for his country.
The following season (2001–02) saw Petta continue his sparkling form. A goal away to Ajax in a Champions League qualifying tie helped Celtic to a 3–2 aggregate win and the club's first participation in the group stages of that competition. Celtic's first game in the group stages was away to Juventus. Celtic lost 3–2 on the night, but Petta made an outstanding contribution when he came on as a substitute for Alan Thompson in the second half; to the extent that Juventus had to make several tactical changes to cope with his marauding runs down the left wing.
Following that, his first team appearances became limited as a result of injury and other factors, and he made only two starts during the 2002–03 season. Fulham signed Petta on loan in January 2004 for the remainder of that season, making 13 appearances before returning to Scotland. However there was no way back into the Celtic first team and he left the club early in 2005. Petta scored four times during his spell at Celtic, but none of these goals came in the league. His first goal came against Ayr United in the League Cup. He also scored twice in Europe against Jeunesse Esch in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup and Ajax in the 2001/02 Champions League qualifier. His fourth and final Celtic goal came in the 2001–02 Scottish Cup tie against Alloa Athletic.
He tried to revive his career in England, first with Darlington, where he scored on his debut against Bury, and then Bradford City, finally leaving the country in 2006 to join the Australian club, Adelaide United. He was released from Adelaide after failing to make much of an impact because of injuries. Petta signed for South Australian side Para Hills Knights on 11 June 2008.
He was invited to have a trial with A-League club Sydney FC in late July, and join up with his former coach at Adelaide, John Kosmina. He signed a contract with Sydney until the end of the 2008–09 season as a replacement for Mike Enfield, who was placed on the long term injury list. After the season finished, Petta was released.
In June 2011, Petta held talks with new Alloa Athletic manager Paul Hartley, with a view to resurrecting his playing career with the Scottish Third Division side. Later that year he was cast as an extra in the film World War Z, which was being shot in Glasgow. The production team had to retake one sequence because football fans recognised Petta.
A-League career statistics
(Correct as of 14 March 2008)
|Sydney FC||A-League 2008–09||9||0||0||-||-||-||-||-||-||9||0||0|
With Celtic FC:
- "Ayr 0 Celtic 4". SportingLife. 13 October 1999. Retrieved 13 November 2009.
- "Moravcik sparks Celtic victory". BBC. 10 August 2000. Retrieved 13 November 2009.
- "Celtic impress in Amsterdam". BBC. 8 August 2001. Retrieved 13 November 2009.
- "Celtic crush ailing Alloa". BBC. 8 January 2002. Retrieved 13 November 2009.
- "Bury 0–1 Darlington". BBC. 5 February 2005. Retrieved 13 November 2009.
- Sky Blues call on fresh reserves as they goes for Glory
- Former Celtic winger Bobby Petta keen on Alloa Athletic move
- "Petta luck next time, Bobby". The Scottish Sun (News International). 24 August 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2013.