Chris Armstrong (footballer, born 1982)

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Chris Armstrong
Personal information
Full name Christopher Armstrong[1]
Date of birth (1982-08-05) 5 August 1982 (age 32)
Place of birth Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1]
Playing position Defender
Youth career
Bury
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2001 Bury 33 (1)
2001–2003 Oldham Athletic 65 (1)
2003–2008 Sheffield United 95 (6)
2005 Blackpool (loan) 5 (0)
2008–2011 Reading 47 (1)
Total 245 (9)
National team
2002 England U20 3 (0)
2007 Scotland B 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:11, 4 May 2009 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21 November 2007

Christopher "Chris" Armstrong (born 5 August 1982 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England) is a retired professional footballer, who most recently played for Reading in the Football League Championship. In 2011 he retired due to Multiple sclerosis. He is the younger brother of former Sunderland and Burnley midfielder Gordon Armstrong.

A former England U20s full-back, and Scotland B International, Armstrong was a tough tackler despite only standing at 5 ft 9in (1.75 Metres).

Club career[edit]

Bury and Oldham[edit]

He started his career at Bury as a trainee in August 1999, playing 33 games and scoring 1 goal before joining Oldham Athletic for £200,000 in October 2001, in only his second season as a first-team player. After playing a further 75 games and scoring his second goal, he was signed by Sheffield United for £100,000 in July 2003 during a financial crisis at Oldham.

Sheffield United[edit]

Having signed for the Blades in the summer Armstrong made his debut in the first game of the 2003–04 season, a 0–0 draw with Gillingham at Bramall Lane.[2] He scored his first goal for the club in a 2–0 victory over Crewe on 4 November 2003[3] only to suffer serious injury a few weeks later. He eventually returned to regular first team football after battling back bravely from career-threatening knee injury problems that limited him to just 13 games in his first season with the Blades and ruled him out for the whole of 2004–05.

After a brief spell at Blackpool to improve his match fitness earlier in the season,[4] Armstrong became a valuable member of the team that gained promotion back to the Premiership in 2005–06. He was rewarded with the fan's Player of the Month award for March, the Capital One Young Player of the Year and, in July 2006, a new three-year contract.[5] Armstrong was also awarded with a special award by manager Neil Warnock at the end of the promotion season to mark his courage and return to action after his career threatening injury.[citation needed]

Armstrong was a regular starter over the next two seasons but was often asked to fill in across the field, playing both in the centre and out wide in midfield and defence. He succumbed to several injuries which kept him sidelined through this period[6] and missed much of the second half of the 2007–2008 season due to a groin injury.[7] Following his return to fitness he found himself unable to break back into the starting eleven under new manager Kevin Blackwell.

Reading[edit]

With his first team options limited at Bramall Lane he was allowed to leave and signed for Reading in August 2008 for an initial fee of £500,000 with the potential for it to rise to £800,000 depending on conditions.[8] Armstrong made his debut for the Royals in the 4–2 home win over Crystal Palace on 30 August 2008. Since then, he has become a first team regular and scored his first league goal for Reading against Watford on 9 January 2009. He was voted Player of the Season for the 2008/09 season with 80% of the votes.[9]

Honours[edit]

Sheffield United
  • Promotion to the Premier League 2005–06
  • Fans Player of the Month March 2006
  • The Capital One Young Player of the Year 2006
Reading
  • Fans player of the season 2008-09

International career[edit]

Although born in Newcastle, Armstrong qualifies for Scotland through his grandmother. And despite appearing for England's under-20 side in the 2002 Toulon Tournament, FIFA have now allowed him to represent Scotland.[10]

Armstrong received an international cap for Scotland B, after being included in the starting eleven in a 1–1 draw, against the Republic of Ireland B team, at the Excelsior Stadium on 20 November 2007.[11]

Retirement[edit]

Armstrong announced his retirement from the professional game on 8 March 2011 and revealed that he had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in December 2009.[12]

Career statistics[edit]

Club statistics
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Bury 2000–01 Second Division 22 1 0 0 0 0 3[a] 0 25 1
2001–02 11 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 12 0
Total 33 1 0 0 1 0 3 0 37 1
Oldham Athletic 2001–02 Second Division 32 0 3 0 0 0 3[a] 0 38 0
2002–03 33 1 3 0 2 0 3[b] 0 41 1
Total 65 1 6 0 2 0 6 0 79 1
Sheffield United 2003–04 First Division 12 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 13 1
2004–05 Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2005–06 24 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 26 2
Blackpool (loan) 2005–06 League One 5 0 0 0 0 0 1[a] 0 6 0
Sheffield United 2006–07 Premier League 27 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 28 0
2007–08 Championship 32 3 2 0 3 0 0 0 37 3
2008–09 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Sheffield total 95 6 4 0 6 0 0 0 105 6
Reading 2008–09 Championship 40 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 40 1
2009–10 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
2010–11 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
Total 47 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 48 1
Career total 245 9 10 0 10 0 10 0 275 9
  1. ^ a b c Appearance(s) in the Football League Trophy
  2. ^ One appearance in the Football League Trophy, two appearances in the Second Division play-offs

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2003). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2003/2004. Queen Anne Press. p. 26. ISBN 1-85291-651-6. 
  2. ^ "Blades 0–0 Gillingham". BBC Sport. 2003-08-09. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  3. ^ "Sheff United 2–0 Crewe". BBC Sport. 2003-11-04. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  4. ^ "Blackpool capture Blades defender". BBC Sport. 2005-10-13. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  5. ^ "Armstrong agrees new Blades deal". BBC Sport. 2006-06-13. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  6. ^ "Armstrong to have knee operation". BBC Sport. 2006-11-08. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  7. ^ "Operation Update". Sheffield United F.C. 2008-03-19. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  8. ^ "Royals complete Armstrong signing". BBC Sport. 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  9. ^ "Armstrong is PLayer of the Season". Reading FC Club Website. 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  10. ^ "Armstrong on high with Blades". BBC Sport. 2007-11-15. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  11. ^ "Scotland B v Republic of Ireland B". Sky Sports. 2007-11-20. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  12. ^ "Chris Armstrong Confirms Retirement". Reading FC. 2011-03-08. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 

External links[edit]