|Full name||Christopher Weale|
|Date of birth||9 February 1982|
|Place of birth||Chard, England|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Current club||Shrewsbury Town|
|2007||→ Hereford United (loan)||1||(0)|
|2008||→ Hereford United (loan)||1||(0)|
|2009||→ Yeovil Town (loan)||10||(1)|
|2012||→ Northampton Town (loan)||3||(0)|
|2003||England National XI||4||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 February 2014 15:25 (GMT).
† Appearances (Goals).
Weale was a product of Yeovil Town's youth system after joining Yeovil in August 1999 from local side Gillingham Town. Weale was first choice keeper for the Youth Team that won the South-West Counties Under 18s League title in 2000 and during the same season he broke into the Reserve side.
Weale made his first team debut in July 2000 having come on as a substitute against Southampton in Tony Pennock's testimonial game before making his first full competitive debut against Wellington in the Somerset Premier Cup in October of that year. Weale began to gain more experience in the first team in the 2001/02 season, during which he played 38 matches for the first team while establishing himself as a firm favourite amongst the fans. The following year he not only played an indispensable role in helping Yeovil achieve promotion to the Football League but his consistency was rewarded with a call-up to the England National XI several times during the season.
It was only a matter of time before a top club such as West Ham United inquired about Weale. Alan Pardew invited the highly rated keeper to train with West Ham for a couple of days a week in March 2004 before playing in a Reserve game for the club. Throughout his career at Huish Park he has been heavily praised, not just from the home fans, but also from opposition managers such as ex-England coach Peter Taylor. Taylor acknowledged after the 0–0 draw at the KC Stadium 'The saves were worthy of the Premiership'. Yeovil boss Gary Johnson describes ‘They were world class saves. We see that every day in training. He's a super goalkeeper.’ His performance was acknowledged his fellow peers and was chosen for the Football League Team of the Year for League Two on two consecutive seasons.
During his final season with the club, Wealey had to face strong competition for the number one jersey from Steve Collis. Collis showed great promise when he was given the chance in goal during his performance in the latter part of both the 2003/04 and the 2004/05 season and the two keepers split first team responsibilities during the 2005/06 season.
That was in part due to a knee injury sustained by Weale during March 2006 at Chesterfield, which he aggravated a few weeks later. It was later diagnosed as a cruciate ligament injury which meant that his final appearance for the club was against Scunthorpe United on Good Friday in April 2006.
Despite facing a lengthy layoff that was expected to keep him out until at least November 2006, the club still offered Weale a new deal, but he chose instead to sign for Bristol City on a one year deal on 28 June 2006, teaming up with Gary Johnson – the manager who had introduced him to regular first team football.
Weale joined Bristol City under the Bosman ruling. He was joined by former team mates Phil Jevons, Liam Fontaine and Lee Johnson and former manager Gary Johnson. He made his debut on 10 February 2007 against Huddersfield Town after Adriano Basso was sent off, and played in the FA Cup replay between City and Middlesbrough and saved a penalty from Yakubu, but City lost the penalty shootout 5–4.
On 8 August 2007 Weale joined Hereford United on a month's loan, but was recalled from his loan spell five days later, after an injury to city's first choice goalkeeper, Adriano Basso. Weale rejoined Hereford on loan on 27 November 2008 on a one month loan. He managed to make only one appearance before suffering an injury that was expected to keep him out for six weeks.
He rejoined his home town club Yeovil after their number one Josh Wagenaar got sent off in a game at Brighton. The loan spell was a month and thought to be a favour by former manager Gary Johnson. It was revealed however that the move was funded by a supporters club. Weale headed in a late equaliser to earn Yeovil a 2–2 draw at home to his former side, Hereford on 21 April 2009. The goal won Sky Sports goal of the week beating the likes of Arshavin and Robinho.
On 29 May 2009, Weale signed a pre-contractual agreement with Leicester City before joining on 1 July when his contract with Bristol City expired. Tim Flowers, who was previously coach at the club, felt Weale's ever-present form as of February 2010 is a big part of the team's resurgence in the 2009–10 season. However, in a 1–0 defeat to Derby County at Pride Park on 27 March 2010, Weale erred badly to concede the goal from a back-pass. On 22 April 2011, Weale mishandled Paul McKenna's shot and spilled it into his own net for the winning goal in a 3–2 against Nottingham Forest. Weale fell out of favour at Leicester City with the signing of Kasper Schmeichel from Leeds United and only played three matches in the 2011/12 season before a brief loan spell at League Two side Northampton Town. This loan spell was cut short through injury and on his return, Weale was released at the end of the season by Leicester along with five other players.
On 6 July 2012, Weale signed for newly promoted League One side Shrewsbury Town on an undisclosed contract.
He made his debut on 11 August 2012 in a 4–0 loss away to Leeds United in the Capital One Cup, and was almost ever present in the 2012/13 season making 46 league starts, starting in an FA Cup first round defeat to former club Hereford United and coming on as a substitute in a Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie against eventual winners Crewe Alexandra. In Shrewsbury Town's Player of the Year Awards 2013, Weale was awarded "Player's Player of the Year" and "Player of the Year".
- Hugman, Barry J. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 645. ISBN 1-85291-665-6.
- Rollin, Glenda; Rollin, Jack, eds. (2012). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2012–2013 (43rd ed.). London: Headline. p. 485. ISBN 978-0-7553-6356-8.
- "Weale answers Bulls' call". Sky Sports. 27 November 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2008.
- "Loan Goalkeeper in for a month". Yeovil Town F.C. 16 March 2009. Retrieved 16 March 2009.
- "Wealey wins it!!". Yeovil Town F.C. 24 April 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2009.
- "Leicester swoop for 'keeper Weale". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 29 May 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2009.
- "Flowers: Weale Has Done Fantastic". LCFC.com. 3 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
- "Derby 1–0 Leicester". BBC Sport. 27 March 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Nott'm Forest 3 – 2 Leiceste". BBC.co.uk. 22 April 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
- "Six Set To Leave Leicester". Leicester City FC. 18 May 2012.
- "Shrewsbury Town sign keepers Chris Weale and Joe Anyon". BBC Sport. 6 July 2012.