Clayton Donaldson

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Clayton Donaldson
Donaldson, Clayton.jpg
Donaldson in 2010
Personal information
Full name Clayton Andrew Donaldson[1]
Date of birth (1984-02-07) 7 February 1984 (age 30)[1]
Place of birth Bradford, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[1]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Birmingham City
Number 9
Youth career
Bradford City
000?–2002 Hull City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2005 Hull City 2 (0)
2002–2003 Harrogate Town (loan) 6 (2)
2003 Scarborough (loan) 2 (0)
2004 Halifax Town (loan) 4 (0)
2004 Harrogate Town (loan) 8 (3)
2005–2007 York City 85 (41)
2007–2008 Hibernian 18 (5)
2008–2011 Crewe Alexandra 117 (47)
2011–2014 Brentford 136 (46)
2014– Birmingham City 7 (1)
National team
2006–2007 England National Game XI 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:28, 17 September 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Clayton Andrew Donaldson (born 7 February 1984) is an English professional footballer who plays for Birmingham City as a striker.

Donaldson started his career with Hull City in 2002, scoring on his first team debut in the Football League Trophy later that year. He was sent out on loan to non-League clubs on four occasions, and with chances in the first team at Hull limited, he was released in 2005 and subsequently joined York City. In his first season at the club, he was voted as their Clubman of the Year and his second season saw him finish as the team's highest scorer and third highest scorer in the league.

He joined Scottish Premier League team Hibernian in July 2007, after signing a pre-contract agreement with them in January whilst with York. After a season at the club he left to return to England with Crewe Alexandra. After three years with Crewe, being the top goalscorer in League Two in his last season, he joined Brentford in 2011. He spent three years with the club, helping them gain promotion to the Championship in 2013–14, before signing for Birmingham City at the end of that season when his contract expired. He played internationally for the England National Game XI, who represent England at non-League level, with whom he earned two caps.

Early life[edit]

Born in Bradford, West Yorkshire,[1] Donaldson grew up in Manningham and attended Manningham Middle School and Rhodesway School.[2] He played football for his school side before joining his hometown club Bradford City, who he supported as a child.[3] He was released by the club aged 16, with only one player, Lewis Emanuel, being retained from his age group.[2]

Club career[edit]

Hull City[edit]

Donaldson was a trainee with Hull City's youth system when scoring from close range on his first team debut in Hull's Football League Trophy 3–1 away defeat to Port Vale on 22 October 2002, having replaced Gary Alexander as a 60th minute substitute.[1][4][5] He was sent out on loan to Northern Premier League Premier Division club Harrogate Town in November 2002,[6] and scored in the 68th minute of his debut, a 3–1 away win over Gateshead on 12 November.[7] He stayed with Harrogate for three months, in that time scoring five goals in 10 appearances before returning to Hull.[8] He made his Football League debut for Hull on 8 February 2003, coming on as an 81st minute substitute for Damien Delaney in a 1–0 defeat at home to Lincoln City.[5] Two days later, he signed a two-year professional contract with Hull.[1][9] He made one further appearance in the 2002–03 season, as a substitute away to Boston United.[10]

In August 2003, Donaldson joined Football Conference side Scarborough on a one-month loan.[11] His debut came in a 2–1 home defeat to Burton Albion on 23 August 2003, and made only one more appearance before his loan expired.[12] On his return to Hull he made two further appearances, both as a substitute in the Football League Trophy, before joining Football Conference club Halifax Town on a one-month loan in February 2004.[13][14] Having made his debut as a 58th minute substitute for Jake Sagare in a 2–0 away defeat at Margate on 8 February 2004, Donaldson finished his spell at Halifax with four appearances.[13][15] With little prospect of a first team place at Hull, he rejoined Harrogate on a one-month loan in September 2004, and scored in the 18th minute of his second debut for the club, a 3–0 home win over Lancaster City on 18 September.[16][17][18] He was voted the Conference North Player of the Month for October 2004, having scored three goals from five games in that period.[19] His second loan spell with Harrogate ended having scored four goals.[17] At the end of the 2004–05 season, Donaldson was released by Hull, as manager Peter Taylor was unable to guarantee him first team football.[20]

York City[edit]

After his release by Hull, Donaldson was spoken to by Barrow,[21] but was eventually signed by York City in June 2005, with manager Billy McEwan saying: "He's a young player who is very hungry for his chance and he'll bring competition up front".[22] He made his debut for the team against Crawley Town in August.[23] His first goal came in a 1–0 win against Cambridge United in September.[24] During his first season with York, Donaldson scored 18 goals and was awarded the Clubman of the Year award before the final game of the season against Hereford United on 29 April 2006.[25][26][27] He agreed a contract extension with York for the 2006–07 season in July.[28]

Donaldson playing for York City in 2007

York manager McEwan compared Donaldson to Costa Rican Paulo Wanchope in September,[29] but following York's 2–0 defeat against Oxford United later that month, McEwan criticised Donaldson's selfishness in attack, saying it cost them the game.[30] In late 2006, Donaldson became subject of much transfer speculation. Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Mick McCarthy watched him in York's 1–0 victory over Altrincham, during which he scored his 12th goal of the season, in November 2006.[31] He was also watched by Scottish Premier League side Hibernian.[32] In response to this speculation, Donaldson said: "I don't read too much into the speculation. I've heard it before and nothing has happened so I will just keep my head down and enjoy my football until a point comes when the manager or board come and tell me they have had an offer they want to consider".[32]

Donaldson playing for York against Weymouth in 2007

On 18 December 2006, he rejected the offer of a new contract at York City, meaning he would be out of contact at the club at the end of the season.[33] Scunthorpe United and Peterborough United Director of Football Barry Fry both watched him in December 2006.[34][35] Fry tabled a £100,000 bid for Donaldson, but this failed to meet York's valuation and they halted their bid at this amount.[35][36] He was reportedly given a £500,000 transfer valuation by York in January 2007.[37] A cash-plus player bid from Accrington Stanley for Donaldson was rejected in January, which according to York was £25,000 and was termed as an "embarrassment" by York manager McEwan, and Accrington then upped their bid to a six-figure fee, but were told that Donaldson was not for sale.[38][39][40]

Donaldson was suspended for three games following his 51st-minute sending off for using his elbow in York's 2–1 defeat at Kidderminster Harriers on 20 January 2007.[41] York rejected a bid from Scunthorpe for Donaldson, with their approach falling short of York's valuation,[42] after which Scunthorpe manager Nigel Adkins said he would not pay "stupid money" for Donaldson.[43] Hibernian announced that Donaldson had signed a pre-contract agreement with them for a three-year contract on 29 January 2007,[44] and as he was 23 years old a month later, York were not entitled to any compensation under FIFA regulations.[45] York later turned down a £50,000 offer from Hibernian, which would have allowed them to bring Donaldson to the club immediately.[46] York boss McEwan wanted Donaldson to give his complete commitment for York for the rest of the season,[47] who also revealed that the club intended to fight against the "international loophole" that meant Donaldson could join Hibernian for free.[48] Donaldson's agent, Andy Sprott, said suggestions he deliberately found Donaldson a deal in Scotland so York would not receive any compensation were "not the case".[49]

Donaldson was to return from his suspension for York's reserves against Sheffield United at Bootham Crescent on 6 February 2007,[50] but the game was frozen off,[51] and he eventually returned against Altrincham.[52] His first goal for York since his suspension came against Cambridge United, scoring a hat-trick on 13 March 2007.[53] He insisted he remained fully committed to York, after speculation concerning his commitment grew in April.[54] He finished the 2006–07 season with 26 goals for York,[55] including 24 in the Conference National, resulting in him being third top scorer of the league.[56]

Hibernian[edit]

Donaldson scored his first goal for Hibernian in a pre-season friendly against Brechin City on 10 July 2007.[57] He made his Scottish Premier League debut against Hibs' rivals Hearts in August 2007 and his first league goal came against Falkirk in September, after winning and scoring a penalty.[58][59] Donaldson was later sent off in this match,[60] which resulted in a suspension.[61] His first game back was against Motherwell in the Scottish League Cup, who he scored against, after a solo run and shot.[62] He scored his first hat-trick for Hibs against Kilmarnock in the SPL later that month.[63]

He was linked with a move to League One side Crewe Alexandra in February 2008,[64] after being unable to figure in Mixu Paatelainen's plans at the club, meaning he was frozen out of the first-team at Hibs.[65] He finished the 2007–08 season with 21 appearances and 6 goals, with his last goal of the season coming against Falkirk in December 2007.[66] Darlington of League Two were believed to be interested in signing Donaldson after the end of the season.[67] He was eventually told that he was available for transfer by Hibs.[68] Crewe were believed to be lining up a bid for him in July, who had money available after selling striker Nicky Maynard to Bristol City for £2.25 million and held negotiations with Donaldson.[69][70] The move stalled after a six-figure fee had been agreed but Donaldson later agreed personal terms.[71][72]

Crewe Alexandra[edit]

Donaldson's move to League One side Crewe Alexandra was completed on 18 August 2008 on a three-year deal for an undisclosed six-figure fee.[73] The contract could not be signed until international clearance was given from the Scottish Football Association,[73] which was received on 22 August 2008.[74] He made his debut as an 81st minute substitute in a 2–1 victory against Walsall on 23 August 2008.[75] Donaldson's former club York made an attempt to re-sign him on loan in October 2008, but were told to make an inquiry four weeks later, due to him being injured.[76] Despite this, he came on as a substitute in Crewe's 3–0 defeat to Scunthorpe on 11 October 2008,[77] which was followed by his first start in a 2–2 draw with Milton Keynes Dons.[78] He scored his first Crewe goals with a brace against Huddersfield Town in November, in a match that eventually finished as a 3–2 defeat.[79] He scored the winner in Crewe's next game, an FA Cup first round tie against Ebbsfleet United, which saw them progress with a 1–0 victory.[80] He displayed the ability of long throw-ins, which he initially developed while in the Hull youth team, on several occasions, including a 3–2 victory over Scunthorpe,[81] where he also scored.[82] He scored three goals in four matches later in the season, with the final goal, against Carlisle United, proving to be his last of the 2008–09 season.[83] Donaldson finished the season with 43 appearances and 7 goals.[83]

He broke his fibula during August 2009, which resulted in him being ruled out of playing for eight weeks.[84] He finished the 2009–10 season with 39 appearances and 13 goals.[85] His first appearance of the 2010–11 season came in the opening game, a 1–0 defeat to Hereford on 7 August 2010,[86] with his first goals coming after scoring twice in a 7–0 victory over Barnet on 21 August.[87] He finished the season with 48 appearances and 29 goals,[88] including 28 goals in the league, making him League Two's top goalscorer.[89]

Brentford[edit]

Donaldson signed a three-year contract with League One club Brentford on a free transfer on 1 July 2011.[90][91] After helping Brentford gain promotion to the Championship in the 2013–14 season, manager Mark Warburton confirmed that Donaldson would be offered a new deal with the club.[92]

Birmingham City[edit]

Donaldson turned down Brentford's contract offer, and signed a two-year deal with their 2014–15 Championship rivals Birmingham City, to begin on 1 July 2014 when his Brentford contract expired.[93] He made his debut as a second-half substitute in the opening-day defeat at Middlesbrough, opened the scoring as Birmingham beat Cambridge United 3–1 in the League Cup,[94] and collected Wes Thomas's through ball to run on and score in a draw with [Ipswich Town F.C.|Ipswich Town]] on 19 August.[95]

International career[edit]

Donaldson was named in the England National Game XI team, who represent England at non-League level, in October 2005, for a European Challenge Trophy game against Belgium.[96] He was named in the initial 35-man squad for the Four Nations Tournament in May 2006.[97] He was named in the initial 22-man squad,[98] then eventually in the final 16-man squad for the team to play the Netherlands in November.[99] He made his debut in this match, coming on as a substitute in the last 15 minutes, during which he set up Dagenham & Redbridge striker Craig Mackail-Smith for the final goal in a 4–1 victory.[100]

He was included in the squad which played Northern Ireland in February 2007.[101] However, York manager Billy McEwan contemplated withdrawing Donaldson from the game, after Donaldson's comeback for York against Altrincham in February.[102] He eventually featured after being played from the start against Northern Ireland, but was substituted after 50 minutes for Paul Benson, who scored England's only goal two minutes after coming on in a 3–1 defeat.[103]

Personal life[edit]

His brother, Jahsiah Donaldson, signed schoolboy forms with Leeds United in July 2008.[104]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 16 September 2014
Club statistics
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Hull City 2002–03[5] Third Division 2 0 0 0 0 0 1[a] 1 3 1
2003–04[13] Third Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 2[a] 0 2 0
Total 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 5 1
Harrogate Town (loan) 2002–03[105] NPL Premier Division 6 2 6 2
Scarborough (loan) 2003–04[12] Football Conference 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Halifax Town (loan) 2003–04[15] Football Conference 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Harrogate Town (loan) 2004–05[18] Conference North 8 3 8 3
York City 2005–06[25] Conference National 42 17 2 1 1[b] 0 45 18
2006–07[55] Conference National 43 24 2 1 3[c] 1 48 26
Total 85 41 4 2 4 1 93 44
Hibernian 2007–08[66] Scottish Premier League 18 5 1 0 2 1 21 6
Crewe Alexandra 2008–09[83] League One 37 6 3 1 1 0 2[a] 0 43 7
2009–10[85] League Two 37 13 1 0 1 0 0 0 39 13
2010–11[88] League Two 43 28 1 0 2 0 2[a] 1 48 29
Total 117 47 5 1 4 0 4 1 130 49
Brentford 2011–12[106] League One 46 11 2 0 1 0 2[a] 0 51 11
2012–13[107] League One 44 18 7 4 1 0 4[d] 2 56 24
2013–14[108] League One 46 17 2 1 0 0 0 0 48 18
Total 136 46 11 5 2 0 6 2 155 53
Birmingham City 2014–15[94] Championship 7 1 0 0 2 1 9 2
Career total 383 145 21 8 10 2 17 5 431 160
  1. ^ a b c d e Appearance(s) in Football League Trophy
  2. ^ Appearance in FA Trophy
  3. ^ One appearance and one goal in FA Trophy, two appearances in Conference National play-offs
  4. ^ One appearance in Football League Trophy, three appearances and two goals in League One play-offs

Honours[edit]

Brentford

Individual

References[edit]

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External links[edit]