||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
|Date of birth||12 January 1970|
|Place of birth||Whiston, Merseyside, England|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Midfielder, Striker (retired)|
|2002||→ Coventry City (loan)||8||(2)|
|2004||→ Crewe Alexandra (loan)||15||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Craig Hignett, (born 12 January 1970 in Whiston), is an English former professional footballer and current assistant manager at Middlesbrough. He started his career as a striker but later moved into midfield.
After the club were relegated in his first season with Middlesbrough, he helped them back up two seasons later. In 1996–97 Hignett again suffered relegation with Middlesbrough and was part of the team that lost in the FA Cup final and League Cup final the same season. He had however made sure of a place in the club's history by scoring the first goal at the Riverside Stadium, their new ground, in a 2–0 win over Chelsea at the start of 1995–96 Season.
Hignett also took a pay cut to stay at the club at one point, in stark contrast to the many big-name signings Middlesbrough were bringing in at the time. In 1998 he left Middlesbrough to sign for Aberdeen on a free transfer, having made 194 appearances and 48 goals for Boro. His stay at Aberdeen was short lived, only lasting six months, before signing for Barnsley for £800,000 in 1999.
After suffering relegation from the Premiership, Barnsley were looking for a quick return to the top flight and Hignett's 20 goals in his second season at Oakwell helped them reach the play-off final of the 1999–2000 season. Hignett scored once in the final but Barnsley lost 4–2 to Ipswich Town.
Hignett left Barnsley in 2000 after 66 appearances and 35 goals for the club; he signed for Blackburn Rovers for a fee of £2.2. million. He helped Rovers regain their Premiership status and won a League Cup winners medal in 2002 when Blackburn beat Tottenham Hotspur 2–1 in the final, with Hignett coming off the bench.
However, in the 2002–03 season he only played three league games and one UEFA Cup game; Hignett was sent on loan to Coventry City halfway through the season but suffered a hairline fracture of his leg at Bramall Lane on 28 December 2002 which ended his loan spell. After returning, he scored on the final day of the season which was to prove to be his last appearance for Blackburn Rovers. He played 68 times and scored 14 goals for Rovers before being released.
In 2003 he signed for Leicester City but struggled to get in the side, making only 15 appearances before going on loan back to Crewe Alexandra at the end of the 2003–04 season and playing another 15 games. He only scored once during his time at Leicester but it was a memorable goal: a crucial injury time equaliser against Arsenal.
On 22 March 2007, Hartlepool United signed Hignett on a short-term contract. Hignett had been training with the club and had taken part in Reserve Team fixtures prior to signing up permanently. He left the club in May 2007.
He has recently starred in Sky1's Premier League All Stars, in which he helped Middlesbrough beat Newcastle, and represented England in the 2009 Home Nations Masters Cup despite having not won a full international cap. As of April 2008 he was part of the Academy coaching staff at Middlesbrough. He was linked with the Darlington job after Colin Todd was sacked, he was again rumoured after Steve Staunton was sacked. In May 2013, Hignett became assistant manager at Hartlepool United alongside Colin Cooper.
- Blackburn Rovers
- "Middlesbrough: Craig Hignett leaves Hartlepool United for Boro". http://www.bbc.co.uk/. BBC. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
- "Crewe extend Hignett loan". BBC. 17 February 2004. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- ,Northern Echo – Interview with Craig Hignett, 2 October 2004, Accessed 26 January 2007
- "Hignett denies Arsenal late on". BBC. 4 December 2003. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
- Official Hartlepool United Site article on signing of Craig Hignett, 22 March 2007, Accessed 22 March 2007[dead link]
- "MATCH PACK: Bolton Wanderers". mfc.co.uk. 18 April 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2008.[dead link]