Jan Åge Fjørtoft

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Jan Åge Fjørtoft
Jan Åge Fjørtoft.jpg
Fjørtoft in 2008
Personal information
Full name Jan Åge Fjørtoft
Date of birth (1967-01-10) 10 January 1967 (age 47)
Place of birth Gursken, Møre og Romsdal, Norway
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Centre forward
Youth career
Gursken
1982–1985 IL Hødd
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1987 HamKam 44 (17)
1988–1989 Lillestrøm 33 (20)
1989–1993 Rapid Wien 129 (63)
1993–1995 Swindon Town 72 (27)
1995–1996 Middlesbrough 41 (10)
1997–1998 Sheffield United 34 (19)
1998 Barnsley 34 (9)
1998–2001 Eintracht Frankfurt 52 (14)
2001 Stabæk 15 (6)
2002 Lillestrøm 4 (0)
Total 458 (185)
National team
1984 Norway U19 6 (5)
1985–1987 Norway U21 14 (6)
1986–1996 Norway 71 (20)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Jan Åge Fjørtoft (born 10 January 1967 in Gursken[1]) is a former Norwegian footballer. A powerful centre forward with goalscoring ability, he played professionally in Norway, Austria, England and Germany. He appeared in 71 international matches (10 as captain) and scored 20 goals for Norway.

Playing career[edit]

After starting in Norway with HamKam and Lillestrøm and spending four seasons in the Austrian Bundesliga with Rapid Wien – where he became only the second foreigner to be Player of the Year in 1989 – Fjørtoft spent several seasons in England during the 1990s. He joined Swindon Town in the summer of 1993 following their promotion to the Premiership, costing the Wiltshire club a record £500,000. He had a slow start to his career at Swindon endured a terrible start to their first ever top division campaign, failing to win any of their first 16 games. Fjørtoft failed to find the net until after Christmas, but scored 13 goals from his final 17 games, including a hat-trick in a 3–1 win against Coventry City on 5 February 1994.[2] However, it was not enough to prevent Swindon from going down in bottom place with a mere five league wins having conceded 100 league goals.[3]

Fjørtoft continued to score frequently during 1994–95 and helped Swindon reach the League Cup semi-finals, but their league form was disastrous once more and he transferred to Middlesbrough on 23 March 1995 for £1.3million.[4] By this stage, he had scored 25 goals in all competitions for the Robins and was one of the highest scorers in the English league that season.

Meanwhile, Fjørtoft was a regular player for Middlesbrough as soon as he joined the club, and helped them finish the season as Division One champions. Due to a restructuring of the league, they were the only team to gain automatic promotion to the Premiership in 1995. He was a regular player throughout the 1995–96 campaign and, as the Norwegian partnered Brazilian playmaker Juninho, Boro finished in a respectable 12th place; although they had occupied fourth place in late autumn, a disastrous run of form coinciding with an injury crisis during mid season sabotaged their hopes of European qualification or a title challenge. Fjørtoft had scored six goals from 26 Premier League games.[5]

But the arrival of Italian striker Fabrizio Ravanelli pushed him down the pecking order for 1996–97, and he was sold to Division One promotion chasers Sheffield United for £700,000 on 31 January 1997. In his final game for Middlesbrough Fjørtoft scored a crucial goal against Hednesford Town in the fourth round of the FA Cup.[6] Boro would go on to reach the final after his departure.

After the Blades lost to Crystal Palace in the playoff final, he played at United until 15 January 1998, when he joined newly promoted Barnsley to have another crack at the Premiership. He was unable though, to prevent Barnsley's only season at Premier League level ending in relegation, although scoring six goals in 15 Premiership games. He left Barnsley in November 1998 to join Eintracht Frankfurt, calling time on his five-year spell in England.

Fjørtoft's next stop came in Germany with Eintracht Frankfurt, where he spent three years (25 November 1998 – 31 May 2001). He became a cult hero for the club, scoring a decisive 89th minute goal in the final game of the 1998–99 season, keeping Eintracht up.[7] He returned home to Norway with Stabæk, and finished his career with Lillestrøm in 2002, retiring at the age of 35.

International career[edit]

Between 1986 and 1996, Fjørtoft collected 71 caps for Norway, being part of the nation's squad in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where he appeared as a starter against Mexico (1–0) and Italy (0–1).

International goals[edit]

Honours[edit]

Lillestrøm
Middlesbrough
Individual

Statistics[edit]

Club performance League Cup Other Other Total
Season Club Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Norway League Norwegian Cup Playoffs Europe Total
1986[9][10] Ham-Kam 1. divisjon 22 7 3 6 25 13
1987[9][10] 22 10 6 5 2 0 30 15
1988[9] Lillestrøm 22 14 3 2 25 16
1989[9] 11 6 3 2 0 0 14 8
Austria League Austrian Cup Supercup Europe Total
1989–90[11] Rapid Wien Bundesliga 34 17 5 3 6 3 45 23
1990–91[11] 33 17 5 4 2 0 40 21
1991–92[11] 34 16 3 6 37 22
1992–93[11] 28 13 4 4 2 2 34 19
England League FA Cup League Cup Other[n 1] Total
1993–94[4] Swindon Premier League 36 12 2 1 1 0 39 13
1994–95[4] Division One 36 15 2 1 8 9 2 0 48 25
1994–95[12] Middlesbrough 8 3 0 0 0 0 8 3
1995–96[12] Premier League 28 6 0 0 6 2 34 8
1996–97[13][12] 5 1 2 1 1 0 8 2
1996–97[13] Sheffield United Division One 17 10 0 0 0 0 3 1 20 11
1997–98[13][14] 17 9 2 2 3 1 22 12
1997–98[13] Barnsley Premier League 15 6 0 0 0 0 15 6
1998–99[13] Division One 19 3 0 0 6 4 25 7
Germany League DFB-Pokal DFB-Ligapokal Europe Total
1998–99[15] Eintracht Frankfurt Bundesliga 17 6 0 0 17 6
1999–00[15] 21 5 1 2 22 7
2000–01[15] 14 3 1 1 15 4
Norway League Norwegian Cup Europe Total
2001[9] Stabæk Tippeligaen 15 6 3 2 18 8
2002[9] Lillestrøm 4 0 3 0 0 0 7 0
Total Norway 96 43 21 17 2 0 0 0 119 60
Austria 129 63 17 17 10 5 156 85
England 181 65 8 5 25 16 5 1 219 87
Germany 52 14 2 3 54 17
Career total 458 185 48 42 27 16 15 6 548 249

International[edit]

[16]

Norway national team
Year Apps Goals
1986 1 0
1987 2 0
1988 4 2
1989 10 3
1990 9 3
1991 6 2
1992 4 0
1993 9 5
1994 11 1
1995 11 4
1996 4 0
Total 71 20

Retirement[edit]

After his retirement, Fjørtoft worked as a football commentator for NRK and did his coaching badges, but resigned when he took over the Director of Football role at Lillestrøm (LSK). After four and a half years as the director of football, he quit his job at LSK at the end of the 2008 season.

Since 2004 he has also worked at Viasat (Modern Times Group – MTG) as an anchor for the Champions League, the English FA cup, national games and the European League. He also runs his own "Strategic Consultant – company"[clarification needed] with customers in Norway and internationally. He is the chairman of MTG's foundation "MTG United for Peace". A foundation that since October 2010 successfully runs the "MTG United for Peace Cup" in Oslo in association with the Nobel Peace Center and Norwegian Red Cross. More than 150 children from 13 countries participate in the international finals in Oslo representing their countries after having won their local tournaments.

Since August 2011, he has been working as a football pundit on Sky Germany, as well as being one of the primary active twitter ITKs.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Includes Anglo-Italian Cup (1994–95) and Football League play-offs (1997).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jan Åge Fjørtoft (in Norwegian). Store norske leksikon. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  2. ^ Slot, Owen (6 February 1994). "The age of Fjortoft". The Independent (London). Retrieved 13 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "World Cup Connections: Jan Åage Fjørtoft". Swindon Town F.C. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Fjørtoft's Swindon Profile". Swindon Town. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Jan-Aage Fjortoft". sporting-heroes.net. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Turnbull, Simon (27 January 1997). "Hednesford held at bay". London: The Independent. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "1999-2000" (in German). Eintracht Frankfurt. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Jan Fjørtoft". EU-Football.info. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Jan Åge Fjørtoft" (in Norwegian). NFF. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Jan Åge Fjørtoft" (in Norwegian). HamKam. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Jan Age FJÖRTOFT" (in German). Rapid Wien. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c "Jan-Aage Fjortoft". 11v11.com. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d e "Jan-Aage Fjortoft". Soccerbase. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Jan Åge Fjørtoft". National Football Teams. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c "Jan-Aage Fjörtoft". Fussballdaten.de (in German). Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  16. ^ Søfting, Thomas. "Jan Åge Fjørtoft". Retrieved 19 July 2013. 

External links[edit]