Jason Roberts (footballer)
Roberts in 2010
|Full name||Jason No Mark Roberts|
|Date of birth||2 January 1978|
|Place of birth||Park Royal, London, England|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|1997–1998||→ Torquay United (loan)||14||(6)|
|1998||→ Bristol City (loan)||3||(1)|
|2000–2004||West Bromwich Albion||91||(25)|
|2003–2004||→ Portsmouth (loan)||10||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 09:33, 14 November 2012 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Born in Park Royal, London, Roberts was playing football from an early age, and spent time in the youth academies at several professional clubs, but was not retained. After a spell in non-league football with Hayes, he joined Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1997. He failed to make a first-team appearance for Wolves, and had loan spells at Torquay United and Bristol City before signing for Bristol Rovers in 1998. He quickly established himself in the first team, scoring 38 goals in his two seasons at the club.
After the club failed to gain promotion, Roberts handed in a transfer request and was sold to West Bromwich Albion in July 2000. His goals helped the team reach the First Division play-offs in his first season at the club. West Brom then won promotion to the Premier League in the following season. Roberts scored three goals in his first Premier League season as the club were relegated back down to the First Division. He was loaned out to Portsmouth at the start of the 2003–04 season, and was then sold to Wigan Athletic in January 2004. Roberts went on to score 21 goals in Wigan's promotion-winning campaign in the 2004–05 season, and won the club's Player of the Year award at the end of the season. His goals in the following season helped the club finish tenth in its inaugural Premier League campaign, as well as taking the team to the 2006 Football League Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium – the club's first ever major cup final.
After failing to agree a new contract with the club, he was sold to Blackburn Rovers in 2006, where he played European football for the first time. He made over 150 appearances for Blackburn, scoring 28 goals. In 2007, he established the Jason Roberts Foundation, and was awarded an MBE for services to sport in 2009. In 2011, he began working as a presenter for BBC Radio 5 Live's 6-0-6 program. In January 2012. he signed for Reading on an eighteen-month contract and helped them to promotion from the Football League Championship as champions.
Club career 
Early career 
Roberts was born in Central Middlesex Hospital, north-west London. He grew up in Stonebridge, in the London Borough of Brent. Roberts was born into a sporting family: his uncles Cyrille Regis, Dave Regis and Otis Roberts all had careers as professional footballers, while another uncle, John Regis, is a former Olympic sprinter. He began playing football from the age of six, and was scouted by several professional clubs while playing for Parkfield Youth. He trained at the youth academies of a number of these clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, and Chelsea, but failed to earn a contract. He then spent time on trial at Wycombe Wanderers, but was not offered a permanent deal at the club.
After being rejected by Wycombe, Roberts spent more than a year away from football. He began working as an export clerk, and was considering quitting the game altogether. It wasn't until his uncle Cyrille arranged a trial at former club Hayes in the Isthmian League Premier Division that Roberts returned to football. He did enough to impress the club and signed a part-time contract worth £15 per week. He made his debut in November 1995, the season Hayes won promotion to the Football Conference. Early in the 1997–98 season, after scoring five goals in Hayes' three opening league games, he was sold to Wolverhampton Wanderers for £250,000, then moving to Torquay United on loan, where he scored six goals in 13 games. These goals came as Torquay struggled and won a relegation battle. Another loan took him to Bristol City, where he scored one goal against Oldham in three appearances.
He joined Bristol Rovers for £250,000 in August 1998. In the 1998–99 season, Roberts scored 16 goals in 37 league appearances, and was one of the top goal scorers in the FA Cup with a total of seven goals. He continued his plunder in the next season, scoring 22 goals in 41 appearances. In the summer of 2000 however, following Rovers' failure to gain promotion, he handed in a transfer request to the club.
West Bromwich Albion 
Roberts moved to West Bromwich Albion on 26 July 2000, for a club record £2 million fee. He made his debut in a 1–0 defeat away at Nottingham Forest on 12 August 2000, the opening day of the 2000–01 season. He scored twice against Swansea City in the League Cup on 6 September 2000, his first goals for the club. Roberts scored 15 goals in 34 appearances in 2000–01; he formed a successful partnership with Lee Hughes and fired Albion into the First Division playoffs. During West Bromwich's successful promotion campaign of 2001–02 however, Roberts' season was blighted by a persistent foot injury, breaking his fifth metatarsal three times. He managed only 12 league appearances during the season, scoring seven goals.
Despite being fully fit for 2002–03, Albion's first season in the Premier League, Roberts managed only three goals in 31 games. He was loaned out for much of the 2003–04 season to Portsmouth, where he scored once against Everton in four league appearances, with three further goals in the League Cup against Northampton (2) and Nottingham Forest. But a transfer request during the mid-season saw him move to Wigan Athletic for a fee of £1.4 million, potentially rising to £2 million.
Wigan Athletic 
Roberts made his debut for Wigan on 17 January 2004 in a 4–2 win against Preston North End, scoring his first goal for the club inside the first 35 seconds of the match. He made a good start to his career at the club, scoring eight goals in 14 appearances to round out the 2003–04 season. Roberts continued to find the net in the 2004–05 campaign, ending the season with 21 goals in league play—second in The Championship, behind teammate Nathan Ellington. Both players were named in the PFA Championship team of the season. Wigan finished second in the table behind Sunderland, earning automatic promotion to the Premier League. It was his penalty kick goal in the second minute of their 27 August 2005 match against Sunderland that served as the first Premier League goal for the Latics and led them to the first top-flight victory in Wigan Athletic's history.
With Wigan Athletic's promotion to the top flight of English football in May 2005, Jason Roberts was able to establish himself in the Premier League. His goals enabled Wigan to finish the season comfortably in the top half and challenge for a European place in only their first season in the top division of English football. This success was encapsulated in one moment on 24 January 2006—when Roberts himself scored a last minute goal against Arsenal at Highbury in the League Cup semi-final to send Wigan to the first major cup final in their history. He would go on to start for Wigan in the final against Manchester United.
Blackburn Rovers 
On 3 July 2006, he joined Blackburn Rovers on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee. He scored his first goal for Blackburn in the 2–1 FA Cup semi-final defeat against Chelsea, he missed three months of the season with a broken foot. Roberts kept this momentum towards the end of the 2006–07 season by netting five goals in as many games shaking off criticism of many fans.
The following season, he struggled to maintain a place in the Blackburn starting line up due to the signing of Bayern Munich striker Roque Santa Cruz. However after a memorable solo goal at rivals Bolton Wanderers, he claimed back his place and took part in many games towards the end of the season netting some goals and forging a good partnership with Santa Cruz.
Roberts scored seven league goals in the 2008–09 season, as Blackburn struggled in the league finishing 15th. He signed a new deal in November 2008 which will keep him at Ewood Park until the summer of 2011. At the end of the 2009–10 season, in all competitions for Blackburn, Roberts scored five goals in 31 appearances, helping Blackburn finish 10th in the league. On 27 November 2010, Roberts started and played the full 90 minutes in a heavy 7–1 defeat against Manchetser United at Old Trafford. On 12 December 2010, Roberts started and played the full 90 minutes against Bolton Wanderers in 2–1 defeat at the Reebok Stadium. On 18 December 2010, he started but only lasted 10 minutes pulling his hamstring against West Ham United in a 1–1 draw at Ewood Park and was replaced by Benjani. On 31 January 2011, he signed a contract extension keeping him at Blackburn Rovers until the end of the 2011–12 season. On 5 February 2011, Roberts started and played the full 90 minutes against his former club Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium and scored in the 23rd minute in a 4–3 defeat. In the next match, he made a substitute appearance vs. Newcastle United, replacing Roque Santa Cruz at half-time in the 0–0 draw at Ewood Park. On 26 February 2011, Roberts came on for the injured Vince Grella on 63 minutes against Aston Villa in a 4–1 defeat at Villa Park. On 5 March, Roberts partnered fellow striker Mame Biram Diouf in attack for Rovers against Fulham, playing the full 90 minutes in a 3–2 defeat at Craven Cottage. On 19 March 2011, in the premier league fixture with Blackpool, he made a substitute appearance, replacing Steven Nzonzi on 72 minutes in the 2–2 draw at Ewood Park. On 30 April 2011, Roberts started the Lancashire derby with Bolton Wanderers and was replaced on 79 minutes by Morten Gamst Pedersen in the 1–0 win at Ewood Park. On 7 May 2011, Roberts scored in a 1–1 draw at West Ham United. On 14 May 2011, he started and played the full 90 minutes at Ewood Park against Manchester United in the 1–1 draw. On 22 May 2011, he started against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux in the 3–2 victory in the final game of the Barclays Premier League season. On 27 July 2011, he started against Aston Villa in the opening game of the Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong. On 13 August 2011, he started and played the full 90 minutes against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Ewood Park in a 2–1 defeat on the opening day of the new 2011–12 season. On 20 August 2011, Roberts made his 70th Premier League start for Rovers and his 145th in total for the club, starting alongside Scottish international David Goodwillie against Aston Villa at Villa Park.
On 26 January 2012, Roberts signed for Reading on an eighteen-month contract. Roberts scored on his debut against Bristol City on 26 January 2012; when David James saved his penalty and Roberts bundled the ball over the line from the rebound. His second goal came on the 11 February against Coventry City, where he deflected in a Matthew Connolly header. He scored his third goal in four starts in a 1–0 win against Burnley, after looping a Jobi McAnuff cross over keeper Lee Grant. On 10 March, Roberts got on the scoresheet again with a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal, against Leicester City, in a 3–1 win. Reading's matchday edition of the Royals, revealed that Roberts had officially made the best ever start to a Reading career by helping them achieve an eight game winning run, while also scoring four times and providing five assists. He scored his sixth goal for Reading in an important top of the table clash against Southampton, connecting with Jimmy Kébé's pinpoint cross.
International career 
Although Roberts has the potential to be one of the most important players for the Grenada national team, availability issues that come with playing in England have limited his impact with the team. Nevertheless, he was an important force for the team during qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup, in which the Grenada team put up an impressive showing before bowing out to the United States, although he managed to score on a penalty kick against that very team.
International goals 
- Scores and results list Grenada's goal tally first.
|1.||14 March 2004||Blairmont Community Centre, Blairmont||Guyana||2–1||3–1||2006 World Cup qualifier|
|2.||20 May 2004||Estadio Pedro Marrero, Havana||Cuba||1–2||2–2||Friendly|
|3.||2 June 2004||Tanteen Recreation Ground, St. George's||Saint Lucia||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|4.||20 June 2004||Grenada National Stadium, St. George's||United States||1–1||2–3||2006 World Cup qualifier|
|5.||26 March 2008||Grenada National Stadium, St. George's||U.S. Virgin Islands||1–0||10–0||2010 World Cup qualifier|
|7.||14 June 2008||Grenada National Stadium, St. George's||Costa Rica||2–0||2–2||2010 World Cup qualifier|
Media career 
In Wigan's first season in the Premier League, Roberts wrote a weekly blog for the BBC Sport's website. In August 2011 he was announced as a new presenter on 6-0-6 and made his first appearance on Match of the Day 2 in November 2011. He appeared on Match of the Day 2 for the second time on 15 January 2012, the third time on 1 April and a fourth on 11 November.
Personal life 
In Spring 2007, he founded the Jason Roberts Foundation, which aims "to provide a range of sporting opportunities for children and young people in the UK and Grenada". Roberts comes from a very famous family, his uncles include former footballers Cyrille Regis, Dave Regis, Otis Roberts (a former Grenada international who played in Hong Kong and Belgium). He is also related to Olympic medallist John Regis.
Roberts was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours list, for his services to sport in Grenada and in London, England. Upon receiving the award he stated in one of Blackburn's match-day programme notes that he was humbled to get it and thanks everyone who has supported his charity work.
Career statistics 
- As of 14 November 2012
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|1997–98||Torquay United||Third Division||14||6||-||-||-||14||6|
|1997–98||Bristol City||Second Division||3||1||-||-||-||3||1|
|2000–01||West Bromwich Albion||First Division||45||15||1||0||4||2||-||50||17|
|2003–04||Wigan Athletic||First Division||14||8||-||-||-||14||8|
|Grenada national team|
- Matthews, Tony (2005). The Who's Who of West Bromwich Albion. Breedon Books. p. 197. ISBN 1-85983-474-4.
- "Premier League Player Profile". Premier League. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
- "Stonebridge's soccer success". The Brent Magazine. November 2011. p. 9.
- Howard, Alex (2 December 2007). "Dave Sargent". The Non-League Paper. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
- "Jason Roberts column". BBC Sport. 24 November 2005. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
- "I'd have quit if it wasn't for Cyrille; Uncle's help put striker Roberts back on track.". Sunday Mercury. Birmingham. 15 September 2002. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
- "Chelsea reject Roberts has revenge on his mind ahead of Blues clash". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
- "A-Z of Hayes FC: Richards – Rocknean". Hayes & Yeading United F.C. Retrieved 2 January 2009.
- "Victory sends Bristol City a point clear". The Independent (London). 31 March 1998. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
- "Rovers rocked by Roberts' request". BBC Sport. 13 July 2000. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
- "Football: Hignett shows Rovers the exit". The Independent. 14 February 1999. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
- "Albion win Roberts race". BBC Sport. 26 July 2000. Retrieved 25 April 2007.
- "Jason Roberts column". BBC Sport. 4 May 2006. Retrieved 1 May 2007.
- "Rooney sees off Portsmouth". BBC Sport. 13 December 2003. Retrieved 6 November 2009.
- "Portsmouth 5–2 Northampton". BBC Sport. 23 September 2003. Retrieved 6 November 2009.
- "N Forest 2–4 Portsmouth". BBC Sport. 29 October 2003. Retrieved 6 November 2009.
- "Jewell eyes more signings". BBC Sport. 16 January 2004. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
- "Wigan land Roberts". BBC Sport. 13 January 2004. Retrieved 1 May 2007.
- "Preston 2–4 Wigan: Roberts debut joy". ESPN Soccernet. 17 January 2004. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
- "Sunderland/Wigan dominate line-up". BBC Sport. 24 April 2005. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
- "Blackburn sign Roberts from Wigan". BBC Sport. 3 July 2006. Retrieved 25 April 2007.
- http://www.rovers.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10303~2589693,00.html Roberts joins the Royals. 26 January 2012
- "Grenada 10:0 US Virgin Islands". FIFA.com. Retrieved 31 May 2008.
- "Jason Roberts column". BBC Sport. 17 November 2005. Retrieved 26 March 2009.
- "Reading star dreams of wearing green and white Hoops". Celtic FC. 13 April 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
- "Jason Roberts foundation – Charity Fundraising Gala Dinner" (pdf). Jason Roberts foundation. Archived from the original on 30 May 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
- "Jason Roberts gives foundation to new view of football". London: Daily Mail. 1 December 2007. Retrieved 29 May 2008.
- The London Gazette: . 9 May 2010.
- 1st Team Profiles – Jason Roberts Blackburn Rovers FC