Daly playing for Dundee United in 2011
|Full name||Jonathan Marvin Daly|
|Date of birth||8 January 1983|
|Place of birth||Dublin, Ireland|
|Height||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|2004||→ Bury (loan)||7||(1)|
|2004||→ Grimsby Town (loan)||3||(1)|
|2006||→ Bury (loan)||11||(2)|
|1999–2000||Republic of Ireland U16||8||(1)|
|2001–2002||Republic of Ireland U19||9||(7)|
|2002–2003||Republic of Ireland U20||5||(0)|
|2002–2003||Republic of Ireland U21||7||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 4 December, 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Jon Daly started his career at Irish amateur side Cherry Orchard, before signing for Stockport County in May 1998. At Stockport he made an immediate impact scoring regularly for the youth and reserve team. Daly began to make an impression on manager Andy Kilner during Stockport's pre-season tour of Scandinavia. After coming on a substitute against Landskrona BoIS, he impressed Kilner and the youngster was awarded with a start against Kristianstads, in which he scored his first senior goal after "lobbing" the Kristianstad keeper. The following season saw Daly become Stockport's second youngest player when he came off the bench to make his first team debut against Walsall. However, Daly failed to secure a regular place and he only managed to play in 5 matches in his first two seasons. Consequently, Daly had to wait until the 2001–02 season before he scored his first senior goal against Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup. After scoring his first goal, Daly began to play in the Stockport team. However, this was disrupted when he was sent off after appearing to elbow Mitchell Thomas during Stockport's 2–0 defeat to Burnley. However after receiving his ban, Daly returned to the side to face Wimbledon and responded by scoring his first league goal.
By the start of the 2002–03 season, Daly was regarded as one of Division 2's most promising strikers. He played more regularly and he was involved in 35 of Stockport's 46 league games, scoring 7 goals. During this season Stockport manager, Carlton Palmer, decided against naming a goalkeeper on the bench and revealed that he was planning to use Jon Daly in net should their keeper get sent off or injured. However, this never occurred and Daly never made an appearance in net.
In February 2005, Daly signed for Hartlepool, where he would stay for the next two years. Daly's scored his first goal for Hartlepool against Bournemouth, which helped seal Hartlepool a play-off spot. Daly's most important goal came weeks later in the League 1 Play-off Final against Sheffield Wednesday, when he scored with his first touch after coming on as a substitute to put Hartlepool in the lead. However, Hartlepool would later end up losing that match but the goal will be remembered as the goal that almost sent Hartlepool into the Championship. Daly would struggle to feature for the club the following season and was sent on loan to Bury. In the 2006–07 season, Daly would at first again struggle to hold down a first team spot. However, he cemented his in Hartlepool's record books in the with a remarkable scoring spree of 7 goals in a week (3 games), including his first hat-trick of his professional career against Wrexham on 30 September 2006. After this Daly would struggle to refind his form and was surplus to requirements after Danny Wilson signed Richie Barker.
Daly made his debut for the club, on 13 January 2007, in a 5–0 loss against Rangers. Having made eight appearance so far in his career, Daly scored his first goal goal in a 1–1 draw against League champions Celtic. After the match, Daly performance was praised by Craig Levein, describing him as "tireless up front and a lot of people don't see all the work he does." He scored again, the last game of the season, in a 4–2 win over Aberdeen. In May 2007, Daly suffered a posterior cruciate ligament injury, ruling him out for around six months, which affected the start of the season.
In the 2007–08 season, on 23 August 2007, Daly says he's making his return within the next six weeks. Having appeared four times on the bench, Daly made his return, on 10 November 2007, in a 2–0 win over Kilmarnock. However, on his next appearance, Daly suffered another injury, in the 24th minutes, on his ankle, against Hibernian. He would be out for two months, expectations on making his return in New Year Though the two months is about come to the end, his injuries went even worse, that will keep him to recover for another month. On 12 March 2008, Daly made his recovery and played his first match, coming on as a substitute for Craig Conway, in a 0–0 draw against Celtic. Towards the end of the season, Daly has since come on as a substitute without scoring, often playing out of position. Upon his return injuries, Levein described fully fit Daly as a new signing, having made a return.
In 2008–09 season, Daly made his first appearance, coming on as substitute, in a 2–0 loss against Kilmarnock on 30 August 2008. Soon a week later, Daly scored two goals in consecutive games, against Hearts and Inverness Caledonian Thistle. He soon scored his first brace of his Dundee career, in a 2–0 win against St. Mirren on 29 November 2008, before scoring third goal in two consecutive games. Later in the season, his form dropped badly by coming on as a sub without scoring, often playing out of position, though making several starts. On 23 December 2008, Daly would sign a new three-year contract extension, that will keep him until 2012. On 11 January 2009, Daly provided assist for Prince Buaben before scoring a goal for himself, in a 4–0 win over East Stirlingshire, in the fourth round of Scottish Cup. In April 2009, Daly injured both his anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, ruling him out of action for "at least 12 months", although he was later expected to return within half that timeframe. Shortly after suffering an injury, Conway scored a goal, in a 1–0 win over Hamilton, dedicating his [Conway] goal to Daly.
Subsequently returning in late November, Daly scored in his first two substitute appearances, including a winner against Celtic before netting his second hat-trick for the club in January 2010, scoring three in the club's 4–1 win at Falkirk. Following his hat-trick, He would add two more goal, adding his tally to five goal in three appearance. Jon finished the season as Dundee United's top scorer, and picked up a Scottish Cup Winners medal in May 2010. After winning the Scottish Cup, Daly gave his thoughts saying:
|“||I was told I might be out of football for a year. That would have taken me up to April and I might have missed the Cup Final. But I worked hard and managed to get back by November. It's been a difficult time but this medal makes it all worthwhile. You have dark days when you're seriously injured and there were times I wondered if I would ever come back. It's all forgotten about when you have a dream day like the one we have just enjoyed against Ross County. The manager reminded us before the game there aren't many Dundee United players who have lifted the Scottish Cup for the club. He told us to write our name into the history books and that's what we've done.||”|
United manager Peter Houston subsequently named Jon Daly as club captain for season 2010–11. Daly then scored his first goal of the season, on the opening game of the season, in a 1–1 draw against St. Mirren. Daly would make his European debut, in the qualification round, as Dundee United lose 1–0 against Greek side AEK Athens; then in the second leg, Daly scored his first European goal after coming on as a substitute, in a 1–1 draw, but the draw doesn't kept Dundee United in the Europa League because the Aggregate goal, which AEK scored earlier. After the match, Daly says his goal couldn't save the club European's campaign, believing the club should have done better. However, during the season, Daly would suffer injuries, such as head and Hernia. But he managed to overcome those injuries and on 1 May 2011, Daly received a red card after a second bookable offence, as Dundee United lose 4–1 against Celtic. The next game, on 7 May 2011, Daly, then, scored his hat-trick of his Dundee United career, as they beat Motherwwll 4–0. Despite the injuries, Daly scored twelve goals in all competitions.
In the 2011–12 season, Daly started his season, playing in both legs of the UEFA Europa League tie against Polish side Śląsk Wrocław. In the second leg, following a 1–0 loss, Daly made an assist for David Goodwillie before scoring his first goal of the season, from the penalty spot, as Dundee United won 3–2. However, Dundee United were eliminated from the Europa League, thanks to the away goal rule.  Despite the loss, Daly then signed contract extensions with the club until 2013. In April 2012, Daly was awarded the March Player of the Month award, in which, Daly described his form as 'the best form of his career'. Shortly after winning the Player of the Month award, Daly, along with three other United players, were nominated for the PFA Scotland player of the year award. Eventually, the award went to Charlie Mulgrew. He had managed to score 19 goals in 36 matches for Dundee United by 1 April 2012, becoming a crucial part of the team and gained himself club captaincy. Daly would also score 22 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions.
In the 2012–13 season, Daly started his season, playing in both legs of the third round qualifier of the Europa League against Russian side Dynamo Moscow. In the first leg, Daly provided an assist for Keith Watson in a 2–2 draw. However, in the second leg, the club would lose heavily in a 5–0 loss. Daly scored his first goal of the season, on the opening game of the league campaign, in a 3–0 win over Hibernian. In a 3–3 draw against Kilmarnock, on 16 November 2012, Daly scored a brace. In a 4–4 draw against Inverness, on 15 December 2012, Daly assisted Josh Meekings before scoring another brace for himself. After the match, Daly would describe the match as one of the most exciting games in SPL history. Throughout the Scottish Cup campaign, Daly scored a brace in a fourth round tie against Stranraer; followed up by a double assist for Russell before setting a goal for himself, in a fifth round win over Rangers and in the semi-final, Daly scored twice, in a 4–3 loss against Celtic. Later in the season, Daly would score nine more goals in the league and finish second top-scorer behind Johnny Russell.
On 24 May 2013, Daly agreed to join Rangers on a free transfer, when the Glasgow club's transfer ban is lifted on 1 September 2013. On 4 March 2013, Rangers announced they would make a move to sign Daly on a pre-contract deal. Manager Ally McCoist confirmed their interest in signing Daly. The move was subject to controversy as Daly would become the first Catholic player from the Republic of Ireland to sign for Rangers. McCoist, himself, said that he had no problem with Daly's religion or place of birth. Daly scored his first goal for Rangers in a preseason friendly against FC Emmen. Daly scored his first competitive goals for Rangers in a 6–0 away victory against Airdrieonians F.C. making the score 4–0 & 6–0. His next goal for Rangers was in a 3–0 victory over Queen of the South in the Ramsdens Cup Quarter Final on 17 September. On 28 September he scored four times in an 8–0 victory over Stenhousemuir. Another hat-trick was scored in a 4–0 away win over East Fife on 26 October. Jon scored Rangers only goal in the Ramsdens cup semi-final against Stenhousemuir to secure Ally McCoist his first final as manager since taking over from Walter Smith in 2011. a few days after Daly scored a double against Airdrieonians F.C. in a 3–0 victory in the Scottish Cup booking Rangers place in the next round. Daly scored his 15th and 16th goals for the season in consecutive matches against Dunfermline and Airdrieonians F.C. respectively
Jon Daly represented Republic of Ireland from under 14 to under 21 level and was hailed by Niall Quinn as his successor to the Republic of Ireland front line. Daly's talent was then recognised when he picked up Ireland's 2001 Youth Player of the Year award and he was also given the opportunity to progress to the under-21 team. Daly maintained his promise and scored in Ireland's under-19 3–2 victory over England.
For the next two years, Daly kept his place and became a frequent goalscorer in the Republic of Ireland under-21 national football team and went on to play at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, playing in two of Ireland's group matches before their second round exit.
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