Justin Richards (footballer)

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This article is about the English footballer. For the writer, see Justin Richards.
Justin Richards
Richards, Justin.jpg
Richards in 2013
Personal information
Full name Justin Donovan Richards[1]
Date of birth (1980-10-16) 16 October 1980 (age 34)
Place of birth Sandwell, England[1]
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Sutton Coldfield Town
Youth career
1997–1999 West Bromwich Albion
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2001 West Bromwich Albion 1 (0)
2001–2003 Bristol Rovers 16 (0)
2002 Colchester United (loan) 2 (0)
2002–2003 Stevenage Borough (loan) 13 (6)
2003–2004 Stevenage Borough 29 (3)
2004–2006 Woking 79 (35)
2006–2007 Peterborough United 13 (1)
2006 Grays Athletic (loan) 5 (0)
2007 Boston United (loan) 3 (0)
2007–2009 Kidderminster Harriers 65 (22)
2008 Oxford United (loan) 15 (1)
2009–2010 Cheltenham Town 44 (15)
2010–2011 Port Vale 42 (9)
2011–2013 Burton Albion 48 (12)
2013 Oxford United (loan) 2 (0)
2013 Oxford United 2 (0)
2013–2014 Tamworth 18 (1)
2014– Sutton Coldfield Town 6 (1)
National team
2006 England C 1 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:42, 20 September 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Justin Donovan Richards (born 16 October 1980) is an English footballer who currently plays for Northern Premier League Division One South side Sutton Coldfield Town, where he plays as a striker.

Richards has a tally of around one goal every four games and has played mostly in the Conference and lower reaches of the Football League. Something of a journeyman player, he has tended to play for teams in his local area around the Midlands and Southern England.

Richards started his career at West Bromwich Albion in 1997, and failed to establish himself at the club in four years. After two years with Bristol Rovers he switched to Stevenage Borough. In 2004 he signed with Woking, and after a highly successful two years was snapped up by Peterborough United. In 2007 he joined Kidderminster Harriers, where he stayed for two years before he signed with Cheltenham Town. In the summer of 2010 he was signed to Port Vale, before moving on to Burton Albion the following year, and to Oxford United and then Tamworth in 2013. He signed with Sutton Coldfield Town in July 2014. In addition to this he has enjoyed six loan spells at Colchester United, Stevenage Borough, Grays Athletic, Boston United and Oxford United.

Playing career[edit]

Richards began his career at West Bromwich Albion, joining as an apprentice in July 1997 and turning professional in 1999.[2] He made his Albion debut as a substitute against Ipswich Town in March 1999,[3] and made one further substitute appearance the following season before moving on to Ian Holloway's Bristol Rovers for £75,000 in January 2001.[2] A week after signing him Holloway left the club.[4] Richards had a short loan spell at Colchester United in November 2002. In three seasons with the "Pirates" he started just three games and could do little to prevent the club's relegation from the second to third tier in 2000–01. At the end of 2002 he joined non-league Stevenage Borough on loan, scoring six goals in thirteen games, including a hat-trick against Farnborough Town.[5]

Richards signed a permanent deal with Borough in March 2003.[6] His high-scoring loan spell was not matched by a ratio of three goals in thirty games during his year-long injury-affected spell as a full-time Stevenage player.[7] In May 2004 he moved on to Woking.[8] His first season at the club was a moderate success with fourteen goals. During the 2005–06 season Richards was the second top scorer in the Conference with 22 goals in all competitions, a goalscoring record that attracted the attention of League Two club Peterborough United.

Richards moved to Peterborough in June 2006 on a free transfer, signing a two-year deal.[9] This came despite interest from Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough.[10] He scored just one goal for Peterborough before being loaned out to Conference club Grays Athletic in November 2006,[11] as part of a deal which saw Peterborough sign Gray's striker Aaron McLean.[12] He was recalled by the "Posh" the next month.[13] Despite continued interest from Nigel Clough,[14] in January 2007 Richards joined Boston United, then in League Two, on a one-month loan.[15]

At the end of the 2006–07 season, unwanted at 'Boro by Darren Ferguson,[16] Richards dropped back out of the Football League, signing for Kidderminster Harriers on a free transfer.[17] He was considered a big signing for the club.[18] He scored six goals in 22 appearances in his opening season with the "Harriers". In January 2008, he joined Oxford United on loan until the end of the season.[19] He managed just one goal in fifteen appearances for the Oxfordshire club.

Richards returned to Kidderminster and decided to stay on at the club for the 2008–09 season. He enjoyed his second most prolific season in the Conference, hitting seventeen goals in all competitions. His shooting partner, and good friend,[20] Matthew Barnes-Homer managed to top this tally with nineteen goals.

Richards in a September 2010 1–0 victory over Aldershot Town for Port Vale.

In June 2009, Richards signed a one-year contract with Cheltenham Town, making his second return to league football. He enjoyed a successful season in which he was the club's top scorer with 15 goals in 44 games.[21] In summer 2010 Richards was offered a fresh contract at Cheltenham, but was also approached by League Two rivals Port Vale.[22] In June 2010 Richards agreed terms with Port Vale.[23]

"Even at 29, there's things I can improve him on, I've had a decent record working with centre-forwards. The way we play will suit him and he knows he's got to work hard."

He settled in quickly at the club, building a partnership with his namesake Marc Richards in the 2010–11 pre-season,[24] which continued into the league campaign.[25] He quickly endeared himself to "Valiants" fans, scoring a brace in their 3–1 win at Championship side Queens Park Rangers in the League Cup First Round.[26][27] This was followed by a thirteen-game barren spell, which was ended by three goals in four games, including a strike that took the club into the Third Round of the FA Cup.[28] The Richards duo's partnership was ended in January when Marc suffered a thigh injury; upon his recovery Justin was dropped to make way for loan striker Tom Pope.[29] Richards scored his first hat-trick in the Football League on 30 April, along with Louis Dodds, in a 7–2 win over Morecambe.[30] In all he helped himself to fourteen goals in fifty appearances that season, whilst his strike partner and namesake hit twenty goals in 46 games.

In July 2011, Richards signed a two-year contract with Vale's nearby League Two rivals Burton Albion, after moving on a free transfer.[31] Though the move came as a surprise to outside observers, Burton manager Paul Peschisolido said that "Justin is a player I admire and...I'm sure he'll bring us goals."[32] Richards scored twice on his league debut, helping Burton earn a 2–2 draw at Torquay United on 6 August.[33] After four games without a goal, he then went on a streak of six goals in five games, including a brace against Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium. Richards finished the 2011–12 campaign with 12 goals in 37 appearances.

Under the stewardship of Gary Rowett, Richards slipped behind Calvin Zola, Matt Paterson, and Billy Kee in a largely single-striker system in 2012–13.[34] He returned to Chris Wilder's Oxford United on loan for a second time in January 2013; he was signed to provide cover for the suspended James Constable.[35] He played three games for Oxford, and was released from his contract at the Pirelli Stadium by Rowett at the end of the month.[36] He signed for Oxford on a deal until the end of the 2012–13 season on deadline day, 1 February 2013.[37] However after less than two weeks he was ruled out of action for the rest of the season after picking up a knee injury.[38] He was one of 12 players released by manager Chris Wilder in May 2013.[39]

In June, 2013, Richards signed a contract with Tamworth to play for them in the Conference Premier for the forthcoming season; manager Dale Belford stated that securing his services was a "massive coup" for the "Lambs".[40] He scored only one goal in 18 league appearances throughout the 2013–14 season, as the "Lambs" suffered relegation.

Neil Tooth, manager of Northern Premier League Division One South side Sutton Coldfield Town, signed Richards in July 30 2014.[41]

International career[edit]

His success at Woking saw him earn a call-up to the England C team in May 2006.[42] He scored in his only game, a 1–1 draw with Wales in the Four Nations Tournament at Priory Lane.[43] His career as a semi-international was quickly ended once he joined Football League club Peterborough United later that year.

Personal life[edit]

On 19 December 2010, Richards and four friends took part in a drunken brawl with another man during a night out in Leeds.[44] The following year he pleaded guilty to affray, and was fined £2,000 and given a community order with 100 hours unpaid work.[44] Two of his friends were given suspended prison sentences, whilst the other two were also fined and given unpaid work.[44] Judge James Spencer QC accepted that the men behaved out of character and were ashamed of their behaviour.[44][45]

In June 2011 he was studying to complete a degree in Professional Sports Writing and Broadcasting at Staffordshire University, alongside former teammates Gareth Owen, Adam Yates, and Ritchie Sutton.[46]

Statistics[edit]

As of 3 May 2014.
Season Club Division League FA Cup League Cup Other[47] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1998–99[48] West Bromwich Albion First Division 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1999–2000[49] 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2000–01[50] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
2000–01[50] Bristol Rovers Second Division 7 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 8 0
2001–02[51] Third Division 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2002–03[52] 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
2002–03[52] Colchester United (loan) Second Division 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Total 16 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 17 0
2002–03[52] Stevenage Borough (loan) Conference 19 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 6
2003–04[53] Stevenage Borough 23 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 24 3
Total 42 9 0 0 0 0 1 0 43 9
2004–05[54] Woking Conference 41 14 1 0 0 0 2 0 44 14
2005–06[55] 38 21 4 0 0 0 3 1 45 22
Total 79 35 5 0 0 0 5 1 89 36
2006–07[56] Peterborough United League Two 13 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 16 1
2006–07[56] Grays Athletic (loan) Conference 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
2006–07[56] Boston United (loan) League Two 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Total 13 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 16 1
2007–08[57] Kidderminster Harriers Conference 26 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 28 6
2007–08[57] Oxford United (loan) 15 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 1
2008–09[58] Kidderminster Harriers 39 16 2 1 0 0 1 0 42 17
Total 65 22 4 1 0 0 1 0 70 23
2009–10[59] Cheltenham Town League Two 44 15 1 0 1 0 1 0 47 15
Total 44 15 1 0 1 0 1 0 47 15
2010–11[60] Port Vale League Two 42 9 4 2 2 2 2 1 50 14
Total 42 9 4 2 2 2 2 1 50 14
2011–12[61] Burton Albion League Two 35 11 0 0 1 0 1 1 37 12
2012–13[62] 13 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 15 1
Total 48 12 0 0 2 0 2 1 52 13
2012–13[62] Oxford United League Two 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Total 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
2013–14[63] Tamworth Conference Premier 18 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 20 1
Total 18 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 20 1
Career total 397 105 18 3 7 2 15 3 437 113

Honours[edit]

with Woking

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rollin, Glenda; Rollin, Jack, eds. (2012). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2012–2013 (43rd ed.). London: Headline. p. 444. ISBN 978-0-7553-6356-8. 
  2. ^ a b Matthews, Tony (2005). The Who's Who of West Bromwich Albion. Breedon Books. p. 192. ISBN 1-85983-474-4. 
  3. ^ Matthews, Tony (2007). West Bromwich Albion: The Complete Record. Breedon Books. pp. 374–375. ISBN 978-1-85983-565-4. 
  4. ^ Fletcher, Paul (1 December 2005). "Cards ace bets on League return". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Stevenage 5–0 Farnborough". BBC Sport. 28 December 2002. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Stevenage land Richards". BBC Sport. 18 March 2003. Retrieved 21 May 2007. 
  7. ^ "Westley praises Richards". BBC Sport. 22 January 2004. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Richards signs for Woking". BBC Sport. 11 May 2004. Retrieved 21 May 2007. 
  9. ^ "Posh snap up Richards from Woking". BBC Sport. 1 June 2006. Retrieved 21 May 2007. 
  10. ^ "Clough chases Curtis and Richards". BBC Sport. 11 May 2006. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "Grays extend Posh striker's spell". BBC Sport. 1 December 2006. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "Grays star McLean moves to Posh". BBC Sport. 31 October 2006. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  13. ^ "Grays sign Cowan from Shrewsbury". BBC Sport. 2 January 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  14. ^ "Clough keen on striker Richards". BBC Sport. 22 December 2006. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  15. ^ "Boston sign Posh striker Richards". BBC Sport. 11 January 2007. Retrieved 21 May 2007. 
  16. ^ "Posh manager wants seven to leave". BBC Sport. 4 May 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  17. ^ "Richards signs for Kidderminster". BBC Sport. 6 June 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  18. ^ Owens, Trevor (6 June 2007). "Richards is Aggborough-bound". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  19. ^ "Patterson signs trio of new faces". BBC Sport. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2008. 
  20. ^ "Old pals act working for Harriers". BBC Sport. 16 September 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  21. ^ "Cheltenham sign striker Richards". BBC Sport. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  22. ^ Shaw, Steve (9 June 2010). "Port Vale: Richards flattered by Vale interest". The Sentinel. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  23. ^ "Port Vale sign Cheltenham striker Justin Richards". BBC Sport. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2010. 
  24. ^ "Port Vale: Striker Justin Richards delighted with Vale move". The Sentinel. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  25. ^ "Port Vale strike partnership blossoming – Marc Richards". BBC Sport. 23 August 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  26. ^ "QPR 1 – 3 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  27. ^ "QPR win was no fluke, says Port Vale boss Micky Adams". BBC Sport. 11 August 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  28. ^ "Gareth Owen delight for Port Vale's Justin Richards". BBC Sport. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  29. ^ Shaw, Steve (1 March 2011). "Port Vale: Richards ready and waiting for big chance". The Sentinel. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  30. ^ Phil Sherwin. "Phil Sherwin: Bizarre victory a fitting Vale Park finale for a bizarre season". The Sentinel. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  31. ^ "Burton Albion sign Justin Richards and Tom Parkes". BBC Sport. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  32. ^ "Port Vale: Richards goes for a Burton". The Sentinel. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  33. ^ "Torquay 2 - 2 Burton Albion". BBC Sport. 6 August 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  34. ^ "Burton Albion striker Justin Richards set for Oxford switch". Derby Telegraph. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  35. ^ "Oxford United sign Justin Richards & Lewis Montrose on loan". BBC Sport. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  36. ^ "Striker leaves by mutual consent". burtonalbionfc.co.uk. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  37. ^ "Luke McCormick: Oxford United sign Truro City keeper". 1 February 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  38. ^ "Oxford United fear lengthy Justin Richards absence". BBC Sport. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  39. ^ "Oxford United: Michael Duberry among 12 released". BBC Sport. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  40. ^ "Tamworth swoop for former West Bromwich Albion youth". Tamworth Herald. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  41. ^ "Royals Sign 4". Pitchero.com. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  42. ^ "Fairclough names 35-man squad". BBC Sport. 2 May 2006. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  43. ^ "Wales and England settle for draw". BBC Sport. 26 May 2006. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  44. ^ a b c d "Footballer seen joining drunken attack on CCTV". Yorkshire Post. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  45. ^ "Footballer Seen Joining Drunken Attack". Security Oracle. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  46. ^ Earle, Robbie (23 June 2011). "Robbie Earle: Career after football can be daunting prospect". The Sentinel. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  47. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the Football League Trophy & FA Trophy.
  48. ^ "Games played by Justin Richards in 1998/1999". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  49. ^ "Games played by Justin Richards in 1999/2000". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  50. ^ a b "Games played by Justin Richards in 2000/2001". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  51. ^ "Games played by Justin Richards in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  52. ^ a b c "Games played by Justin Richards in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  53. ^ "Games played by Justin Richards in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  54. ^ "Games played by Justin Richards in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  55. ^ "Games played by Justin Richards in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  56. ^ a b c "Games played by Justin Richards in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  57. ^ a b "Games played by Justin Richards in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  58. ^ "Games played by Justin Richards in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  59. ^ "Games played by Justin Richards in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  60. ^ "Games played by Justin Richards in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  61. ^ "Games played by Justin Richards in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  62. ^ a b "Games played by Justin Richards in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  63. ^ "Games played by Justin Richards in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 

External links[edit]