Justin Whittle

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Justin Whittle
Personal information
Full name Justin Whittle[1]
Date of birth (1971-03-18) 18 March 1971 (age 43)[1]
Place of birth Derby, England[1]
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Centre Back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994 Celtic 0 (0)
1994–1998 Stoke City 79 (1)
1998–2004 Hull City 193 (2)
2004–2008 Grimsby Town 131 (3)
2008–2009 Harrogate Town 23 (1)
2009–2011 North Ferriby United 47 (2)
Total 473 (9)
Teams managed
2011 North Ferriby United (Caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Justin Whittle (born 18 March 1971) is a former English professional footballer who played as a defender from 1994 until 2011.[1]

As a player he notably captained Humberside clubs Hull City and Grimsby Town. He also appeared for Celtic where he started his career in 1994 before moving on to Stoke City. Following his departure from Grimsby in 2008 he moved into the Non-League game playing for Harrogate Town and North Ferriby United before retiring in 2011, where he briefly managed the club in a caretaker role whilst previously serving as assistant manager.

Playing career[edit]

Stoke City[edit]

Whittle was born in Derby and began his career in the Army and was deployed to Germany where he served with the British Army of the Rhine.[1] Whilst in Germany he played football in an army tournament and was spotted by scouts from Celtic and he joined them along with Gary Holt. After a season at Celtic both joined Lou Macari at Stoke City and Whittle made his professional debut away at Southend United in the 1995–96 season. He played in both of the club's play-off matches against Leicester City at the end of the season as Stoke lost 1–0.[1] He made 40 appearances in 1996–97 as Stoke finished in a mid-table position of 12th.[1] In 1997–98 Stoke suffered relegation to the Second Division, however Whittle did manage to win the player of the year award despite playing in just 20 league matches.[1] Under Brian Little in 1998–99 he played in 15 matches scoring his only goal for Stoke against Reading on 3 October 1998. After falling out with manager Little, Whittle was sold to Hull City in November 1998.[1]

Hull City[edit]

Justin spent six seasons at Hull City and was a firm fans' favourite there.[2] He was recruited by Warren Joyce in 1998 while City were battling relegation from the Football League and became an integral part of the "Great Escape" team. He left after captaining the promotion-winning 2003–04 side - he was offered a new contract at Hull, but with no guarantee of first-team football he chose to accept an offer from Grimsby Town instead. Due to his cult status at Hull, his departure led to widespread criticism of manager Peter Taylor from the fans. Taylor however delivered a second promotion the following season, but many fans still wished that Whittle had still been there to be a part of this success.

Grimsby Town[edit]

Whittle joined Grimsby in time for the start of the 2004–05 season after it became apparent that first team opportunities would be limited at Hull due to an influx of new players and that he would lose the captaincy as a result. After an average first season with Grimsby, Whittle went from strength to strength, and provided a commanding force at the back for his club. His efforts in the 2005–06 season saw the club make an appearance at the Millennium Stadium in the play-offs, and go on an impressive run in the Carling Cup where the club defeated Derby County and Tottenham Hotspur before making an exit at the hands of Newcastle United. After playing in the heart of defence with many different players at the club it was surprisingly his partnership with Nick Fenton in the 2006–07 season that caught the eyes of the club's supporters.

Despite the club struggling in the league, Whittle was voted "Player of The Season" for his efforts and earned himself a 1 year contract extension. It was apparent from the start of the following season that Whittle was to play a smaller or less important role in the club's affairs. The number 6 shirt he had held since he arrived was stripped of him and he was listed as number 15 in the squad. Fitness and injury worries plagued Whittle and when fit, he was often named as a substitute playing second fiddle to the likes of Nick Fenton, Ryan Bennett and Rob Atkinson. As well as this Whittle was not used in the club's Wembley appearance in the Football League Trophy final in March. In April 2008 it was decided by the club that they would not offer Justin Whittle an extension to his contract and he left on good terms in May after playing some of his best football with the Mariners.[3]

Harrogate Town[edit]

In the summer of 2008 Whittle signed for Conference North side Harrogate Town.[4] Whittle went on to play in 23 games for Town before being released in March 2009.

North Ferriby United[edit]

Whittle signed for North Ferriby United in March 2009, slotting straight into his usual central defensive position. After two years with the Northern Premier League side Whittle retired from playing in football in 2011.

Managerial & coaching career[edit]

Following his retirement Whittle became assistant manager at former club North Ferriby United in August 2011. Following the resignation of John Anderson on 11 September, Whittle took caretaker control of the first team alongside club captain Paul Foot. Whittle left the club in October following the appointment of manager Billy Heath and assistant Bobby Carroll.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Whittle is a former member of the Royal Army Pay Corps in the British Army where he served before embarking in his football career. Since retiring from football, Whittle has continued to reside in Kingston upon Hull and often writes columns for local newspapers analysing his former club Hull City.

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Stoke City 1995–96 First Division 8 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 10 0
1996–97 First Division 37 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 40 0
1997–98 First Division 20 0 1 0 4 0 0 0 25 0
1998–99 Second Division 14 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 15 1
Total 79 1 2 0 7 0 2 0 90 1
Hull City 1998–99 Third Division 24 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 26 1
1999–2000 Third Division 38 0 4 0 4 0 2 0 48 0
2000–01 Third Division 38 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 42 0
2001–02 Third Division 36 0 2 0 1 0 2 1 41 1
2002–03 Third Division 39 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 41 1
2003–04 Third Division 18 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 21 0
Total 193 2 10 0 9 0 7 1 219 3
Grimsby Town 2004–05 League Two 40 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 43 1
2005–06 League Two 32 0 0 0 3 0 4 0 39 0
2006–07 League Two 37 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 41 1
2007–08 League Two 18 1 1 0 1 0 3 0 23 1
Total 131 3 5 0 7 0 8 0 151 3
Career Total 403 6 17 0 23 0 17 1 460 7
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Football League Trophy and Football League play-offs.

Honours[edit]

Stoke City
Hull City
Grimsby Town

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lowe, Simon (2000). Stoke City The Modern Era - A Complete Record. Desert Island Books. ISBN 1-874287-39-2. 
  2. ^ The Top 100 Tigers | Hull City | News | News | News
  3. ^ "Mariners release defender Whittle". BBC News. 12 April 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Whittle Signs Up!". Harrogate Town OWS. 24 June 2008. Retrieved 25 June 2008. 
  5. ^ "Billy Heath appointed as new Manager". 3 October 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 

External links[edit]