Kevin Pilkington

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Kevin Pilkington
Personal information
Full name Kevin William Pilkington
Date of birth (1974-03-08) 8 March 1974 (age 40)
Place of birth Hitchin, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Notts County
(Goalkeeping Coach)
Youth career
Harrowby United
1990–1992 Manchester United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1998 Manchester United 6 (0)
1996 Rochdale (loan) 6 (0)
1997 Rotherham United (loan) 17 (0)
1998 Celtic (loan) 0 (0)
1998–2000 Port Vale 23 (0)
2000 Aberystwyth Town 1 (0)
2000 Wigan Athletic 0 (0)
2000–2005 Mansfield Town 170 (0)
2005–2010 Notts County 141 (0)
2009–2010 Luton Town (loan) 8 (0)
2010–2012 Luton Town 15 (0)
2010–2011 Mansfield Town (loan) 10 (0)
2012–2014 Notts County 2 (0)
Total 399 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Kevin William Pilkington (born 8 March 1974) is an English former professional footballer who is the goalkeeping coach at League One side Notts County.

As a player, noted for his shot stopping abilities, Pilkington played Premier League football for Manchester United before dropping down to the Football League, where he played in nearly 350 games in his time at Mansfield Town and Notts County, helping Mansfield win promotion out of the Third Division in 2001–02. He spent five years with Mansfield and then another five years with Notts County; at both clubs he was usually the first choice keeper, rather than a back-up keeper as he was at most other clubs. He has also represented Rochdale, Rotherham United, Celtic, Port Vale, Aberystwyth Town, Wigan Athletic and Luton Town.

Playing career[edit]

Manchester United[edit]

Pilkington started his footballing career at Manchester United, signing after he was scouted playing non-league football for Harrowby United.[1] He featured in their FA Youth Cup triumph in 1992, after which he signed a professional contract. He found himself to be the third choice behind Peter Schmeichel and one of Gary Walsh, Tony Coton or Raimond van der Gouw, and although he was selected as an unused substitute in their two goalless draws with Russian side Torpedo Moscow in the 1992–93 UEFA Cup, he did not play a first team game until 16 November 1994, when he appeared as a substitute for the injured Peter Schmeichel in a 3–0 win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League on 16 November 1994. However, manager Alex Ferguson decided to select Gary Walsh as goalkeeper for the 10 league games in which Schmeichel was absent, meaning that Pilkington was on the substitutes bench in each of these games, and back in the reserves once Schmeichel returned to fitness and Walsh returned to the bench.

Gary Walsh was sold to Middlesbrough just before the start of the 1995–96 season, enabling Pilkington to become United's second choice goalkeeper. Pilkington made the first competitive start of his career in one of the most embarrassing games of United's modern history on 20 September 1995, when as the Premier League's second placed team they were beaten 3–0 at home by Second Division strugglers York City. His first league start came on 2 December 1995, when United drew 1–1 with Chelsea, Dennis Wise getting the better of Pilkington in the game at Old Trafford. He played a further two league games that season.

In February 1996 he joined Division Three side Rochdale on a six-week loan, as the arrival of Tony Coton had reduced him to third choice goalkeeper after six months as second choice. Coton left for Sunderland just before the start of the 1996–97 season, but Pilkington's hopes of becoming second choice goalkeeper again were ended by the arrival of 33-year-old Dutchman Raimond van der Gouw. He played no part in United's 1996–97 season, instead joining Rotherham United on a three-month loan in January 1997. He played 17 games for the Second Division club, keeping just two clean sheets in a sub-par team that finished the season seventeen points adrift of safety from relegation.

Pilkington played two games of United's disappointing 1997–98 campaign. On Boxing Day he kept goal in a 2–0 defeat of Everton at Old Trafford, though two days later he conceded three at Highfield RoadCoventry City winning 3–2. He spent two months on loan with Scottish Premier League giants Celtic in the run-up to their 1998 title triumph, but he failed to make the field.

Port Vale[edit]

He signed with Port Vale on a free transfer in June 1998. Unable to dislodge the veteran Paul Musselwhite in the 1998–99 season, a young Pilkington played nine Division One games in mid-season, Vale losing all but two of them. Again forced to play second fiddle in 1999–2000, he played in sixteen games, keeping three clean sheets. He was at Vale Park for the end of an era – following John Rudge's dismissal, he was first choice keeper under Brian Horton from March onwards, but was released at the end of the season.

Mansfield Town[edit]

Following a brief spell with Welsh Premier League Aberystwyth Town,[2] Pilkington joined Second Division side Wigan Athletic in early September 2000. After just six days he dropped down to Mansfield Town in the fourth tier.[3] He played just three games for the "Stags" that season, before summer signing Michael Bingham from Blackburn Rovers was recruited as competition for the number 1 jersey.[4]

Promoted to first choice keeper in 2001–02, he played almost fifty games as the club achieved promotion in third place. Early in the season, Pilkington conceded a goal in bizarre circumstances during a League Cup First Round defeat to Notts County. Opposition keeper Steve Mildenhall put a free kick into Pilkington's net from inside of his own half of the field. In a first half to forget, County's Danny Allsopp also scored a 31st minute hat-trick.

After recovering from a broken wrist in September,[5] he played 36 games the next season, as Mansfield came straight back down. Pilkington played a massive 55 competitive games in 2003–04. He kept a clean sheet in the 2004 play-off final, though Huddersfield Town won 4–1 on penalties.[6]

In 2004–05, Pilkington was busy once again, keeping goal on 46 occasions. At the end of the campaign he was out of contract.[7] Offered a one-year deal, manager Carlton Palmer was confident of his signature.[8] However, with the new deal paying less than his previous contract, he rejected the offer, despite Palmer being "95% sure" Pilkington would sign.[9] Pilkington instead signed with League Two rivals Notts County in June 2005.[10]

Notts County[edit]

In his first season at Meadow Lane, he played 48 games. In a difficult season, the experienced keeper helped the "Magpies" defence to compensate for their woeful scoring record. A clean sheet kept against Oxford United on 18 March proved vital as Oxford finished 23rd, three points behind County. Had Pilkington conceded a goal that day then it eventually would have been Notts County who would have lost their Football League status for the first time in the league's history. He dislocated a shoulder in April, which caused him to miss the last games of the season.[11]

Notts County were a lot more comfortable the following season, Pilkington making 40 appearances, all but one of them in the league. Boss Steve Thompson had some explaining to do when he dropped Pilkington in favour of Saul Deeney for a brief period in December.[12]

In 2007–08 the club again narrowly avoided relegation into the Conference, as County finished six points ahead of Pilkington's former club Mansfield Town in 23rd place. He played 35 games and said he was in the best form of his life,[13] when in mid-February he suffered a fractured leg.[14] At the end of the season he signed a new two-year contract.[15]

He started the 2008–09 season as second choice keeper behind Russell Hoult.[16] Following an injury to Hoult, Pilkington made 26 appearances as his club struggled yet again. The ten points that Notts County finished above 23rd-place Chester City concealed the fact that, without point deductions for other teams, the "Magpies" would once again have finished six points above the relegation zone.

After a takeover at County in the summer of 2009, Pilkington found himself out in the cold as third choice goalkeeper behind new signing Kasper Schmeichel and, once again, Russell Hoult. On 12 November 2009, he signed on a one-month loan for Conference Premier side Luton Town, later extended for a further month on 17 December, acting as cover for the injured Mark Tyler.[17][18] He returned to Notts County after suffering an injury of his own in a 3–2 loss to Ebbsfleet United on 30 January 2010. On 10 May 2010, it was announced that he had been released by Notts County along with seven other players.[19]

Luton Town[edit]

Ten days later, Pilkington signed for his previous loan club Luton Town on a permanent one-year contract.[20] He made two starts at the beginning of the 2010–11 season, before losing his place in the team to Mark Tyler. Pilkington joined former club Mansfield Town on a three-month loan on 28 October 2010.[21] He returned to Luton on 28 January 2011 having made 11 appearances in all competitions for Mansfield.[22] At the end of the season, Pilkington signed a one-year contract extension to stay at Luton until June 2012.[23]

Coaching career[edit]

On 16 September 2011, Pilkington was appointed goalkeeping coach of Northern Premier League Division One South side Ilkeston. He carried out the role in addition to his playing duties with Luton.[24] On 20 February 2012, Pilkington was appointed goalkeeping coach of Notts County. He was released from his playing contract at Luton to take up the role and subsequently retired from playing.[25][26] On 29 March 2013, he took to the field as a half-time substitute after Bartosz Białkowski was taken ill, and conceded one of the goals in a 2–1 defeat to Brentford at Griffin Park.[27] On 1 February 2014 he again took to the field, conceding two goals, but making some key saves, in a 2–0 defeat to Preston North End at Deepdale.[28]

Statistics[edit]

Season Club Division League FA Cup League Cup Other[29] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1992–93 Manchester United Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1993–94 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1994–95 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1995–96[30] 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 5 0
1995–96 Rochdale (loan) Third Division 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
1996–97[31] Manchester United Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1996–97[31] Rotherham United (loan) Second Division 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 0
1997–98[32] Manchester United Premier League 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
1997–98[32] Celtic (loan) SPL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 6 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 8 0
1998–99[33] Port Vale First Division 8 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
1999–2000[34] 15 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 17 0
Total 23 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 26 0
2000–01 Aberystwyth Town League of Wales 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2000–01[35] Wigan Athletic Second Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2000–01[35] Mansfield Town Third Division 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
2001–02[36] 45 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 49 0
2002–03[37] Second Division 32 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 36 0
2003–04[38] Third Division 49 0 4 0 1 0 1 0 55 0
2004–05[39] League Two 42 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 46 0
Total 170 0 11 0 4 0 4 0 189 0
2005–06[40] Notts County League Two 45 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 48 0
2006–07[41] 39 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 40 0
2007–08[42] 32 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 35 0
2008–09[43] 25 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 26 0
Total 141 0 5 0 3 0 0 0 149 0
2009–10[44] Luton Town Conference Premier 8 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 11 0
2010–11[45] 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
2010–11[45] Mansfield Town (loan) 10 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 11 0
2011–12[46] Luton Town 12 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 15 0
Total 23 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 29 0
2012–13[47] Notts County League One 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2013–14[48] 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Career total 399 0 25 0 10 0 4 0 438 0

Honours[edit]

with Mansfield Town

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kevin Pilkington recalls hairdryer treatment from retiring Sir Alex Ferguson". Nottingham Post. 10 May 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Welsh Premier profile
  3. ^ Fletcher, Paul (4 December 2002). "Life after Man Utd". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Mansfield sign Blackburn keeper". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 10 July 2001. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Stags suffer keeper blow". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 23 September 2002. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Huddersfield 0–0 Mansfield". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 31 May 2004. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "Palmer to talk with Mansfield duo". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 3 May 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Palmer sure Pilkington will stay". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 12 May 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "Pilkington will sign says Palmer". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 10 June 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "Notts County bring in Pilkington". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 22 June 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  11. ^ "Injury ends Pilkington's season". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 13 April 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  12. ^ "Thompson explains keeper switch". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 13 December 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  13. ^ "Pilkington mellows at Meadow Lane". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 6 February 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2009. 
  14. ^ "Notts keeper out for two months". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 27 February 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "Pilkington delight at Notts deal". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 10 June 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  16. ^ "Pilkington relieved to play again". BBC Sport. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  17. ^ "County keeper joins Hatters". Sky Sports (BSkyB). 12 November 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  18. ^ "Keeper Pilkington extends stay". lutontown.co.uk (Luton Town FC). 17 December 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  19. ^ "Notts County release eight out-of-contract players". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 10 May 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  20. ^ "Town pick-up another Pilkington". lutontown.co.uk (Luton Town FC). 20 May 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "Kevin Pilkington loaned to Stags". lutontown.co.uk (Luton Town FC). 28 October 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  22. ^ "Pilkington Returns". lutontown.co.uk (Luton Town FC). 28 January 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
  23. ^ "Luton Town give deals to Pilkington and Tyler". BBC Sport. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  24. ^ "New look to Ilkeston FC backroom line-up". Ilkeston F.C. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  25. ^ "Kevin Pilkington Joins Magpies". Luton Town F.C. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012. 
  26. ^ "Curle Heads Up New Look Backroom Team". Notts County F.C. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012. 
  27. ^ "Brentford 2 - 1 Notts County". BBC Sport. 29 March 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  28. ^ "Preston 2 - 0 Notts County". BBC Sport. 1 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  29. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the Football League Trophy.
  30. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 1995/1996". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  31. ^ a b "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 1996/1997". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  32. ^ a b "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 1997/1998". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  33. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 1998/1999". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  34. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 1999/2000". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  35. ^ a b "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 2000/2001". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  36. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  37. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  38. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  39. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  40. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  41. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  42. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  43. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  44. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  45. ^ a b "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  46. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  47. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  48. ^ "Games played by Kevin Pilkington in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 

External links[edit]