|Full name||Lionel Glenn Robert Ainsworth|
|Date of birth||1 October 1987|
|Place of birth||Nottingham, England|
|Height||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
|2006||→ Bournemouth (loan)||7||(0)|
|2007||→ Halifax Town (loan)||2||(1)|
|2007||→ Wycombe Wanderers (loan)||7||(0)|
|2007–2008||→ Watford (loan)||2||(0)|
|2008–2009||→ Hereford United (loan)||7||(3)|
|2010||→ Brentford (loan)||9||(0)|
|2012||→ Burton Albion (loan)||7||(0)|
|2013||→ Aldershot Town (loan)||7||(0)|
|2013–||→ Motherwell (loan)||29||(11)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:29, 16 June 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Ainsworth was born in Nottingham and started his career at Derby County, signing his first professional contract on 4 August 2005. He made his first team debut on 25 February 2006 in a 1–0 home win over Plymouth Argyle, coming on as a late substitute for Kevin Lisbie. His second and final first team appearance for Derby came in a 5–0 defeat to Reading on 1 April 2006, again as a substitute.
Ainsworth spent the first four months of the 2006–07 season on loan at League One side Bournemouth, but made only nine appearances. In January 2007 he joined Conference side Halifax Town for a month, scoring his first senior goal on his debut against York City. Soon after his return to Derby he joined League Two side Wycombe Wanderers on loan until the end of the season, where he made seven appearances before being recalled in April.
He was released by Derby at the end of the 2006–07 season and was signed by Hereford United, who were about to start their second season back in the Football League. He quickly established his place in the side and featured in every first team match bar one, during his time with the Bulls. In only his second match he scored his first senior hat-trick in a 4–1 League Cup first round win over Yeovil Town. He went on to score another hat-trick, this time in a 3–2 league win at Stockport County. Ainsworth's last match for Hereford saw him score a 3rd minute winner against Leeds United, in the FA Cup First Round.
His performances for Hereford saw Watford sign him initially on loan and then permanently on 5 January 2008 for an undisclosed six figure fee. The Hornets had already loaned Toumani Diagouraga and Theo Robinson to Hereford, and manager Aidy Boothroyd extended these loans to the end of the season as part of the Ainsworth transfer deal. He also gave Hereford first option on Diagouraga, which the Bulls duly utilised in the summer of 2008. Ainsworth signed a contract until the end of the 2009–10 season.
On 16 November 2008, Watford caretaker manager Malky Mackay named Ainsworth as one of three players that were to be loaned to other clubs to gain match fitness. Four days later Ainsworth rejoined Hereford United on a month's loan, on the anniversary of his final match for the Bulls. Lionel scored three more goals for United in the 2008–09 season including a brace and two assists against Oldham Athletic in a 5–0 hammering. Following that performance Lionel was recalled to Watford with one game still left on his loan deal.
On 23 January he was signed by Football League One side Huddersfield Town on a two-and-a-half-year contract. His debut came as a substitute for Keigan Parker in the 1–0 defeat by Yeovil Town at Huish Park on 27 January 2009. His first start for the Terriers came in the 1–0 win over Peterborough United on 31 January 2009.
After a period of being left out of the side altogether, Ainsworth moved on loan to fellow League One side Brentford on 27 January 2010. He made his debut in the 4–0 win over Gillingham at Griffin Park on 6 February 2010.
After making his first start for the Bees, he got in trouble with the club's manager Andy Scott, who substituted him. He angrily went off the pitch and afterwards Scott said that Ainsworth wouldn't play for the club again for showing disrespect to the club and its fans, so Ainsworth was sent back to Huddersfield.
A season of mixed fortunes has led to Ainsworth looking for a transfer away from Huddersfield. Rival clubs Shrewsbury Town & Hereford United were rumoured to be interested in Lionel. At a fans forum on 21/07/10 Hereford's manager Simon Davey confirmed he had made an approach to Huddersfield for Lionel.
Lionel signed a two year deal with Shrewsbury Town during the 2010/11 pre season on a free transfer, with Huddersfield gaining 20% on any future sell on fee by Shrewsbury.
Lionel made his league debut for Shrewsbury Town on 7 August 2010 with a man of the match performance in a 3–1 victory against Bradford City on the opening day of the 2010/11 season in front of 6,993 fans. He scored his first goal for Shrewsbury Town against Rotherham United on 4 September 2010, the only goal of the game in a 1–0 win at the Greenhous Meadow, attendance 6,206. Lionel got his first hat-trick for Shrewsbury Town in a 5–1 win against Lincoln City on Tuesday 8 February 2011. He finished the season with 9 goals, the majority from the wing.
A string of man of the match performances at the beginning of the 2011/12 season, as well as playing a big part in Shrewsbury's League Cup win against ex club Derby County and Premier League club Swansea City to set up a 3rd round clash with Arsenal, has made Lionel a real crowd favourite at Shrewsbury. On 6 March 2012, Ainsworth joined fellow Football League Two side Burton Albion on a one-month loan deal. In May 2012, Ainsworth was released from Shrewsbury after being told his contract would not be renewed.
Ainsworth signed for Rotherham United on 18 June 2012. He scored his first goal for the club on his debut on 11 August 2012, in a League Cup game against Hull City, in which Rotherham lost 7–6 on penalties after drawing 1–1 against the Championship side. He made his league début on 18 August, in a 3–0 win against Burton Albion in the club's first ever competitive game at the New York Stadium.
On 29 August 2013, Ainsworth signed on loan for Motherwell until January 2014. He scored his first goal on his second appearance for Motherwell against Dundee United on 22 September 2013. On 3 January 2014, after four goals in his last four appearances, Ainsworth's loan was extended to the end of the season. He went on to have a sensational season at Mothwerwell as one of the Scottish Premiership's standout players for Season 2013-14. With 11 goals, he scored more goals than any other winger. With 9 assists, he was top of the overall assists table, ahead of every Celtic player and other creative players such as Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Gauld and Peter Pawlett.
On 16 June 2014, Ainsworth signed for Motherwell permanently on a one-year deal.
Ainsworth has represented at youth level playing for England at England U-17 and England U-18 level. Ainsworth received his first call up for the England U-19 team shortly after backing into the first team at Derby County.
- League Two: promotion 2012–13 (Runners Up)
- "Lionel Ainsworth profile". Official Motherwell FC Site. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- Hugman, Barry J. (ed) (2008). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2008–09. Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-84596-324-8.
- Hereford recruit winger Ainsworth BBC Sport, 3 August 2007
- Ainsworth hat-trick sees Hereford through BBC Sport, 14 August 2007
- Watford sign Bulls hero Ainsworth BBC Sport, 23 November 2007. Retrieved on 24 November 2007.
- Statement on Lionel Departure Hereford United Official Site, 23 November 2007. Retrieved on 24 November 2007.
- Ainsworth signs Watford Official Site, 5 January 2008. Retrieved on 5 January 2008.
- Ainsworth back to the Bulls Watford Official Site, 20 November 2008. Retrieved on 20 November 2008.
- Brewers Bring in Lionel Ainsworth on Loan BAFC, 6 March 2012. Retrieved on 6 March 2012.
- Ainsworth proud of Shrews stay Skysports, 9 May 2012. Retrieved on 9 May 2012.
- "Rotherham sign Shrewsbury Town winger Lionel Ainsworth" BBC Sport. 18 June 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- "Hull 1–1 Rotherham" BBC Sport. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- "Rotherham 3–0 Burton" BBC Sport. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- "Aldershot Town sign Rotherham's Lionel Ainsworth on loan". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
- "Motherwell sign Lionel Ainsworth on loan from Rotherham". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- "Rotherham winger extends Motherwell stay". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- "Lionel Ainsworth signs contract to stay at Fir Park". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 June 2014.