Paul Morgan (footballer)

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Paul Morgan
Personal information
Full name Mark Paul Thomas Morgan[1]
Date of birth (1978-10-23) 23 October 1978 (age 35)[1]
Place of birth Belfast, Northern Ireland
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[1]
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Accrington Stanley
(Head Physiotherapist)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–2001 Preston North End 0 (0)
1997–1998 Sligo Rovers (loan) 0 (0)
2001–2007 Lincoln City 212 (2)
2007–2009 Bury 20 (0)
2008–2009 Macclesfield Town (loan) 39 (0)
2009–2012 Macclesfield Town 67 (0)
National team
1998 Northern Ireland U21 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:53, 11 May 2012 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Mark Paul Thomas Morgan (born 23 October 1978), more commonly known as Paul Morgan, is a Northern Irish former professional footballer who played as a defender. He is now Head physiotherapist of youth and academy at Accrington Stanley.[2]

Morgan's career lasted from 1997 until 2012, starting out with Preston North End in the 1997–98 campaign. He failed to make an appearance for North End from then until his departure in 2001 and also spent a spell on loan with League of Ireland side Sligo Rovers. His spell in Ireland brought a brief and solitary cap for the Northern Ireland U21 side. In 2001 he joined Lincoln City where he spent seven years of his career, notably qualifying for the League Two play-offs in four consecutive seasons, losing out in the 2002–03 and 2004–05 seasons at the final in the Millennium Stadium. Morgan became Lincoln skipper towards the end of his spell with the club and racked 212 league appearances, scoring 2 goals. In 2007 he joined Bury where his former Lincoln boss Keith Alexander had taken up the director of football role. After two years with Bury he followed Alexander again to Macclesfield Town where he spent the last three years of his career.

At the age of 33, having been released by Macclesfield at the end of the 2011–12 season, Morgan retired from professional football and signed for Accrington Stanley as the clubs new head physiotherapist.

Club career[edit]

Preston North End[edit]

Born in Belfast,[1] Morgan began his career at Preston North End, spending time on loan at Sligo Rovers during the 1997–98 season. In his time at Sligo, Morgan was part of the team which won the 1997–98 League of Ireland Cup, defeating Shelbourne over two legs in February.[3][4] His time at Preston was blighted by injury and he made only a solitary League Cup appearance for the club.

Lincoln City[edit]

On 9 July 2001 Morgan linked up with Lincoln City on an initial one month's contract. Morgan had been offered a new contract by Preston North End but turned it down favouring a move to Sincil Bank in a bid to impress the Imps manager Alan Buckley.[5] After performing well during the pre-season, including scoring on his debut in a 5–1 friendly victory over Collingham on 13 July,[6] he signed a two-year deal with the club on 7 August.[7]

Morgan would go on to captain the side in 2002/3 and formed a fifth of a defence (with Stuart Bimson, Simon Weaver, Ben Futcher and Mark Bailey) that only conceded 37 goals in 46 League games that season. He was consistently linked to sides much higher up the Football League and was widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the lower leagues. He is one of the few players to have been involved in all five of the seasons where Lincoln reached the Playoffs to date, although he missed some of the actual Playoffs due to injury.

Paul scored twice during his time at Lincoln, the latter of which was a 93rd minute equaliser in an away game at Torquay United, a game which the Imps would then win two minutes later. Thankfully he was rarely beyond the half way line and his no-nonsense style of defending won him many fans at Sincil Bank. As time went on though the Imps were bringing in more defenders and that, combined with injuries, meant that Paul found himself falling down the pecking order. He left Lincoln in 2007 following a dip in form and his wife's relocation to Manchester.

Bury[edit]

He signed for Bury on 26 June 2007 but his first season with the club was hampered by a knee injury.

Macclesfield Town[edit]

On 8 July 2008 Morgan went on a season-long loan to Macclesfield Town, where he would work with manager Keith Alexander for the third time in his career. He was appointed Macclesfield's captain ahead of the 2010/2011 season by manager Gary Simpson who described him as 'perfect captain material', as well as studying at the University of Salford for a degree in Physiotherapy. In May 2012, Morgan was released by Macclesfield due to the expiry of his contract.[8] Morgan joined Conference National side Barrow on trial in July 2012 but was unable to earn a contract.[9]

International career[edit]

Morgan has represented his national team, Northern Ireland, at Under-16, Under-18 and Under-21 level, however, has not represented them at senior level. His only call up came in 2002/3, but the friendly was cancelled a week before theg ame was due to be played.

Physiotherapist[edit]

At the age of 33, having been released by Macclesfield at the end of the 2011–12 season, Morgan retired from professional football and signed for Accrington Stanley as the clubs new head physiotherapist.[10]

Honours[edit]

Sligo Rovers[edit]

Lincoln City[edit]

  • League Two
    • Play-off Finalists (2): 2002/03 (*), 2004/05
    • Play-off semi-finalists (3): 2003/04 (*), 2005/06, 2006/7

(*) = Then known as Division 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 294. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0. 
  2. ^ "Paul Morgan's LinkedIn Profile". LinkedIn. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Shel-shocked by Ogden; Sligo take a giant first step in final". Daily Mirror. 18 February 1998. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Lincoln provide useful test in brisk friendly". Sligo Weekender. 19 July 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2008. 
  5. ^ "Two more sign for City". Lincoln City F.C. Official Website. 9 July 2001. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "Boss "delighted" with players' effort". Lincoln City F.C. Official Website. 14 July 2001. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "City clinch Morgan signing". Lincoln City F.C. Official Website. 7 August 2001. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  8. ^ "Retained List Announced". Macclesfield Town. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  9. ^ http://www.nwemail.co.uk/afc/news/morgan-spices-up-barrow-pre-season-training-1.968028?referrerPath=afc
  10. ^ "Paul Morgan's LinkedIn Profile". LinkedIn. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 

External links[edit]