Sean St Ledger
Sean St Ledger during a "welcome ceremony" for the Irish squad in Sopot before UEFA Euro 2012
|Full name||Sean Patrick St Ledger-Hall|
|Date of birth||28 December 1984|
|Place of birth||Solihull, England|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Current club||Leicester City|
|2004||→ Stevenage Borough (loan)||0||(0)|
|2006–2011||Preston North End||185||(10)|
|2009||→ Middlesbrough (loan)||15||(2)|
|2013||→ Millwall (loan)||6||(0)|
|2009–||Republic of Ireland||36||(3)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 4 May 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
He was part of the team that lost controversially to France in the play-offs for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, later playing and scoring in UEFA Euro 2012. His equaliser against Croatia at Stadion Miejski in Poznań on 10 June 2012 introduced St Ledger into an elite club of Irish goalscorers at the UEFA European Football Championship.
|This section requires expansion. (May 2012)|
St Ledger's career started in the youth system at Peterborough United in 2001, before joining the first team in 2002, playing mostly as a central defender, though occasionally as a full back or in midfield where he earned the nickname "Seb St Ledger". He joined Football Conference club Stevenage Borough on loan in January 2004. He featured in Sky's series Big Ron Manager, a behind the scenes look at Peterborough United's struggle to enter the Football League Two play-offs at the end of the 2005–06 season.
Preston North End
After a trial with Birmingham City on Barry Fry's recommendation, St Ledger signed a three-year contract with Preston North End in July 2006 for a fee of £225,000. On 5 August 2006, St Ledger made his debut for Preston in a 0–0 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at centre half alongside fellow new signing Liam Chilvers. On 9 April 2007, St Ledger scored his first goal for Preston in a 3–2 loss against Southend United. In his first season at Deepdale, St Ledger made 42 appearances whilst scoring one goal as Preston, who had been top of the league mid-season, failed to retain a playoff berth come May.
St Ledger began the 2007–08 season as first choice centre half alongside Youl Mawéné, scoring his second goal for Preston in a 1–0 win over Coventry City on 9 February 2008. The following week, St Ledger received the first red card of his Preston career in a 2–1 defeat at Colchester United, St Ledger taking out United's Karl Duguid as he went through on goal. St Ledger made 37 appearances for Preston during 2007/08 as the Lilywhites were guided clear of the relegation thanks to a late upturn in results under new manager Alan Irvine.
St Ledger's third and probably most impressive season came in 2008/09 with St Ledger scoring six goals against Watford, Barnsley, Derby, Wolves, QPR and Sheffield Wednesday as the Lancashire club reached the League One Playoff Semi-finals. It was St Ledger's late winner in a 2–1 victory over QPR that clinched the final playoff spot on the last day of the season, heading in a long throw by Jon Parkin. St Ledger made 47 appearances in 2008/09 as well as playing in both legs of the playoff semi final against Sheffield United which Preston lost 1–2 on aggregate.
St Ledger started 2009/10 as impressively as he had done the previous season but after only seven appearances for Preston, St Ledger joined Middlesbrough on loan with a view to a £4 million permanent move come the January transfer window. Rumours at the time told of how club chairman Derek Shaw informed St Ledger on the Preston team coach travelling to that evening's fixture at Scunthorpe that he had to join 'Boro as cash-strapped Preston needed the transfer money. St Ledger left his team mates en route to Lincolnshire and headed for Teesside. St Ledger went on to make 22 appearances for Preston in what became a nightmare season as he saw mentor Alan Irvine sacked one game after his return from Middlesbrough. The centre half scored two further goals against Plymouth and West Brom and Preston hung on to Championship status under Irvine's replacement Darren Ferguson.
St Ledger's final season at Deepdale came in 2010–11 and was blighted by injury and loss of form as Preston struggled under Ferguson. Despite Ferguson's dismissal in December 2010 and an eventual improvement in results under successor Phil Brown, St Ledger could not help Preston being relegated to League One. St Ledger played his final game for Preston on 19 March 2011 at home to Coventry before injury finished his season early. In his fifth and final season, St Ledger played 32 times from Preston, scoring his final goal for the club during the campaign at Watford in a 2–2 draw. Considered too good for League One football and with Preston desperate for both money from transfers and from a drop in the wage bill St Ledger left Deepdale in the summer of 2011 to join Leicester City.
In September 2009, St Ledger joined Middlesbrough on an initial three-month loan deal with a view to a permanent transfer in the January transfer window, however after failing to settle in the north east, the move was not made permanent and St Ledger returned to Preston. He made his full debut for Boro in September 2009 against West Bromwich Albion. St Ledger scored his first goal for Middlesbrough against Coventry City in late September. The loan spell proved to be an unhappy move for St Ledger who saw manager Gareth Southgate sacked shortly after signing the defender. St Ledger quickly fell out with new manager Gordon Strachan and was told he was no longer part of the Scotman's plans. St Ledger returned to Preston after his loan deal at Middlesbrough expired, failing to sign the permanent deal originally agreed by the two clubs earlier in the season.
On 4 July 2011, St Ledger joined Leicester City on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee. He made his debut on 17 August 2011 in a 2–1 loss to Bristol City. After a row with manager Nigel Pearson on being unhappy about being dropped for the Boxing Day fixture against Ipswich Town, St Ledger was told he would never play for the Midlands club again and was transfer listed. Leicester and Ipswich Town agreed a fee for the defender but Ipswich manager Paul Jewell said although everything was agreed an injury in training to Leicester defender Aleksander Tunchev put the deal on hold as St Ledger was needed for cover. After Sol Bamba also left for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations the following week Leicester were forced to bring St Ledger back into the team because of lack of cover. St Ledger impressed on being brought back into the team, with Pearson saying he was "delighted with his performances," so much so that he was taken off the transfer list and his proposed transfer to Ipswich was cancelled. St Ledger then became a permanent fixture in Nigel Pearson's side. On 28 May St Ledger announced he had been told by Leicester City he was surplus to requirements and had been advised to look for a new club.
Although born in England, St Ledger is eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland because his grandfather is from Carlow. He made his debut in a friendly against Nigeria at Craven Cottage on 29 May 2009, and played his first competitive match a week later, a 1–1 draw away to Bulgaria in a qualifying game for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. St Ledger scored his first goal for Ireland in a 2–2 with Italy at Croke Park, Dublin, in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in October 2009. The goal gave Ireland a late lead against the World Champions and was almost St Ledger's "Ray Houghton" moment, guaranteeing him iconic status in only his sixth appearance, only for Alberto Gilardino to score an even later equaliser for the Italians.
On 10 June 2012, he scored his third international goal against Croatia in Ireland's first group stage game at UEFA Euro 2012. His header was the equaliser to make the score 1–1 after Ireland had fallen behind in the first half, though they lost the game 3–1. It turned out to be the team's only goal of the competition, as they exited the group stage with three defeats from three games and nine goals conceded. On 11 June 2013, at Yankee Stadium Sean St Ledger thought that he had scored his fourth goal for Ireland but it was ruled out further replays show that Simon Cox was in an offside position when he kneed the ball to Ledger to put it in Spain won 2–0.
|1.||10 October 2009||Croke Park, Dublin, Republic of Ireland||Italy||2–1||2–2||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|2.||12 October 2010||Štadión pod Dubňom, Žilina, Slovakia||Slovakia||0–1||1–1||UEFA Euro 2012 qualification|
|3.||10 June 2012||Municipal Stadium, Poznań, Poland||Croatia||1–1||1–3||UEFA Euro 2012|
- Preston North End Player of The Year (1): 2008
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 543. ISBN 1-85291-665-6.
- Rollin, Glenda; Rollin, Jack, eds. (2012). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2012–2013 (43rd ed.). London: Headline. p. 485. ISBN 978-0-7553-6356-8.
- Wilkinson, Chris. "Sean St Ledger – Career History". Up The Posh!. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- "Stevenage sign Posh duo". BBC Sport. 5 January 2004. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- "Blues try out Posh defender". Sky Sports. 6 July 2006. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- "St Ledger completes Boro switch". BBC Sport. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
- "Strachan reveals St Ledger talks". Sky Sports. 26 December 2009.
- "Leicester net Preston North End defender Sean St Ledger". BBC Sport. 4 July 2011.
- "Ipswich Town agree Sean St Ledger fee with Leicester". BBC Sport. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- "Leicester City's Sean St Ledger is off transfer list". This is Leicestershire (Northcliffe Media). 28 January 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- "St Ledger in 'shop window' at Wembley after Leicester blow". Irish Independent (Irish Independent). 28 May 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- Doyle, Paul (29 May 2009). "Giovanni Trapattoni praises Ireland's debutants after draw with Nigeria". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- "Sean St. Ledger". Football Association of Ireland. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
- McCaig, Alvin (10 October 2009). "Rep of Ireland 2–2 Italy". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
- Ogden, Mark (12 October 2009). "John O'Shea regret as Irish let Italy 'off the hook' in World Cup qualifier in Dublin". The Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 12 October 2009.
- "Slovakia 1–1 Ireland". Soccernet (ESPN). 12 October 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
- "Republic of Ireland 1–3 Croatia". RTÉ Sport. 10 June 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sean St Ledger.|
- Sean St Ledger profile at Preston North End F.C.
- Sean St Ledger career stats at Soccerbase
- Sean St Ledger at National-Football-Teams.com