Sean St Ledger

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Sean St Ledger
StLedgerIrelandPoland.jpg
Sean St Ledger for the Republic of Ireland, 2013.
Personal information
Full name Sean Patrick St Ledger-Hall[1]
Date of birth (1984-12-28) 28 December 1984 (age 29)
Place of birth Solihull, England[2]
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
2001–2002 Peterborough United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2006 Peterborough United 79 (1)
2004 Stevenage Borough (loan) 0 (0)
2006–2011 Preston North End 185 (10)
2009 Middlesbrough (loan) 15 (2)
2011–2014 Leicester City 36 (0)
2013 Millwall (loan) 6 (0)
National team
2009– Republic of Ireland 37 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 May 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Sean Patrick St Ledger-Hall (born 28 December 1984), known as Sean St Ledger, is a professional footballer who plays as a defender. He is currently a free agent after being released by Leicester City and he is currently in the Republic of Ireland national team.

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.

St Ledger's career started with Peterborough United. He had stints at Preston North End and a loan spell with Middlesbrough before his move to Leicester City in 2011.

Club career[edit]

Peterborough United[edit]

Growing up in Solihull, England, as a Aston Villa supporter,[3] St Ledger's career started in the youth system at Peterborough United in 2001, before joining the first team in 2002,[4] 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.[5] Following a loan spell with Stevenage came to and, St Ledger signed a three-year contract with the club.[6] St Ledger was dropped in the first team and dropped to the bench, citing his bad attitude, in a 1-1 draw with Lincoln City on 21 January 2006.[7][8]

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.[9]

Preston North End[edit]

After a trial with Birmingham City on Barry Fry's recommendation,[10] St Ledger signed a three-year contract with Preston North End in July 2006 for a fee of £225,000, which could rise to £350,000.[11] Manager Paul Simpsons believes St Ledger could be a top right-back player.[12]

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 and since then, St Ledger formed a partnership with Chilvers in central defense.[13] On 9 April 2007, St Ledger scored his first goal for Preston in a 3–2 loss against Southend United.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16] 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. For his impressive season, St Ledger was named the club's Player of the Year award and had so many awards by the club he have thank them five times.[17][18]

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.[19] During the season, St Ledger signed a four-year contract in late-October.[20]

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. Following a loan return, Celtic made a £3 million bid to sign St Ledger.[21] However, the move never happened and St Ledger was disappointed with the move and that he's catholic.[22] Despite a failed transfer to Celtic, St Ledger maintained his commitment to stay at Preston.[23] 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 when he switched shirt from number twelve to four.[24] However, his season was blighted by injury and loss of form as Preston struggled under Ferguson.[25][26] 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.[27][28] 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.

Middlesbrough (loan)[edit]

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,[29] however after failing to settle in the north east, the move was not made permanent and St Ledger returned to Preston.[30]

He made his full debut for Boro on 19 September 2009 against West Bromwich Albion, which Middlesbrough lost 5-0.[31] The next game after making his debut, St Ledger scored his first goal for Middlesbrough against Coventry City in late September.[32] A week later, on 3 October 2009, St Ledger scored his second goal of the season, in a 2-0 win over Reading.[33] He then played against parent club, Preston North End, which described his return as "bittersweet" and was applauded by both set of supporters during the match.[34]

The loan spell proved to be an unhappy move for St Ledger who saw manager Gareth Southgate sacked shortly after signing the defender.[35] St Ledger quickly fell out with new manager Gordon Strachan and was told he was no longer part of the Scotsman's plans.[36] 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.[37] Manager Strachan revealed he could have persuaded him to stay at the club.[38]

Leicester City[edit]

St Ledger playing for Leicester City in 2013.

On 4 July 2011, St Ledger joined Leicester City on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee.[39] 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.[citation needed] 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.[40]

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.[41] St Ledger then became a permanent fixture in Nigel Pearson's side throughout the 2011-12 season.

However, ahead of the 2012-13 season, St Ledger sustained a knee injury in a pre-season friendly match against Burton Albion and missed the start of the season.[42] St Ledger made his return, in a 1-0 win over Blackpool on 4 September 2012, which he played a right-back. After the match, St Ledger says he happy to make a return.[43] St Ledger have been on the sideline after pulling his hamstring, in a 2-0 win over Bristol City.[44] As a result, St Ledger would have to see a specialist in Germany and by January, he made his return to light training.[45][46]

After making his recovery from injury, St Ledger joined Millwall on an emergency loan that will keep him until the end of the season.[47]

On 28 May 2013, 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.[48] St Ledger made his first appearance of the 2013–14 season in Leicester's 2-1 opening day win over Middlesbrough and in the League Cup he scored the winner in a 2-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers.[49][50] These would turn out to be his only appearances of the season as he suffered a recurrence of the groin injury that caused him to miss a large part of the previous season.[51] As a result, the club could consider sending St Ledger out on loan to gain fitness.[52]

Despite this, he was presented with a winner's medal as Leicester were promoted to the Premier League as champions. At the end of the 2013-14 season, He was released by the club on 9 May 2014 upon expiry of his contract.[53]

International career[edit]

Although born in England, St Ledger is eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland because his grandfather is from Carlow.[citation needed] Shortly joining Preston, St Ledger called up by Manager Steve Staunton, which he described it as "it doesn't get any better than this."[54][55]

After being called up by newly Manager Giovanni Trapattoni,[56] He made his debut in a friendly against Nigeria at Craven Cottage on 29 May 2009,[57] 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.[58] 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.[59] 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.[60]

On 12 October 2010, St Ledger scored his second goal for Ireland in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovakia which finished 1–1.[61]

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.[62] 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.

International goals[edit]

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
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

Career statistics[edit]

As of 1 July 2014.[63]
Club performance League Cup League Cup Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England League FA Cup League Cup Total
2006–07 Preston North End Championship 8 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
2007–08 17 1 0 0 0 0 17 1
2008–09 48 6 1 0 2 0 51 6
2009–10 31 2 2 0 1 0 34 2
Middlesbrough (loan) 16 2 0 0 0 0 16 2
2010–11 Preston North End 31 1 1 0 2 0 34 1
2011–12 Leicester City 26 0 4 1 2 0 32 1
2012–13 9 0 0 0 1 0 10 0
Millwall (loan) 6 0 1 0 0 0 7 0
2013–14 Leicester City 1 0 0 0 1 1 2 1
Total England 193 12 9 1 9 1 211 14
Career total 193 12 9 1 9 1 211 14

Honours[edit]

Club Honours[edit]

Leicester City

International Honours[edit]

Individual Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 543. ISBN 1-85291-665-6. 
  2. ^ Rollin, Glenda; Rollin, Jack, eds. (2012). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2012–2013 (43rd ed.). London: Headline. p. 485. ISBN 978-0-7553-6356-8. 
  3. ^ "The Big Interview - Sean St Ledger". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. 14 November 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Wilkinson, Chris. "Sean St Ledger – Career History". Up The Posh!. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
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  63. ^ Paul Anderson career stats at Soccerbase

External links[edit]