Maloney playing for Celtic in November 2010
|Full name||Shaun Richard Maloney|
|Date of birth||24 January 1983|
|Place of birth||Miri, Malaysia|
|Height||1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking Midfielder / Winger|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 September 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Shaun Richard Maloney (born 24 January 1983) is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or winger for English Championship club Wigan Athletic and the Scotland national team.
At a young age, Maloney found a love for sport, particularly football and tennis. By the age of 10, he had joined his first football club, Kincorth Boys' Club. He played regularly for his Primary School Team, St Joseph's. At 12, he moved to Culter Boys' Club then at 14, to Albion Boys' Club. He played a number of games for Cults Academy, where he was a student.
After joining Celtic as a trainee in 1999, Maloney made his first team debut on 29 April 2001 against Rangers at Ibrox Stadium, in a 3–0 win for Celtic. He spent the next few years trying to break into the first team, spending most of his time as a substitute. Despite not playing regularly, Maloney acquired a reputation for being a free kick specialist. Maloney did appear several times for Celtic during their run to the UEFA Cup Final in 2003, and scored in a 3–1 win over VfB Stuttgart at Parkhead in the quarter-finals.
Maloney was in lethal form for Celtic in the 2005–06 season, his annus mirabilis, after being moved from a striking position to the left of midfield by manager Gordon Strachan. His displays received praise from players, fans and the media throughout the year, and in recognition of his excellent season he was awarded both the SPFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards, the first time a player has won both plaudits in the same season. He also won Celtic Fans' Player of the Year, and Players Player of the Year in a season which saw him score 16 goals and contribute 28 assists from midfield.
With his contract expiring at the end of the 2006–07 season, Celtic moved to offer Maloney a new deal. However, contract negotiations continued for months, constantly breaking down due to differences between the two parties. Chief Executive Peter Lawwell asserted that Celtic "cannot keep players at any cost" while Maloney warned that "In situations like this one, both parties have to be completely happy with the outcome." He also promised that the prolonged contract talks would not affect his football and that he hoped he would not have to consider leaving the club in the future. With the realisation that Maloney would be able to leave for free by signing a pre-contract with another club in January 2007, the Celtic support feared the worst, recalling Jackie McNamara's departure.
In his first tenure, Maloney made a total of 139 appearances for the Hoops in all competitions, scoring 37 times.
Just before the transfer window closed on 31 January 2007, Maloney signed a pre-contract agreement with Aston Villa. Villa manager Martin O'Neill was keen to bring Maloney to Villa for the second half of the season however and moments before the deadline he signed for the Midlands club for a reported fee of £1m. He made his debut in the 2–0 defeat at Reading on 10 February 2007 On 28 April 2007, Maloney scored his first Villa goal in a victory against Man City at the City of Manchester Stadium from a free kick which was curled around the wall into the bottom right of the goal.
Maloney had trouble settling into the club but after a somewhat lacklustre start to his Villa career, he began to show his best form. Maloney has acknowledged that his football had been suffering but remained optimistic about his future at the club: "Homesickness has affected my form. I haven't played well enough to play in the team and I think that has shown, so hopefully now things can change." Both O'Neill and teammate Stiliyan Petrov, who were both at Celtic during Maloney's time there, had expressed their desire for Maloney to stay at the club despite reports linking him with a move back to Scotland.
Maloney scored a brace for Aston Villa in a 4–4 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day 2007. However after that Maloney did not play a lot of games as half of his last season appearances were substitutions, and he also said that he would like to one day go back and play in Scotland.
Return to Celtic
On 22 August 2008, Celtic announced the signing of Maloney on a four-year deal for a fee of £3 million. Maloney marked his return with a Man of the Match performance and two assists in his first match, after coming off the bench for Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink in a 3–0 victory over Falkirk at Celtic Park. Maloney scored his first goal after his return to Celtic in a 4–2 away win over Motherwell and managed his second the following week in a 3–1 away win at Kilmarnock. He finished the season with five goals, taking his total Celtic goals tally to 44.
Maloney started the 2010/11 season in good form with goals against St Mirren, Hearts and a brace against Hamilton. After this run of form, Maloney was given the short-term captaincy of Celtic in the absence of Scott Brown through injury.
Maloney joined Wigan Athletic in the Premier League on 31 August 2011 for a fee of £850,000, signing a three-year deal. He made his debut on 13 September 2011 in a 2–1 defeat against Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup. He struggled to break into the first team, appearing three times as a substitute during the first half of the 2011–12 season. Maloney admitted his fitness "was lacking a little bit" when he joined the club, and manager Roberto Martínez felt that Maloney needed more time to settle-in. On 11 March 2012, he made his first Premier League appearance in almost five months, coming on as a substitute against Norwich City. His performance was described as "outstanding", and he was rewarded with his first league start for the club in the following game against West Bromwich Albion. On 24 March 2012, he scored a penalty against Liverpool at Anfield in a 1–2 win for Wigan – his first goal for the club. Maloney topped this effort with a wonderful curling goal against Manchester United on 11 April, lifting his side out of the relegation zone for the first time since October with a 1–0 win. Then, on 28 April 2012, Maloney scored Wigan's third goal in an emphatic 4–0 home win over fourth placed Newcastle.
On 17 January 2013, it was announced that Maloney signed a new contract with Wigan Athletic, keeping him at the club until 2015.
On 7 April 2013, Maloney scored a 94th minute free kick goal, seconds from the end of the QPR match at Loftus Road which earned Wigan Athletic a valuable point in their race to once again escape from English Premier League relegation. Six days later, on 13 April 2013, Maloney scored Wigan Athletic's first goal in the FA Cup semi final at Wembley against Millwall, with a volley on the 25th minute and was voted man of the match, guiding Wigan Athletic to their first ever FA Cup Final. On 11 May 2013 Maloney won the FA Cup with Wigan, playing the whole game and assisting the only goal of the match in a 1–0 upset win against Manchester City. However, only three days later, Wigan were relegated from the Premier League following a 4–1 defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Maloney made his full international debut as a half-time substitute in Scotland's 1–0 defeat to Belarus at Hampden Park on 8 October 2005. By 20 June 2014, he has gained 32 caps for Scotland and scored his first goal for Scotland, a free-kick in the Svangaskard Stadium in a 2–0 victory over the Faroe Islands in June 2007. Maloney was also eligible to play for Malaysia.
- Scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first
|1||6 June 2007||Svangaskard, Toftir, Faroe Islands||Faroe Islands||1–0||2–0||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|2||10 September 2013||Philip II Arena, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia||Macedonia||2–1||2–1||2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying|
- As of 5 April 2014
- Scottish Premier League (5): 2000–01, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07
- Scottish Cup (5): 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011
- Scottish League Cup (3): 2001, 2006, 2009
- UEFA Cup runner-up (1): 2003
- Scottish PFA Player of the Year 2006
- Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year 2006
- Celtic Fans' Player of the Year 2006
- FA Cup Semi Final Player of the Round 2013
- "Player Profile". Wigan Athletic. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- Shaun Maloney – A Squad Scottish FA
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- Celtic 1–3 Hibernian BBC Sport, 30 April 2005
- Shaun Maloney ESPN Soccernet
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- Livingston 0 Celtic 5 Sporting Life, 1 October 2005
- Strachan hails Celtic work ethic BBC Sport, 9 November 2005
- Zurawski pounds Dunfermline with pieces of eight The Guardian, 20 February 2008
- Maloney's trickery completes fitting tribute to Johnstone The Guardian, 20 March 2006
- Strachan feels strain as he nears first league title as manager The Guardian, 27 March 2006
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