||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (August 2009)|
Routledge whilst at Aston Villa
|Full name||Wayne Neville Anthony Routledge|
|Date of birth||7 January 1985|
|Place of birth||Sidcup, London, England|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|2006||→ Portsmouth (loan)||13||(0)|
|2006–2007||→ Fulham (loan)||24||(0)|
|2008–2009||→ Cardiff City (loan)||9||(2)|
|2009–2010||Queens Park Rangers||49||(6)|
|2011||→ Queens Park Rangers (loan)||20||(5)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:00, 18 April 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Wayne Neville Anthony Routledge (born 7 January 1985) is an English footballer who plays for Swansea City. He plays as a midfielder on the left wing, although he can play on the right. He has represented England at under-16, under-19 and under-21 level.
Routledge began his career at Crystal Palace, making his starting debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the age of 17 in September 2002, and scoring after just one minute on the field. He made his Palace debut in October 2001 in a 1–0 home defeat by West Bromwich Albion, aged only 16. He was England's second ever player to score at the new Wembley Stadium.
He was an important member of the side which won promotion to the Premiership via the play-offs in 2003–04, and he was ever present as Palace battled for their Premiership place in 2004–05 and, although they just failed to avoid the drop, Routledge proved to be an exciting talent on the wing and up front, chipping in with an impressive 8 assists. He was not to leave the top flight, though. After rejecting a contract with the side that developed him as a youngster in January, Tottenham Hotspur snapped him up on 1 July 2005. The clubs could not come to an agreement over a fee for Routledge so the transfer went to a tribunal. There it was agreed that Palace would receive an initial £1.25m, rising to £2m depending upon appearances in future.
After impressing in the pre-season, His career at White Hart Lane started slowly as he sustained a broken foot on his league debut for the club, but on 12 December 2005 he made his return as a substitute in only his second game for Spurs against Portsmouth.
He was loaned to Portsmouth in the January 2006 transfer window and made 13 appearances for them before returning to Spurs at the season's end. Routledge impressed Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp in a home game against Bolton Wanderers in March 2006, when, with Bolton 1–0 ahead with only three minutes left to play, Routledge outpaced three Bolton players into the penalty box to connect with a long pass from Matt Taylor and set Azar Karadas up for a spectacular volley which levelled the match and ultimately earned relegation-threatened Portsmouth a crucial 1–1 draw, a result that began a run of good late season form for them.
After impressing in the pre-season again, he was once again loaned out on a year deal to Fulham as part of the deal that brought Steed Malbranque to Spurs. This was also partly due to the emergence of Aaron Lennon at both club and international level.
His Fulham bow came as a 34th minute replacement for injury victim Jimmy Bullard in a 2–1 victory at Newcastle United. He went on to create two goals in the final ten minutes of the match. He is most remembered during his time at Fulham for his winning goal in a thrilling FA Cup tie against Leicester City in January 2007, which ended 4–3 to Fulham.
On 30 January 2008 Routledge joined Aston Villa on an 18-month contract in a deal worth £1.5 million. He made his first-team debut on 5 April 2008 coming on as a late substitute for Stiliyan Petrov in the 86th minute in a 4–0 win against Bolton.
On 10 July 2008, Routledge was the subject of a scathing verbal attack from Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan. Jordan was giving an interview about now ex-Palace midfielder John Bostock, during which he used Routledge as an example of why he believed the youth player should not leave Palace to join Tottenham.
"When Spurs came knocking I told Wayne to stay and learn his trade at Palace, but he went, he grabbed the money, and now he's at Villa not getting in the first team, just like he didn't get in the Spurs team, just like he didn't get in the Portsmouth team and just like he didn't get in the Fulham team."
In November 2008 after making just one league appearance for Aston Villa so far during the season, Routledge was allowed to join Football League Championship side Cardiff City on a two-month loan deal after the club suffered a double injury blow when both Joe Ledley and Peter Whittingham were ruled out for one and three months respectively. He made his debut for the club on 22 November in a 2–1 defeat to Plymouth Argyle during which he supplied the through pass for Michael Chopra to score Cardiff's only goal of the game. He scored his first goal for the club in just his second game when he found the net against Reading during a 2–2 draw on 25 November. He soon found the net for a second time, this time scoring Cardiff's second goal in the 2–2 draw at Burnley.
In the lead up to the opening of the January transfer window it was revealed that Cardiff had offered a fee of around £3m in order to sign Routledge on a permanent deal. The transfer was expected to be completed prior to the clubs FA Cup third round match against Reading on 3 January, but the day before Routledge rejected the deal and was subsequently recalled from his loan spell.
Queens Park Rangers
On the same day that his loan spell at Cardiff was terminated, Routledge signed a 3 1⁄2-year deal at rival Championship side Queens Park Rangers for a fee of £600,000, saying that he was "thrilled" to join. Routledge made his debut in a 1–1 draw with Coventry City on 10 January. Routledge then scored in his very next game against Derby County on Nigel Clough's first game in charge, and his first away game for QPR.
His performance further improved in a League Cup tie against Exeter on 11 August 2009, when Routledge scored a second half hat trick. He also scored a late goal against Accrington Stanley to seal a second round League Cup victory.
On 26 January 2010 Routledge signed for Newcastle United for an undisclosed fee, on a 3 1⁄2-year deal, and wore the number 10 shirt. He made his debut for Newcastle a day later coming on for Peter Løvenkrands in a 2–0 win over former club Crystal Palace and assisted Nile Ranger the second goal of the game. Routledge scored his first goal for Newcastle in the Championship match against Coventry City with a fine volley from 30 yards out to bring the match to 1–1, Newcastle having previously gone behind. He was later awarded a penalty for Newcastle after being brought down by Leon Barnett, which Løvenkrands put into the back of the net. The match finished in a 4–1 win for Newcastle United. He netted his second goal for the club against Blackpool, getting the final goal in yet another 4–1 win. Routledge scored his third goal on 19 April 2010, rounding the Argyle goalkeeper to slot home, as Newcastle beat Plymouth away to secure the Championship title.
Due to his good form in the side, he kept his place for Newcastle's opening games of the Premier League. He started Newcastle's opening five games on the wide right of midfield, in an unchanged side which saw them pick up seven points from the first five games and climb to 5th in the table on 18 September 2010. Routledge lost his place however and found himself serving bench duty. Starting with a 2–1 win over West Ham United in October, the form of Joey Barton wide on the right and Cheick Tioté and Kevin Nolan in the middle ensured Routledge was kept out once more. As the form of the side deteroriated, Routledge returned on 27 November in the 1–1 draw with Chelsea.
Queens Park Rangers (loan)
On 21 January 2011, Routledge returned to Queens Park Rangers, signing a loan until the end of the season, where he scored on his debut. On 25 April Routledge scored the goal to all but seal QPR's place in the Premier League against Hull City. It was reported on 20 April 2011 that Newcastle United had terminated his contract with mutual consent, allowing him to move to QPR permanently, however these reports were never substantiated by the club or player.
On 4 August 2011, Swansea City announced the signing of Routledge on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee and he played his debut against La Liga side Real Betis in a pre-season friendly. He made his competitive debut on 15 August 2011, a 4–0 defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. Routledge scored his first goal for Swansea on 2 January 2012, the second in a 2–0 victory against his former club Aston Villa at Villa Park.
Routledge made 12 appearances for the Under-21's between 2004 and 2007 and was part of the England squad that made the Semi Final of the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in the Netherlands, when England lost 13–12 on penalties to the Netherlands Under-21's after it finished 1–1 after extra time.
- Newcastle United
- Queens Park Rangers
- Swansea City
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 362. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
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- "Malbranque & Routledge swap clubs". BBC Sport. 31 August 2006.
- Fletcher, Paul (17 January 2007). "Fulham 4–3 Leicester". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
- "Routledge completes Villa switch". bbc.co.uk (BBC Sport). 30 January 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
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- "Routledge says no to deal" at the Wayback Machine (archived 14 February 2012) cardiffcity.co.uk Retrieved on 10 September 2013
- "Routledge rejects Cardiff switch" BBC Sport Retrieved on 2 January 2008
- "Wayne Routledge quids in after joining QPR" South Wales Echo Retrieved on 5 January 2009
- "R's sign Villa ace" qpr.co.uk Retrieved on 2 January 2008
- "Exeter 0 – 5 QPR". BBC Sport. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
- "Breaking news: United sign Routledge". nufc.co.uk. 26 January 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
- "Newcastle 2–0 Crystal Palace". BBC Sport. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- "Newcastle 4 – 1 Coventry". BBC. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
- "Newcastle 4 – 1 Blackpool". BBC. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
- "Team News". BBC Sports. 21 January 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
- "Routledge contract terminated as QPR chasing him". This is London. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- "Routledge signs for Swans". Swansea official website. 4 Aug 2011. Retrieved 6 Aug 2011.
- "Man City 4–0 Swansea". BBC Sport. 15 August 2011.
- "Aston Villa 0–2 Swansea". BBC Sport. 2 January 2012.
- "Wayne Routledge signs new Swansea City deal". BBC Sport. 28 January 2013.
- "Swansea City extend winger's contract". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- Wayne Routledge profile at the Queens Park Rangers website
- Wayne Routledge career statistics at Soccerbase
- Wayne Routledge Official Website at Icons.com
- ESPNFC profile