Adam Eckersley (footballer)
|Full name||Adam James Eckersley|
|Date of birth||7 September 1985|
|Place of birth||Worsley, England|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|2006||→ Royal Antwerp (loan)||16||(1)|
|2006||→ Brøndby (loan)||4||(0)|
|2007||→ Barnsley (loan)||6||(0)|
|2007||→ Port Vale (loan)||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 5 February 2017.
Adam James Eckersley (born 7 September 1985) is an English footballer, who plays primarily as a full-back for Scottish Championship club St Mirren. He is the older brother of fellow professional footballer Richard Eckersley.
He started his career with Manchester United in 2004, but failed to break into the first team in his four years there and was loaned out to Royal Antwerp, Brøndby, Barnsley and Port Vale, before joining Port Vale permanently in 2008. Later that year, he transferred to Danish club AC Horsens. In 2010, he moved on to AGF Aarhus. He won the Danish 1st Division championship with both clubs, in 2009–10 and then in 2010–11. In 2014, he moved to Hearts, and helped the club to win the Scottish Championship in 2014–15. He spent a brief time at Hibernian in 2015, before joining Canadian side FC Edmonton in January 2016. He returned to Scotland 12 months later to play for St Mirren.
Born in Salford, Greater Manchester, Eckersley first joined Manchester United as a nine-year-old, and signed his first contract with the club in 2002. He became a professional in July 2004 and was a member of the United reserve team that won the quadruple in 2005. He made his senior team debut in the League Cup on 26 October 2005, starting at left back in the 4–1 home win over Barnet. Eckersley then went on loan to the Belgian Second Division club Royal Antwerp in January 2006, to gain further first team match experience. Eckersley was linked with a move to NEC of the Netherlands as a replacement for Jeffrey Leiwakabessy in April 2006, but instead he was loaned out to Brøndby in August 2006. He was injured during his stay at Brøndby, however, and only played six matches for the club before the loan ended on 31 December 2006.
He joined Barnsley on 8 January 2007 on loan until the end of the season, but the loan was effectively cut short in April 2007 when Eckersley returned to Manchester United after suffering a torn thigh muscle and did not play for Barnsley again. He was promoted to the first-team squad as cover for the injured Mikaël Silvestre at the start of the 2007–08 season, before moving to Port Vale on a month-long loan on 12 October 2007. He made his debut in a defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion on 13 October 2007, in which he was sent off. However, he only made one more appearance before picking up a knee injury and returning to Manchester United for treatment.
On 1 January 2008, Eckersley moved back to Port Vale, this time on a permanent basis, though only signing a six-month deal, becoming manager Lee Sinnott's first non-loan signing. Eckersley scored his first goal in English football and his first anywhere since a loan spell at Royal Antwerp in a 2–2 home draw with Yeovil Town on 29 January 2008, but he soon left the club when his contract expired at the end of the 2007–08 campaign, following Port Vale's relegation to League Two.
Prior to the 2008–09 season, he joined Danish Superliga team Horsens on a free transfer. The "Yellow Danger" were relegated at the end of 2008–09, after manager Kent Nielsen resigned and short-term replacement Henrik Jensen failed to spark a revival; Horsens finished four points behind the safety of SønderjyskE. The club made an immediate return to the top-flight by topping the 1st Division in 2009–10 under Johnny Mølby. Over the course of his seasons, Eckersley made forty league appearances, scoring twice.
In the summer of 2010, Eckersley moved to AGF Aarhus, manager Peter Sørensen intending him to replace Dennis Cagara. In his first season he helped the club to promotion into the Danish top-flight as champions of the 1st Division, and after some consistently great performances for AGF as attacking left back and a tremendous first half season in the Danish Superliga, including a stunning free-kick goal against Lyngby in round 13, he was selected for Les Rosbifs 'Team of the Year 2011' for best Englishmen playing overseas. AGF finished fifth in 2011–12, with Eckersley scoring seven goals in 48 appearances. The club finished in seventh place in 2012–13, and Eckersley played 35 games, including two Europa League matches. AGF dropped out of the top-flight after suffering relegation in 2013–14. At the end of the season, it announced that Eckersley was released by AGF and hinted that he may return to England.
In August 2014, Eckersley signed for Scottish Championship side Heart of Midlothian until the end of the season, and having turned down an offer from a Scottish Premiership club to join Hearts he stated that move was "best decision of his career". He made his Hearts debut on 13 September, coming on as a substitute for Kevin McHattie, in a 0–0 draw with Dumbarton. Eckersley then scored his first goal for Hearts, in a 1–0 win over Alloa Athletic on 11 October, and then scored his second goal for the club in a 4–1 win over Queen of the South on 6 December. He was a regular first team player under manager Robbie Neilson, and helped Hearts to win promotion as champions in the 2014–15 campaign. It was reported in the Edinburgh Evening News that Hearts had decided in April 2015 not to renew Eckersley's contract for the next season. His agent stated that money was not an issue in negotiations, and that the club simply retracted an initial informal offer of a new contract.
In September 2015, Eckersley signed a short-term contract with Hibernian. Eckersley left Hibs after a four-month spell which was marred by injury. He signed with FC Edmonton in the North American Soccer League in January 2016. He missed the start of the 2016 season with a groin injury. He returned to the Scottish Championship in January 2017 when he signed a short-term contract with St Mirren.
Eckersley married Elisabeth, a Danish woman, during his time playing in Denmark. Eckersley revealed the couple were married "in the City Chambers, right near the Castle".
Eckersley credited Alex Ferguson for helping him to stop gambling after Ferguson grew concerned about Eckersley's habit; Eckersley stopped playing poker after Ferguson told him a story about Keith Gillespie and his gambling habit.
|Manchester United||2005–06||Premier League||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||–||1||0|
|Royal Antwerp (loan)||2006–07||Belgian Second Division||16||1||0||0||–||–||–||16||1|
|Brøndby (loan)||2006–07||Danish Superliga||4||0||0||0||–||–||–||4||0|
|Port Vale||2007–08||League One||2||0||0||0||0||0||–||–||2||0|
|2009–10||Danish 1st Division||23||1||1||0||0||0||–||–||24||1|
|AGF Aarhus||2010–11||Danish 1st Division||22||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||–||23||3|
|FC Edmonton||2016||North American Soccer League||24||0||0||0||2||1||0||0||–||26||1|
|St Mirren||2016–17||Scottish Championship||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||3||0|
- AC Horsens
- AGF Aarhus
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- "Eckersley signs for Hibs". www.hibernianfc.co.uk. Hibernian FC. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Kevin Thomson can bring guile to Hibs, says boss Stubbs". www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com. Edinburgh Evening News. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
- "Eddies announce signing of English defender Adam Eckersley". fcedmonton.com. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Van Diest, Derek (29 April 2016). "Adam Eckersley looking to get back in the game for FC Edmonton". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
- Fowler, Craig (31 January 2017). "Ex-Hearts & Hibs defender Adam Eckersley signs for St Mirren". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
- "Adam Eckersley on Hearts; Fergie, Keano, Becks and Ronaldo". Edinburgh Evening News. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- "Hearts new boy Adam Eckersley: Sir Alex's hairdryer treatment made me the player I am today". Daily Record. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- "Eckersley stats". Soccerway. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
- "Adam Eckersley stats". Soccerbase. Retrieved 19 December 2013.