Ashley Ward

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Ashley Ward
Personal information
Full name Ashley Stuart Ward
Date of birth (1970-11-24) 24 November 1970 (age 47)
Place of birth Middleton, Lancashire, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Cheadle Town
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1991 Manchester City 1 (0)
1991 Wrexham (loan) 4 (2)
1991–1992 Leicester City 10 (0)
1992 Blackpool (loan) 2 (1)
1992–1994 Crewe Alexandra 61 (25)
1994–1996 Norwich City 53 (18)
1996–1997 Derby County 40 (9)
1997–1998 Barnsley 46 (20)
1998–2000 Blackburn Rovers 54 (13)
2000–2003 Bradford City 84 (17)
2003–2005 Sheffield United 33 (5)
Total 388 (110)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Ashley Ward (born 24 November 1970) is a businessman and retired English footballer who played centre forward.

Early life[edit]

Ward was born in Middleton, Lancashire, the son of a coal mining engineer. He attended William Hulme's Grammar School, which opted for Rugby and Lacrosse as the school sports over football.[1]

Football career[edit]

Ward had a spell with Manchester United in the 1986–87 season, making 16 appearances for the club's Junior B team. He then played for Cheadle Town Youth, and chose to become an apprentice at Manchester City above an offer from Blackburn Rovers.[1]

He played for at least a dozen different clubs in a long career, including Crewe Alexandra, where he made his name, Norwich City, Derby County, Barnsley and Blackburn Rovers and Bradford City.

Ward contributed to Derby's 1996-97 Premier League campaign, scoring a late winner against Chelsea and one of the goals as Derby memorably beat Manchester United 3-2 at Old Trafford.[2][3] Barnsley signed Ward from Derby County in September 1997, shortly after their promotion to the Premier League. Throughout their debut season in the Premier League he scored some crucial and memorable goals including the only goal in 1-0 winners against Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield and Villa Park respectively.[4][5] However, he was unable to prevent Barnsley's relegation at the end of that season.

In November 1998, whilst still playing for Barnsley in a match at Sunderland, Ward scored, missed a penalty and got sent off in the space of five minutes, with all incidents also involving Sunderland defender Darren Williams.[6]

Ward retired in the summer of 2005.

After retirement[edit]

Ward and his wife run a number of businesses, including:

  • A commercial property business.
  • Operating Abafields, a nursing home in Bolton bought for development but now operating under a manager[7]
  • Managing a £15million luxury property development company Bilton Ward Developments.[7][8][9] Formed in 2002 the company specialises in the building and renovation of luxury homes, many for footballers including Kevin Campbell and Wayne Rooney.[10] Interior design is often done by former Changing Rooms designer Laura McCree.

Personal life[edit]

Ward is married to former model Dawn. Born in Salford, she is a former school friend of Ryan Giggs. Ward proposed to her in the car park of the pub where she worked when they first met.[1][8] The couple have four daughters – Darby, Taylor, Charlie and Aston[11] — and used to live in Mill Lane, Mottram St. Andrew. He bought Warford Hall in late 2014. He also makes an appearance in The Real Housewives of Cheshire in which his wife, Dawn, stars.


  1. ^ a b c Ashley reaps the rewards for dogged determination Archived 14 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Football: Break-up blues for Ward and Sturridge". Independent. March 1, 1997. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Wanchope cuts down United". Independent. April 5, 1997. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Football: Liverpool left in emergency Ward". Independent. November 22, 1997. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Football: Ward makes Villa pay for profligacy". Independent. March 11, 1998. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Tykes take shine to a Light show of passion". Guardian. November 21, 1998. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Premiership class
  8. ^ a b Living: A style she can sell – Times Online
  9. ^ Living: A style she can sell – Times Online
  10. ^ Latest news, breaking news, current news, UK news, world news, celebrity news, politics news – Telegraph
  11. ^ The Diary: A new Dawn Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]