Cole with West Ham United in 2014
|Full name||Carlton Michael George Cole Okorie|
|Date of birth||12 October 1983|
|Place of birth||Croydon, England|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|2002–2003||→ Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan)||7||(1)|
|2003–2004||→ Charlton Athletic (loan)||21||(4)|
|2004–2005||→ Aston Villa (loan)||27||(3)|
|2006–2013||West Ham United||210||(49)|
|2013–2015||West Ham United||49||(8)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:35, 28 May 2015 (UTC).
Cole began his career at Chelsea in 2001, spending spells out on loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic and Aston Villa before being transferred to West Ham United in 2006. He was released by West Ham in 2013 only to be re-signed several months later. He was released, for the second time, by West Ham in May 2015. He made 19 England U21 appearances (scoring six goals), and made his full international debut for the England national team on 11 February 2009 in a friendly match against Spain.
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Controversies
- 4 Career statistics
- 5 Honours
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Cole was born in Croydon, London, to a Sierra Leonean mother, and began his career as a trainee with Chelsea in 2001 making his debut in April 2002 as a substitute for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in a 3–0 victory against Everton. He made his first senior start three weeks later, scoring a goal as Chelsea beat Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium. He made one more appearance for Chelsea in the 2001–02 season, in a 3–1 home defeat against Aston Villa in May 2002.
Cole started the 2002–03 season in the Chelsea first team squad, scoring a goal and making another in the opening game of the season in a 3–2 win over Charlton Athletic after coming on as a substitute for Gianfranco Zola. He suffered a hairline fracture in his leg in August but returned to action in a League Cup tie against Gillingham in November, scoring two goals. Claudio Ranieri, the then manager of Chelsea, described Cole as being the best young player that he had ever coached, saying, "I've never coached a young player like Carlton. He's fantastic even though he hasn't really started his career yet. He has a very long contract, and, in my opinion, a very big future at Chelsea." However, with Eiður Guðjohnsen, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Gianfranco Zola available for selection, Cole's first team opportunities were limited and he was loaned to Wolverhampton Wanderers in November 2002 for one month, later extended to two months.
Having made seven appearances for Wolves, scoring one goal against Norwich City, his loan spell was cut short as Chelsea, needing cover, recalled him early in January 2003. Cole made a further 12 league and cup appearances for Chelsea in the 2002–03 season, in addition to the four that he made before going on loan to Wolves. He scored six goals in all for Chelsea that season, including a spectacular, long-range left-footed strike against Sunderland, and the winner against Bolton Wanderers in April 2003 as Chelsea pressed for a place in the UEFA Champions League.
Cole signed a new six-year contract with Chelsea in the summer of 2003, but with Mutu, Gudjohnsen, Hasselbaink and Forssell also battling for a place in the starting line-up for Chelsea, he joined Charlton Athletic on a season-long loan in August 2003, where he scored five goals in 22 league and cup appearances, helping Charlton to finish the 2003–04 season in seventh place in the Premier League.
Despite Charlton being keen to retain Cole's services for the 2004–05 season, he joined Aston Villa on another season-long loan in July 2004. This move sparked off a dispute as Charlton were expecting Cole to return to the club as part of the deal that took Scott Parker from Charlton to Chelsea. The dispute was later resolved when the two clubs reached a settlement. Cole scored three goals in 30 league and cup appearances for Villa, including a goal on his debut in a 2–0 win over Southampton in August 2004, in a season which was interrupted by a knee injury picked up in an England under-21 match against the Netherlands under-21 team in February 2005.
He returned to Chelsea in the summer of 2005 where he appeared in pre-season friendlies. However, first team opportunities were limited by the presence of Didier Drogba and Hernán Crespo, and Cole made only 12 league and cup appearances for Chelsea in the 2005–06 season, scoring one goal in an FA Cup win over Huddersfield Town. He joined West Ham United in July 2006, having made a total of 31 league and cup appearances for Chelsea, scoring eight goals.
West Ham United
Cole joined West Ham United in July 2006 for an undisclosed fee, signing a four-year contract. He scored seconds into his competitive debut for West Ham United after coming on as a substitute in injury time to seal a 3–1 home win against Charlton in August 2006. However, in a season of turmoil at West Ham in which the club only secured their place in the Premier League on the final day of the season, Cole was unable to establish himself in the first team, making 23 league and cup appearances, 15 of which were as substitute, and scoring three goals.
Into 2007–08 and Cole began to repay the faith shown in him by the Hammers, scoring six goals and making an important contribution in the absence of the injured Dean Ashton. Cole also ended the Barclays Premier League season with nine assists, illustrating his influential role in the side.
It was the 2008–09 season, however, that saw Cole finally come of age. He scored twelve goals in all competitions, as well as picking up a further four assists. He started the 2008–09 season in good form, scoring four goals in his first eight games. On 26 October, Cole received his first red card of his West Ham career against Arsenal, with a foul on Alexandre Song at Upton Park. Cole's form earned him a new five-year contract, which he signed in November 2008, before England head coach Fabio Capello handed him a senior international debut in the friendly defeat in Spain in 2009.
He continued the good form in 2009–10 season, made 30 Premier League appearances, starting 26 of them. He scored ten Premier League goals, including one penalty in the 5–3 home win over Burnley on 28 November. He was then linked with a £20million January transfer to Manchester United. After netting six goals in his first ten Premier League matches, he missed the period between 28 November and 26 February with a knee injury. He also made two League Cup appearances, starting the home second-round win over Millwall. He was booked four times over the course of the season.
On 26 December 2010, he scored two goals in one match in the Premier League for a first time in his career in a 3–1 away win against Fulham at Craven Cottage. He also got a brace in the 4–0 League Cup quarter-final victory over Manchester United on 30 November. On 12 February 2011, Cole scored in a 3–3 draw against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns. On 27 February 2011, Cole scored the final goal in West Ham's 3–1 victory against Liverpool within 2 minutes of coming on as a substitute at Upton Park.
After failed bids from both Turkish club Galatasaray and Premier League team Stoke City, Cole confirmed he would be staying to help the Hammers fight for promotion back to the top flight. Cole came on as a 75th minute and 62nd substitute for Frederic Piquionne in the two opening games of the Championship season against Cardiff City and Doncaster Rovers without scoring. He started the next four games, scoring four goals; a crucial goal coming in the game at home against Portsmouth on 10 September when in the 76th minute he scored the winner in a 4–3 thriller, latching onto a Matt Taylor cross before heading into the top corner. On 19 November 2011, Cole scored West Ham's 2000th away League goal in a 2–1 away win against Coventry City. He scored his 50th goal for West Ham in the 1–1 draw with Birmingham City on 26 December 2011. On 19 May 2012, Cole scored the first goal, his fifteenth of the season, in West Ham's 2–1 win over Blackpool in the play-off final, ensuring an immediate return to the Premier League.
Cole's first goal of the 2012–13 season came in a 3–1 victory against London rivals Chelsea on 1 December 2012, with a header inside the six-yard box to the near post. Cole scored again on 23 December, putting West Ham in the lead in the 14th minute against Everton. In the same game he was sent off for a dangerous tackle against Leighton Baines. West Ham appealed against the red card and it was overturned by The FA on 27 December 2012. For the remainder of the season he was mostly used as a substitute or kept out of the team by Andy Carroll.
On 21 May 2013, West Ham announced that Cole would be leaving the club at the end of the season. Cole had been at West Ham for seven seasons.
On 3 September 2013, after West Ham failed with a number of bids for strikers at the end of the transfer window, they approached Cole about returning to the club. The move did not take place however, due to concerns over Cole's fitness. After training at the club to regain his fitness, on 14 October 2013, Cole signed a short-term contract with West Ham, keeping him at the club until January 2014. Cole made 6 starts and 8 appearances as a substitute for West Ham during this short-term contract. His first goal in his second spell came on 30 November 2013 in his fourth game: coming on as an 81st-minute substitute for Modibo Maiga, Cole scored the second West Ham goal, barely a minute later, and another in the 88th minute, in a 3–0 win against Fulham. He went on to score four more goals, against Manchester United, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Newcastle United.
On 15 January 2014, Cole signed an 18-month contract keeping him at the club past the end of the 2014–15 season.
Cole started West Ham's first game of the season, against Tottenham Hotspur. His first goal came in the following game, on the 23 August 2014, in a 3–1 away win against Crystal Palace. His only other goals of the season came in a 3–1 away win at Burnley on 10 October 2014 and in a 2–2 home FA Cup draw against Everton on 13 January 2015. Cole had equalized in the 113th minute to make the game 2–2. West Ham won the game 9–8 on penalties with Cole taking and scoring one scoring for West Ham. In January 2015, Cole was set to join West Bromwich Albion. The deal fell through, near to the transfer deadline for football transfers, after West Ham refused to sanction the move after attempts to sign Tottenham Hotspur player Emmanuel Adebayor as a replacement striker were blocked by Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy. Cole made 23 league appearances in the 2014–15 season, 15 after coming on as a substitute. He was released by West Ham at the end of the 2014–15 season. Following his release, after nine years with West Ham, Cole stated his intention to seek at least three more seasons playing at the top-level of football.
Cole has represented England at international level, making five under-19 appearances, two under-20 appearances and 19 under-21 appearances (scoring six goals). He made his full international debut for the England national team on 11 February 2009 in a friendly match against Spain, where after latching onto a David Beckham pass, rounded the goalkeeper before his effort was cleared off the line. He has made seven appearances for England, all from the substitutes' bench. He has the record for the most appearances as a substitute without ever starting a game.
In April 2011, Cole was fined £20,000 by The FA for comments he made on Twitter regarding England's friendly against Ghana, at Wembley, the previous month, joking that the game was being used as a sting operation by immigration authorities. He requested that the fine be donated to a Ghanaian charity of his choice.
Cole was again charged by The FA in March 2015, when in response to a Tottenham fan taunting him on Twitter by asking whether he would consider retirement, he replied "Fuck off you cunt". After admitting the offence, he was fined £20,000.
Cole is also known on Twitter due to his controversial parody account, for whom he has been mistaken many times. 
- As of match played 24 May 2015.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan)||2002–03||First Division||7||1||0||0||0||0||—||0||0||7||1|
|Charlton Athletic (loan)||2003–04||Premier League||21||4||1||1||0||0||—||—||22||5|
|Aston Villa (loan)||2004–05||Premier League||27||3||1||0||2||0||—||—||30||3|
|West Ham United||2006–07||Premier League||17||2||2||1||0||0||2[b]||0||—||21||3|
- As of match played 3 March 2010.
West Ham United
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