Chris Brunt

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Chris Brunt
Chris Brunt 23-08-2015 1.png
Brunt playing for West Bromwich Albion in 2015
Personal information
Full name Christopher Brunt[1]
Date of birth (1984-12-14) 14 December 1984 (age 32)[1]
Place of birth Belfast, Northern Ireland
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[2]
Playing position Winger
Attacking Midfielder
Left-back
Club information
Current team
West Bromwich Albion
Number 11
Youth career
2001–2002 Middlesbrough
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2004 Middlesbrough 0 (0)
2004 Sheffield Wednesday (loan) 6 (2)
2004–2007 Sheffield Wednesday 134 (21)
2007– West Bromwich Albion 304 (42)
National team
2002–2003 Northern Ireland U19 8 (3)
2005–2006 Northern Ireland U21 2 (1)
2005 Northern Ireland U23 1 (0)
2004– Northern Ireland 56 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 05:28, 17 February 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:39, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Christopher "Chris" Brunt (born 14 December 1984) is a Northern Irish professional footballer who plays for and is the vice-captain of Premier League club West Bromwich Albion.

He plays as a left winger, as an attacking midfielder or left-back. Brunt started his career with Middlesbrough but did not manage to make an appearance in the first team. He joined Sheffield Wednesday in 2004 and amassed 153 appearances for the Owls before joining West Brom in 2007 where he has gone on to appear over 300 times.

Brunt has over 50 caps for the Northern Ireland senior team and also represented his country at youth level.

Early life[edit]

Brunt was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he attended Newtownbreda Primary School.[3] His father Colin was a talented rugby union player.[4] He then went on to study at Wellington College, a grammar school in Belfast.[5] As a youth player, he appeared for Saint Andrew's Boys' Club.[6]

Club career[edit]

Middlesbrough[edit]

Brunt had trials with professional teams Rangers and Middlesbrough as a 16-year-old.[7] He joined Middlesbrough's academy in 2001 and signed his first professional contract a year later.[5] However, he failed to break into the first team at the Teesside club.[8]

Sheffield Wednesday[edit]

Brunt playing for Sheffield Wednesday in 2006

He moved to Sheffield Wednesday in March 2004 on an initial short-term deal. A permanent free transfer followed soon after as Brunt signed a two-year contract at Wednesday.[9]

In the 2004–05 season, his first full season at the club, Brunt helped Wednesday achieve promotion to the Championship by scoring five goals in all competitions with four of those coming in the league.[10] In July 2005, he agreed a one-year extension to his existing contract.[11]

He went on to hit seven goals the following season, finishing the campaign as the club's top goalscorer.[12] He also passed the 100 appearance mark for Wednesday during the 2005–06 season, making him the club's most experienced player at the time.

His impressive displays during the 2006–07 season saw him linked with a move away from Hillsborough, with Rangers and Fulham among the clubs interested in acquiring his services.[13] With only one year remaining on his contract, negotiations between Brunt and Wednesday broke down in July 2007, due to what the club described as 'excessive wage demands'.[14]

West Bromwich Albion[edit]

2007–2010: Securing top-flight status[edit]

West Bromwich Albion had a bid accepted for Brunt on 14 August 2007. They completed the signing the next day, in a £3 million four-year deal, which included £500,000 of performance-related add-ons.[15][16] Brunt made his Albion debut as a second-half substitute in a 2–0 home win over Barnsley on 1 September 2007.[17] He scored his first goal for the club in a 3–2 victory away at Scunthorpe United on 22 September 2007.[18]

Brunt's performance in the 3–0 home win against Plymouth Argyle on 1 March 2008 saw him named in the Championship Team of the Week.[19] On 28 April 2008, Brunt scored a late equalising goal against Southampton in a 1–1 draw; this effectively secured Albion's promotion to the Premier League because of their superior goal difference.[20] He went on to score the free kick in West Brom's 2–0 win over QPR that sealed automatic promotion.[21]

Brunt was the club's top scorer in the 2008–09 season, scoring nine goals.[22] This season ended in disappointment for Brunt and his West Brom teammates as the club were relegated, finishing in last place.[23] He was named the club's Player of the Year for the 2008–09 season.[24]

He enjoyed the most prolific goalscoring campaign of his career to date in the 2009–10 season with 13 goals in 43 games in all competitions.[25] The Northern Ireland native once again helped the club reach the highest tier of English football, scoring the second goal in a 3–2 away win over Doncaster on 10 April 2010, which sealed the club's Premier League status.[26] Brunt signed a new three-year contract in July 2010 to keep him at the club until the summer of 2013.[27]

2011–2014: Club captain[edit]

In January 2011, Brunt was made stand-in captain as the manager decided to drop previous club captain Scott Carson. When Roy Hodgson took charge of the Baggies in February 2011, he made Brunt the permanent captain of the club.[28] He signed another three-year contract in August 2011 as a reward for his impressive form.[28]

He continued to be club captain after a new head coach was appointed when Hodgson had left to manage the England national team.[29]

Brunt helped the team secure an 8th-place finish in the 2012–13 season, the highest the club has finished in the Premier League era, while also helping to secure the record amount of points for the club (48). He scored twice in the season, his first a 30-yard strike at QPR which Albion won 2–1 and the second a finish from the edge of the box in a 2–2 draw at home to Aston Villa.[30][31]

Alan Irvine confirmed Brunt would remain as club captain when he was appointed West Brom manager in the summer of 2014.[32] He signed a new three-year deal on 10 August 2014 to keep him at the club until the summer of 2017.[33]

2015–present: Injury and comeback[edit]

Brunt (seen here on the left) applauding the West Brom supporters at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium in May 2015

Brunt relinquished the captaincy to new signing Darren Fletcher when the former Manchester United player made his debut for West Brom on 8 February 2015 in a match against Burnley.[34] On 18 May 2015, Brunt was hit in the head by a ball kicked by Cesc Fàbregas in a match against Chelsea which resulted in the sending off of the latter.[35]

He was struck on the face by a coin thrown by a West Brom supporter on 20 February 2016 in an FA Cup Fifth Round tie at Championship side Reading. Brunt was appalled by the incident, stating: "If people come to football matches and think it is acceptable to throw coins at footballers or anyone else, it is disgusting."[36]

Brunt returned to first-team action after eight months out with an anterior cruciate knee injury in the 1–1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur at The Hawthorns on 15 October 2016.[37] He scored his first goal of the 2016–17 season on 3 December in a 3–1 home win over Watford, ending a run of 29 Premier League appearances without a goal.[38] His second goal of the season came on 2 January 2017 in a 3–1 home victory against Hull City, when he headed in from a Matt Phillips corner kick.[39] 12 days later, he made his 300th league appearance and 200th Premier League start for West Brom in the next fixture against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane which ended in a 4–0 defeat for the West Midlands club.[40][41] On 9 February 2017, Brunt signed a contract extension which would keep him at the club until the summer of 2018 with an option for another year should he trigger a clause relating to appearances.[42]

International career[edit]

Brunt is a current international for the Northern Ireland national team. He scored his first goal for his country in February 2009, when his free kick helped Northern Ireland to a 3–0 away victory over San Marino.[43] In April 2012, it was revealed that Brunt was in manager Stuart Pearce's provisional squad for the 2012 Olympic Great Britain football team. He was in the end not selected in the final 18-man squad for the Games.[44]

He missed out on the chance to appear at Euro 2016 after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament which required surgery.[45] On 11 November 2016, Brunt returned to the international scene for Northern Ireland's 2018 World Cup qualification match against Azerbaijan. After sustaining a head injury early on, he recovered to set up two goals for Gareth McAuley and Steven Davis respectively in a 4–0 win.[46]

Personal life[edit]

Brunt became a father for the first time on 1 May 2008, when his wife Cathy gave birth to a baby boy named Charlie.[47][48] The couple then welcomed a second child, Zach David Brunt, on 18 April 2011.[49] Brunt is a cousin of Canadian ice hockey player Shawn Thornton.[50]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 11 February 2017
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sheffield Wednesday 2003–04[51] Second Division 9 2 9 2
2004–05[10] League One 42 4 1 0 2 0 4[a] 1 49 5
2005–06[12] Championship 44 7 1 0 2 0 47 7
2006–07[52] Championship 44 10 2 0 1 0 47 10
2007–08[53] Championship 1 0 1 0
Total 140 23 4 0 5 0 4 1 153 24
West Bromwich Albion 2007–08[53] Championship 34 4 6 1 1 0 41 5
2008–09[22] Premier League 34 9 3 0 1 0 38 9
2009–10[25] Championship 40 13 3 0 0 0 43 13
2010–11[54] Premier League 34 4 1 0 0 0 35 4
2011–12[55] Premier League 29 2 0 0 1 1 30 3
2012–13[56] Premier League 31 2 1 0 1 1 33 3
2013–14[57] Premier League 28 3 0 0 1 0 29 3
2014–15[58] Premier League 34 2 4 1 1 0 39 3
2015–16[59] Premier League 22 0 3 0 1 0 26 0
2016–17[60] Premier League 18 3 0 0 0 0 18 3
Total 304 42 21 2 7 2 332 46
Career total 444 65 25 2 12 2 4 1 485 70
  1. ^ One appearance in Football League Trophy, three appearances and one goal in League One play-offs

International[edit]

As of match played 15 November 2016[61]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Northern Ireland 2004 1 0
2005 5 0
2006 1 0
2007 9 0
2008 5 0
2009 5 1
2010 5 0
2011 5 0
2012 4 0
2013 5 0
2014 3 0
2015 6 0
2016 2 0
Total 56 1

International goals[edit]

As of match played 15 November 2016. Northern Ireland score listed first, score column indicates score after each Brunt goal.[61]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition Ref
1 11 February 2009 San Marino Stadium, Serravalle, San Marino 22  San Marino 3–0 3–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification [43]

Honours[edit]

Sheffield Wednesday

West Bromwich Albion

Individual

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0. 
  2. ^ "Chris Brunt Premier League Profile". Premier League. Retrieved 31 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "Northern Ireland's Chris Brunt on Ulster's Quarter Final.". The Front Row Union. Retrieved 10 January 2017. 
  4. ^ Walker, Michael (15 April 2011). "Belfast boy Brunt keeps West Brom bouncing back...". Daily Mail. Retrieved 12 November 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Chris Brunt". Wellington College Belfast. Retrieved 31 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "My Inspirations: Chris Brunt". West Bromwich Albion F.C. 18 February 2010. Archived from the original on 13 March 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  7. ^ James, Stuart (6 November 2010). "Chris Brunt: 'I've got more GCSEs than my West Brom team put together'". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "Chris Brunt flying after his Middlesbrough downer". Express & Star. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "Brunt agrees to Owls move". BBC Sport. 21 April 2004. Retrieved 14 August 2007. 
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  12. ^ a b "Games played by Chris Brunt in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
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  14. ^ "Owls call off Brunt negotiations". BBC Sport. 26 July 2007. Retrieved 14 August 2007. 
  15. ^ "Baggies swoop for Owls star". Daily Mail. 15 August 2007. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
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  28. ^ a b "Chris Brunt signs new three-year deal at West Brom". BBC Sport. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  29. ^ Plant, Darren (25 August 2012). "West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke to retain Chris Brunt as captain". Sports Mole. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
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  34. ^ Augustus, Luke (8 February 2015). "Darren Fletcher appointed West Brom captain on debut against Burnley". Daily Mail. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  35. ^ Rai, Rajvir (19 May 2015). "Cesc Fabregas' moment of madness and five other bizarre Premier League red cards". Daily Mail. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
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  40. ^ "Chris Brunt makes his 300th league appearance and 200th @premierleague start for Albion this afternoon! Congratulations Brunty! #WBA". West Bromwich Albion Official Twitter Account. 14 January 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  41. ^ Reddy, Luke (14 January 2017). "Tottenham Hotspur 4–0 West Bromwich Albion". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
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  43. ^ a b "San Marino 0–3 Northern Ireland". BBC Sport. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  44. ^ Kelso, Paul (2 July 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: Stuart Pearce names Team GB football squad". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  45. ^ "Chris Brunt: Northern Ireland defender to miss Euro 2016". BBC Sport. 3 March 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
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  49. ^ "Zach David Brunt". MyHeritage. Retrieved 10 January 2017. 
  50. ^ Flynn, Douglas (3 October 2011). "Shawn Thornton's Early Years Include Strong Family Support, a Fortuitous Broken Arm, Chance Sighting by Scout". New England Sports Network. Retrieved 12 November 2016. There are some strong athletic genes in Thornton's family. A cousin on his mother's side, Christopher Brunt, is the captain of West Bromwich Albion of the English Premier League, one of the top soccer leagues in the world. 
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  52. ^ "Games played by Chris Brunt in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
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  54. ^ "Games played by Chris Brunt in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  55. ^ "Games played by Chris Brunt in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  56. ^ "Games played by Chris Brunt in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  57. ^ "Games played by Chris Brunt in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  58. ^ "Games played by Chris Brunt in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  59. ^ "Games played by Chris Brunt in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
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External links[edit]