Chris Porter (footballer, born 1983)

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Chris Porter
Chris Porter 01 IJA.png
Chris Porter playing for Sheffield United in January 2014
Personal information
Full name Christopher John Porter[1]
Date of birth (1983-12-12) 12 December 1983 (age 33)[2]
Place of birth Wigan, England
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[2]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Colchester United
Number 9
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2005 Bury 71 (18)
2005–2007 Oldham Athletic 66 (28)
2007–2009 Motherwell 59 (23)
2009–2011 Derby County 44 (9)
2011–2015 Sheffield United 88 (15)
2013 Shrewsbury Town (loan) 5 (1)
2013 Chesterfield (loan) 3 (0)
2015– Colchester United 84 (27)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:23, 25 March 2017 (UTC).

Christopher John Porter (born 12 December 1983) is an English professional footballer who plays as a forward for Colchester United.

Porter began his career at Third Division side Bury, where he scored 20 goals in 78 appearances between 2003 and 2005. This prompted a move to League One club Oldham Athletic. He moved to the Scottish Premier League with Motherwell in 2007, before returning to England with Championship club Derby County. He dropped down a division in 2011, joining Sheffield United. With the Blades, he made over 100 appearances in three-and-a-half years, scoring 23 goals. He had two short loan spells away from the club, playing for Shrewsbury Town and Chesterfield. He then joined Colchester United in January 2015.

Career[edit]

Bury[edit]

Born in Wigan,[2] Porter attended Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Blackburn, where he was a member of the school's Independent Schools Football Association Cup winning side in 2001.[3] Having previously featured in the British Universities team, Porter had unsuccessful trials with Wigan Athletic and Blackpool before joining Bury on trial. He featured for the reserve team during the 2002–03 season in a 3–2 defeat to their Walsall counterparts. He scored Bury's two goals in the game, assisted on each occasion by Bury manager Andy Preece. Following the game, Preece said that "Chris still needs to get some more aggression into his game" and that he "looks a really good prospect".[4] He then signed a short-term contract with the club.[5]

2002–03 season[edit]

Porter made the bench for Bury's Third Division 0–0 draw with Hartlepool United at Victoria Park on 7 March 2003, but was an unused substitute.[6] He made his professional debut on 15 March when Bury travelled to Macclesfield Town. He came on to replace Terry Dunfield after 73 minutes of the 0–0 draw.[7] He made his second and final appearance of the season on 3 May in Bury's 3–0 home defeat by Wrexham, when he replaced Paul O'Shaughnessy after 69 minutes.[8][9]

2003–04 season[edit]

During Bury's 2003–04 pre-season campaign, Porter scored the third in their 3–0 win over Leigh RMI,[10] before scoring a hat-trick against a young Oldham Athletic side to stake a claim for a starting position in Bury's opening game of the season.[11] His pre-season form paid dividends, earning a starting berth alongside David Nugent in the season opening 4–2 defeat against Swansea City on 9 August 2003.[12] One week later, he scored his first professional goal in the 3–2 home defeat to Scunthorpe United. Porter, who said that "I didn't enjoy it [his debut goal] as much as I wanted because we lost", was withdrawn from the game after spraining his ankle.[13] He made it two goals in two games on 23 August as his side saw off Kidderminster Harriers 2–0, but he again failed to complete the full 90 minutes with a recurrence of his ankle injury.[14]

Porter scored his tenth and final goal of the season on 8 May as Bury beat Macclesfield 2–0 at Gigg Lane.[15] He made 40 appearances in all competitions over the season.[16]

2004–05 season[edit]

In the newly renamed League Two, Porter scored his first goal of the season for Bury on 21 August 2004 in a 1–1 draw with Chester City.[17] He received the first red card of his career on 28 September during a Football League Trophy first round match with Stockport County. Already on a yellow card, Porter was sent off in the 90th minute of the encounter, with the scores tied at 1–1. He bundled the ball into the net using his hand, and referee Mark Cowburn showed him a straight red for the handball offence. Bury eventually lost the game 3–1 after extra time, ending the game with nine men on the field.[18] Following his suspension, he returned to score from the bench in the 1–1 draw at Leyton Orient on 9 October.[19]

Porter had been a transfer target for Oldham Athletic ahead of their clash with Brentford on 15 March, with Oldham boss Ronnie Moore saying that the club had made "a reasonable offer".[20] Bury manager Graham Barrow said there was "no chance of him leaving", with the club stating that Oldham wanted to take Porter on loan with a view to a permanent deal in the summer.[21] The loan move never materialised, as Porter matched last seasons tally with his final goal of the season on 9 April when Bury drew 2–2 with Kidderminster.[22] He scored ten goals in 36 appearances.[23] With his contract expiring, Porter was offered a new contract to remain with Bury in the summer of 2005.[24]

Oldham Athletic[edit]

After rejecting a new contract offer from Bury, Porter joined League One side Oldham Athletic on 22 June 2005, signing a two-year deal with the club.[25] His aim was to "impress in pre-season, get a place in the starting line-up when the season starts and keep it". He also said he was "relishing the challenge" of playing at a higher level.[26] Porter's transfer fee was subject to a tribunal, with Bury rejecting an initial £25,000 offer from Oldham.[27] With Bury initially asking for £275,000, the tribunal set the transfer fee at £50,000 up front, with Bury receiving £25,000 after Porter had made 15 appearances for Oldham, and a further £25,000 after 30 games. The tribunal also added a 15% sell-on clause for any future transfer fee.[28]

2005–06 season[edit]

Porter scored on his League One debut on 6 August, heading in a Rob Scott throw-in after 24 minutes to help his side to a 2–0 win over Yeovil Town,[29] despite carrying a knee injury.[30] He scored the first hat-trick of his career when Oldham drew 3–3 with Brentford at Griffin Park on 19 November. His trio of goals, all headers, arrived within the first 23 minutes of the game, scoring all three in 12 minutes.[31]

An ankle injury left Porter battling for fitness in February,[32] and a knee injury left him only able to make sporadic appearances until the end of the season, requiring specialist treatment in the close season.[33] He ended the season having made 35 appearances in the league and cups, scoring nine goals.[34]

2006–07 season[edit]

In the 2006–07 season, Porter opened his scoring account with a brace during a 2–0 win against Nottingham Forest on 12 September.[35]

In March 2007, it was reported that Championship side Stoke City were interested in signing Porter on loan with a view to a permanent £600,000 move in the summer.[36] Oldham manager John Sheridan expressed his anger at "people unsettling our players when we're trying to push for promotion". He also added that Porter had recently "missed five or six chances he'd usually put away. So something's up."[37] After missing five games with knee damage, Porter returned to action in a 1–0 win over promotion rivals Yeovil on 31 March.[38] He then scored his 20th goal of the season on 7 April in a 1–1 home draw with Huddersfield.[39] Having turned down a £650,000 bid from Championship side Plymouth Argyle for Porter during the January transfer window, Oldham managing director Simon Corney believed that the club faced a battle to retain Porter's services in the summer, but said that "we don't want to stand in the way of players who can better themselves at bigger clubs", revealing that there was interest from a Premiership club.[40] He scored his 22nd and final goal of the season with the only goal against Chesterfield on the final day of the season, securing a play-off place for his side.[41] Porter described the goal as "the biggest goal of my career — maybe not the best but certainly the most important".[42] He played in both the 2–1 play-off semi-final first leg defeat to Blackpool,[43] and the 3–1 second leg defeat.[44]

After making 40 first-team appearances and scoring 22 goals for Oldham,[45] Oldham offered Porter a new contract to remain with the club.[46] The club offered Porter what Simon Corney described as "a good contract", and with no decision made by the player in June, the club's owners decided to put a block on all incoming transfers while they waited to see if they would receive a transfer fee for Porter if he were to leave.[47] Porter was also offered a chance to join Dundee United by manager Craig Levein, but withdrew the offer after Porter stalled in his decision. Levein added that he would only "want people who are desperate to come to this club. He just did not give that impression, so I wished him all the best and told him we are no longer interested".[48]

Motherwell[edit]

Porter signed for Mark McGhee's Scottish Premier League side Motherwell on a free transfer on 3 July 2007.[49]

2007–08 season[edit]

Porter made his Motherwell debut on 4 August 2007 when his side earned a 1–0 away win at St Mirren.[50] His first goal for the club arrived on 25 August with the winning goal in a 2–1 win against Gretna, a match which was designated an 'away' game while Gretna were ground sharing Fir Park with Motherwell.[51] He scored 18 goals in 42 appearances.[52]

2008–09 season[edit]

Porter made his European debut in the UEFA Cup during the 2008–09 season, replacing John Sutton after 67 minutes of the 1–0 defeat to AS Nancy at the Stade Marcel-Picot on 18 September 2008.[53] He started in the 2–0 home defeat by the French side in the return leg on 2 October.[54] Between these games, Porter received his first red card since 2004 in a 2–1 extra time defeat at home to Hamilton Academical on 24 September in the League Cup.[55] He scored his first goal of the season in Motherwell's 3–2 win over Falkirk on 5 October.[56]

Porter scored his second career hat-trick for Motherwell on 27 December to help them to a 3–2 win over Inverness.[57] Porter scored his eighth goal of the season with the only goal of the game as Motherwell beat Hearts at Fir Park on 7 January 2009.[58] He scored his final Motherwell goal on 18 January with the final goal in a 4–0 away win over Dundee United.[59] During January, Porter was subject to a number of bids from both Scottish and English clubs. With his contract expiring in the summer, and having already rejected speculation of a move to Hearts, Porter again rejected another move, this time back to England with League One club Huddersfield Town after a £200,000 bid.[60] Later in January, Porter was again linked with a move away, on this occasion to Championship side Cardiff City,[61] with Motherwell accepting a £400,000 offer for the player.[62]

Derby County[edit]

After being linked with a move away from Motherwell to clubs including Heart of Midlothian, Huddersfield Town, Cardiff City, Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest, Porter finally made a move away from the Scottish club and back to England in the Championship with Derby County on 3 February 2009 for a fee in the region of £400,000. He became Derby manager Nigel Clough's first signing. He signed a two-and-a-half year deal with County, saying that "I really enjoyed my time in Scotland and it was a difficult decision to leave Motherwell".[63]

2008–09 season[edit]

Porter made his debut for the club as a replacement for Rob Hulse in Derby's 3–0 win at Plymouth Argyle on 7 February 2009.[64] He hoped to have a part to play when Derby faced Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup on 15 February. Porter said: "I'm from Wigan and I support Manchester United, so it would be even more special to play against them".[65] Porter came on for his home debut in the game, once again replacing Hulse, while the Rams were 3–1 down to United. Manchester United eventually won the match 4–1.[66] After making his first start for the club in their 2–1 defeat to Doncaster Rovers, Porter continued in the starting eleven on 3 March in a game against Swansea City, and his selection paid off by scoring his first two goals for Derby in the 2–2 draw.[67] He scored his third goal for Derby on 7 March, giving his side the lead by scoring from eight yards after just one minute of a 2–1 win against Bristol City.[68] In the match, Porter was withdrawn at half-time, and was subsequently ruled out for the rest of the season with a hip injury.[69]

2009–10 season[edit]

Porter's hip injury left him out of action for four months.[70] He returned for pre-season duty on 11 July 2009, scoring the only goal of the game in a friendly win against Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium.[71] However, Porter's hip problem that ruled him out of the final stages of the 2008–09 season struck once again, with the player requiring an operation that would again rule him out for a number of months.[72] He finally made his return to first-team action for the first time since March on 8 December, making a substitute appearance in Derby's 0–0 stalemate with Preston North End at Deepdale.[73] He then scored his first goal of the season four days later on his 26th birthday, coming off the bench to give his side a 1–0 win at Watford.[74]

Having featured mostly as a substitute for Derby, Porter began his most consistent run in the team during March, making five consecutive starts, but promised the club's staff and fans that after "a good pre-season and an injury-free season everybody will see the best of me and what I can do".[75] He ended his season with 24 games played and four goals scored.[76]

2010–11 season[edit]

Ahead of the 2010–11 season, Porter was confident that he and his fellow strikers at Derby made up "one of the best strike forces in the Championship", and that "injuries hindered the team's progress last season".[77] He missed a portion of pre-season after requiring an injection for his troublesome hip,[78] but returned for a 3–3 friendly draw with Bournemouth on 22 July.[79] In his second appearance of the season, a 1–0 League Cup defeat to Crewe Alexandra on 10 August, Porter broke down with another hip injury, having to be replaced at half-time.[80] He required further scans and specialist treatment to overcome the injury.[81]

Porter returned to action for the first time in three months as a substitute in Derby's 2–1 defeat to Burnley on 27 November. He described his time out of action as "his worst time in football", not knowing the cause of the injury.[82] He was selected to start for the New Year's Day trip to Preston, where he scored two goals to help his side to a 2–1 victory.[83] With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Nigel Clough challenged Porter to "earn himself another contract".[84] Over the next month, Porter was a regular feature in Clough's starting line-up, but the manager believed that Porter was "working hard without reward".[85] Despite helping the Derby County reserve team to a league title, Porter continued to find himself in and out of the first-team in the latter stages of the season.[86] On 12 May, it was revealed that Porter was to be released by the club and not offered a new contract after his deal expired. Injury restricted him to only 50 appearances with 25 starts, scoring nine goals.[87]

Sheffield United[edit]

Porter signed for League One Sheffield United on 15 July 2011, signing a two-year contract.[88]

2011–12 season[edit]

Porter began the 2011–12 pre-season with a goal in a 1–1 friendly draw with Blackpool on 31 July.[89] He made his full debut for the Blades, starting against his former club Oldham Athletic, in a 2–0 away win on the opening day of the season. He was replaced by Daniel Bogdanović after 78 minutes of play.[90] Porter scored his first goal for the club against Yeovil Town on 27 August at Huish Park with the only goal of the game.[91]

After helping his side to the play-offs, Porter scored the decisive goal to send the Blades through to the 2012 Football League One play-off Final at Wembley Stadium as his side beat Stevenage 1–0 in the semi-final second leg on 14 May, following a 0–0 draw in the first leg.[92] Sheffield United went on to lose the final to Huddersfield Town on penalties, with Porter replacing Richard Cresswell in the 85th minute of normal time.[93] Porter concluded the season having made 44 appearances, scoring eight goals.[94]

2012–13 season[edit]

After a lengthy period of negotiation, Porter agreed a new two-year deal with Sheffield United in July 2012. He described his first season with the club as "slightly frustrating but I'm hoping to kick on this year".[95] However, his first goal of the new season didn't arrive until 3 November, where he scored the winning goal in a 2–1 FA Cup win against Bristol Rovers.[96]

Porter suffered an injury lay-off through much of December 2012 and January 2013. Meanwhile, Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson declared that there had been interest from other clubs in Porter.[97]

Shrewsbury Town loan[edit]

After sitting in the stands watching Sheffield United defeat Shrewsbury Town 2–1 at the New Meadow on 9 February 2013, Porter was sent out on loan to Shrewsbury in an initial one-month loan deal on 13 February. Porter hoped to get "a run of games together" and he added "hopefully I'll get some goals".[98] He did just that by scoring ten minutes into his debut during a 2–0 win over Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on 15 February, playing the full 90 minutes.[99] After one month with Shrewsbury and having made five appearances, Porter returned to Sheffield.[100]

Return to Sheffield United[edit]

Having been told by Blades manager Danny Wilson to seize his opportunity when selected in the first-team,[101] Porter made an immediate impact after being introduced as a half-time substitute for Dave Kitson in his first match for the club since his return from his Shrewsbury loan. He scored the equalising goal 20 minutes after arriving on the pitch to earn a 1–1 draw with Walsall on 6 April 2013.[102] Following Wilson's dismissal as manager, caretaker manager Chris Morgan selected Porter to start for his first game in charge on 13 April. Porter scored the opening goal of the game in a 2–0 win over Swindon Town.[103] This goal represented a personal milestone for Porter, being his 100th career goal.[104] He ended the season with four goals for United in 28 appearances.[105]

2013–14 season and Chesterfield loan[edit]

Again out of favour at Sheffield United,[106] Porter signed on loan for League Two Chesterfield on 4 October 2013 for one month.[107] He made his debut on 5 October as an 81st-minute substitute, replacing Gary McSheffrey in a 4–3 away defeat to Morecambe.[108] He made three league appearances and one Football League Trophy appearances before returning to Sheffield United.[109]

On his return to Sheffield, Porter's former manager David Weir had been replaced with Nigel Clough, who he had previously played under at Derby County. Clough was willing to allow Porter a chance to fight for his place in the first-team.[109] He made his first start since his Chesterfield loan on 9 November 2013 in an FA Cup first round tie with Colchester United. He scored a late penalty kick to hand the Blades a 3–2 win.[110] He finished the season with 41 appearances for Sheffield United with eleven goals scored.[111]

2014–15 season[edit]

Sheffield United had the option to automatically extend Porter's contract by a further 12-months following the expiry of his original two-year deal.[112] The option was not exercised after the club decided to offer Porter an alternate deal, while still keeping the player on the 'retained list'.[113] After delaying signing a reduced-terms offer, Porter eventually signed a new one-year deal on 10 June 2014.[114]

The club planned to let Porter leave the club on loan during the January transfer window.[115] It was then revealed in January 2015 that two potential buyers had spoken to Porter about his availability on a permanent transfer after being told he was surplus to requirements at Bramall Lane.[116] After making just five appearances in the 2014–15 season, Clough announced that Porter was able to leave the club on a free transfer.[117]

Colchester United[edit]

After having his Sheffield United contract terminated, on 22 January 2015, Porter signed an 18-month deal with Colchester United.[118]

2014–15 season[edit]

Porter made his debut for the U's on 24 January, starting in the 2–0 relegation battle victory over Leyton Orient, before being substituted for Macauley Bonne in injury time.[119] He scored his first goal for the club in his second game, opening the scoring against Bradford City at Valley Parade on 31 January in a 1–1 draw.[120] He ended the season with seven league goals in 21 appearances for Colchester.[121]

2015–16 season[edit]

Ahead of the 2015–16 season, Porter was named as club captain on 21 July 2015.[122] After an injury blighted the start to his season, Porter scored his first goal of the campaign on 21 November in a 4–1 defeat by Millwall after coming on as a half-time substitute for Marvin Sordell.[123]

With the club struggling in League One, on 19 February U's manager Kevin Keen decided to hand the club captaincy to Owen Garvan "for the foreseeable future" and to "take a little of the responsibility off him [Porter]".[124] The following day, Porter scored his first goal in over a month with the opener against Bury as the U's fell to a 5–2 defeat.[125] He made 35 appearances during the season and scored seven goals.[126]

2016–17 season[edit]

Porter scored his first goal of the season and assisted both Colchester's goals in their 2–0 away victory at Wycombe Wanderers on 27 August 2016.[127] He scored a brace in Colchester's 3–2 win over Blackpool on 10 September,[128] with his performance against earning him a place in the EFL 'Team of the Week'.[129]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 25 March 2017.
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Bury 2002–03[9] Third Division 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
2003–04[16] Third Division 37 9 1 1 1 0 1[a] 0 40 10
2004–05[23] League Two 32 9 2 1 1 0 1[a] 0 36 10
Total 71 18 3 2 2 0 2 0 78 20
Oldham Athletic 2005–06[34] League One 31 7 3 2 0 0 1[a] 0 35 9
2006–07[45] League One 35 21 3 1 0 0 2[b] 0 40 22
Total 66 28 6 3 0 0 3 0 75 31
Motherwell 2007–08[52] Scottish Premier League 37 14 2 2 3 2 42 18
2008–09[130] Scottish Premier League 22 9 0 0 1 0 2[c][53][54] 0 25 9
Total 59 23 2 2 4 2 2 0 67 27
Derby County 2008–09[130] Championship 5 3 1 0 0 0 6 3
2009–10[76] Championship 21 4 3 0 0 0 24 4
2010–11[131] Championship 18 2 1 0 1 0 20 2
Total 44 9 5 0 1 0 50 9
Sheffield United 2011–12[94] League One 34 5 3 1 1 0 6[a][b] 2 44 8
2012–13[105] League One 21 3 3 1 1 0 3[a][b] 0 28 4
2013–14[111] League One 32 7 8 4 1 0 0 0 41 11
2014–15[121] League One 1 0 0 0 2 0 2[a] 0 5 0
Total 88 15 14 6 5 0 11 2 118 23
Shrewsbury Town (loan) 2012–13[105] League One 5 1 5 1
Chesterfield (loan) 2013–14[111] League Two 3 0 1[a] 0 4 0
Colchester United 2014–15[121] League One 21 7 21 7
2015–16[126] League One 32 7 3 0 0 0 0 0 35 7
2016–17[132] League Two 31 13 0 0 0 0 1[d] 0 32 13
Total 84 27 3 0 0 0 1 0 88 27
Career total 419 121 33 13 12 2 2 0 18 2 484 138
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Appearance(s) in Football League Trophy
  2. ^ a b c Appearances in English Football League play-offs
  3. ^ Appearances in UEFA Cup
  4. ^ Appearance in EFL Trophy

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Magnus Okuonghae
Colchester United captain
2015–2016
Succeeded by
Owen Garvan