Curtis Fleming

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Curtis Fleming
Personal information
Date of birth (1968-10-08) 8 October 1968 (age 48)
Place of birth Manchester, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Right-back
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1989 St Patrick's Athletic 60 (2)
1989 Swindon Town 0 (0)
1989–1991 St Patrick's Athletic 62 (2)
1991–2001 Middlesbrough 266 (3)
2001 Birmingham City (loan) 6 (0)
2001–2004 Crystal Palace 45 (0)
2004–2005 Darlington 27 (0)
2005 Shelbourne 10 (0)
2006–2007 Billingham Synthonia 26 (0)
Total 411+ (5+)
National team
1989–1990 Republic of Ireland U23 2 (0)
1989–1990 Republic of Ireland U21 5 (0)
1996–1998 Republic of Ireland 10 (0)
Teams managed
2012 Crystal Palace (caretaker)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Curtis Fleming (born 8 October 1968 in Manchester) is an Irish former international footballer who was most recently first team coach at Bolton Wanderers. Fleming played right back and won international honours for the Republic of Ireland at under-21, under-23 (twice), and senior level. He played youth football for Belvedere before starting his senior career with St Patrick's Athletic in the League of Ireland and spent the majority of his career with Middlesbrough. Although born in Manchester, Fleming was raised in Dublin and spent only months in Manchester.

Club career[edit]

St Patrick's Athletic[edit]

Fleming played for the Dublin-based youth club Belvedere,[1] and was signed by Brian Kerr for St. Patrick's Athletic in the summer of 1987. He was one of a number of young players signed as Kerr sought to build a squad that could challenge for honours. In his first season he ousted former international player Eamonn Gregg from the first eleven and quickly established himself as one of the most exciting talents in the league. He won four caps for the Republic of Ireland under-21 side and was the only home based player when playing for the Republic of Ireland under-23 side against Northern Ireland in 1989. He was transferred to Swindon Town in March 1989 but returned in the summer having not played for the first team. After finishing second in his first season, Fleming won the league with St. Pat's in 1989–90 season and earned the moniker Black Pearl of Inchicore Mark II (See Paul McGrath and Paul Osam). In November 1990 he was awarded the FAI's Under-21 Player of the Year award. He also played in the European Cup and UEFA Cup while at Richmond Park.


Despite signing for Shamrock Rovers[2] Fleming moved to England in the summer of 1991 to join Middlesbrough on a £50,000 transfer.[3] He helped Lennie Lawrence's side gain promotion to the newly formed Premier League in his first season. After being relegated, it took 'Boro' until 1995 to be promoted again, this time with Bryan Robson in charge they won the first division title. As Middlesbrough alternated between the Premier League and First division, Fleming remained a constant in the side and as part of Robson's highly paid squad he played in the League Cup finals in 1997 and 1998 and the FA Cup Final in 1997. Unfortunately Fleming did not earn another winners' medal. On 5 August 2001, Middlesbrough played Athletic Bilbao in a testimonial match for Fleming. He played 266 league games for Middlesbrough before finally moving on.

After Middlesbrough[edit]

Fleming went on loan to Birmingham City in November 2001, playing six games for them. He then completed a move to Crystal Palace at the end of December 2001, for a fee believed to be "in the region of £100,000".[3] Unfortunately for Fleming injuries would curtail his involvement at Palace, although Ian Dowie was impressed enough to make him club captain. After two and half seasons at Crystal palace, Fleming moved back to North East England in July 2004 to sign for Darlington on a one-year contract.[4] He remained at the club until the end of the 2004–05 season.

Fleming briefly joined Shelbourne in the League of Ireland (managed by former St. Patrick's Athletic colleague Pat Fenlon), and played in the Champions League qualifiers, but at the end of the Irish 2005 season, Fleming officially retired.

International career[edit]

Fleming made his international debut for Ireland in Prague against the Czech Republic national football team on 29 April 1996 (and in the process netting St. Patrick's Athletic another £50,000 as part of his transfer deal). He would go on to win 10 caps under Mick McCarthy.

After retirement[edit]

Fleming later worked as a pundit on Setanta Sports for a period during 2006[citation needed] and was linked with the position of assistant manager to Pat Fenlon at Derry City in the League of Ireland.[citation needed] His playing career has continued at an amateur level, with Fleming appearing regularly in the 2006–07 season for Northern League side Billingham Synthonia as a central defender.[citation needed] Fleming later coached at youth level at Middlesbrough[5] and joined Livingston in June 2007, as assistant manager to Mark Proctor.[5] In July 2011, Fleming joined former club Crystal Palace, managed by former Eagles team-mate Dougie Freedman, as Development Coach. In July 2012, Fleming was promoted to the role of first team coach at Crystal Palace, yet moved on four months later to join Freedman in a similar role at Bolton Wanderers.

Curtis is a valued supporter of the charity Show Racism the Red Card and spoke with passion and humour about his experiences of racism in the game at SRTRC's fifteenth anniversary event at UNISON HQ on 3 August 2011.[citation needed]

Curtis Fleming is also a patron of the charity Justice First and took part in a fundraising event at Goals Soccer Saturday with his team The Misfits losing 5-2 in the final to Hope athletic. Despite this Curtis graciously handed over the trophy to the winners.



  1. ^ "Belvo origins". Belvedere F.C. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Irish Times Archive
  3. ^ a b "Fleming joins Eagles". BBC Sport. 31 December 2001. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  4. ^ "Fleming joins Quakers". BBC Sport. 31 July 2004. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "Fleming given Livi coaching role". BBC Sport. 26 June 2007. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 

External links[edit]