Dan Harding

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Dan Harding
Dan Harding 2014.jpg
Personal information
Full name Daniel Andrew Harding
Date of birth (1983-12-23) 23 December 1983 (age 32)
Place of birth Gloucester, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Eastleigh
Youth career
1999–2002 Brighton & Hove Albion
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2005 Brighton & Hove Albion 67 (1)
2005–2006 Leeds United 20 (0)
2006–2009 Ipswich Town 73 (1)
2008–2009 Southend United (loan) 19 (1)
2009 Reading (loan) 3 (0)
2009–2012 Southampton 98 (4)
2012–2015 Nottingham Forest 54 (0)
2015 Millwall (loan) 20 (0)
2015– Eastleigh 21 (0)
National team
2004 England U21 4 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:00, 3 February 2016 (UTC).


Daniel Andrew "Dan" Harding (born 23 December 1983) is an English footballer who plays for Eastleigh. He has recently played at Millwall where he was on loan from Nottingham Forest.

Born in Gloucester, former England under-21 player Harding began his career with Brighton & Hove Albion and has also played for Leeds United, Ipswich Town, Southend United and Reading, before joining Southampton in July 2009 on a free transfer.

Career[edit]

Brighton & Hove Albion[edit]

Harding joined the Brighton & Hove Albion youth scheme in 1999 aged sixteen. After a successful run in the reserves and the youth side he finally made the left back position at Brighton his own. It took until 2002 when Harding made his Brighton & Hove Albion debut, coming on as a substitute for Shaun Wilkinson in the 79th minutes, in a 2-0 loss against Norwich City on 17 August 2002.[1] This was his only appearance he made in the 2002-03 season. But unfortunately, Harding suffered a back injury in October.[2] In April 2003, Harding signed his first professional contract with the club.[3]

Following an impressive display in the pre-season friendly, Harding began to be involved in the first team and spent the first half of the season on the substitute bench in seven appearance.[4] Soon after the management of Mark McGhee, Harding was given his chance to make his full debut at Withdean Stadium against Bournemouth on 21 February 2004 following the suspension of Kerry Mayo.[5] The game ended a 3-0 win for Bournemouth.[6] From that on, Harding remained in the starting eleven in defense for the reminder of the 2003-04 season and helped the club regain promotion to the Championship after beating Bristol City 1–0 in the final.[7] Harding finished the season, making twenty-three appearance.

Following the club's loss in the opening game of the 2004-05 season, Harding was sent-off in the next match against Plymouth Argyle after a second bookable offence, which they lost 2-0.[8] After the match, Manager Mark McGhee defended Harding, hoping he bounce back.[9] After serving a suspension, Harding managed to regain his first team place at the club and then scored his first goal for the club, in a 1-0 win over against Rotherham United[10] However, in the next game against Millwall, Harding was at fault when he conceded two games, which saw Brighton lost 2-0.[11] During the season, Harding find himself, competing in the left-back position with Kerry Mayo and was dropped four times by McGhee after making mistakes once again during a match against Stoke City.[12] Despite this, Harding helped the club to keep the club in the Championship the following season in 2004–05, finishing 20th, their highest league position in 14 years and made forty-three appearance for the club.

But after an impressive two seasons, in which England's U21 coach Peter Taylor and a host of Premier League clubs taking an interest in him, Harding was preparing to move on.[13] With his contract expiring at the end of the 2004-05 season, Harding expressed interests to commit a long term at the club.[14] The contract negotiation began started, with Harding offered a two-year contract[15] However, delays for Harding to resolve the contract negotiations led Manager McGhee expressed unhappiness.[16] Harding responded to the situation, saying he denied turning down a contract at the club.[17] In February 2005, McGhee re-opened the contract on Harding.[18] But three months later, Harding once again turned down a contract with the club.[19]

During his time at Brighton & Hove Albion, Harding was given a nickname: "Mr Tickle" by his then team-mates because of his long legs and arms[2] and at one point was nominated by FourFourTwo magazine as two of the best 50 players outside the Premiership, along with Leon Knight.[20]

Leeds United[edit]

On 7 June 2005, Harding reportedly cut short a holiday, to sign a three-year-contract with Leeds United on a free transfer.[21] Since he was under the age of 24 years, Brighton were entitled to compensation which was to be decided by a tribunal. On 28 July, Leeds United were ordered to pay up to £850,000 in compensation to Brighton. An initial payment of £450,000 was paid by Leeds with a further £400,000 dependent on appearances, international caps and promotion success.[22]

Harding made his Leeds United debut, in the opening game of the season, in a 2-1 win over Millwall.[23] He the played his first match against his former club on 12 September 2005 and during the match, he was booed and abused by away of Brighton supporters everytime he touched the ball, which was a 3-3 draw.[24] But after appearing in the first seven matches, Harding lost his first team place, as well as, his own injury concern and went on to make twenty appearance for the club.[25][26] Even after recovering from his injury in January,[27] Harding remained in the reserve for the rest of the season.[28]

Ipswich Town[edit]

After only one season at Leeds United, Harding moved to Ipswich Town in a part-exchange deal for Ian Westlake on 4 August 2006. Leeds also paid Ipswich £400,000 and a further £100,000 was dependent on Westlake's appearances.[29]

Harding made his Ipswich Town in the opening game of the season, playing his first start, in a 2-1 loss against Crystal Palace.[30] Harding then provided an assist for Sylvain Legwinski, in a 3-1 win over Southend United on 21 October 2006.[31] In his first season at Ipswich Town, Harding established himself as the full back of the starting eleven, but suffered ankle inury that kept him out for three weeks.[32] Despite this, Harding made forty-two appearance for the club.

In the 2007-08 season, Harding continued to be in the first team and then scored his first goal for Ipswich in a 3–1 defeat at Hull City on 29 September 2007.[33] Harding soon set up two goals in two games, starting with the first assist for Jonathan Walters in a 3-1 win over local rivals, Colchester United on 23 October 2007[34] and another assist for Danny Haynes, in a 3-0 win over Wolves four days later.[35] After missing three matches, due to the performance of Sito, Harding was recalled for the match against Leicester City following Sito's injury, which Ipswich Town lost 2-0.[36] But after making one appearance, Harding suffered a thigh injury that kept him out for weeks.[37] After making his return to the first team against Plymouth Argyle,[38] Harding regained his first team place until Sito's return and kept him out of the first team for the rest of the season. Despite this, Harding made thirty appeaarance for the club.

Ahead of the 2008-09 season, Manager Jim Magilton planned on selling him, as he was longer in his plan[39] and put him on a transfer list as a result.[40] It was later revealed that Harding and Magliton later fallen out over personal problem.[41] It was announced n 7 August 2008, he moved to Southend United on a six-month loan deal with a view to a permanent move.[42] Harding made his Southend United ebut in the opening game of the season, in a 1-0 win over Peterborough United.[43] But in a match against Stockport County on 11 October 2008, Harding was sent-off in the 68th minutes after making a late challenge on Leon McSweeney, which resulted a 1-1 draw.[44] After serving a three match ban, Hrding made his return from suspension and scored against former club Leeds in a 1–0 win on 28 October 2008.[45] After the match, Manager Steve Tilson praised Harding's performance.[46] With nineteen appearance for Southend United, the club were keen for Hardong to stay at the club.[47] But Harding opted returning to the club, though the club were still keen on selling him.[48]

After returning to his parent club, Harding was recalled to the first team ahead of the match against Crystal Palace[49] and made his only appearance for Ipswich Town, as they won 1-0.[50] Weeks later on 29 January 2009, he joined Reading on loan for the remainder of the 2008–09 season.[51] It wasn't until 21 April 2009 for Harding made Reading debut, in a 2-0 win over Derby County.[52]

In May 2009, after talks with Ipswich's new manager Roy Keane, Harding was told his contract would not be renewed and that he would be released from the club.[53] After leaving the club, Harding went on trial at his former club, Brighton.[54]

Southampton[edit]

On 21 July 2009, he signed a two-year deal with Southampton, becoming new manager Alan Pardew's first signing.[55] Upon joining the club, Harding said joining the club was an easy decision the moment he received a phone call from Alan Pardew.[56]

Harding made his Southampton debut in the opening game of the season, playing as a left-back, in a 1–1 draw against Millwall.[57] Weeks later, Harding then scored his first goal for the club in a 1–1 draw with Brentford on 22 August 2009.[58] His second goal later came on 12 December 2009, in a 3–0 win over Tranmere Rovers.[59] Then on 13 March 2010, Harding's third goal came in a 1-0 win over Leeds United.[60] Weeks later on 28 March 28 March 2010, Harding played in the Football League Tropy Final, playing as a right-back, in a 4–1 win over Carlisle United.[61] Harding finished his first season at Southampton, with forty-two appearance and scoring three times.

In the 2010-11 season, Harding retained his first team place until he was dropped in favour of Ryan Dickson[62] Towards the end of the season, Harding provided two assists: the first when he set up a goal for Rickie Lambert, in a 4–1 win over Swindon Town on 26 February 2011;[63] and the second when he set up a goal for Jonathan Forte to score his second of the game, in a 3–2 win over MK Dons on 2 April 2011.[64] He later helped the club secure promotion to The Championship after a two years absence. After making thirty-six appearances in the season, Harding was named in the League One Team of the Year, along with four teammates.[65] His performance throughout the 2010-11 season was praised by Francis Benali.[66] At the end of the season, Harding had his contract activated with an automatic one-year extension.[67]

In the 2011–12 season, Harding was awarded a new three-year contract which expired in 2014.[68] He scored his first goal of the 2011–12 season in a 3–2 defeat at Leicester City on 27 August 2011.[69] But Harding suffered a knee injury that kept him out for months.[70] Two months later, Harding made his return to action, where he came on as a substitute for Guly do Prado in the last minutes, in a 1–1 draw against Derby County on 15 October 2011.[71] Throughout the 2011-12 season, Harding struggled to be in the first team, having competed with Danny Fox and made twenty appearances, scoring once. Following Southampton's promotion to the Premier League, Harding's future at the club became more uncertain, due to new signings.[72]

Nottingham Forest[edit]

On 28 July 2012, Harding joined Nottingham Forest for an undisclosed fee on a three-year contract.[73] Upon joining Nottingham Forest, Harding said he hope he would win over the hearts of Nottingham Forest supporters as a left back.[74]

Harding made his debut in the opening game of the season, playing as a left-back, in a 1--0 win over Bristol City.[75] Harding then assisted a goal that led to an own goal from Pablo Ibáñez, in a 2-2 draw against Birmingham City on 15 September 2012[76] and then provided another assist for Andy Reid in a 1-0 win over Peterborough United on 6 October 2012.[77] Soon after, Harding suffered a hamstring injury that kept him out for weeks.[78] After making his return to the first team against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 24 November 2012,[79] Harding managed to regain his return to the first team in the left-back position before suffering an injury and was substituted during a match against Bristol City on 9 February 2013.[80] After months on the sidelined, where he appeared on the bench on two occasions,[81] Harding made his return from injury, making his first starts in months, in a 1-0 win over Millwall.[82] Harding finished his first season at Nottingham Forest, making twenty league appearance.

In the 2013-14 season, Harding started his the season, appearing as an un-used substitute for the four matches before making his first start of the season, in a a 3-1 win over Hartlepool United in the first round of League Cup.[83] After being absence for two matches, Harding was recalled to the first team and played in the rivalry against Derby County.[84] However, Harding was barely used in the first team, as Chris Cohen was preferable in the left-back position and was left out the squad. But following Cohen's injury, Harding was recalled to the first team and was used as left back in five consecutive times between 29 November 2013 and 21 December 2013.[85] Harding returned to the substitute bench following the arrival of Danny Fox in January. Despite this, Harding provided assist for Jamie Paterson in a 2-1 loss against Millwall on 5 April 2014.[86] Harding went on to make nineteen appearance for the club.

After the club signed Harding on a permanent basis ahead of the 2014-15 season, it lead to suggestions that Harding's time at Nottingham Forest were numbered.[87] Because of this, Harding became a surprise target to a move to Orlando City.[88] However, Harding became a first team regular under the manager of Stuart Pearce at the start of the season.[89] However, it was short-lived after being left out of the squad ahead of the match against Sheffield Wednesday in favour of Fox.[90] By the first half of the season, Harding made eight appearance for the club.[91] Manager praised Harding personality, citing his credit over fighting for his place in the team.[92]

On January 5, 2015, Harding was loaned to league rivals Millwall until the end of the 2014–15 season.[93] Five days after signing for the club, Harding made his Millwall debut on 10 January 2015, playing as a left-back, in a 1-0 loss against Blackpool.[94] Harding became a regular in the first team, playing as a left back, making twenty appearance for the club. However, Harding was unsuccessful to help the club, as they were relegated to League One.

After his loan spell at Millwall came to an end, Harding was among four players to be released by Nottingham Forest, ending his three years association with the club.[95]

Eastleigh[edit]

After being released from Nottingham Forest, Harding signed with National League club, Eastleigh on a two-year contract.[96] Harding later stated he joined Eastleigh, citing family tragedy and rejected a move to Portsmouth, due to previously being a Southampton player, which he said; "had the best three years of my life at Saints".[97][98]

Harding made his Eastleigh debut, playing as a left-back, in the opening game of the season, in a 4–0 win over Southport.[99] After his debut, Harding established himself in the first team and made the first nineteen appearances until he suffered a calf injury during the 1st round of the FA Cup against Crewe in the second half.[100] After a month on the sidelines, Harding made his return to the first team, in a 1–1 draw against Aldershot Town.[101] In mid-February, Harding suffered a hamstring injury during a match against Kidderminster Harriers, which was lost 3-2.[102] In his first season at Eastleigh, Harding made thirty-one appearance for the club.

Ahead of the 2016–17 season, Harding was placed on the transfer list by manager Chris Todd.[103]

International career[edit]

In August 2004, Harding was called up by England under-21, which he describe the moment that left him shocked.[104] Harding made his England U21 debut on 17 August 2004, in a 3-1 win over Ukraine U21. After the match, Harding was praised by Manager Taylor, quoting: "I was pleased with Dan. He has come on for 45 minutes and played very sensibly. He did not get beaten once." His performance was also praised by The Argus for his "combining intelligent use of the ball with sound defending".[105] Harding went to make three more appearance for England U21.

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 8 November 2014
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Brighton & Hove Albion 2002–03[106] Division One 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2003–04[107] Division Two 23 0 0 0 2 0 5[a] 0 30 0
2004–05[108] Championship 43 1 1 0 1 0 45 1
Total 67 1 1 0 3 0 5 0 76 1
Leeds United 2005–06[109] Championship 20 0 0 0 1 0 21 0
Ipswich Town 2006–07[110] Championship 42 0 4 0 1 0 47 0
2007–08[111] Championship 30 1 0 0 1 0 31 1
2008–09[112] Championship 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 73 1 4 0 2 0 79 1
Southend United (loan) 2008–09[112] League One 19 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 20 1
Reading (loan) 2008–09[112] Championship 3 0 0 0 0 0 2[b] 0 5 0
Southampton 2009–10[113] League One 42 3 4 0 2 0 5[c] 1 53 4
2010–11[114] League One 36 0 4 0 2 0 1[c] 0 43 0
2011–12[115] Championship 20 1 3 0 2 0 25 1
Total 98 4 11 0 6 0 6 1 121 5
Nottingham Forest 2012–13[116] Championship 27 0 1 0 2 0 30 0
2013–14[117] Championship 19 0 2 0 3 0 24 0
2014–15[118] Championship 8 0 0 0 2 0 10 0
Total 54 0 3 0 7 0 61 0
Millwall (loan)
2014–15[118]
Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career total 334 7 19 0 20 0 13 1 386 8
  1. ^ Two appearances in Football League Trophy, three in Football League play-offs
  2. ^ Appearances in Football League play-offs
  3. ^ a b Appearances in Football League Trophy

Personal life[edit]

Harding owns a Cocker Spaniel named Poppy.[119] Harding revealed he grew up supporting Leeds United.[120]

In October 2008, Harding's mother died from cancer. Harding dedicated his goal to his mother after scoring against his former club, Leeds United.[121] Harding also friends with Matt Richards.[122]

Harding and his wife, Vicki, have three children. In 2015, his wife was expecting triplets, but only one child survived.[97][123]

Honours[edit]

Southampton
Individual

References[edit]

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