Wheater playing for Middlesbrough
|Full name||David James Wheater|
|Date of birth||14 February 1987|
|Place of birth||Redcar, England|
|Height||1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back / Right back|
|2006||→ Doncaster Rovers (loan)||7||(1)|
|2006||→ Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan)||1||(0)|
|2007||→ Darlington (loan)||15||(2)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12:04, 7 May 2016 (UTC).
David James Wheater (born 14 February 1987 in Redcar, England) is an English footballer who last played as a defender for Bolton Wanderers. He is a centre back, although he is capable of playing at right back as well.
Wheater started his professional career at Middlesbrough in 2004, having graduated through the club's youth teams. He had three loan spells away from Middlesbrough during the 2006–07 season; at Doncaster Rovers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Darlington (loan). An injury to Jonathan Woodgate at the start of the following season saw Wheater become a regular player for Middlesbrough, and he would make a total of 140 league appearances for the club before switching to current club Bolton Wanderers in January 2011.
Wheater is a product of the Middlesbrough youth system, and was promoted to the first team at the age of 17 for the 2004–05 season, after tasting success in the FA Youth Cup. He and teammates Andrew Taylor, Matthew Bates and Adam Johnson were part of the team that won the 2004 FA Youth Cup, and also played the previous season's final with Bates and Taylor, but lost out to Manchester United.
He joined Wolverhampton Wanderers on a three-month loan in September 2006. However, he returned to Middlesbrough on 15 November, after making just one first team appearance. He also had loan spells at Doncaster Rovers, scoring once against Gillingham and Darlington. During the 2007–08 pre-season, Jonathan Woodgate suffered an injury, that allowed Wheater to start in his place during pre-season. Wheater's form in pre-season, earned him a starting XI place for the opening day Premier League fixture – his form then continued, which triggered the transfer of Woodgate to Tottenham Hotspur, as Wheater became the first name on the 'Boro team sheet. Wheater was named in an understrength Middlesbrough side away to Bristol City in the FA Cup third round, when he saved his team with a goal as he burst forward from the back and scored the winner in a 2–1 at Ashton Gate Stadium. He signed a three-and-a-half-year contract extension in February 2008, which tied him to Middlesbrough until June 2011.
Wheater experienced his best season of football during the 2007–08 season, starting as a regular for Gareth Southgate's side and becoming an imposing force at the back. Wheater scored four goals in all competitions during his 2007–08 breakthrough season. At the end of the year, he won the North East Football Writers' Association Young Player of the Year and Player of the Year awards for his exploits. Unfortunately, Middlesbrough were relegated at the end of the 2008–09 season, but Wheater decided to stay to try to help the club regain promotion.
Despite being only 22, Wheater was appointed captain for the 2009–10 season. He experienced his first taste of league captaincy against Bristol City in a 2–1 loss, but when new manager Gordon Strachan was appointed, Strachan decided to hand the captain's armband to the more experienced Gary O'Neil, to let Wheater concentrate more on developing his game. He scored his first league goal in 18 months on 6 February against Ipswich Town to rescue a draw.
He scored his first goal of the 2010–11 season against Reading, to make the scoreline 3–1, and help Middlesbrough secure back to back home wins in the same week. He made his last appearance against Bristol City on 15 January 2011, where he played the full 90 minutes. Middlesbrough won 4–0. His last goal in a Boro shirt was on New Year's Day against Leeds United, which ended in a 1–1 draw.
On 20 January 2011, he completed a move to Bolton Wanderers on a three-and-a-half-year contract following a few weeks of negotiations for an undisclosed fee, and made his debut on 29 January in the FA Cup game at home to Wigan Athletic. He made his league debut when coming on as a first-half substitute for the injured Zat Knight in the 2–0 home win over Everton on 13 February. On 24 September, in his first league start of the 2011–12 season replacing the ill Gary Cahill, Wheater received a red card for holding back Theo Walcott during Bolton's game at Arsenal. Two months later on 26 November, while playing in the right-back position, he received his second dismissal of the season when challenging Everton winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov in a challenge which was deemed a red card by the referee Michael Oliver, which resulted in a four-game ban.
Wheater scored his first goal for Bolton in a 2–2 away draw at Macclesfield Town in the third round of the FA Cup on 7 January 2012. His first league goals for Bolton came when he netted both goals in a 2–1 win against local rivals Blackburn Rovers on 24 March.
On 7 May 2012, he was ruled out of action for up to nine months after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Bolton's 2–2 draw with West Bromwich Albion the previous day. His return to the first team came ten months later as he came on as a late substitute in Bolton's 4–1 win against Hull City. Wheater signed a contract extension on 21 July 2013, extending his contract until summer 2016. At the end of the 2015-16 season, the club confirmed that he would be leaving when the contract expired. Despite this, Wheater still trained with the club and played in most of their pre season friendlies for the 2016-17 season, as a trialist player.
Wheater has represented England at under-16, under-17, under-18, under-19 and most recently under-21 level. He played at the 2004 U17 European Championships and earned his debut under-21 call-up in August 2007 along with the uncapped Adam Johnson after impressing while on loan at Darlington. He was a regular in the 2009 U21 European Championship qualifying, mostly as a substitute. In October 2008 he scored the equaliser against Wales in the first leg of the play-offs and England went on to win 3–2 and 5–4 on aggregate to qualify. He was supposed to be in the squad for the tournament but withdrew after sustaining an injury.
On 15 October 2008, Wheater was called up into the England senior team as a replacement for John Terry when the England captain withdrew due to an injury picked up playing for Chelsea. Wheater's first real taste of senior international football came when he was named as a substitute for the games against France and Trinidad and Tobago in 2008 but did not leave the bench on both occasions.
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