||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
|Full name||Francis Jeffers|
|Date of birth||25 January 1981|
|Place of birth||Liverpool, England|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|2003–2004||→ Everton (loan)||18||(1)|
|2005||→ Rangers (loan)||8||(0)|
|2007||→ Ipswich Town (loan)||9||(4)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:32, 1 December 2013 (UTC).
Francis Jeffers (born 25 January 1981) is an English former professional footballer who played as a striker. In his career Jeffers has played for Premier League teams Everton, Arsenal, Charlton Athletic and Blackburn Rovers, as well as various lower-tier clubs. He has one cap for England, scoring one goal against Australia. Jeffers is the joint all-time highest scorer for the England Under-21 side with 13 goals in 16 appearances.
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Coaching career
- 4 Honours
- 5 Career statistics
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Born in Liverpool, Merseyside, Jeffers began his career at Everton, making his debut as a half-time substitute (for Dave Watson) on Boxing Day 1997 at Old Trafford at the age of 16 years. Showing a lot of early promise and talent, he scored 20 goals in 60 matches for the Toffees with his best season coming in the 1999-2000 campaign, striking up a prolific partnership with Kevin Campbell after initially starting the season out of the squad after a much publicised row with manager Walter Smith over a pay rise.
Jeffers started the 2000-01 season brightly, but his season was cut short with multiple ankle and shoulder injuries. When he did feature, he performed well, and his goal to game ratio was the best at the club that season. This earned Jeffers a new contract offer from the club, the biggest in the club's history. However, after months of negotiations, Jeffers informed the club he was rejecting the new deal, prompting him to be booed by his own supporters after a substitute return against West Ham in April 2001. Jeffers was sold to Arsenal for 8 million pounds in June 2001, much to the disappointment of many Everton fans.
However, Jeffers did not live up to the "fox in the box" tag, and his time at Arsenal was dogged by injury. He was forced out of the side by the form of fellow strikers like Thierry Henry and Sylvain Wiltord. Arsenal won three trophies during Jeffers' spell at the club. Arsenal won the FA Cup in 2002 and 2003 but Jeffers was left out of both match day squads due to injury. He contributed to their 2003 triumph by scoring three goals en route to the final, two against Farnborough and one against Chelsea. He also started the semi-final against Sheffield United. However, he still received a winner's medal for both cup finals. Arsenal also won the 2001-02 FA Premier League title, but Jeffers only played 6 league games that season. 6 would not normally be enough to earn a medal but he was an unused substitute on the day Arsenal clinched the title against Manchester United at Old Trafford. His final appearance for Arsenal came in the 2003 FA Community Shield, coming on as a substitute but then getting sent off against Manchester United. Days later he would rejoin Everton on loan.
Return to Everton, Charlton and Rangers loan
He returned to Everton for 2003–04 on loan, but only scored twice (with both goals coming against Fulham in the FA Cup, once in the original tie and again in the replay) in 22 appearances for his side, before falling out with manager David Moyes and prematurely returning to London. He was sold for £2.6m to Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2004. In 2004–05 he scored 5 goals in 24 matches. He joined Rangers on loan on 31 August 2005 for six months but returned in December after his performances in the Scottish Premier League failed to live up to expectations. Charlton manager Alan Curbishley allowed Jeffers' contract to expire at the end of the 2005–06 season.
He joined Championship side Ipswich Town on a one-month loan deal in March 2007, scoring his first goal for Ipswich on his full debut away at Hull City and receiving the man of the match award. Ipswich went on to win the game 5–2. He returned to Blackburn after suffering a hamstring injury against Southend United, but having made a quick recovery, he was allowed to return to Ipswich on loan until the end of the 2006–07 season.
Ipswich had tried to negotiate a permanent move for Jeffers but after having two bids rejected, Ipswich Chairman David Sheepshanks accused Blackburn of holding his club to ransom. Ipswich did, however, make a third and final bid for Jeffers but personal terms could not be agreed.
On 9 August 2007 for a fee believed to be in the region of £700,000 he joined Sheffield Wednesday on a three-year deal, and was given the number-9 shirt to take the place of the Scottish footballer Steve MacLean, a former fan favourite. Jeffers made his debut in an opening-day 4–1 defeat at Ipswich Town. He sustained an injury which kept him out of action for all but 20 minutes of the first month of the 2007–08 season.
On returning from injury Jeffers was originally subjected to a level of criticism by some Wednesday fans. However, he managed to wipe away most of that with a 25-yard screamer against Hull City after flicking the ball on to his strike partner Deon Burton for the lay off. The goal brought an end to a six-game losing streak at the start of the 2007–08 Football League Championship season.
After a lively start against Stoke City on 20 October 2007, Jeffers was on the end of a tackle from Ryan Shawcross and was stretchered off with ankle ligament damage. He was out for roughly seven weeks, a big blow after he had caused Stoke's defence lots of trouble in his 40 minutes on the pitch, helping Sheffield Wednesday to a 4–2 away win.
Jeffers came back as a substitute on 10 December 2007 versus Hull City, but ended up on the losing side after a 1–0 loss. Just 48 hours later Jeffers played at Hillsborough for the first time in two months, and not only played for 45 minutes of the game, but also scored the winning goal after 82 minutes from the penalty spot. This was Jeffers' second goal for the Owls.
In the summer of 2008, Jeffers had more problems with his ankle and also picked up a groin injury, leaving him injured until September 2008. Jeffers returned to first team action with a twenty five minute substitute appearance in a 6–0 defeat at Reading in mid September and then a further ten minutes against his former club Ipswich Town. Jeffers scored his third goal for the Owls on 17 January 2009 in a 4–1 win over Charlton at Hillsborough getting his first goal for the club since New Year's Day 2008, but was sent off in the next game against Nottingham Forest.
On 25 August 2009 Jeffers was sent off for headbutting Port Vale player Tommy Fraser during the 2–0 League Cup defeat. Manager Brian Laws considered his behaviour unacceptable, fined the player the maximum permissible amount and placed him on the transfer list.
Jeffers was released by the Owls on 3 May 2010 after the club's relegation was confirmed to League One. After being released by Wednesday, Jeffers had a trial at newly promoted Blackpool. Ian Holloway wanted to give Jeffers a chance to prove himself but the trial proved to be unsuccessful and he was released. He then returned to Everton – but only to join in with the Toffees’ training at Finch Farm in a bid to keep his fitness levels up.
Newcastle United Jets
After unsuccessful trials at both Blackpool and Everton, Jeffers agreed to trial with Australian A-League side Newcastle United Jets. On 29 October 2010, he signed a 10-match guest contract with the club. He made his debut for the club on 13 November 2010, helping Newcastle to a 3–1 victory over Adelaide United. Jeffers delivered the killer blow, setting up striker Marko Ješić for Newcastle's third goal of the match with a curling, defence-splitting through ball in the 52nd minute.
He scored his first goal on 8 December 2010 against the Melbourne Heart. He then provided an assist as he played a fantastic through ball to Marko Ješić for Newcastle's second. Although Newcastle and Jeffers were both keen on extending his contract, they failed to come to an agreement and Jeffers left the club after making a positive impact.
In February 2011 Jeffers joined Scottish Premier League club Motherwell. He made his debut coming on as a second half sub for John Sutton in the 6-0 defeat to former club Rangers. His first goal for Motherwell came against Aberdeen on 15 February 2011. Jeffers also scored the third goal in a 3-0 win against Dundee United in the Scottish Cup quarter-final replay. Jeffers was released by Motherwell on 1 June 2011.
Return to Newcastle United Jets
On 20 October 2011, it was announced that he had signed a one-year contract with A-League club Newcastle United Jets marking his return to the club after having previously played for the club during the 2010–11 A-League season. Jeffers scored 4 goals in 25 games for the A-league club. Subsequently, Newcastle Jets decided not to renew Jeffers' contract making him a free agent. During his second spell with the club, Jeffers struggled to cope with the Australian diet and on the advice of the club doctor he became a vegetarian.
On 12 October 2012, Jeffers signed for 25-time Maltese Premier League winners Floriana. After only two games and one goal, Jeffers left the club. Jeffers was then involved in a minor Twitter scandal as a fake Twitter account posing to be Jeffers claimed that the Maltese League was the worst he had ever played in.
On 8 March 2013, Jeffers signed for Accrington Stanley until the end of the season. On 9 March, Jeffers made his Accrington début coming on as a second-half substitute away to Northampton Town. On 20 March, Jeffers scored his first two Accrington Stanley goals in a 4–0 win at home to AFC Wimbledon.
Attempts to find a new club
At the start of November 2013, Jeffers went on trial with English League Two side Bury. On 24 November 2013, Jeffers went on trial with Brunei DPMM of the S.League. A couple of days later there were reports that Jeffers had signed a two-year deal with the club, however on 4 December the Team Manager of DPMM Steve Kean confirmed in an interview that Jeffers had not signed for the club. Jeffers had a trial with Chester in January 2014.
He has one full cap for England, scoring a consolation goal in a defeat by Australia in 2003. Jeffers is the joint, all-time leading scorer for England Under-21s with 13 goals, a record he shares with Alan Shearer.
Unable to find a new club, Jeffers began working for Everton's academy on a voluntary basis in 2014.
Arsenal won Premier League 2001–02, but Jeffers did not play enough games to receive medals
Arsenal won 2002 FA Community Shield, but Jeffers did not play in that game
- As of 1 June 2013
|Rangers (loan)||2005–06||Scottish Premier League||8||0||0||0||2||0||4||0||–||–||14||0|
|Blackburn Rovers||2006–07||Premier League||10||0||1||0||1||0||3||1||–||–||15||1|
|Ipswich Town (loan)||2006-07||Championship||9||4||0||0||0||0||–||–||–||–||9||4|
|Motherwell||2010–11||Scottish Premier League||10||1||4||1||0||0||–||–||–||–||14||2|
|Floriana||2012–13||Maltese Premier League||2||1||0||0||–||–||0||0||–||–||2||1|
|Accrington Stanley||2012-13||League Two||7||2||0||0||0||0||–||–||0||0||7||2|
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- Include Champions League and UEFA Cup
- Include FA Community Shield and Football League Trophy