George Friend

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This article is about the British footballer. For the US sea captain of subtly different spelling, see George Fried.
George Friend
Personal information
Full name George Andrew Jordan Friend[1]
Date of birth (1987-10-17) 17 October 1987 (age 28)
Place of birth Barnstaple, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Left back
Club information
Current team
Number 3
Youth career
0000–2005 Exeter City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2008 Exeter City 39 (1)
2005 Tiverton Town (loan)
2007 Team Bath (loan)
2008–2010 Wolverhampton Wanderers 7 (0)
2009 Millwall (loan) 6 (0)
2009 Southend United (loan) 6 (1)
2009 Scunthorpe United (loan) 4 (0)
2010 Exeter City (loan) 13 (1)
2010–2012 Doncaster Rovers 59 (1)
2012– Middlesbrough 131 (4)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:47 17 September 2015 (UTC).

† Appearances (goals)

George Andrew Jordan Friend (born 17 October 1987) is an English professional footballer who plays for Middlesbrough. Friend can play as either a centre half or a left back. In the 2012–13 season Friend won Middlesbrough players' player of the season award. The following season Friend won it again along with the Player of the Season award. Friend was named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year following an impressive 2014/15 season at left-back for Middlesbrough. Friend was named Middlesbrough vice-captain for the 2015/16 season.


Early career[edit]

Born in Barnstaple, Devon, Friend began his career at then non-League Exeter City as a youth team player, signing a two-year professional contract in March 2006. Able to play left back, centre-back or left-sided midfield, he made his first team debut on 17 April 2006 in a 0–0 draw at Forest Green Rovers.[2]

During his early career, he also had loan spells with Tiverton Town (at the start of the 2005–06 season) and Team Bath (in December 2006). His Exeter career, however, really took off in the 2007–08 season when he was integral to the side that won promotion to the Football League after defeating Cambridge United in the Play-off Final at Wembley Stadium. During that season he became the youngest ever captain in Exeter's history and scored his first goal for the club in a 4–4 draw with Burton Albion on 26 April 2008.[3]

Wolverhampton Wanderers[edit]

After playing in Exeter's opening games in the Football League, he moved to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Championship on 1 September 2008, signing a two-year contract, with the option of a third year,[4] for an initial fee of £350,000.[5] He made six first team appearances for Wolves during the 2008–09 season as they were promoted to the Premier League as champions.

To gain regular playing time, he spent a month's loan at League One club Millwall during August to September 2009, before returning to Wolves.[6] He soon went out on a month's loan again on 18 September to another League One club, Southend United,[7] where he scored his first league goal with a free-kick against Southampton.[8] After a proposed extension to his stay with Southend was cancelled due to the club's financial troubles, he instead spent six weeks on loan at Championship side Scunthorpe United.[9]

Friend was recalled by Wolves as extra cover after injuries struck, giving him his first Premier League appearance on 15 December 2009 against Manchester United.[10] His surprise involvement in the game was just one factor behind the club eventually receiving a £25,000 suspended fine for fielding an under-strength side.[11] Friend did not feature again for Wolves before being loaned out once more, this time rejoining former club Exeter City for the rest of the season,[12] during which time he helped them avoid an instant return to League Two.

Doncaster Rovers[edit]

At the end of the 2009–10 season it was announced that his deal at Wolves would not be extended,[13] and Friend switched to Championship side Doncaster Rovers in a two-year deal [14] despite being linked with a return move to Exeter City.[15] Friend made his Doncaster debut in their 2–0 opening day win at Preston North End on 7 August 2010. On 11 September 2010, Friend scored his first goal in a 2–2 draw against Watford. The next game on 14 September 2010, Friend set up a goal for James Coppinger to score a second goal in a match with a 3–1 win over Norwich City. Since making his debut, Friend became established in the first team in defense position, playing in the left-back. In a match with a 3–1 win over Scunthorpe United on 18 October 2011, Friend sustained an injury in early minutes and was substituted. After a surgery, Friend was out for three months. On 25 January 2011, Friend made his return in a 2–0 loss against Burnley, coming on as a substitute in an early minute.

Friend was appointed captain at the beginning of 2011–12 following and won player of the year and supporters player of the year at the end of the season. Friend managed to regain his place in the starting eleven in the left back position but the club was relegated to League One after three seasons in the Championship.


On 23 July 2012, despite interest from Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest, it was announced that Doncaster had agreed a fee with Middlesbrough for Friend.[16] On 30 July, Friend had agreed personal terms and officially signed for Middlesbrough. The fee was reported to be around £100,000. After completing a successful season, in which Friend became a fan favourite amongst the Middlesbrough crowd because of his great performances. Friend was awarded the Community Player of the Year in his first season at the club, after attending numerous off-field events, as well as the players player of the year award. For the 2013/14 season, Friend was issued the number 3 squad number previously worn by departing defender Andre Bikey. Friend scored his first goal for Boro in a 2–2 draw at Wigan on 25 August. It was his first goal since 2010. Friend scored his second goal for Boro with a 20-yard strike in a 2–2 draw against Nottingham Forest on 17 September 2013.

Friend captained a Boro side for the first time in a 2-0 victory against Rotherham United on 11 April 2015.


  1. ^ "Statistics" (PDF). Premier League. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "Forest Green 0–0 Exeter". BBC Sport. 17 April 2006. 
  3. ^ "Burton 4–4 Exeter". BBC. 26 April 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Buy George! Wolves Sign A Friend
  5. ^ City's £500,000 Friend
  6. ^ Millwall Find A Friend
  7. ^ "Southend get a new friend". Southend United FC. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2009. 
  8. ^ "Southend 1–3 Southampton". BBC Sport. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "Iron Friend!". 30 October 2009. 
  10. ^ "Man Utd 3–0 Wolverhampton". BBC Sport. 15 December 2009. 
  11. ^ "Wolves fined £25,000 over Old Trafford team selection". BBC Sport. 18 February 2010. 
  12. ^ "Exeter City re-sign George Friend from Wolves". BBC Sport. 4 March 2010. 
  13. ^ "Three To Leave Molineux". 13 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "Doncaster Rovers complete signing of George Friend". BBC Sport. 14 June 2010. 
  15. ^ "Friend not ruling out Exeter". Sky Sports. 28 May 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  16. ^ "Jewell confirms Friend bid". Sky Sports. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 

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