Paul Smith (footballer, born 22 January 1976)
|Full name||Ian Paul Smith|
|Date of birth||22 January 1976|
|Place of birth||Easington, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Playing position||Midfielder / Defender|
|2000||→ Oldham Athletic (loan)||4||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:55, 22 July 2010 (UTC).
Ian Paul Smith (born 22 January 1976 in Easington, County Durham), known as Paul Smith, is an English footballer who played in the Football League for Burnley, Oldham Athletic, Hartlepool United and Sheffield Wednesday.
Smith started his career as a trainee at Manchester United where here he was part of the famous youth cup winning side that included David Beckham Paul Scholes Nicky Butt and Terry Cooke before joining Burnley, turning professional in July 1992. He was subject of multi-million pound bids from Arsenal, West Ham, Aston Villa,Liverpool and Everton and was widely considered to have the best left foot outside the premier league.
After a trial with Torquay United, Smith joined Hartlepool United on a free transfer in November 2001. He quickly settled in as a first team regular, topping the Division's assists charts (with 37) as Hartlepool reached the Division Three play-offs. He rejoined former Hartlepool manager Chris Turner as he moved to Sheffield Wednesday when his Hartlepool contract expired at the end of the 2002–03 season, after helping the club to promotion. He scored a goal on his second substitute appearance and a 20-yard volley on his full debut, but the knee injury which deprived him of the chance to face off against his former team in the play-off final, forced his retirement from professional football. He was released shortly after Wednesday won promotion to the Football League Championship.
In January 2006 he played a few games for Conference North club Alfreton Town, from where he joined Conference National side Kidderminster Harriers in February, but made just three substitute appearances for Harriers before leaving in the summer of 2006. He signed for Sheffield F.C. in the summer of 2007, swept the board of player-of-the-year awards for the 2008–09 season, and left the club in January 2010. He joined Hucknall Town in June 2010.
- Hugman, Barry, ed. (2005). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2005/2006. Queen Anne Press. p. 379. ISBN 978-1-85291-662-6.
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- "Games played by Paul Smith in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- Tallentire, Mark (8 September 2003). "Round-up". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "Owls Fit For Final". Sheffield Wednesday F.C. 27 May 2005. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
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- "Four Offered New Deals". Sheffield Wednesday F.C. 31 May 2005. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "Manager Apologises To Fans". Non-League Daily. 12 January 2006. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "Paul Smith – Defender". Sheffield F.C. Retrieved 17 March 2010.