Chester playing for Hull City in 2014
|Full name||James Grant Chester|
|Date of birth||23 January 1989|
|Place of birth||Warrington, England|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|West Bromwich Albion|
|2009||→ Peterborough United (loan)||5||(0)|
|2009||→ Plymouth Argyle (loan)||3||(0)|
|2010–2011||→ Carlisle United (loan)||18||(2)|
|2015–||West Bromwich Albion||2||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:28, 28 September 2015 (UTC).
James Grant Chester (born 23 January 1989) is a professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for English club West Bromwich Albion and the Wales national team. Born in Warrington, Cheshire, he began his career with Manchester United and has also played on loan for Peterborough United, Plymouth Argyle and Carlisle United.
Chester began his career with his local club, Winwick Athletic, where, at the age of five, he was already playing in the club's Under-9s team. At the age of eight, he joined Manchester United, and signed a trainee contract at the age of 16 in July 2005. He went straight into the club's under-18 team, making 17 appearances in the 2005–06 season. He also got his first taste of reserve team football on 21 February 2006, when he was named as an unused substitute for a 4–1 away win over Everton. He continued in the under-18 side in 2006–07, and scored his first goal in a Manchester United shirt on 9 December 2006, scoring the opening goal in a 3–1 away defeat by Manchester City. He made his debut for the reserve team on 15 February 2007, helping to hold Bolton Wanderers to a goalless draw. At the end of the season, he played in the teams for both the FA Youth Cup and Manchester Senior Cup finals. However, the teams lost both finals, losing to Liverpool on penalties in the former and to Manchester City in the latter.
In 2007–08, Chester cemented his place as a regular in the reserve team, making 24 appearances in all competitions as the team won both the Manchester Senior Cup and the Lancashire Senior Cup, and finished in third place in the Premier Reserve League North. His consistent performances and on-field leadership earned him the reserve team captaincy for 2008–09. At the start of the season, he was given a first team squad number – 39. After being named as a substitute for the first team's 1–0 win over Bolton Wanderers on 17 January 2009, Chester was again selected as a substitute for the League Cup semi-final second leg against Derby County. With United 3–0 up at the time, Chester came on as a 67th-minute substitute for Gary Neville. Although Derby pulled two goals back, United ended up winning the match 4–2, meaning that they won the tie 4–3 on aggregate and qualified for the 2009 League Cup Final.
On 2 February 2009, Chester joined League One side Peterborough United – managed by Alex Ferguson's son, Darren – on a one-month loan. He made five appearances for the Posh before returning to Manchester United on 2 March. Towards the end of the season, along with Tom Cleverley and Corry Evans, Chester was nominated by reserve team manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær for the Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year award.
On 18 September 2009, along with his Manchester United team-mate David Gray, Chester joined Plymouth Argyle on a three-month loan deal. However, in his third appearance for the Pilgrims, Chester suffered cartilage damage that would rule him out of action for 10–12 weeks, beyond the scheduled end of his loan spell. He therefore returned to Manchester United on 13 October 2009.
On 3 August 2010, Chester joined League One club Carlisle United on loan until 3 January 2011, after impressing in a trial match against Hibernian on 1 August. He made his competitive debut on 7 August, starting at centre-back in Carlisle's 2–0 home win over Brentford on the opening day of the league season. Over the course of his loan spell, Chester scored four goals for Carlisle in 23 appearances in all competitions, including the winning goal in Carlisle's 3–2 FA Cup Second Round win over Tamworth.
On 17 December 2010, Chester expressed an interest in staying at Carlisle beyond the end of his loan contract, but the transfer window brought with it talk of Chester making a transfer to Hull City, with Hull manager Nigel Pearson going public on 3 January with his interest in the defender. The next day, Hull had a bid believed to be worth around £300,000 accepted by Manchester United, and Chester underwent a medical on 6 January. The transfer was completed on 7 January, with Chester signing a three-and-a-half-year contract. He made his debut in the 2–0 home win against Barnsley on 15 January 2011. Chester scored his first goal for the club in the 2–2 draw against Leeds United at the KC Stadium on 1 February 2011. Chester adjusted well to the Championship, putting in several strong performances at the heart of defence and occasionally in central midfield.
Chester enjoyed a strong year in his second season at Hull, playing almost every game under managers Nigel Pearson and Nick Barmby in central defence, forming a successful partnership with Jack Hobbs. This partnership was for a long period the basis of the tightest defence in the league. Chester finished the season as runner-up in the club's player of the year awards.
Under new manager Steve Bruce, Chester quickly became accustomed to playing as part of a three-man defence in the team's new system, alongside a combination of Abdoulaye Faye, manager's son Alex Bruce, Paul McShane, and Jack Hobbs. Chester scored his first goal of the season in a 2–3 victory away at Birmingham City. On 26 June 2013, Chester signed a new three-year contract with Hull City.
Chester made his Premier League debut on 18 August 2013 at Stamford Bridge in a 2–0 away defeat at Chelsea. Five games into his debut season as a first-team player in the Premier League, Chester was ruled out for an initial six-to-eight weeks after pulling his hamstring against Newcastle United on 21 September 2013. After two months out injured, he made his return in Hull's 2–0 defeat away to Arsenal on 4 December. Chester scored his first goal of the 2013–14 season in the fourth minute of Hull's Boxing Day match against Manchester United; however, he later scored a second-half own goal to give Manchester United a 3–2 victory. On 17 May 2014 he started in the 2014 FA Cup Final against Arsenal and scored to put his side 1–0 up, however Hull went on to lose 3–2.
West Bromwich Albion
On 29 July 2015, Chester joined Premier League side West Bromwich Albion on a four-year deal for a reported fee of £8 million. Chester made his West Brom debut on 10 August appearing in a 3–0 defeat to Manchester City. On 25 August, Chester started for West Brom in a League Cup match against Port Vale, both sides failed to score and the game went to penalties, Chester scored the decisive penalty enabling West Brom to progress to the next round of the competition.
On 7 May 2014, it was announced that Chester had committed himself to the Welsh national team, which he qualifies for as his mother was born in Rhyl. Two weeks later on 22 May 2014, he was named in the national squad for a friendly match against the Netherlands on 4 June 2014. He made his international debut in the starting line-up for that match.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|Peterborough United (loan)||2008–09||5||0||0||0||0||0||–||0||0||5||0|
|Plymouth Argyle (loan)||2009–10||3||0||0||0||0||0||–||0||0||3||0|
|Carlisle United (loan)||2010–11||18||2||2||1||1||0||–||2||1||23||4|
|West Bromwich Albion||2015–16||1||0||0||0||0||0||–||0||0||1||0|
- "Professional retain list & free transfers 2012/13" (PDF). The Football League. 18 May 2013. p. 16. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
- "James Chester". premierleague.com. Premier League. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
- Hassan, Nabil (17 January 2009). "Bolton 0–1 Man Utd". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 20 January 2009.
- Bevan, Chris (20 January 2009). "Man Utd 4–2 Derby (4–3 agg)". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 20 January 2009.
- "Man Utd's Chester moves to Posh". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 2 February 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
- "Chester Returns To Old Trafford". theposh.com (Peterborough United Football Club). 2 March 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2009.
- Bostock, Adam (1 April 2009). "Reserve Player of the Year". ManUtd.com (Manchester United). Retrieved 1 April 2009.
- "Graychester". pafc.co.uk (Plymouth Argyle FC). 18 September 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
- "Chester Returns". pafc.co.uk (Plymouth Argyle FC). 13 October 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- "Carlisle United sign Manchester United's James Chester". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 3 August 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- "Carlisle 2–0 Brentford". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 7 August 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "Carlisle 3–2 Tamworth". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 27 November 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "James Chester keen on Carlisle United stay". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 17 December 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "Defender Andy Dawson agrees new Hull City extension". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 3 January 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "Manchester United accept Hull City's James Chester bid". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 4 January 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "Hull City sign Manchester United defender James Chester". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 7 January 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Hull 2–0 Barnsley". BBC News Online (BBC). 15 January 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
- "Hull 2–2 Leeds". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 1 February 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- "Hull City: Player of the year Robert Koren says foundations have been laid". Hull Daily Mail (This is Hull and East Riding). 24 April 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "Birmingham 2–3 Hull". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 17 November 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "Defender agrees new three-year deal with the Tigers....". hullcityafc.net (Hull City AFC). 26 June 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
- Richards, Alex (3 December 2013). "Hull City defender James Chester could return for suspended Curtis Davies as Tigers head to Arsenal". Mirror Online (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- Magowan, Alistair (4 December 2013). "Arsenal 2–0 Hull". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- Chase, Graham (26 December 2013). "Hull 2–3 Man Utd". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- "Arsenal 3–2 Hull". BBC. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
- "Defender pens four-year deal". WBA.co.uk. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
- "James Chester: West Bromwich Albion sign £8m Hull defender". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 29 July 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
- "http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/33969990/". BBC Sport. 25 August 2015.
- "Wales: Hull City defender James Chester pledges future to Wales". BBC Sport. 7 May 2014.
- "Wales: Chester called up for Wales". BBC Sport. 22 May 2014.
- "Netherlands 2 – 0 Wales". BBC Sport (BBC). 4 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- "James Chester". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
- "James Chester". StretfordEnd.co.uk. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
- "James Chester". Soccerway. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
- Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup
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