John Carew

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John Carew
Carew in 2008
Personal information
Full name John Alieu Carew
Date of birth (1979-09-05) 5 September 1979 (age 36)
Place of birth Lørenskog, Akershus, Norway
Height 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)[1]
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1995–1997 Lørenskog
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–1999 Vålerenga 43 (19)
1999–2000 Rosenborg 17 (18)
2000–2004 Valencia 84 (20)
2003–2004 Roma (loan) 20 (6)
2004–2005 Beşiktaş 24 (13)
2005–2007 Lyon 35 (10)
2007–2011 Aston Villa 113 (37)
2011 Stoke City (loan) 10 (1)
2011–2012 West Ham United 19 (2)
Total 365 (126)
National team
1995 Norway U15 7 (5)
1996 Norway U16 2 (2)
1996–1997 Norway U17 3 (1)
1997 Norway U18 5 (5)
1997–2000 Norway U21 24 (8)
1998–2011 Norway 91 (24)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:23, 18 April 2012 (UTC).
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21 August 2011

John Alieu Carew (Norwegian pronunciation: [jɔn ˈkɑːrɛv]; born 5 September 1979), is a retired Norwegian professional footballer who played as a forward. He was capped 91 times, scoring 24 goals for the Norwegian national team.[2]

Club career[edit]


Of Gambian descent,[3] Carew was born in Lørenskog, Akershus, Norway and began his career with his local club Lørenskog, a minor club in the Akershus region. He was already considered a highly talented youngster and had gained some media attention[citation needed] before he was acquired by Vålerenga in 1997, and in the same year Carew was a part of the team that gained promotion to Tippeligaen and won the Norwegian Football Cup.[4] During his two-year period at the club he played 33 matches and scored 14 goals,[5] while his profile rose even more due to his combination of strength and goal-scoring ability.


During the summer of 1999, Carew joined Norwegian football's most successful club of the past decade and Champions League mainstays Rosenborg in a deal worth NOK 25M.[5] During his short spell at the club, Rosenborg proved to be a formidable team, finishing first in their group in the UEFA Champions League, a campaign that included a memorable 0-3 away win against reigning champions Borussia Dortmund.

Transfer moves around Europe[edit]

After a string of impressive displays in the Champions League, Carew moved to Spanish club Valencia in an €8.5 million transfer, where he managed to win the La Liga title twice. Carew was part of the Valencia side that lost on penalties in the 2001 UEFA Champions League Final, though he scored his own penalty attempt. His goals in the campaign were crucial, including a 75th-minute header in a 1–0 home win against Arsenal in the second leg of the quarter-final, which saw Valencia advance to the semi-final. In the 2002–03 Champions League campaign, Carew was once again responsible for Arsenal's exit from the competition. With Valencia needing a win in their final game of the second group phase at home against Arsenal to progress to the quarter finals, Carew scored twice in a 2–1 victory. He then spent the 2003–04 season on loan at Italian side Roma where he scored 7 goals in 26 games. Carew then moved to Turkey in 2004 to play with Beşiktaş.[6] After the 2004–05 season, he was snapped up by Lyon for €7.6 million.[7] While Carew was playing in Europe he was constantly linked with a move to the English Premiership and several failed attempts were made to sign him. He failed a medical at Fulham in 2002[8] and West Bromwich Albion had a bid rejected by Valencia.[9]

Aston Villa[edit]

2006–07 season[edit]

On 22 January 2007, Carew signed for Aston Villa in an exchange deal with Lyon for Milan Baroš.[10] Carew penned a three-and-a-half-year deal at the Birmingham-based club. Carew went on to receive the No. 10 jersey left vacant by Baroš' departure.

Carew made his debut in the 3–1 defeat to Newcastle United,[11] but went onto score his first goal for the club in a 1–0 victory against West Ham United just three days later.[12] Villa manager Martin O'Neill praised Carew's performance after the match.[13]

2007–08 season[edit]

Carew began the season as Villa's first-choice forward and much was expected of him by the Villa fans. Unfortunately, despite some promising performances, it took Carew nearly two months to score his opener for the season against Everton in a 2–0 victory.[14] He also suffered an injury in the same game and was out of action for six weeks with a hamstring problem.[15] He scored on his second match back in the Villa side in a 3–0 away win against Middlesbrough in November. He then followed this up with a headed goal against Blackburn Rovers in a 4–0 victory as Aston Villa began to climb the Premiership table. December brought just one goal for Carew, a 30-yard run and shot against Manchester City, but he was instrumental in several of the goals Villa scored.

Carew scored two goals against Reading on 12 January and was unlucky not to be awarded Man of the Match which went to Martin Laursen. He scored his first hat-trick for seven years and his first ever for Aston Villa against Newcastle United on 9 February in a 4–1 win.[16] Gareth Barry allowed him to do so by kindly relinquishing his usual penalty taking duties so Carew could score his third.[17] On 12 April 2008, Carew scored for Aston Villa against Derby County at Pride Park in the Premier League, in the 26th minute and Villa went on to win the game 6–0. On 20 April 2008, Carew scored twice against Birmingham City in the Birmingham derby at Villa Park, which Villa went on to win 5–1. He continued his scoring run with a header the following week, in a crunch game at Everton's Goodison Park, which finished 2–2. It would be his 13th and final goal of the season, crowning him as Villa's top scorer for the 2007–08 season.[18]

2008–09 season[edit]

Carew at an open-training session at Villa Park with team-mate Nigel Reo-Coker

Carew scored his first goal of the 2008–09 campaign by scoring the first goal in Aston Villa's 2–2 draw over Odense in the Intertoto Cup. On 14 August 2008, Carew signed a 12-month extension to his contract, thus taking him through to 2011 with his current deal.[19]

Carew scored the opening goal in Villa's 4–2 win over Manchester City at Villa Park. He then scored his second league goal against Stoke City as they went on to lose the match 3–2 when Mamady Sidibe scored a late winner.[20] He quickly added his 3rd of the season in the 2–1 defeat of local rivals West Bromwich Albion; and with Gabriel Agbonlahor on the scoresheet again the pair began to form a formidable partnership. They both scored again and assisted each other's goals in a 4–0 victory in the Premier League at Wigan Athletic on 26 October 2008. Carew scored the winning goal in the UEFA Cup for Villa in a Group F match away to Slavia Prague on 6 November 2008, Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell struck the ball towards goal but it hit Carew and went in, therefore the goal was credited to Carew; it turned out to be the winning goal and continued Villa's 100% record in the competitions group stages and the 1–0 victory saw Villa go to the top of the group. Carew made the headlines in late October due to his personal behaviour. He was fined two weeks wages by Martin O'Neill for being in a pub near a Birmingham lap dancing club the night before Villa's UEFA cup group stage match with Ajax.[21][22]

Soon after the controversy, Carew sustained a back injury that kept him out of the side for several months.[23] During this time, Villa boss Martin O'Neill signed England international striker Emile Heskey to fill the gap left by Carew's absence. Heskey appeared to have taken Carew's place in the starting line-up for a number of weeks. However, his own injury woes and Carew's good form on return meant the Norwegian regained his place in the side. Carew played his first game after his injury on 31 January 2009 in a goalless draw with Wigan Athletic.[24] In the last 32 of the UEFA Cup, Carew earned Villa a first leg draw with CSKA Moscow, after going 1–0 down to Vágner Love's goal. On 1 March 2009, Carew came off the bench to score a lob-shot volley in the 2–2 draw against Stoke City in the Premier League, which was later voted the team's goal of the season.[25] He scored an equalizing goal in the away fixture against Manchester United at Old Trafford before also netting the first goal in the home tie against Everton as Villa fought back from 2–0 and 3–1 down to draw 3–3. Further goals against Hull City and Middlesbrough took his league total to an impressive 11 goals from just 25 appearances.

2009–10 season[edit]

Due to the persistence of fellow strikers Heskey and Agbonlahor, Carew initially struggled to hold down a regular spot in the starting eleven at the beginning of the 2009–10 campaign. Nevertheless, while being used as a substitute Carew still managed to score several important goals for Aston Villa. On 7 March 2010, manager Martin O'Neill chose to include Carew in the starting eleven in an FA Cup game against Reading. He took the opportunity characteristically and scored a hat-trick as Aston Villa came from two goals behind to defeat Reading 4–2 in the FA Cup quarter final. This made Carew the competitions top scoring striker, raising questions as to why the Norwegian was rarely included in Villa's starting eleven.[26] Carew began to feature in the Villa team once more as the season progressed; goals against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sunderland and Chelsea helped the Norwegian go neck and neck with Gabriel Agbonlahor as the club's joint top scorers for 2009–10.

2010–11 season[edit]

Carew warming-up for West Ham United

Due to an injury to Gabriel Agbonlahor, Carew started the new campaign upfront with support from Ashley Young. However, due to both injury concerns of his own and a loss of form, his place in the team was taken by Emile Heskey limiting him to cameo appearances from the bench. As the season progressed, Carew's first team appearances became less frequent. Later that month, he allegedly missed a Villa game due to heavy snow disrupting his travel.[27]

Carew spoke out about his limited chances under the new system under manager Gérard Houllier to a Norwegian TV station. Despite ongoing rumors in the press about a dispute between the former Lyon pair, Houllier revealed that Carew had been left out of the Aston Villa squad to work on his fitness.[28] However, when Villa signed Darren Bent for £18 million, Carew's first team opportunities were further reduced.[29]

On 27 May 2011, Aston Villa announced that Carew was one of a number of players released by the club after their contracts expired.[2]

Stoke City loan[edit]

Carew joined Stoke City on loan until the end of the 2010–11 season on 21 January 2011.[30][31] Following his move Carew stated that he was looking forward to a new challenge and also revealed that he rejected offers from other clubs.[32] His arrival has been welcomed by the Stoke players including Andy Wilkinson.[33]

"I'm looking forward to the challenge and I am happy to be here. Although I had other offers, I saw Stoke as the best team and the strongest team, so this is a great chance for me to join a side fighting in the top half of the table. The important thing now is to make the most of this opportunity"

— Carew on his decision to join Stoke on loan.[34]

Carew made his debut for City the following day at Fulham where he came on as a substitute.[35] He scored his first goal for Stoke in a 3–2 win against Sunderland on 5 February 2011.[36] He followed this up by scoring in the FA Cup against Brighton & Hove Albion.[37] However a back injury slowed his progress in a Stoke shirt.[38] After his release from Villa, it is unlikely that Tony Pulis will offer Carew a contract with Stoke.[39]

West Ham United[edit]

On 6 August 2011 Football League Championship side West Ham United announced the signing of Carew as a free agent.[40] He scored his first goal for West Ham in a 2–2 draw with Crystal Palace on 1 October 2011.[41] On 23 May 2012, Carew was released with five other players including Julien Faubert, Frank Nouble, Papa Bouba Diop, Abdoulaye Faye and Oliver Lee. After the 2011–12 season, Carew did not get a new contract with West Ham.[42]

In August 2012, Carew was in talks with his old club Vålerenga, but Vålerenga did not accept his demand of a wage of NOK 600,000 per match.[43] In connection with Carew's possible transfer to Vålerenga, Kjetil Siem told Dagbladet that he had signed an unofficial contract with Carew in 2005, when Siem was Director of Football in Vålerenga, that Carew would return to Vålerenga in 2012.[44] He went on trial with Serie A team Internazionale in February 2013, but was not offered a contract as Inter were concerned over his fitness.[45] In October 2013 Carew stated that he had retired.[46]

International career[edit]

John Carew's kit at the Norway national team.
From the changing room at Ullevaal Stadion

John Carew has played 91 times for Norway, scoring 24 goals (as of October 2011), and was part of their Euro 2000 squad. He made his full international debut on 18 November 1998, and was the first black player to represent Norway.[47]

International goals[edit]


John Carew: International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition

1 22 January 1999 Umm al-Fahm, Israel  Estonia 3–3 Draw Friendly
2 4 February 2000 La Manga, Spain  Sweden 1–1 Draw Friendly
3 3 June 2000 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Italy 1–0 Win Friendly
4 28 February 2001 Windsor Park, Belfast  Northern Ireland 4–0 Win Friendly
5 24 March 2001 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Poland 2–3 Loss World Cup 2002 Qualifier
6 6 June 2001 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Belarus 1–1 Draw World Cup 2002 Qualifier
7 5 September 2001 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Wales 3–2 Win World Cup 2002 Qualifier
8 6 October 2001 Yerevan  Armenia 4–1 Win World Cup 2002 Qualifier
9 6 October 2001 Yerevan  Armenia 4–1 Win World Cup 2002 Qualifier
10 7 September 2002 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Denmark 2–2 Draw Euro 2004 Qualifier
11 4 September 2004 Palermo  Italy 1–2 Loss World Cup 2006 Qualifier
12 13 October 2004 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Slovenia 3–0 Win World Cup 2006 Qualifier
13 3 September 2005 Celje  Slovenia 3–2 Win World Cup 2006 Qualifier
14 15 November 2006 Belgrade  Serbia 1–1 Draw Friendly
15 24 March 2007 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1–2 Loss Euro 2008 Qualifier
16 6 June 2007 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Hungary 4–0 Win Euro 2008 Qualifier
17 6 June 2007 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Hungary 4–0 Win Euro 2008 Qualifier
18 22 August 2007 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Argentina 2–1 Win Friendly
19 22 August 2007 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Argentina 2–1 Win Friendly
20 12 September 2007 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Greece 2–2 Draw Euro 2008 Qualifier
21 26 March 2008 Podgorica City Stadium, Podgorica  Montenegro 3–1 Loss Friendly
22 14 November 2009 Stade de Genève, Geneva   Switzerland 0–1 Win Friendly
23 8 October 2010 Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium, Larnaca  Cyprus 1–2 Win UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
24 11 October 2011 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  Cyprus 3–1 Win UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying

International statistics[edit]

Norway national team
Year Apps Goals
1998 1 0
1999 5 1
2000 11 2
2001 9 6
2002 5 1
2003 5 0
2004 7 2
2005 9 1
2006 6 1
2007 10 6
2008 6 1
2009 8 1
2010 4 1
2011 5 1
Total 91 24




Aston Villa
Stoke City
West Ham United


Personal life[edit]

John Carew has a son born in 2004 who lives with his mother in Norway.[50]

Carew is noted for being a practicing Christian and often makes donations to charity.[51][52] He also contributes to organizations like Soccer Against Crime, MOT and Ungdom mot Vold (Youth Against Violence) and was awarded the Kniksen award as Kniksen of the year in both 2005 and 2007. Since joining Aston Villa, Carew is noted for visiting children in hospitals around Birmingham and supporting Villa's initiative to donate from the payroll towards hospital running costs.

Carew's sister, Elisabeth, is an R&B singer. She released her debut album, Destructive, in 2008. She is competing in Melodi Grand Prix 2014 with her song "Sole Survivor".[53]

In December 2010 Carew was a victim of fraud after he paid £100,000 for a Porsche Cayenne Gemballa which never arrived.[54] In 2012 Carew was declared bankrupt following a petition by HM Revenue and Customs.[55] The Bankruptcy Order was annulled on 4 July 2012.[56]

In 2014 Carew starred in his first feature film, a Canadian horror called Dead of Winter.[57] His second film, a Norwegian-made thriller called Hovdinger was released on 17 July 2015


  1. ^ "John Carew". TV 2. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Farewell to Reo-Coker and Carew as released list announced". Aston Villa F.C. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Know a player of African origin?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Opsahl, Per (23 August 2012). "Klanen-talsmann: – Slappe spisser har vi fått nok av". (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Vik, Marius; Skaret, Pål Morten (22 August 2012). "Vålerenga i Carew-samtaler". (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Carew joins Besiktas". BBC Sport. 15 July 2004. Retrieved 13 April 2008. 
  7. ^ "Lyon sign Carew". BBC Sport. 27 June 2005. Retrieved 13 April 2008. 
  8. ^ "Carew deal collapses". BBC Sport. 7 January 2002. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "Baggies Carew bid fails". BBC Sport. 7 August 2002. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "Villa secure carew in Baros swap". BBC Sport. 22 January 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2007. 
  11. ^ McNulty, Phil (31 January 2007). "Newcastle 3–1 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  12. ^ "Aston Villa 1–0 West Ham". BBC Sport. 3 February 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  13. ^ "O'Neill delighted with hero Carew". BBC Sport. 5 February 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  14. ^ Richardson, Martin (23 September 2007). "Aston Villa 2–0 Everton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "Injured Carew faces six weeks out". BBC Sport. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  16. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (9 February 2008). "Aston Villa 4–1 Newcastle". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  17. ^ "Carew thinks Villa ideally placed". BBC Sport. 11 February 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  18. ^ "Europe in Villa's sights – Carew". BBC Sport. 28 April 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  19. ^ "Striker Carew extends Villa deal". BBC Sport. 14 August 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  20. ^ May, John (23 August 2008). "Stoke 3–2 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "Villa's John Carew in strip club on night before Uefa Cup match". Birmingham Post. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2009. 
  22. ^ "Carew fined 'heavily' by O'Neill". BBC Sport. 26 October 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  23. ^ "Carew's niggles troubling Villa". BBC Sport. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  24. ^ "Carew buoyed by return to action". BBC Sport. 3 February 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  25. ^ Ornstein, David (1 March 2009). "Aston Villa 2–2 Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  26. ^ "Hvorfor ikke John på banen, Mr O’Neill?". 31 March 2011. 
  27. ^ "Carew's dubious excuse for absence is snow joke for Hou". Mirror Sport. 22 January 2011. 
  28. ^ "Houllier denies Carew dispute". Sky Sports. 22 January 2011. 
  29. ^ "Darren Bent moves to Aston Villa in record deal". BBC Sport. 22 January 2011. 
  30. ^ "Carew Completes Loan Move". 21 January 2011. 
  31. ^ "Aston Villa's John Carew opts to join Stoke on loan". BBC Sport. 21 January 2011. 
  32. ^ "Carew hints at Stoke stay". Sky Sport. 22 January 2011. 
  33. ^ "Stoke's Andy Wilkinson hails signing of John Carew". BBC Sport. 22 January 2011. 
  34. ^ "Carew Relishing The Challenge". 22 January 2011. 
  35. ^ "Fulham 2 – 0 Stoke". BBC Sport. 22 January 2011. 
  36. ^ "Stoke 3 – 2 Sunderland". BBC Sport. 5 February 2011. 
  37. ^ "Stoke City vs Brighton". 25 February 2011. 
  38. ^ "Carew Comeback On Hold". 31 March 2011. 
  39. ^ "Stoke City: Faye on his way out ... and Carew could follow". The Sentinel. 25 May 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  40. ^ "Carew signs". 6 August 2011. 
  41. ^ "Crystal Palace 2 – 2 West Ham". BBC Sport. 1 October 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  42. ^ Hugsted, Christian M. (21 June 2012). "Det er en mulighet for at jeg er ferdig med fotball". (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  43. ^ "Carews lønnskrav skremmer vekk VIF" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. Norwegian News Agency. 26 August 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  44. ^ Kvamme, Sigve (23 August 2012). "Carew lovet Siem å returnere til Vålerenga i 2012" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  45. ^ "John Carew leaves Inter Milan trial after concerns over his fitness". BBC Sport. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  46. ^ "Carew: – Min spillestil hadde vært nyttig for landslaget nå" (in Norwegian). TV2. 20 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  47. ^ "John Carew: Why football will never be more important than life and death". The Independent. 12 January 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  48. ^ "John Alieu Carew - International Appearances". Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  49. ^ "Carew National team stats". 31 March 2011. 
  50. ^ Jan Thomas Holmlund: Han er blitt populær på fotballtrening (in Norwegian) Dagbladet, 25 March 2011
  51. ^ Carew punger ut for Oslo Domkirke
  52. ^ "rafferty gir til flodbølgeofrene" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 30 December 2004. 
  53. ^ "Elisabeth Carew". NME. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  54. ^ "Aston Villa's John Carew tells court of 'car fraud'". BBC Sport. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  55. ^ "Personal: West Ham United footballer John Carew declared bankrupt". Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  56. ^ "Individual Insolvency Register (IIR) - Home". Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  57. ^

External links[edit]