Lafferty playing for Northern Ireland in 2012
|Full name||Kyle Joseph George Lafferty|
|Date of birth||16 September 1987|
|Place of birth||Enniskillen, Northern Ireland|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Heart of Midlothian|
|2006||→ Darlington (loan)||9||(3)|
|2015||→ Çaykur Rizespor (loan)||14||(2)|
|2016||→ Birmingham City (loan)||6||(1)|
|2017–||Heart of Midlothian||37||(13)|
|Northern Ireland U17||5||(0)|
|Northern Ireland U19||6||(1)|
|2006||Northern Ireland U21||2||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 August 2018 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Lafferty began his professional career with English side Burnley, where he made 89 appearances. He signed for Rangers in 2008 for £3.25 million, and won three Scottish Premier League titles, the Scottish Cup once and the Scottish League Cup twice with the club. In 2012 Lafferty chose not to transfer over to the new company which owns and runs Rangers, moving to Switzerland's FC Sion. He signed for Serie B club Palermo in 2013 and led them to promotion as champions in his only season before joining Norwich City. He spent time on loan with Turkish club Çaykur Rizespor and back in England with Birmingham City, then returned to Scotland with Hearts.
He made his first international appearance for Northern Ireland in 2006 and has more than 60 caps, representing the team at UEFA Euro 2016. With 20 goals he is the team's second highest scorer of all time, behind former strike partner David Healy on 36.
In 2004, he signed a youth team apprenticeship with Championship club Burnley. The following season saw him begin to make an impression upon the Burnley first team. He made his debut during a 2–1 away league defeat to Crewe Alexandra on 6 August 2005, coming on as an 89th-minute substitute for Garreth O'Connor.
In January 2006, Lafferty joined Darlington on loan. He went on to make nine appearances and net three goals for the club, including a scoring debut against Notts County on 7 January. He returned to Burnley in January 2007.
On 16 June 2008, Burnley accepted a bid from Rangers of £3 million plus Alan Gow but talks with Gow over his move to Turf Moor broke down. Lafferty moved to Rangers on 19 June after the transfer offer was readjusted to write Gow out of the deal. He made his Rangers debut as an 89th-minute substitute during a UEFA Champions League qualifier on 5 August 2008 against FBK Kaunas. His first goal came in his second appearance, in a Scottish Premier League match against Heart of Midlothian on 16 August 2008.
On 16 May 2009, during the penultimate league match of the 2008–09 season at home to Aberdeen, Lafferty was involved in an altercation with Aberdeen player Charlie Mulgrew. Both players were involved in an off-the-ball incident which resulted in Lafferty reacting as if he had been headbutted. The referee, Stuart Dougal, sent Mulgrew off for violent conduct; however, television pictures showed little contact between the two players. Rangers went on to win the match 2–1. Upon reviewing the incident Rangers manager Walter Smith expressed his disappointment at Lafferty's conduct. Two days later it was reported that Rangers had fined Lafferty for his reactions in relation to the incident. The case was also referred to the Scottish Football Association's disciplinary committee, who rescinded Mulgrew's red card and gave Lafferty a two-match ban for simulation.
On 25 April 2010, Lafferty scored the winning goal in a 1–0 win over Hibernian at Easter Road, securing the league title for Rangers with three matches left to play. On 22 August, Lafferty was sent off, along with opponent Kevin McBride, in a match at the same venue. On 25 September, Lafferty scored his first hat-trick for the club in a 7–2 victory over Dunfermline Athletic in the League Cup. Lafferty scored in Rangers' 4–0 win over Dundee United in April 2011, before missing an opportunity in the final Old Firm game of the 2010–11 season at Ibrox in a 0–0 draw. Lafferty then went on to score in three consecutive games in the title run in against Motherwell, Hearts and Dundee United. Lafferty then scored a hat-trick in the final SPL game of the season as Rangers beat Kilmarnock 5–1 and won their third consecutive league title.
On 18 September 2011, Lafferty scored his first Old Firm goal in a 4–2 win against Celtic. On 17 December, Lafferty scored an 83rd-minute winner for Rangers against Inverness Caledonian Thistle, the game ending 2–1. On 24 April 2012, Ally McCoist announced that Lafferty had been banned for two weeks following a training ground bust up.
In June 2012, Lafferty lodged an objection against his contract being transferred from Rangers to the new company set up by Charles Green. PFA Scotland had previously commented that players were entitled to become free agents if they objected to the transfer.
Lafferty signed a three-year contract with Swiss Super League club FC Sion on 30 June 2012. He was unable to play in the league match against Grasshoppers on 15 July because the Scottish Football Association refused to provide clearance for the transfer, having received an objection from Rangers' owner Charles Green. On 20 July, Lafferty received provisional international clearance from FIFA which allowed him to play while arbitration over his move from Rangers continued. On 22 July 2012, Lafferty made his debut for Sion, coming on as a substitute in a 1–0 win over Servette. He scored his first goal a week later in a 3–0 win over Luzern.
On 26 June 2013, Lafferty joined Serie B club Palermo on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee. He said "Palermo tried to sign me in January but unfortunately we couldn't close the deal. Now I can't wait to get started. When I was younger I watched a lot of Italian football and I know there's a very passionate fanbase here at Palermo."
He scored 11 goals in 34 matches to help the club ascend to Serie A as champions in his only season, and won the Fans Player of the Season award. However, club president Maurizio Zamparini called him an "out-of-control womaniser" and claimed that this lifestyle resulted in him being sold.
On 27 June 2014, Lafferty signed a three-year contract with Norwich City of the Football League Championship with an option for an extra year. The transfer fee was undisclosed and the transfer would be effective from 1 July. He said "Norwich is a team that wants to get promoted back to the Premier League at the first opportunity, so I'm excited to come here and start playing football for a team like this." He was given squad number 9.
Lafferty made his debut for the team on 10 August, as they began the season with a 1–0 defeat away to Wolverhampton Wanderers, replacing Steven Whittaker for the last 14 minutes of the game. Six days later he made his first start in his first game at Carrow Road, lasting 67 minutes of a 3–0 win over Watford before being replaced by Elliott Bennett. In 20 games – 18 of those in the league – he only scored once, in a 3–2 home win against Cardiff City on 17 January 2015.
Norwich had been promoted to the Premier League during Lafferty's absence. He scored his first goal of the 2015–16 season in a 3–0 League Cup victory against West Bromwich Albion, but found regular games hard to come by. In November 2015, Leeds United head coach Steve Evans revealed he had inquired about the availability of Lafferty on loan. However, Lafferty remained with Norwich until 24 March 2016, when he joined Championship club Birmingham City on loan until the end of the season.
He returned from international duty with a groin injury, but was fit to start Birmingham's match against Brighton & Hove Albion on 5 April. He opened the scoring after 16 minutes with a tap-in following a goalkeeping error, but Brighton went on to win 2–1. He made five more league appearances, without scoring, in what remained of the season.
In May 2017, it was announced that Lafferty would be released when his contract expired.
On 28 June 2017, Lafferty joined Heart of Midlothian in the Scottish Premiership on a two-year deal. He made his debut on 18 July in the group stage of the Scottish League Cup, scoring the only goal away to Elgin City. Two days later, he added two more goals in a 3–0 win over East Fife at Tynecastle, and on 25 July he made it four goals in three games with one in a 2–1 loss at Peterhead; Hearts did not reach the knockout stage.
In the league season, Lafferty scored 12 times as Hearts finished 6th; this made him the Premiership's fourth highest scorer. One of these was on 17 December 2017 in a 4–0 win over defending champions Celtic, ending their 69-match unbeaten run in domestic matches. Thirteen days later, he was sent off at the end of a goalless draw at Aberdeen for a challenge on Graeme Shinnie.
In early 2006, Lafferty represented Northern Ireland under-19s at the Milk Cup. He impressed during the tournament, scoring in his first game against Paraguay, but Northern Ireland lost the match 3–1.
Later in 2006, he received his first senior Northern Ireland call-up on a post-season trip to the United States to play friendly games against Romania and Uruguay. Lafferty scored his first Northern Ireland goal in an away friendly against Finland the following year. He featured predominantly as the second striker alongside David Healy during Northern Ireland's Euro 2008 qualification group, and he scored his first competitive international goal in a 4–1 victory over group minnows Liechtenstein. He then secured a 1–1 draw away to Sweden, scoring Northern Ireland's equaliser in the second half.
On 26 March 2008, he scored twice in an international match for the first time, in a friendly against Georgia which Northern Ireland won 4–1.
Lafferty scored in all of Northern Ireland's first three matches in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying, against Hungary, the Faroe Islands and Greece, the first time that the nation won the first three matches of any qualification campaign. He added a brace on 29 March 2015 in a 2–1 home win over Finland.
On 4 September, Lafferty scored once for Northern Ireland in a 3–1 win against the Faroe Islands. The result put Northern Ireland at the top of Group F and on the brink of qualifying for their first European Championship. In the following game, against Hungary three days later, he scored a stoppage-time equaliser in a 1–1 draw to keep Northern Ireland top of their group. Lafferty ended the qualifying phase with seven goals, which made him Northern Ireland's top scorer as the team qualified as group winners. On 27 May 2016, Lafferty marked his 50th international appearance with a goal in a 3–0 win over Belarus in a friendly at Windsor Park, Belfast.
- As of match played 11 August 2018
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Darlington (loan)||2005–06||League Two||9||3||—||—||—||9||3|
|Rangers||2008–09||Scottish Premier League||25||6||3||2||3||1||1[a]||0||32||9|
|2009–10||Scottish Premier League||28||7||5||0||2||0||4[a]||0||39||7|
|2010–11||Scottish Premier League||31||11||2||1||3||3||8[b]||0||44||15|
|2011–12||Scottish Premier League||20||7||0||0||1||0||2[c]||0||23||7|
|Sion||2012–13||Swiss Super League||25||5||3||3||—||—||28||8|
|Çaykur Rizespor (loan)||2014–15||Süper Lig||14||2||1||0||—||—||15||2|
|Birmingham City (loan)||2015–16||Championship||6||1||—||—||—||6||1|
|Heart of Midlothian||2017–18||Scottish Premiership||35||12||2||3||4||4||—||41||19|
- As of match played 9 November 2017
- As of match played 11 November 2016. Northern Ireland score listed first, score column indicates score after each Lafferty goal.
|1||16 August 2006||Helsinki Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, Finland||3||Finland||2–0||2–1||Friendly|
|2||22 August 2007||Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland||11||Liechtenstein||3–0||3–1||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|3||17 October 2007||Råsunda Stadium, Solna, Sweden||13||Sweden||1–1||1–1||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|4||26 March 2008||Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland||16||Georgia||1–0||4–1||Friendly|
|6||15 October 2008||Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland||18||San Marino||3–0||4–0||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|7||5 September 2009||Silesian Stadium, Chorzów, Poland||22||Poland||1–0||1–1||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|8||12 October 2010||Svangaskarð, Toftir, Faroe Islands||28||Faroe Islands||1–1||1–1||UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying|
|9||15 August 2012||Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland||31||Finland||2–0||3–3||Friendly|
|10||7 September 2014||Groupama Arena, Budapest, Hungary||38||Hungary||2–1||2–1||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying|
|11||11 October 2014||Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland||39||Faroe Islands||2–0||2–0||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying|
|12||14 October 2014||Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Greece||40||Greece||2–0||2–0||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying|
|13||29 March 2015||Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland||42||Finland||1–0||2–1||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying|
|15||4 September 2015||Tórsvøllur, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands||44||Faroe Islands||3–1||3–1||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying|
|16||7 September 2015||Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland||45||Hungary||1–1||1–1||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying|
|17||27 May 2016||Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland||50||Belarus||1–0||3–0||Friendly|
|18||8 October 2016||Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland||53||San Marino||2–0||4–0||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|20||11 November 2016||Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland||54||Azerbaijan||1–0||4–0||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
Lafferty comes from the Irish Protestant community. He married former Miss Scotland Nicola Mimnagh at St Margaret's Roman Catholic Church, in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, in June 2012. The couple had a son, born in 2011. They later divorced. Lafferty married model and former Miss Scotland contestant Vanessa Chung at Gleneagles Hotel in May 2016.
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