Britton playing for Swansea City in 2010
|Full name||Leon James Britton|
|Date of birth||16 September 1982|
|Place of birth||Merton, England|
|Height||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
|1998–1999||West Ham United|
|1999–2003||West Ham United||0||(0)|
|2002–2003||→ Swansea City (loan)||25||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:00, 26 September 2015 (UTC).
Leon James Britton (born 16 September 1982) is an English professional football player, who plays for Swansea City. Having joined Swansea on a permanent transfer in 2003, Britton went on to make 270 appearances for the club over a seven-year span. Britton joined Sheffield United in the summer of 2010, but transferred back to Swansea in January 2011. Britton instantly became a central figure in Swansea's successful promotion campaign. He remains one of a handful of players to have represented any club in all four professional divisions of the English footballing pyramid, along with Brett Ormerod, Alan Tate and Garry Monk.
A member of the England Development School at Lilleshall where he was a year behind Joe Cole, Britton began his career as an Arsenal trainee at the age of nine. When he signed for West Ham United for £400,000 in 1998, he attracted the highest transfer fee ever paid for a 16-year-old at that time. Unable to break into the first team at West Ham, Britton joined Swansea City on loan in December 2002, helping the club to avoid relegation from the Football League. He was named PFA Fans' Player of the Year for the Third Division in the 2002–03 season. Swansea manager Brian Flynn was impressed enough to sign him permanently after he was released by West Ham.
A diminutive but skilful midfielder, Britton won Player of the Year awards from an online supporters' group in both 2002–03 and 2005–06 seasons.
Including his appearances whilst on loan with the club, to the end of the 2005–06 season, Britton had played 137 times for Swansea City in all competitions (with a further 18 appearances as a substitute) and had scored nine goals.
On 9 February 2008, Britton played his 200th game for Swansea City. In January 2010, Swansea rejected an £750,000 offer for Britton from Wigan Athletic but at the end of that season Britton refused the offer of a new contract and became a free agent.
Despite interest from the Premier League, Britton signed for Sheffield United in June 2010. He was handed a regular role in the centre of the Blades midfield but failed to really show the form he had displayed at Swansea. A difficult period for the club, Britton played under four managers within the space of five months and eventually asked to return to his former employer, stating that his previous transfer had been a "mistake" and that he "should never have left Swansea". The Blades admitted that he had never settled in South Yorkshire and agreed to let him return to Wales after only 26 appearances for the club.
Return to Swansea
Britton re-signed for Swansea City for what the Blades described as an "undisclosed fee" during the January transfer window despite the Swans insisting no fee was involved. The fee was clause based and included up to £400,000 depending on appearances and Swansea's promotion to the Premier League.
Britton's second Swansea City debut came in a draw with Barnsley on 20 January 2011. He scored his first goal of the season (his first goal in three and a half years) against his former employers Sheffield United in the final game of the regular season.
The 2010–11 season ended with Swansea City being promoted to the Premier League for the first time in their history following a 4–2 victory over Reading in the Championship Play-off Final at Wembley Stadium. Britton started the match at Wembley and completed 77 minutes before being substituted by Mark Gower.
Following Swansea's promotion, Britton made his Premier League debut in a 4–0 loss against Manchester City on 15 August 2011 where he played in the central midfield. Britton stated he would like to finish his career with the club and admits he cannot imagine playing elsewhere.
On 30 March 2012, Britton signed a contract extension at Swansea City, contracting him until the end of the 2015 campaign.
On 5 February 2013, Britton signed a one-year contract extension on improved terms with Swansea City, keeping at the club until June 2016.
Britton was born in Merton, Greater London and played a young Ryan Giggs in a road safety advertisement in the 1990s. Britton also appeared in a Walkers Crisps advert with former England international Gary Lineker.
- As of 24 May 2015
|Club performance||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2002–03||Swansea City||League Two||25||0||0||0||0||0||—||25||0|
^a The 2005–06 and 2010–11 League totals both include three play-off appearances.
- Swansea City
- Football League Championship play-offs: 2010–11
- Football League One: 2007–08
- Football League Cup: 2012–13
- Football League Trophy: 2005–06
- FAW Premier Cup: 2004–05, 2005–06
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2009). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2009–10. Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84596-474-0.
- "Leon Britton". Swansea City A.F.C. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Leon Britton signs three-year Swansea City deal". BBC Sport. 31 March 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Swansea reject bids for star trio". bbc.co.uk. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
- "Leon prefers Sheffield United to top flight". The Sheffield Star. 12 June 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
- "Leon Britton completes shock Swansea City return". bbc.co.uk. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
- "Britton heads back to Swansea". Sheffield United F.C. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
- "Lane boss ready to buy as Britton departs". The Sheffield Star. 21 January 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
- "Blades poised to cash in as Swans go up". The Sheffield Star. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
- "Games played by Leon Britton in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Reading 2 – 4 Swansea". BBC Sport. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Swans ace wants to stay put". Sky Sports. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
- "Britton signs new deal". www.swanseacity.net (Swansea City Official Site). 30 March 2012.
- "Leon Britton handed new Swansea City contract". BBC Sport. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- "Bradford 0–5 Swansea". BBC Sport. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- "Swans star Leon Britton's previous life as child TV star revealed". WalesOnline. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- Leon Britton career statistics at Soccerbase. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- Fletcher, Paul (30 May 2011). "Reading 2 – 4 Swansea". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- "L. Britton". Soccerway. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- McNulty, Phil (24 February 2013). "Bradford 0 – 5 Swansea". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- "Carlisle 1 – 2 Swansea". BBC Sport. 2 April 2006. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- "Swansea 2 – 1 Wrexham". BBC Sport. 11 May 2005. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- "Wrexham 1 – 2 Swansea". BBC Sport. 29 March 2006. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
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