Luke Nightingale

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Luke Nightingale
Personal information
Date of birth (1980-12-22) 22 December 1980 (age 36)
Place of birth Portsmouth, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2003 Portsmouth 44 (4)
2002–2003 Swindon Town (loan) 3 (0)
2003–2004 Southend United 4 (0)
2004 Weymouth ? (?)
2004–2008 Bognor Regis Town 164 (77)
2008–2010 Havant & Waterlooville 46 (12)
2010–2011 Bognor Regis Town 39 (27)
Total 300 (120)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Luke Nightingale (born 22 December 1980 in Portsmouth) is a retired footballer. Having previously played for Portsmouth, Swindon, Weymouth and Southend he moved to Bognor Regis Town in 2004. He scored over 70 goals for Bognor in his four-year spell. However, on 28 March 2008, he was sold by Bognor Regis Town to Havant & Waterlooville in a player swap with Phil Warner. In January 2010 he returned to Bognor Regis Town, on loan for the remainder of the season, although a knee injury ended his season prematurely. Back to full fitness, he then re-joined Bognor Regis Town on a permanent basis for season 2010–11. Having started the 2011–12 season at Bognor, Nightingale announced his retirement in October 2011 after a series of knee injuries.

Early years Nightingale started playing football at the age of twelve, signing for a local Sunday league team Fleur de lys , After a successful season playing Sunday league Football Nightingale started playing for his school Priory which led to him representing Portsmouth schools association and Hampshire schools association .

Career[edit]

Nightingale began his football career at the South Coast club Portsmouth at the age of 17.Having started the season in the youth team, he rapidly moved into the reserves and earned his place by repeatedly scoring goals.

During the 1998/99 season Nightingale played for the youth team, reserve team and first team, scoring 20 goals .In October 1998 Nightingale was named as an unused substitute for the home tie against Bradford City with no reserve team experience behind him. On 7 November Nightingale took the trip to Bournemouth with the youth team, scoring 2 in a 3-2 victory . On 16 November Nightingale made his reserve team debut away to Reading, scoring in a 3-1 win . The next day after the Reading game Nightingale signed a 4-year professional contract under boss Alan Ball, before his debut against West Brom on 21 November. Making it a week to remember, scoring for all 3 teams with in a week and signing a professional contract.

His first team debut was on 21 November 1998 against West Bromwich Albion at Fratton Park. Having replaced the injured John Aloisi during the first half, Nightingale came off the bench to score with his second touch, in front of the Fratton End after 65 seconds. Nightingale went on to score the winner in the second half and was named "MAN of the MATCH" It is believed that Nightingales debut goal is the quickest debutant goal and quickest substitute goal for Portsmouth F.C.

In front of millions of BBC viewers, he also opened the scoring for Pompey in an FA Cup tie at home to Leeds United in January 1999, although the Yorkshire club hit back to win 5–1. He later left Portsmouth and had spells at Southend United and Swindon Town. He then teamed up with his old Portsmouth teammate Steve Claridge who was appointed player/manager at Weymouth in the Dr Martins League. Nightingale found himself playing out of position as a right wingback. Weymouth narrowly missed out on winning the league after being top for most of the season to Crawley Town. Nightingale left Weymouth and signed for Bognor Regis Town in the summer of 2004.

In his opening season with Bognor Regis Town (2004–05), he was the Conference South's leading scorer with 28 goals. The following season continued in similar vein until an injury suffered in November caused him to miss much of the season. He eventually returned, scoring 19 goals in total but had it not been for the injury.

However, after four seasons of service with Bognor Regis Town, he was sold to Conference South rivals Havant & Waterlooville in March 2008, making his debut on 29 March 2008 in the 1–0 defeat against St Albans City. Following limited first team opportunities at Havant he rejoined Bognor Regis Town for the remainder of the 2010 season, then signing for the Rocks on a permanent basis for 2010–11, scoring 26 goals in 38 starts. Nightingale announced his retirement in October 2011 after a series of leg injuries.

References[edit]