Etherington at the Boleyn Ground in 2015
|Full name||Matthew Etherington|
|Date of birth||14 August 1981|
|Place of birth||Truro, England|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Left Winger|
|2001||→ Bradford City (loan)||13||(1)|
|2003–2009||West Ham United||165||(16)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Born in Truro, Cornwall, Etherington began his footballing career at Peterborough United and was a stand-out performer for the Posh, which attracted the attention of Premier League clubs. He joined Tottenham Hotspur in 2000, along with Simon Davies. He struggled at Tottenham and left for West Ham United in 2003. At the East London club, Etherington showed his true form and became a vital player for the Hammers. However, he had personal problems related to an addiction to gambling and in 2009 was sold by manager Gianfranco Zola to fellow Premier League side Stoke City.
At Stoke, Etherington became a vital member of the side under manager Tony Pulis, winning the player of the year award for the 2009–10 season and also played in the 2011 FA Cup Final. Etherington remained a regular under Pulis in 2011–12 and 2012–13 before he was released by Mark Hughes at the end of the 2013–14 season.
Born in Truro, Cornwall, Etherington came through the youth ranks at Peterborough United after being spotted by Barry Fry playing for Falmouth Town under-14s. He made his debut in the Football League aged 15 years and 262 days in a 2–1 win at Brentford on 3 May 1997. He made a further two appearances in the following season but made his breakthrough into the first team in 1998–99 when he made 33 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals. He went on trial at Manchester United in July 1999, but at the end of December 1999, he joined Tottenham Hotspur in a deal that valued him at £500,000. He made a total of 58 appearances for Peterborough in all competitions, scoring six goals.
Etherington joined Tottenham in a move that saw Simon Davies join the North London club as part of the same deal. Etherington struggled to establish himself during his three-year stint at Spurs and, in 2001, spent two months on loan to Bradford City, where he made 13 appearances and scored 1 goal, against Watford.
Having only started five Premier League matches since arriving from Peterborough in 1999, he handed in a transfer request in June 2002, saying he decided his career would be best served away from Spurs. However, no transfer was forthcoming, and he broke into the first team during the 2002–03 season, when he made 25 appearances. despite a lay-off with an ankle injury. He scored his first Premier League goal in a 2–2 draw with Everton on 17 August 2002.
In August 2003, Etherington joined West Ham United in an exchange deal plus cash for Frédéric Kanouté amid a formal complaint made to the FA by Peterborough at the valuation placed on Etherington, who would have benefited from a sell-off clause had it been greater than £500,000, the price at which Peterborough sold Etherington to Tottenham in 1999. Etherington made 51 appearances for Tottenham, 28 of these as a substitute, scoring two goals against Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup and Everton in the Premier League.
West Ham United
Etherington joined West Ham at the beginning of their two-year spell in the second-tier of English football, playing the final season of the First Division and the first of the Championship. Signed by manager Glenn Roeder, he was part of a transfer deal which saw West Ham player Frédéric Kanouté move to Tottenham and Etherington and £3.5 million coming to West Ham. Etherington's West Ham debut came on 9 August 2003 as he created the chance for David Connolly to score West Ham's winning goal in a 2–1 away win at Preston North End. His opening goal came just over a month later, on 16 September 2003. Now under the managership of Trevor Brooking, following the sacking of Glenn Roeder, West Ham beat Crewe Alexandra 3–0 at Gresty Road in the first ever league meeting between the clubs, with Etherington scoring the third goal. His only red card during his West Ham career was in a 1–1 away draw with Norwich City on 21 February 2004 when he was sent off for two bookable offences.
Etherington was a hit at Upton Park, scoring several goals including a hat-trick in a 5–0 win over Wimbledon on 9 March 2004. He won the "Hammer of the Year" award in his first season at the club and played a significant part in helping the club get to the 2004 Championship play-off final by scoring in the 2–0 win over Ipswich Town in the second leg of the play-off semi-final. Etherington played in the final as West Ham lost 1–0 to Crystal Palace.
The following year, West Ham reached the play-off final again, with Etherington setting up the goal in the final against Preston North End with a perfectly timed cross which was scored by Bobby Zamora, which sent West Ham back into the Premier League. In 2005–06, West Ham made the FA Cup Final before losing on penalties to Liverpool. Etherington scored in the 4–2, fourth round win against Blackburn Rovers and played in the final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in May 2005. He was a regular member of the team for seasons 2003–04, 2004–05 and 2005–06, his appearances being more sporadic in the following three seasons. Etherington eventually lost his place in the starting XI due to Gianfranco Zola's preference to play younger players. He completed 195 games for West Ham, in all competitions, scoring 18 goals, before being sold to Stoke City on 8 January 2009.
On 8 January 2009, Etherington completed a transfer, thought to be for £2 million, from West Ham United to Stoke City, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract. He made his debut for Stoke two days after his transfer, against Liverpool in the Premier League, in a match which finished goalless. He was sent off in his fifth game with Stoke for kicking out at Danny Collins as his side lost 2–0 to Sunderland. He scored his first goal for Stoke in a 4–3 League Cup win over Blackpool on 22 September 2009. Etherington scored his first League goal for Stoke in a 2–2 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers. Etherington went on to have a successful season for Stoke which led him to win the player of the year award. Etherington signed a new four-year contract with Stoke on 11 July 2010.
Etherington started the 2010–11 season in fine form providing a number of assists from corners and left midfield. He scored his first goal of the season in a 3–0 win over West Bromwich Albion and followed this up by scoring a last minute equaliser against Manchester City a week later and then scored another against Wigan Athletic. He scored the opening goal in the FA Cup semi-final as Stoke defeated Bolton Wandereres 5–0, clinching a first FA Cup Final appearance in their 148-year history. Etherington described the performance as the match of their lives. On 28 April, in a match against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Etherington tore his hamstring, leaving him in doubt for the FA Cup Final. He ultimately regained fitness for the final as Stoke lost 1–0 to Manchester City.
In the 2011–12 season, Etherington was again the club's only recognised left winger and he scored twice against his old club Tottenham on 11 December 2011. After some indifferent performances, he has admitted his form has dipped since the previous season. He made his 100th Premier League appearance for Stoke against Fulham on 11 February 2012. He scored the winning goal against Norwich City on 3 March 2012. Etherington lost his place in Tony Pulis' starting line up at the start of the 2012–13 season due to the signing of Michael Kightly, which restricted him to making cameo appearances from the substitutes' bench. He regained his starting place in November 2012. However, Etherington struggled with form and fitness throughout the campaign. He made 33 appearances in 2012–13 as Stoke finished in 13th position and the end of the season, Tony Pulis left the club and was replaced by Mark Hughes.
Hughes changed the team's style of play for the 2013–14 season, and while Etherington stated Stoke had adapted well, a lack of goals was still a concern. As the season progressed, Etherington lost his place in the side to Oussama Assaidi. Etherington left Stoke at the end of the 2013–14 season.
After leaving Stoke, Etherington began training with Millwall and had an offer from manager Ian Holloway to join the club. However, he turned it down and announced his decision to retire from football in December 2014, due to a back injury which he had been suffering from for some time.
In May 2018, Etherington was announced as manager of the under-18 team at Peterborough United, rejoining the club where he started his career over 20 years earlier.
Etherington appeared for the England Under-20 team at the 1999 FIFA U-20 World Cup, playing alongside players such as Stuart Taylor, Ashley Cole, Peter Crouch and Andy Johnson. However, the team failed to score a single goal in their three group matches, and finished bottom of their group.
Etherington had a gambling addiction while he was at West Ham, who issued him a £300,000 loan after he accumulated debts in excess of £800,000. He also spent time at Tony Adams' Sporting Chance Clinic. Matthew's father, Peter, has thanked Stoke City for saving his son's career and helping him to combat his gambling addiction. In 2015, Etherington spoke to BBC journalist Victoria Derbyshire concerning the impact of gambling on professional footballers. His own debts caused by gambling throughout his career were reported as £1.5 million. He grew up supporting Liverpool.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other[A]||Total|
|Peterborough United||1996–97||Second Division||1||0||0||0||0||0||—||0||0||1||0|
|Tottenham Hotspur||1999–2000||Premier League||5||0||0||0||0||0||—||—||5||0|
|Bradford City (loan)||2001–02||First Division||13||1||0||0||0||0||—||—||13||1|
|West Ham United||2003–04||First Division||35||5||4||0||3||0||—||3||1||45||6|
|Stoke City||2008–09||Premier League||14||0||0||0||0||0||—||—||14||0|
- West Ham United
- Stoke City
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