Matthew Upson

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Matthew Upson
Matthew-Upson-2009.jpg
Upson in 2009
Personal information
Full name Matthew James Upson[1]
Date of birth (1979-04-18) 18 April 1979 (age 37)[1]
Place of birth Eye, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[1]
Playing position Centre back
Youth career
Ipswich Town
1994–1996 Luton Town
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–1997 Luton Town 1 (0)
1997–2003 Arsenal 35 (0)
2000 Nottingham Forest (loan) 1 (0)
2001 Crystal Palace (loan) 7 (0)
2002 Reading (loan) 14 (0)
2003–2007 Birmingham City 113 (5)
2007–2011 West Ham United 131 (4)
2011–2013 Stoke City 15 (2)
2013 Brighton & Hove Albion (loan) 18 (1)
2013–2014 Brighton & Hove Albion 43 (2)
2014–2015 Leicester City 5 (0)
2015–2016 Milton Keynes Dons 3 (0)
National team
1998–2000 England U21 12 (2)
2003–2010 England 21 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10:14, 19 January 2016 (UTC).


Matthew James Upson (born 18 April 1979) is an English professional footballer who plays as a centre-back. Upson has played for England at full international level including at the 2010 World Cup.

Upson started his career with Bedfordshire club Luton Town before he joined Premier League club Arsenal for a fee of £2 million in May 1997. Upson struggled to force his way into the first team at Highbury making 57 appearances in 6 seasons and also spent time out on loan at Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace and Reading.

Upson joined Birmingham City in 2003 where he enjoyed regular first team football. However following Birmingham's relegation in 2006 he went on to join West Ham United for £7.5 million in January 2007. He was made captain in 2009 following the departure of Lucas Neill. At the end of the 2010–11 season West Ham were relegated to the Championship and Upson left after his contract had expired. Upson signed a two-year contract with Stoke City in August 2011. After a loan spell with Brighton & Hove Albion in the 2012–13 season, he signed a one-year contract with the club in 2013.

Club career[edit]

Luton Town[edit]

Upson was born in Eye, Suffolk, and attended Diss High School in Norfolk.[2] Originally at the Ipswich Town Centre of Excellence, he joined Luton Town as a trainee after Ipswich youth coach Terry Westley moved there.[3] Upson signed professional forms in April 1996,[4] and made his sole Football League appearance for the team as an 88th-minute substitute against Rotherham United in August 1996.[5]

Arsenal[edit]

He joined Arsenal in May 1997 in a £2 million deal.[6] However, faced with the longevity of Arsenal's existing centre backs, Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Martin Keown, and struck by injury problems of his own, Upson rarely had a chance to break into the first team.[7] He played only five matches in the 1997–98 FA Premier League season as Arsenal won the title, so did not qualify for a winners' medal.[6] After spending a year out of the game recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained in 1999,[8] Upson made a handful of first-team appearance for Arsenal, in between loan spells at Nottingham Forest in 2000 and Crystal Palace in 2001.[9][10]

In 2001–02, his final full season at Arsenal, Upson made 22 appearances. These included 14 in the league,[11] which earned him a Premier League winners' medal, but a broken leg in February 2002 ruled him out for the rest of the season and Arsenal's FA Cup-winning run as they won the Double.[12] After recovering from the injury, Upson joined Reading in September 2002 on a three-month loan.[13] It was for Reading that he scored his first professional career goal, in a 3–1 loss at Cambridge United in the League Cup.[11] With Arsenal's newly established centre-back pairing of Sol Campbell and Kolo Touré keeping him out of the team, he was bought by Birmingham City in January 2003..[14]

Birmingham City[edit]

Birmingham City completed the signing of Upson from Arsenal in January 2003, for what BBC Sport thought to be an initial fee of £1 million, potentially rising to £3 million depending on appearances.[15]

He suffered a leg injury whilst preparing for the local derby against Aston Villa in April 2006 and subsequently missed the rest of the season as Birmingham City were relegated to the Championship.[16] Upson remained with the club while he worked on regaining his fitness, and returned to action in December in the 3–0 victory over Plymouth Argyle, scoring the second of the three goals.[17]

West Ham United[edit]

Upson warming up for West Ham United in 2009

On 18 January 2007, Birmingham rejected West Ham United's bid for Upson of £4 million, and turned down an improved bid of £6 million a few days later.[18] An offer of £6 million, with the potential to rise to £7.5 million depending on appearances, was accepted on the last day of the transfer window, and Upson agreed a four-and-a-half-year contract with West Ham.[19] Birmingham City's manager Steve Bruce later claimed that he did not want to sell Upson, but was forced to do so by the club's managing director Karren Brady.[20]

Upson suffered a calf injury less than 30 minutes into his West Ham United debut, a 1–0 defeat against Aston Vill.[21] He then lasted just 11 minutes of his comeback match before coming off injured against Tottenham Hotspur in a 4–3 loss at Upton Park in March 2007.[22]

Upson completed his first full match for West Ham in the 2–0 home defeat to Manchester City in August 2007.[23] One week later he made his first appearance as West Ham captain in the 1–0 away win against former club Birmingham City.[24] On 29 December, Upson scored for the first time in West Ham colours when he headed in the winning goal against Premier League champions Manchester United.[25]

In July 2008, Upson's squad number of 6 was retired by the club in memory of Bobby Moore, after which he took the number 15 shirt.[26] In August 2009, following the departure of Lucas Neill, Upson was appointed captain of West Ham.[27] He captained West Ham through a difficult 2009–10 campaign[citation needed] in which he scored a goal in the opening match against Wolverhampton Wanderers and two more against Stoke City and Portsmouth.[28]

Following West Ham's relegation from the Premier League in May 2011, new manager Sam Allardyce confirmed that Upson would leave the club when his contract expired.[29]

Stoke City[edit]

Upson joined Stoke City on a two-year contract on 9 August 2011.[30] He said that playing in the UEFA Europa League was one of the main reasons he decided to join Stoke.[31] Upson made his debut for Stoke in a 1–0 victory over FC Thun in the Europa League.[32] He scored his first goal for the club in the second leg against Thun in a 4–1 victory at the Britannia Stadium.[33] Since joining Stoke Upson and fellow summer signing Jonathan Woodgate have been used as backup to first-choice centre backs Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross.[citation needed] He was a regular in the Europa League, appearing in all six group matches, but was sent off in the last as Stoke qualified for the round of 32.[34][35] He scored his first league goal for Stoke in a 2–0 home win against Swansea City on 26 February 2012 in a man-of-the-match performance.[36] With Shawcross suspended, Upson made his first League appearance of the 2012–13 season on 29 December 2012 against Southampton; he scored Stoke's second goal in a 3–3 draw.[37][38]

Brighton & Hove Albion[edit]

On 31 January 2013 Upson joined Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion on loan until the end of the season.[39] He scored his first goal for the Seagulls in a 6–1 win over Blackpool on 20 April.[37] Released by Stoke at the end of the season,[40] Upson joined Brighton on a permanent basis on 10 July 2013, signing a one-year contract.[41]

Leicester City[edit]

On 23 May 2014, Upson agreed a one-year contract with newly promoted Premier League club Leicester City.[42] After spending the first half of the season on the sidelines with injury, he returned to full training in late January 2015.[43] On 10 February, Upson made his Leicester debut, playing nearly an hour before being substituted, in a 2–1 defeat to his former club Arsenal.[44] He was released when his contract expired at the end of the season.[45]

Milton Keynes Dons[edit]

On 30 July 2015, Upson signed for Championship club Milton Keynes Dons on a one-year contract.[45] He made his debut on 11 August in the 2–1 League Cup first round win against Leyton Orient, but made only six more appearances for the club and his contract was not renewed.[46][47]

International career[edit]

Upson playing for England in 2009

Upson played for England at youth level before being capped twelve times for the under-21 team, for whom he scored two goals.[48] Regular Premier League football for Birmingham City in the 2002–03 season led to his selection for the senior squad,[49] and he made his debut for England against South Africa in May 2003.[4] He won seven full caps while a Birmingham player.[4]

Upson was named in Fabio Capello's first provisional England squad for the February 2008 friendly against Switzerland at Wembley.[50] He was named in the starting line-up to partner Rio Ferdinand, winning his eighth England cap more than three years after his last appearance.[4] He also started against Kazakhstan in October after John Terry picked up an injury.[51]

Upson scored his first goal for England on 19 November 2008 in a friendly match against Germany.[52] The match finished 2–1 to England and Upson picked up ITV's man of the match award.[citation needed] He was included in England's squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. On 23 June, making his World Cup debut, he played in the third match of the group stage, against Slovenia after being an unused substitute in the first two matches.[53] He scored England's goal in the 4–1 defeat against Germany in the round of 16[54] – his second goal for England and his second against Germany.[4] It made him England's joint top scorer for the 2010 World Cup, tying with Steven Gerrard and Jermain Defoe on one goal each.[citation needed] The match was a defensive fiasco for Upson, who, along with Terry was caught out by a goal-kick allowing Miroslav Klose to score the opener on 20 minutes.[citation needed] The defenders were also opened up for Lukas Podolski to score 12 minutes later.[citation needed] In the second half, Upson and Terry were caught on the break twice as England attempted to equalise.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Upson and British runner Ellie Darby have a son named Elijah.[55]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 19 January 2016
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Luton Town 1995–96[56][57] First Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 1[a] 0 1 0
1996–97[5] Second Division 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
Arsenal 1997–98[6] Premier League 5 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 8 0
1998–99[58] Premier League 5 0 1 0 2 0 1[b] 0 0 0 9 0
1999–2000[59] Premier League 9 0 0 0 2 0 2[b] 0 0 0 13 0
2000–01[60] Premier League 2 0 0 0 1 0 1[b] 0 4 0
2001–02[11] Premier League 14 0 1 0 1 0 6[b] 0 22 0
2002–03[61] Premier League 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Total 35 0 4 0 8 0 10 0 0 0 57 0
Nottingham Forest (loan) 2000–01[60] First Division 1 0 1 0
Crystal Palace (loan) 2000–01[60] First Division 7 0 7 0
Reading (loan) 2002–03[61] First Division 14 0 1 1 15 1
Birmingham City 2002–03[61] Premier League 14 0 14 0
2003–04[62] Premier League 30 0 2 0 1 0 33 0
2004–05[63] Premier League 36 2 2 0 2 0 40 2
2005–06[64] Premier League 24 1 1 0 4 0 29 1
2006–07[65] Championship 9 2 3 0 0 0 12 2
Total 113 5 8 0 7 0 128 5
West Ham United 2006–07[65] Premier League 2 0 2 0
2007–08[66] Premier League 29 1 2 0 2 0 33 1
2008–09[67] Premier League 37 0 2 0 2 0 41 0
2009–10[28] Premier League 33 3 1 0 1 0 35 3
2010–11[68] Premier League 30 0 1 0 3 0 34 0
Total 131 4 6 0 8 0 145 4
Stoke City 2011–12[34][69] Premier League 14 1 2 0 1 0 8[c] 1 25 2
2012–13[37] Premier League 1 1 0 0 1 0 2 1
Total 15 2 2 0 2 0 8 1 27 3
Brighton & Hove Albion (loan) 2012–13[37] Championship 18 1 2[d] 0 20 1
Brighton & Hove Albion 2013–14[70] Championship 43 2 3 0 0 0 1[d] 0 47 2
Total 61 3 3 0 0 0 3 0 67 3
Leicester City 2014–15[71] Premier League 5 0 1 0 0 0 6 0
Milton Keynes Dons 2015–16[46] Championship 3 0 2 0 2 0 7 0
Career total 386 14 26 0 28 1 18 1 4 0 462 16
  1. ^ Appearance in Anglo-Italian Cup
  2. ^ a b c d Appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League
  3. ^ Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  4. ^ a b Appearance(s) in Championship play-offs

International[edit]

As of match played 27 June 2010[72]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
England 2003 6 0
2004 1 0
2008 5 1
2009 6 0
2010 3 1
Total 21 2

International goals[edit]

As of match played 27 June 2010. England score listed first, score column indicates score after each Upson goal.[72]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition Ref
1 19 November 2008 Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany 12  Germany 1–0 2–1 Friendly [52]
2 27 June 2010 Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa 21  Germany 1–2 1–4 2010 FIFA World Cup [54]

Honours[edit]

Arsenal

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. p. 417. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0. 
  2. ^ Claydon, Russell (20 February 2013). "Exclusive: Matthew Upson believes Stoke City days may be numbered". Diss Express. Retrieved 29 December 2015. 
  3. ^ King, Elvin (4 August 2008). "Upson hopes to show Town fans". Ipswich Star. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Matthew Upson Profile". England Football Online. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "Games played by Matthew Upson in 1996/1997". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "Games played by Matthew Upson in 1997/1998". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  7. ^ Harris, Chris (23 October 2009). "Wenger – I considered a move for Upson". Arsenal F.C. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "Matthew Upson". Arsenal F.C. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "Upson adds to Platt woes". BBC Sport. 20 December 2000. Retrieved 29 June 2007. 
  10. ^ "Upson in Palace move". BBC Sport. 28 February 2001. Retrieved 23 June 2007. 
  11. ^ a b c "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  12. ^ Szczepanik, Nick (17 February 2014). "Brighton v Hull City: FA Cup still holds that same thrill for Matthew Upson". The Independent. London. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  13. ^ "Reading secure Upson deal". BBC Sport. 5 September 2002. Retrieved 26 June 2007. 
  14. ^ Nisbet, John (23 October 2009). "Wenger sorry he let Upson leave Arsenal". The Independent. London. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  15. ^ "Birmingham sign Upson". BBC Sport. 11 February 2003. Retrieved 23 June 2007. 
  16. ^ Tattum, Colin (6 October 2006). "Bruce refuses to gamble on Upson". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  17. ^ Tattum, Colin (4 December 2006). "Upson's happy to be selfish". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  18. ^ Tattum, Colin (23 January 2007). "Blues reject Hammers' #6m Upson bid". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  19. ^ "Matthew Upson signs for West Ham United". West Ham United F.C. 31 January 2007. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. 
  20. ^ Hunter, James (26 October 2009). "Bruce blasts back at Karren Brady". Evening Chronicle. Newcastle. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  21. ^ Rutledge, Lewis (3 February 2007). "Curbs bemoans Upson injury". Sky Sports. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  22. ^ Buckingham, Mark (18 April 2007). "Curbs: Upson spell a disaster". Sky Sports. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  23. ^ "West Ham skipper stepping into a cauldron of expectation...". Goal.com. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2016. 
  24. ^ Nursey, James (20 August 2007). "Birmingham 0–1 West Ham". Daily Mirror. London. Archived from the original on 1 December 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007. 
  25. ^ Sanghera, Mandeep (29 December 2007). "West Ham 2–1 Man Utd". BBC Sport. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  26. ^ "Club to retire No6 shirt". West Ham United F.C. 4 August 2008. Archived from the original on 8 August 2008. 
  27. ^ "Upson sets captain's example". West Ham United F.C. 16 September 2009. Archived from the original on 23 September 2009. 
  28. ^ a b "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  29. ^ "Sam Allardyce appointed West Ham United manager". BBC Sport. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  30. ^ "Matthew Upson joins Stoke City after West Ham release". BBC Sport. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  31. ^ "Europe a big attraction for Upson". Stoke City F.C. 10 August 2011. Archived from the original on 19 January 2016. 
  32. ^ "Upson handed City debut". Stoke City F.C. 19 August 2011. Archived from the original on 10 September 2011. 
  33. ^ "Stoke 4 FC Thun 1 (agg 5–1): Upson stokes the fire for Pulis in Potters' Euro rout". Daily Mail. London. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  34. ^ a b "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  35. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (14 December 2011). "Besiktas 3–1 Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  36. ^ Shaw, Phil (27 February 2012). "Swansea's style no match for Stoke's set-pieces". The Independent. London. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  37. ^ a b c d "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  38. ^ Shemilt, Stephan (29 December 2012). "Stoke 3–3 Southampton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  39. ^ "Matthew Upson: Stoke defender joins Brighton on loan". BBC Sport. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  40. ^ "Potters announce retained list". Stoke City F.C. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  41. ^ "Championship: Brighton sign Matthew Upson on one-year contract". Sky Sports. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  42. ^ "Matthew Upson: Leicester agree deal for Brighton defender". BBC Sport. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  43. ^ "Leicester City's injury-hit Matt Upson returns to full training". Leicester Mercury. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  44. ^ Sharpe, James (11 February 2015). "Experienced heads Robert Huth and Matt Upson praised by Nigel Pearson after Leicester City debut at Arsenal". Leicester Mercury. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  45. ^ a b "Matthew Upson signs one-year contract with MK Dons". Sky Sports. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  46. ^ a b "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  47. ^ "Matthew Upson among players released by MK Dons". Sky Sports. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  48. ^ "Matthew Upson". The Football Association. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  49. ^ Hayes, Alex (16 March 2003). "Upson's choice puts the down days in the past". The Independent. London. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  50. ^ Widdicombe, Josh (31 January 2008). "Beckham misses out in Capello's inaugural England squad". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  51. ^ Wilson, Steve (11 October 2008). "Old frailties return as England labour to World Cup qualifying win over Kazakhstan". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  52. ^ a b Fraser, Peter (20 November 2008). "Terry leads Capello charge". Sky Sports. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  53. ^ "Upson stars for England". West Ham United F.C. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  54. ^ a b McNulty, Phil (27 June 2010). "Germany 4–1 England". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  55. ^ Lawrence, Julia; Topham, Laura (17 June 2010). "WORLD CUP 2010: Here come the WAGs... glossier, richer and more soaked in scandal than ever!". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  56. ^ Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2007). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2007–08. Edinburgh: Mainstream. pp. 411–12. ISBN 978-1-84596-246-3. 
  57. ^ Tattum, Colin (14 October 2006). "Terry's lads a real class act". Birmingham Mail. 
  58. ^ "Games played by Matthew Upson in 1998/1999". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  59. ^ "Games played by Matthew Upson in 1999/2000". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  60. ^ a b c "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2000/2001". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  61. ^ a b c "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  62. ^ "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  63. ^ "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  64. ^ "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  65. ^ a b "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  66. ^ "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  67. ^ "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  68. ^ "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  69. ^ "UEFA Europa League 2011/12: Stoke: Squad". UEFA. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  70. ^ "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  71. ^ "Games played by Matthew Upson in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  72. ^ a b "Upson, Matthew". National Football Teams. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 

External links[edit]