Izzet in 2010
|Full name||Mustafa Kemal Izzet|
|Date of birth||31 October 1974|
|Place of birth||Mile End, London, England|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|1996||→ Leicester City (loan)||9||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Mustafa Kemal "Muzzy" Izzet (Turkish: İzzet; born 31 October 1974) is a former footballer who played for Chelsea, Leicester City, Birmingham City and the Turkish national team. His father is a Turkish Cypriot who came to England as a small boy, and his mother is English. His younger brother, Kemal, also became a professional footballer.
Izzet signed as a schoolboy for Chelsea, but never made a first team appearance during three years at the London club. He moved to Leicester City in March 1996 on loan for the rest of the season. He became a regular in the side, scoring one goal. When Leicester beat Crystal Palace in the play-offs, Izzet was able to make his move permanent for a fee of £800,000. He kept his place in the side for their Premier League season, which was successful for City. They came 9th in the Premier League, and won the League Cup. Izzet formed a partnership in midfield with Neil Lennon, which proved vital for Leicester.
In the 1998–99 season, Leicester came 10th in league, and reaching the League Cup final again, but lost out to Tottenham Hotspur. The following season, Leicester came 8th, and again got to the League Cup Final, this time coming up against Tranmere Rovers, of Division One. This year they won 2–1, with Matt Elliott getting both goals. Izzet had been a regular in the side through all of this time. After Martin O'Neill left, Izzet remained a Leicester player. His time at Leicester drew interest from West Ham and Middlesbrough, but he did not leave the club.
The following season started with a 5–0 home defeat to newly promoted Bolton Wanderers. Despite pledging to stay at Leicester during pre-season, Izzet handed in a transfer request in autumn of 2001, prior to the club's relegation, but he rejected a move to Middlesbrough as he did not want to be seen to be "jumping ship". He did issue a plea to O'Neill, who was now manager of Scottish Premier League side Celtic, to sign him in May 2002, remarking that "only an idiot wouldn't consider joining Celtic." Following their relegation at the end of the 2001-02 season, Izzet was again strongly touted for a move to Boro. However, Leicester insisted they would not accept a reduced offer from Middlesbrough for Izzet, who was priced at £6 million, and no deal came to fruition. He withdrew his transfer request in March 2003, after the club achieved automatic promotion by finishing in second place. In January 2004, Leicester rejected £500,000 bids from Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers for Izzet. At the end of the 2003–04 season, Leicester were again relegated. Unable to afford Izzet's £30,000 per week wages, the club admitted he was leaving.
Izzet joined Birmingham City in June 2004 on a free transfer, signing a three-year deal. Injury plagued his first season, with him making only a handful of appearances, though he did score his first league goal for Birmingham, an equaliser against Bolton Wanderers. His second season was worse, with a knee injury keeping him out for a long period of time. Izzet announced his retirement from football on 27 June 2006.
On 28 November 2009, Izzet made a shock last minute return to Saturday football with Leicestershire Senior League side Thurmaston Town. However, he admitted days later that his knee was still very sore and was quoted saying whether I can turn out for Thurmaston every week is another thing. He never played for them again.
Izzet now runs a football academy with fellow former professional footballer and former Leicester teammate Steve Walsh. In September 2015 Izzet's autobiography was published, titled "Muzzy: My Story". The autobiography was co-written with Leicester Mercury writer Lee Marlow.
Izzet is an ambassador for Dorothy Goodman School, a Special Educational Needs school in Hinckley, Leicestershire.
- Leicester City
- Barclay, Patrick (9 June 2000). "Izzet finds delight with Turkey". The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- "Adams confirms Izzet exit". BBC Sport. 8 May 2004. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- "Izzet: I'm staying at Leicester". BBC Sport. 11 July 2001. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Izzet in no rush". BBC Sport. 5 November 2001. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Izzet uncertain over future". BBC Sport. 10 January 2003. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Izzet wants Celtic switch". BBC Sport. 16 May 2002. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- Webster, Rupert. "FOX TO FLEE RELEGATION". Sky Sports.
- "Leicester's Izzet warning". BBC Sport. 5 July 2002. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Izzet withdraws transfer request". BBC Sport. 6 March 2003. Retrieved 18 October 2008.
- "Izzet could leave Foxes". BBC Sport. 4 January 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Adams accepts Izzet loss". BBC Sport. 5 May 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Izzet set for Birmingham". BBC Sport. 8 May 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
- "Birmingham sign Izzet". BBC Sport. 3 June 2004. Retrieved 18 October 2008.
- "Bolton 1–1 Birmingham". BBC. 25 September 2004. Retrieved 24 October 2009.
- "Knee injury forces Izzet to quit". BBC Sport. 27 June 2006. Retrieved 18 October 2008.
- "Muzzy Izzet's story – it certainly beats what Lee Marlow is having for his tea". Leicester Mercury. 20 July 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
- "Futbolcu Bilgileri". Turkish Football Federation. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
- "Muzzy İzzet". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
- "Statistics". Premier League. Retrieved 11 February 2011.