Paul Musselwhite

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Paul Musselwhite
Paul Musselwhite 28-04-2012 1.jpg
Musselwhite playing for York City in 2012
Personal information
Full name Paul Stephen Musselwhite[1]
Date of birth (1968-12-22) 22 December 1968 (age 48)[1]
Place of birth Portsmouth, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[1]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Scunthorpe United (goalkeeping coach)
Youth career
0000–1986 Portsmouth
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1988 Portsmouth 0 (0)
1988–1992 Scunthorpe United 132 (0)
1992–2000 Port Vale 312 (0)
2000 Sheffield Wednesday 0 (0)
2000–2004 Hull City 95 (0)
2004–2006 Scunthorpe United 74 (0)
2006 Eastleigh 8 (0)
2006 Kettering Town 2 (0)
2007 Port Vale 0 (0)
2007–2008 Harrogate Town 8 (0)
2008–2009 Gateshead 57 (0)
2009–2011 Lincoln City 1 (0)
2011–2013 York City 3 (0)
Total 692 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Paul Stephen Musselwhite (born 22 December 1968) is an English former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper and is the goalkeeping coach at League One club Scunthorpe United. He has made 692 appearances in the league and 815 appearances in all competitions.

He began his career with Portsmouth, before joining Scunthorpe United in March 1988. He played 132 league matches for the club, as Scunthorpe suffered numerous play-off defeats, before he was sold to Port Vale in July 1992 for a £17,500 fee. He spent the next eight years with Vale, and played 312 league matches in what one of the most successful periods in the club's history. He kept goal in the 1993 Football League Trophy Final victory and helped the club to win promotion out of the Second Division in 1993–94. In August 2000, he joined Sheffield Wednesday, before moving on to Hull City the next month. He helped the club win promotion out of the Third Division in 2003–04, before he returned to Scunthorpe in June 2004. He helped Scunthorpe to win promotion out of League Two in 2004–05, before he dropped into the Conference South in May 2006 to sign with Eastleigh. He spent brief spells at Kettering Town, Port Vale, and Harrogate Town, before he kept goal for Gateshead as the club won promotion from the Northern Premier League Premier Division to the Conference Premier after two successive play-off successes. He then took up coaching with Lincoln City between 2009 and 2011, before switching to York City in June 2011. He was on the bench for York as they won the 2012 Conference Premier play-off Final.

Playing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, Musselwhite started his career at his hometown club, Portsmouth, as an apprentice in the club's youth system before signing a professional contract on 1 December 1986.[1] However, he did not make any appearances for the club in the first team, and on 21 March 1988 moved to Fourth Division club Scunthorpe United on a free transfer.[1]

Scunthorpe United[edit]

In the 1987–88 season, Scunthorpe finished one point short of Bolton Wanderers in third place,[2] and were then defeated by Torquay United in the play-off semi-final.[3] Scunthorpe also moved from the Old Showground to Glanford Park, becoming the first Football League club to move to a new stadium in 33 years.[4]

They suffered the same fate in 1988–89, one point off third place Crewe Alexandra, again with superior goal difference,[5] before losing to Wrexham in the play-off semi-final.[6] The club fell away in 1989–90, finishing in 11th place.[7] They pushed for promotion in 1990–91, in an unusual season an eighth-place finish was enough to see them into the play-offs.[8] However, for the third time in four years they lost in the semi-final stage, this time to Blackpool.[9]

In 1991–92, Scunthorpe beat Crewe in the play-off semi-final, but lost on the final to Blackpool on penalties, following a 1–1 draw.[10] On 30 July 1992, he did what his club failed to do and made it into the new Second Division (the league was restructured due to the creation of the Premier League), having been bought by John Rudge's Port Vale for a £17,500 fee.[1][11]

Port Vale[edit]

Signed to replace the veteran Mark Grew, who had left for Cardiff City, Musselwhite started 1992–93 as second choice behind Trevor Wood.[citation needed] However, on 5 September 1992, Wood conceded a penalty at Vetch Field in an 'off the ball' incident with a Swansea City player and was subsequently dropped in favour of Musselwhite.[citation needed] He made his Vale league debut in the next match, a 2–2 draw against Exeter City on 12 September 1992, and despite a nervy performance, he remained an ever-present in the team for the rest of the season.[citation needed] Vale finished the season one point behind Bolton in third place,[12] and they lost in the play-off final 3–0 to West Bromwich Albion.[13] Vale did have success at Wembley Stadium in the 1993 Football League Trophy Final, recording a 2–1 victory over Stockport County.[14]

With Musselwhite in goal,[15] Vale won promotion to the First Division in 1993–94, finishing in second place behind champions Reading.[16] Both club and goalkeeper adapted well to the second tier, finishing 10 points above the relegation zone in 1994–95.[citation needed] When they played away against Charlton Athletic on 29 April 1995, he was rested to allow his understudy, Arjan van Heusden, to gain some first-team experience in an end of season fixture.[citation needed] The club finished in 12th place in 1995–96.[17] Musselwhite played in the 1996 Anglo-Italian Cup Final, as Vale lost 5–2 to Genoa.[18] The club achieved their highest post-war position in 1996–97 – eighth in the second tier.[citation needed] Musselwhite 36 appearances that season, after missing out on the first six weeks.[19]

He made 45 appearances in 1997–98, keeping a clean sheet against Arsenal in the FA Cup on 3 January 1998.[20] He made 40 appearances in 1998–99, missing most of November and all of December.[21] In 1999–2000, Vale were relegated in 23rd place, with manager Brian Horton unable to halt the decline at Vale Park.[22] Musselwhite played 32 matches and was sent off against Grimsby Town on 12 February 2000, 86 minutes into a 2–0 away defeat.[23] He was given a free transfer at the end of the season, the club looking to cut their wage bill.[citation needed]

Hull City[edit]

After having trials with former club Scunthorpe, Darlington and Sheffield Wednesday,[citation needed] Musselwhite signed for Wednesday on 25 August 2000[1] as cover for the suspended Kevin Pressman.[24] However, he left less than a month later after joining Brian Little's Hull City of the Third Division on 19 September 2000.[1][25] He was the club's first-choice goalkeeper as Hull reached the play-offs, only to lose to Leyton Orient in the semi-final,[26] after a sixth-place finish 2000–01.[27] He played in just 21 matches in 2001–02, making his first appearance of the season on 29 December 2001 in a 3–0 win away to Kidderminster Harriers.[28]

First-choice goalkeeper from September to January in 2002–03, he played 22 matches.[29] On 26 December 2002, he was in goal for the club's first competitive fixture at the KC Stadium, keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 win over Hartlepool United.[30] In 2003–04, Musselwhite made 19 appearances, all in the first half of the season.[31] Hull finished second, winning promotion to the new League One.[32]

Return to Scunthorpe United[edit]

Musselwhite returned to Scunthorpe United after signing on 3 June 2004, 12 years since his departure from the club.[33] Scunthorpe were promoted in 2004–05 as runners-up, just three points off League Two title winners Yeovil Town.[34] Musselwhite made 50 appearances.[35] The club finished 12th in League One in 2005–06,[36] Musselwhite making 32 appearances having missed December and January.[37] In May 2006, he signed for Conference South club Eastleigh,[38] but left in September[39] having made nine appearances.[40]

Non-League[edit]

In November 2006, Musselwhite signed for Conference North club Kettering Town, but was released later that month after Mark Osborn returned from suspension.[41] In January 2007, Musselwhite received a phone call from his former teammate, the Port Vale manager Martin Foyle, inviting him back to the club as cover for long-term injury victim Mark Goodlad.[42]

In June 2007, he joined Harrogate Town of the Conference North.[43] Musselwhite left Harrogate in January 2008 after being offered a better contract with Ian Bogie's Gateshead, playing in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.[citation needed] He was immediately made the number one goalkeeper,[44] helping them to promotion by beating Buxton in the play-off final.[45] He had made 29 appearances before the season's end.[44] Gateshead won their second successive promotion in 2008–09, beating AFC Telford United 1–0 in the Conference North play-off final.[46]

Coaching career[edit]

Musselwhite with York City in 2011

In February 2009, it was announced that Musselwhite would join League Two club Lincoln City as player-goalkeeping coach under Peter Jackson at the end of the season.[47][48] On 1 April 2010, he signed a new contract that would keep him at the club until the summer of 2011.[49] On 29 September 2010, Musselwhite was appointed assistant-caretaker manager to Scott Lindsey following Chris Sutton's resignation.[50] On 2 October 2010, the 41-year-old took to the field in a 1–0 defeat away to Southend United, following an injury to Joe Anyon.[51]

After a new contract offer from Lincoln was dependent on Joe Anyon leaving the club,[52] Musselwhite opted to sign for Conference Premier club York City on 16 June 2011 as player-goalkeeping coach.[53] At the age of 43, Musselwhite became York's oldest player when making his debut in a 1–0 away win over Cambridge United on 17 April 2012.[54] He followed this up with another clean sheet in a 1–0 victory away to Braintree Town on 21 April 2012, a result that ensured York's place in the play-offs.[55] He was an unused substitute in the 2012 Conference Premier play-off Final, as York came from behind to beat Luton Town 2–1 at Wembley Stadium.[56] Musselwhite left York on 4 March 2013, two days after Gary Mills was sacked as manager.[57]

He finished 2012–13 as goalkeeping coach at League One club Bury, before taking the same position at one of his former clubs, newly relegated League Two club Scunthorpe United, in June 2013.[58][59]

Career statistics[edit]

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Portsmouth 1986–87[60] Second Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1987–88[61] First Division 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scunthorpe United 1987–88[62] Fourth Division 0 0 0 0 0 0
1988–89[63] Fourth Division 41 0 1 0 6 0 4[a] 0 52 0
1989–90[64] Fourth Division 29 0 0 0 1 0 2[b] 0 32 0
1990–91[65] Fourth Division 38 0 4 0 0 0 6[c] 0 48 0
1991–92[66] Fourth Division 24 0 2 0 4 0 1[b] 0 31 0
Total 132 0 7 0 11 0 13 0 163 0
Port Vale 1992–93[67] Second Division 41 0 4 0 0 0 9[d] 0 54 0
1993–94[15] Second Division 46 0 5 0 2 0 4[e] 0 57 0
1994–95[68] First Division 44 0 2 0 4 0 50 0
1995–96[69] First Division 39 0 6 0 2 0 6[f] 0 53 0
1996–97[19] First Division 33 0 1 0 2 0 36 0
1997–98[20] First Division 41 0 2 0 2 0 45 0
1998–99[21] First Division 38 0 0 0 2 0 40 0
1999–2000[23] First Division 30 0 1 0 1 0 32 0
Total 312 0 21 0 15 0 19 0 367 0
Sheffield Wednesday 2000–01[26] First Division 0 0 0 0
Hull City 2000–01[26] Third Division 37 0 2 0 3[g] 0 42 0
2001–02[28] Third Division 20 0 0 0 0 0 1[e] 0 21 0
2002–03[29] Third Division 20 0 1 0 0 0 1[e] 0 22 0
2003–04[31] Third Division 18 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 19 0
Total 95 0 4 0 0 0 5 0 104 0
Scunthorpe United 2004–05[35] League Two 46 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 50 0
2005–06[37] League One 28 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 32 0
Total 74 0 5 0 3 0 0 0 82 0
Eastleigh 2006–07[40] Conference South 8 0 8 0
Kettering Town 2006–07[70] Conference North 2 0 1 0 3 0
Port Vale 2006–07[71] League One 0 0 0 0
Harrogate Town 2007–08[72] Conference North 8 0 3 0 2[h] 0 13 0
Gateshead 2007–08[44] NPL Premier Division 22 0 7[i] 0 29 0
2008–09[73] Conference North 35 0 3 0 4[j] 0 42 0
Total 57 0 3 0 11 0 71 0
Lincoln City 2009–10[74] League Two 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010–11[75] League Two 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
York City 2011–12[76] Conference Premier 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
2012–13[77] League Two 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Career total 692 0 44 0 29 0 50 0 815 0

Honours[edit]

Port Vale

Hull City

Scunthorpe United

Gateshead

References[edit]

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External links[edit]