Paul Telfer (footballer)

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Paul Telfer
Personal information
Full name Paul Norman Telfer[1]
Date of birth (1971-10-21) 21 October 1971 (age 46)
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Playing position Right-back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1995 Luton Town 144 (19)
1995–2001 Coventry City 191 (6)
2001–2005 Southampton 127 (1)
2005–2007 Celtic 57 (1)
2007 Bournemouth 18 (0)
2008–2009 Leeds United 14 (0)
2009 Slough Town 1 (0)
2011–2014 Sutton United 46 (1)
Total 598 (28)
National team
1993 Scotland U21 3 (0)
1994–1995 Scotland B 2 (0)
2000 Scotland 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Paul Norman Telfer (born 21 October 1971) is a Scottish former professional footballer.

Telfer made over 300 league appearances in the Premier League for Coventry City and Southampton between 1995 and 2005, whilst with Coventry he was capped once by Scotland and had also previously played just under 150 times for Luton Town. In 2005, he signed for Scottish Premier League side Celtic where he made 57 appearances in two seasons in his native country. He has since gone on to feature for Bournemouth and Leeds United before finishing his career with non-league side Slough Town in 2009.

In 2011, he joined the coaching staff at Sutton United and also agreed to make a return to the playing side of the game.

Football career[edit]

Telfer was born in Edinburgh, but began his career at Luton Town as a right-sided midfielder. In the summer of 1995, he was signed by Coventry City, where he began his long association with Gordon Strachan, who at the time was player-coach at the club, and later became manager. While at Coventry, Telfer won his only senior Scotland cap, playing in Scotland's 2–0 friendly defeat against France on 29 March 2000 at Hampden Park.

In 1992, Telfer and then Luton teammate Darren Salton were involved in a horrific car crash. Telfer suffered only minor injuries and went on to make a full recovery, while Salton almost died and was forced to quit football following the accident.[2]


In October 2001, Telfer joined Southampton, who had appointed Strachan as manager just over a month earlier. At Southampton, Telfer was converted from midfielder to right-back, and was a member of the side that reached the 2003 FA Cup Final. He scored once during his spell at Southampton, in a 3–1 win over Newcastle in May 2002.[3]


In 2005, Strachan became manager at Celtic, and again made Telfer one of his first signings. Telfer played just under two years at Parkhead, where he won two Scottish League championships and scored once in the league against Aberdeen.[4] However, his family had difficulty settling in Glasgow, and on 3 December 2006, Telfer announced he would not renew his contract with Celtic because he wished to spend more time with his family in Winchester.[5] On 2 April 2007, Telfer brought forward his retirement and officially left Celtic to be with his family in England.[6]


On 13 July 2007, Telfer came out of retirement, signing a one-year contract with League One side Bournemouth.[7][8] On 12 December 2007, Telfer cancelled his contract with Bournemouth to help their financial problems. A few days earlier, he had been ruled out for the season with a foot injury that required surgery and retired again.

Leeds United[edit]

On 8 August 2008, Telfer came out of retirement for a second time and joined Leeds United on a non-contract basis after initially training with Leeds to keep fitness. He signed a 1-year deal with the club at the end of August. Impressing his former teammate Gary McAlliser who was managing Leeds at the time. Telfer was expected to act as cover for right back Frazer Richardson.

But after some poor performances by Leeds' centre backs, Telfer found himself playing in an unfamiliar centre back role after impressing for Leeds in the position in a League Cup game against Crystal Palace. Telfer at first put in some assured performances, but as the season went on Leeds became very vulnerable, with Telfer's lack of pace being exposed. Most notably in injury time against Huddersfield Town after Leeds conceded a goal, where Telfer's lack of pace was badly exposed. Gary McAllister was sacked in December, and new manager Simon Grayson left Telfer out of all of his first team squads during his first month at the club. On 2 February 2009, his contract was cancelled by mutual consent with Telfer saying he didn't want Leeds to spend money paying his wages whilst he wasn't going to play.[9]

Slough Town and Sutton United[edit]

In April 2009, Telfer signed for non-league Slough Town,[10] but failed to appear in the 2009–10 season.[11] In the 2011 close-season, it was announced that Telfer would be joining Sutton United in a player/coach capacity.[12]

Indy Eleven[edit]

In May 2014, Telfer joined the North American Soccer League team Indy Eleven as an assistant coach working under head coach Juergen Sommer who was a teammate during his time at Luton Town F.C..[13] On 2 June 2015, Telfer was released from the coaching staff of Indy Eleven along with Sommer [14][15]




Personal life[edit]

Telfer is a nephew of Eamonn Bannon, who also played for Scotland.[16]

Telfer is a keen player of golf.[16] As of June 2009, his handicap was two shots.[16]


  1. ^ "Paul Telfer". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 12 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Salton rescued by Robertson". The Scotsman. 12 February 2005. Archived from the original on 11 January 2006. Retrieved 29 September 2006. 
  3. ^ "Dyer World Cup doubt". BBC Sport. 11 May 2002. Retrieved 27 October 2009. 
  4. ^ "Aberdeen 1–3 Celtic". BBC Sport. 2 December 2005. Retrieved 27 October 2009. 
  5. ^ "Telfer to quit Celtic in summer". BBC. 3 December 2006. Retrieved 13 December 2006. My contract is up and, even if there was an offer of another year, I won't be staying...I feel fit enough to play on, but my family couldn't settle and are already back down south. So, if a club came in, I'd look at that. 
  6. ^ "Telfer brings forward Celtic exit". BBC Sport. 2 April 2007. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  7. ^ "Telfer agrees deal with Cherries". 13 June 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2007. 
  8. ^ "Telfer Joins Bond Revolution". 13 June 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2007. 
  9. ^ "Telfer departs". Leeds United FC. 2 February 2009. Archived from the original on 21 September 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Bateman goes Wild as four sign on". 2 April 2009. Retrieved 3 April 2009. 
  11. ^ "Slough Town Appearances 0910". Slough Town FC. Archived from the original on 31 January 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  12. ^ Moody, Graham (4 May 2011). "Scotland International joins Sutton Coaching Staff". Sutton Guardian. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Indy Eleven/Coaching Staff/Paul Telfer". Indy Eleven. May 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "Regan in as Interim Head Coach". Indy Eleven. June 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  15. ^ Tait, Chris (19 June 2015). "Paul Telfer reflects on nearly landing the Inverness job when he was pipped by John Hughes". The Herald. Herald & Times Group. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c Dempster, Martin (16 June 2009). "Golf: No keeping Telfer away from Capital scene". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 

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