Wotton with Southampton in 2010
|Full name||Paul Anthony Wotton|
|Date of birth||17 August 1977|
|Place of birth||Plymouth, England|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Playing position||Defender / Midfielder|
|Plymouth Argyle (first team coach)|
|2010||→ Oxford United (loan)||4||(0)|
|2010–2011||→ Yeovil Town (loan)||6||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Paul Anthony Wotton (born 17 August 1977) is an English former footballer and current first team coach at Football League Two club Plymouth Argyle. Having begun his career with his home-town side, Wotton went on to become the club's most successful captain as they won two Football League titles in three seasons. By the time he left Plymouth in 2008, Wotton had broken into the top ten of the club's all-time appearance list – playing in more than 400 matches – and won their Player of the Year award twice. A year later, he was inducted into the club's Hall of Fame.
Wotton went on to spend three seasons with Southampton, who he won the Football League Trophy with at Wembley Stadium during the 2009–10 season. Towards the end of his time with the club, he was loaned out to Oxford United and Yeovil Town before joining the latter permanently. A year later, Wotton returned to Plymouth Argyle. He was appointed player-coach at Argyle at the end of the 2013–14 season and formally retired from playing the following year. Renowned for his leadership and powerful shot, he is a specialist at set pieces.
For all but one of his seasons at Plymouth, Wotton has worn the no.15 shirt. "It was my first squad number. I came in for pre-season while I was in a contract dispute with the club. I was raging. I thought, me being me, if you weren't (numbers) 1–11, you weren't fancied. I was really disappointed because I was a regular in the team. When I came back and things went really well, I just stayed (number) 15."
Wotton was born in Plymouth, Devon, and started his playing career with his hometown club. His first season for Plymouth Argyle was also his first as a professional, under Neil Warnock in 1994–95. After Argyle were relegated from the Second Division at the end of the 1997–98 season following defeat at Burnley he famously vowed that he would be part of the side that won promotion, and captained the side to the title with a record 102 points in 2001–02 whilst being named in the PFA Division Three team of the year. Two seasons later he again lifted some silverware, this time the Division Two championship. He was named the player of the season for Argyle for the following 2004–05 season, in which the team finished 17th. He appeared in the famous Jimmy Glass game against Carlisle, in which the goalkeeper scored in the 94th minute to keep Carlisle United in the Football League.
Wotton can be described as a solid and mature defender with a ferocious shot taking ability that results in him taking the majority of free-kicks and penalties. Playing at centre back during Argyle's Third and Second Division championship winning seasons, his slight lack of pace means that in the Championship he now tends to play a holding midfield role just in front of the defence. He was the top-scorer in 2004–05 with 12 league goals, an excellent return for a non-striker, and again in 2005–06 with 8 goals.
In the summer of 2006, he was involved in an incident with young striker Chris Zebroski during a pre-season tour of Austria, which required Wotton to have more than a hundred stitches in his head. Zebroski was sacked less than a month later, having been found guilty of gross misconduct.
In the Championship match against Hull City on 9 December 2006 he damaged his cruciate and medial ligaments to his left knee and missed the rest of the 2006–07 Championship season. He returned from injury in time for Paul Sturrock's return to the club as manager, and after making a handful of substitute appearances he returned to the side for his first start in 15 months in the 2–1 win at Bristol City on 15 March 2008. He later went on to score a penalty in his final ever game for Plymouth against Preston North End, shortly before being released.
His autobiography, My Journey: The First Ten Years, was published in 2004.
In June 2008, Wotton was released by Plymouth. On 18 June he joined Southampton. In his first start he came up against former club Plymouth's arch rivals, Exeter City, in the first round of a League Cup match that Southampton comfortably won 3–1. On 8 November 2010, he joined Oxford United until the end of December on an emergency loan. On 31 December 2010, Wotton joined Yeovil Town on a one-month loan.
On 1 January 2011, Wotton made his debut for Yeovil away in a 0–0 draw to his old side Plymouth, for whom he played for 13 years clocking up nearly 400 appearances, and he received a standing ovation from the Argyle fans when his name was called out on the PA system. He played the full 90 minutes. On 28 January 2011, Wotton's contract with Southampton was terminated "by mutual consent", and he signed for Yeovil on an 18-month contract. He scored his first Yeovil goal in the 2–1 win away to Brentford; a characteristic free kick from 25 yards out.
Return to Plymouth
Wotton rejoined Plymouth Argyle later that day, three and a half years after being released when the club were in the Championship. He signed an 18-month contract. "Paul has got a lot of experience, has a good knowledge of the game, he's determined and has a real will to win. We are pleased to have him on board," said manager Carl Fletcher. "When I spoke to Paul about coming back he made it clear he would have walked here on broken glass." Wotton made a winning return to the Argyle side as they defeated Burton Albion 2–1 at Home Park on 14 January.
At the end of the 2013–2014 season, Wotton signed a new one-year contract to become a player-coach at Home Park replacing Gary Owers who had left the club. Wotton at this point was Argyle's second highest appearance maker on 491 games, but still some way behind Kevin Hodges.
Wotton formally retired from playing on 15 May 2015.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
Updated to games played as of 22 May 2014.
- PFA Third Division Team of the Year: 2001–02
- Plymouth Argyle F.C. Player of the Year: 2002–03, 2004–05
- Plymouth Argyle F.C. Hall of Fame: 2009
- "Player Details: Paul Wotton". The English National Football Archive. SoccerData. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- Hugman, Barry (2007). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2007–08. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. p. 443. ISBN 978-1-84596-246-3.
- "Paul Wotton: The Profile". Plymouth Argyle F.C. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "Plymouth Argyle: Paul Wotton signs player-coach deal". BBC Sport. 21 May 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- "Retain list". Plymouth Argyle F.C. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- "Paul Wotton". Plymouth Argyle F.C. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
- "The Pilgrim v Exeter City". Plymouth Argyle F.C. 11 July 2014.
- "Plymouth players rewarded". BBC Sport. 15 April 2002.
- Metcalf, Rupert (10 May 1999). "Carlisle raise a Glass to survival – Carlisle United 2 Plymouth Argyle 1". London: The Independent. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
- "Footballers in training bust-up". BBC News. 24 July 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "Argyle sack Zebroski after fracas". BBC Sport. 18 August 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "Plymouth 2–2 Preston". BBC. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
- Wotton signs for Southampton
- Saints sign former Pilgrim Wotton
- "Wotton Loan". Southampton F.C. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
- "Yeovil sign Paul Wotton, Max Ehmer and Richard Martin". BBC Sport. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- "Plymouth Argyle 0–0 Yeovil Town". BBC Sport. 1 January 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
- "Midfielder Leaves Saints". Southampton F.C. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
- "Wott's Happening at Huish Park?". Yeovil Town F.C. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
- "Paul Leaves The Glovers". Yeovil Town F.C. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "Yeovil release captain Wotton and Watford loanee Massey". BBC Sport. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "He's Only Gone And Come Back!". Plymouth Argyle F.C. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "Plymouth Argyle re-sign former captain Paul Wotton". BBC Sport. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "Former Plymouth Argyle captain Paul Wotton back at Home Park". The Herald. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
- "Wotton's a winner, says Argyle boss". The Herald. 14 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
- "Plymouth 2–1 Burton Albion". BBC Sport. 14 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
- "Paul Wotton signs player-coach deal". BBC Sport. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- "Retain list". Plymouth Argyle. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- Paul Wotton