Stearman playing for Fulham in 2016
|Full name||Richard James Michael Stearman|
|Date of birth||19 August 1987|
|Place of birth||Wolverhampton, England|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
(on loan from Fulham)
|2013||→ Ipswich Town (loan)||15||(0)|
|2016–||→ Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan)||11||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10:00, 23 January 2017 (UTC).
Richard James Michael Stearman (born 19 August 1987) is an English professional footballer who plays as a defender for Wolverhampton Wanderers, on loan from fellow Championship club Fulham. He is a versatile defender, being able to play in any defensive slot although primarily a centre half or right back.
Stearman, born in Wolverhampton and raised in Leicestershire, joined the Leicester City youth academy in 1998 having been spotted playing for his local side Harborough Town. Equally adept at playing at right-back or centre-back, he signed his first professional contract in 2004, shortly after having won Leicester's Young Player of the Year award in 2003–04.
Stearman made his senior debut, aged 17, on 30 October 2004 in a goalless draw at Cardiff City. He scored his first senior goal in Leicester's 3–1 home victory over Millwall on 2 April 2005 and finished his first season with eight appearances. He became a first team regular in 2005–06, and attracted a bid from Sunderland, rejected by then-manager Rob Kelly, who said he was unwilling to part with one of his players he considered a hot prospect. He remained with the club for two more seasons, and won both Player of the Year and Player's Player of the Year awards in 2007–08.
After Leicester were relegated to League One, Stearman signed for Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers on 25 June 2008 in a four-year deal. He made his debut for Wolves in a 2–2 draw at Plymouth Argyle on 9 August 2008. Towards the latter end of 2008 saw Stearman partnering England under-21's team-mate Michael Mancienne in defence. On 3 May, he scored his first goal for the club, an injury time winner against Doncaster Rovers, and received a championship winners medal. Stearman was also named in the PFA 2009 Championship team of the year alongside Michael Kightly and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, voted for by his fellow professionals.
With regular right back Kevin Foley out injured, Stearman had an extended run in the starting eleven early in their Premier League return in 2009–10, during which he scored his first and only top flight goal, against Hull City. He featured throughout the first half of the season, but after being sent off against Wigan in January 2011 he made only one further substitute appearance during the campaign.
Stearman started 27 Premier League games – primarily replacing Jody Craddock at centre back – during the following season as the club avoided relegation on the final day. He made another 28 starts during the 2011–12 season despite suffering a broken wrist, but the team were ultimately relegated back to the Championship
Back in the Championship, Stearman fell out of favour at Wolves, and in January 2013 he moved on loan to Ipswich Town for the remainder of the current season, where he was reunited with his former Wolves manager Mick McCarthy.
Stearman returned to Wolves' first team in the 2013–14 season, with the team now in League One and under the management of Kenny Jackett. He was a regular in the side that won the League One title and during the summer signing a new contract that was to last until summer 2016. He remained a regular at the heart of Wolves' defence during the 2014–15 season as the club missed the play-offs on goal difference. His performances earned him both Fans' Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year Awards.
The following season began with Stearman captaining the team in the absence of the injured Danny Batth but after only four league games, Wolves coach Kenny Jackett confirmed reports that Wolves had accepted an offer from Fulham for Stearman and he would be leaving Molineux. Although officially undisclosed, media reports placed the accepted bid at £2 million. Stearman departed having made a total of 234 appearances (scoring six times) for the club in three different divisions.
On 1 September 2015, Stearman moved to another Championship club, signing a three-year deal (with the option of an additional year) with Fulham. He made 29 league appearances for the club during the 2015–16 season but at the start of the following campaign was not used in the opening league matches.
On 31 August 2016, less than a year after departing Wolves, he rejoined them on a season-long loan.
Stearman has represented England at Under-17 level in the 2004 European Championships and also at the Under-18 level. He was first called up by the England under-21 squad in November 2007 for the 2009 European Championship qualifiers, however he was an unused substitute in the games. He later received a second call-up from the under-21s when he was selected for a European Championship qualifier against Portugal in September 2008. However, he was again an unused substitute in the game, and again in the qualifying play-offs against Wales in October 2008.
Stearman made his debut in a 2–0 friendly win over the Czech Republic under-21s on 18 November 2008, and a 3–2 defeat to Ecuador on 11 February 2009. Stuart Pearce included him in the squad for the 2009 UEFA U21 championships when centre half and captain Steven Taylor withdrew due to injury.
On 12 March 2011, the Football Association of Ireland confirmed that they had contacted Stearman to play for the Republic of Ireland as he has an Irish grandparent on his mother's side of the family. Irish sources say team mate Kevin Doyle initiated with contact the FAI, who followed up with a call to Stearman. In November 2012, Stephen Hunt declared that Stearman had acquired an Irish passport.
- As of 1 September 2015
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Ipswich Town (loan)||2012–13||Championship||15||0||0||0||0||0||—||15||0|
- Appearances in Football League Trophy
- Hugman, Barry J. (ed) (2008). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2008–09. Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-84596-324-8.
- "Richard Stearman says he'll play wherever he is needed for Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier fight". birminghammail.net. 10 November 2009.
- "Leicester City step up search for stars of the future". Leicester Mercury. 29 May 2009.
- "Leicester reject bid for Stearman". BBC Sport. 31 August 2006. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
- "Stearman proud of awards double". BBC Sport. 30 April 2008.
- "Stearman swaps Foxes for Wolves". BBC Sport. 25 June 2008.
- "Wolves 1–0 Doncaster". BBC Sport. 3 May 2009.
- "Wolverhampton 1–1 Hull". BBC Sport. 29 August 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "Richard Stearman: Ipswich Town sign Wolves defender on loan". BBC Sport. 29 January 2013.
- "Stearman stays!". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 16 June 2014.
- "Gaffer confirms Stearman offer". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 29 August 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "Wolves accept Fulham offer for Richard Stearman". Express & Star. 29 August 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "Farewell Stears". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "Richard Stearman: Fulham sign Wolves defender". BBC Sport. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "Stearman returns". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 31 August 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- "Stearman called up for England Under-21s". wolves.co.uk. 2 September 2008.
- "England Under-21 Call-up For Stearman". wolves.co.uk. 7 October 2008.
- "England Under-21s hit by injuries". BBC Sport. 1 June 2009.
- "Richard Stearman has got Irish passport now". thestar.ie. 27 November 2012.
- "Games played by Richard Stearman in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Games played by Richard Stearman in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Games played by Richard Stearman in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Games played by Richard Stearman in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Games played by Richard Stearman in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Games played by Richard Stearman in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Games played by Richard Stearman in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Games played by Richard Stearman in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Games played by Richard Stearman in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Games played by Richard Stearman in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Games played by Richard Stearman in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Games played by Richard Stearman in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
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