Humphreys playing for Chesterfield in 2016
|Full name||Ritchie John Humphreys|
|Date of birth||30 November 1977|
|Place of birth||Sheffield, England|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Playing position||Left-back, Left / Centre Midfield, Forward|
|1999||→ Scunthorpe United (loan)||6||(2)|
|1999–2000||→ Cardiff City (loan)||9||(2)|
|2006||→ Port Vale (loan)||7||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:00, 30 April 2017 (UTC).
Ritchie John Humphreys (born 30 November 1977) is an English professional footballer who plays for Northern Premier League Division One South club Sheffield. He is chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) and holds a UEFA A Licence coaching qualification.
Humphreys started his career with Premier League club Sheffield Wednesday in 1996. Whilst with the club, he was loaned out to Scunthorpe United and Cardiff City. He also won five caps for England at under-20 and under-21 levels. He left the club in 2001 and joined Cambridge United for a short period, after which he joined Hartlepool United. He joined Port Vale on loan in 2006. He left Hartlepool in July 2013, and moved on to Chesterfield. Whilst at Chesterfield in 2014 he appeared at Wembley Stadium in the final of the Football League Trophy and helped the club to the League Two title in 2013–14. He left Chesterfield in 2017, and went on to play for non-league side Sheffield.
In 12 seasons with Hartlepool he made a club record 544 appearances, and picked up numerous club awards, including three Player of the Year awards from fans, one Player of the Year award from his teammates, as well as the award for Player of the Decade (2000s). He was also recognised at regional and national levels, being named on the PFA Team of the Year twice, and recognised as the North East League Player of the Year in 2006. He helped the club win promotion out of the fourth tier in 2002–03, and again in 2006–07. However he suffered play-off heartbreak with the club on three separate occasions.
Childhood and early career
Humphreys was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He was introduced to football from an early age, his grandfather, Ernest Humphreys, played for Millwall, Motherwell and St Mirren. His dad, John Humphreys, also had trials with Sheffield United.
Humphreys grew up as a Sheffield United fan and joined their academy, which he described as a "dream come true". However, they released him when we he was 13.
Humphreys then played for the Sheffield Boys and was one of their few players who did not play for a professional club. However, that soon changed when Humphreys was scouted by a Sheffield Wednesday scout and he joined their centre of excellence. He completed a boy-hood dream by scoring at Bramall Lane in a 3–2 win for Hartlepool in December 2012.
In 1995, after leaving Newfield Secondary School, Humphreys became part of Sheffield Wednesday's youth squad. For the youth squad Humphreys played as a left winger and was offered a professional contract. Due to the injuries of strikers David Hirst and Mark Bright, Wednesday manager David Pleat gave Humphreys the opportunity to go on Wednesday's pre-season tour of the Netherlands.
Humphreys played the first match and scored twice. He then played in the second match against FC Utrecht and scored again. Johan Cruyff was the guest of honour for that match and he praised Humphreys and said he was the next Marco van Basten. It was during this pre season tour that he was taken under the wing and guidance of Wednesday legend Chris Waddle. After scoring 4 goals in his first 5 Premier League appearances, lifting Wednesday to the top of the league, David Pleat decided to release his mentor Waddle. Humphreys did not score another league goal all season (only notching a hat-trick in a League Cup match against Grimsby Town in a 7–1 win). Humphreys pre-season form earned him a full league debut in Wednesday's opening match against Aston Villa. In this match Humphreys scored a goal that was recorded at 95.9 mph, one of the hardest-hit goals in the history of football. Humphreys also scored in the following match against Leeds United. Two matches later, Humphreys scored a much talked about goal when he went on a 50-yard run and scored a spectacular chipped goal against Leicester City . Humphreys was seen as the driving force behind Sheffield Wednesday's shock early lead at the top of The Premiership.
His form linked him to a £4 million transfer to Leeds United. However Humphreys remained at Sheffield Wednesday and played 34 matches for them in the 1996–97 season. His performances earned him a place in the England team for the 1997 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Malaysia. Humphreys wore the much coveted number 9 shirt for that tournament.
For the next two seasons, after Sheffield Wednesday signed an influx of foreign players such as Paolo Di Canio and Benito Carbone, Humphreys failed to hold down a regular place and he only played a total of 31 matches in those two seasons. Humphreys was sent on loan to Scunthorpe United on 13 August 1999, where he played six matches and again scored twice. He was then sent on loan to Cardiff City where he played 11 matches, scoring twice. After a brief return to the Wednesday team for the 2000–01 season, Humphreys decided to leave Wednesday to play more first team football was allowed to join Cambridge United on trial. Humphreys impressed on trial, scoring 3 goals in 7 appearances, and it looked likely that Cambridge manager Roy McFarland was going to offer him a contract. However, Humphreys' trial was cut abruptly after he broke his foot. After the sacking of Roy McFarland, new Cambridge manager John Beck was reluctant to offer Humphreys a new contract until he had seen him play.
Hartlepool United manager Chris Turner then offered Humphreys the chance to train with the club. Shortly after Humphreys signed a new contract with the club, much to the dismay of Cambridge fans who wanted him to stay and described him as "a big loss". Humphreys started the 2001–02 season partnering Kevin Henderson up front for the first 9 league matches. However, after a bad run Humphreys was dropped and replaced by new signing Gordon Watson. However, Humphreys would force his way back into the team and replace Henderson to partner Watson instead, these two players were already familiar with each other from their days at Sheffield Wednesday. Despite not scoring many goals Hartlepool manager Chris Turner was pleased with his performances. Humphreys was then moved into central midfield due to the injury of Tommy Widdrington and after impressing played there for the remainder of the season. Humphreys' first season at the club would end in disappointment as he missed the decisive penalty in the play-off semi-final defeat to Cheltenham Town, which cost Hartlepool a place in the Second Division. The penalty struck the woodwork twice and stayed out. Humphreys' miss would send him to tears and he was photographed by Frank Reid, a photograph that would prove to be one of the most memorable images of Reid and Humphreys' career. After his miss Humphreys was devastated but he was cheered up by Chris Turner and the players who rang him and told him to keep his head up. Humphreys also received lots of letters of support from the Hartlepool fans.
When Humphreys returned to pre-season training for the following season, he was playfully teased over his penalty miss. Humphreys took the motto "that anything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger" and was determined to come back stronger. Humphreys started the 2002–03 season with a goal against Carlisle on the opening day of the season. Throughout the course of the season, Humphreys would be played prominently as a left winger. Humphreys finished the season as an ever-present in the Hartlepool squad, adding 11 goals to his name in the process and helped Hartlepool gain promotion to the Second Division. His performances won him the Player of the Season award from the supporters. During this season it was revealed that Humphreys had been writing a diary, which he published and named it "From Tears to Cheers", in reference to his tears at Cheltenham.
The following two seasons once again saw Humphreys as an ever-present in the Hartlepool team under new manager Neale Cooper. In the 2003–04 season, Hartlepool once again made the play-offs, only to go out after conceding two last minute goals to Bristol City, a memory which Humphreys described as more painful than Cheltenham. Due to the injuries of Michael Barron, Humphreys began regularly captaining the team.
In the 2004–05 season, Humphreys helped Hartlepool once again make the play-offs. During the play-off semi-final against Tranmere, Humphreys had the task of taking a penalty for Hartlepool in sudden death. This was the first time Humphreys had taken a penalty since his crucial miss at Cheltenham. This time he scored and sent Hartlepool through to the play-off final against his old club Sheffield Wednesday at the Millennium Stadium. This helped to erase the memories of Cheltenham. However, Hartlepool lost the play-off final to Sheffield Wednesday. Humphreys believes that of all the play-off defeats he has suffered that the controversial loss to Wednesday was the hardest to take. Before the end of the season Humphreys extended his contract by a further two years.
The following season, 2005–06, saw Humphreys become the first player to make 200 consecutive league appearances for Hartlepool. For this season Humphreys' moved to left back due to Hugh Robertson being injured. Unfortunately Hartlepool and Humphreys suffered relegation. Despite this Humphreys was named the Supporters and Players' Player of the Season as well as the North East Football Awards Football League Player of the Season.
For the 2006–07 season, Danny Wilson was appointed the new manager, Wilson had previously managed Humphreys at Sheffield Wednesday. On 22 August 2006, Humphreys was dropped for Hartlepool's match against Hereford United. After making 230 consecutive appearances, this was the first time Humphreys had not played since October 2001. Shortly after that match, Humphreys joined Port Vale on a month's loan. This was the third time that Danny Wilson had loaned Humphreys out during his career, the only times Humphreys had ever been loaned out. Port Vale tried to extend Humphreys' loan deal by at least another month, but Hartlepool refused and Humphreys returned. Humphreys later stated that he had no intentions of leaving Hartlepool.
After a bad start to the season, Hartlepool were struggling near the lower reaches of the table. However, this changed against Accrington Stanley when Humphreys scored a spectacular last minute winner. This sent Hartlepool on 23 match unbeaten streak. During that streak, Humphreys scored another spectacular goal against Walsall to give Hartlepool the lead in a victory that sent them into second place. Hartlepool would remain in the top two for the remainder of the season and secured promotion, narrowly missing out on the title. Humphreys performances earned him a place in the League Two PFA Team of the Year. Humphreys was also awarded the Monkey Business Achievement Award for this contribution to the season, and had a street in Hartlepool named after him. However these awards proved small in comparison to when Humphreys was honoured by the Queen for making a "significant contribution to local and national life" earlier on in the season.
At the end of the 2007–08 season, Humphreys was voted Player of the Year, Player of the 2000s and Hartlepool United's Player of the Century. He continued to be a key player in 2008–09, making a total of 54 appearances. He was a key figure once again in the 2009–10 season, missing just nine matches as a central midfielder. On 26 February 2011, Humphreys replaced Joe Gamble after 82 minutes to make his 473rd appearance for "Pools". This broke the record previously held by Watty Moore for over half a century. Over the course of the 2010–11 season he played 29 matches. On 2 August 2011, Humphreys was given a testimonial match against Premier League Sunderland to mark his ten years at Hartlepool United. Sunderland won 3–1, though the 5,757 fans present at the Victoria Park were reported to be very vocal in their appreciation of the veteran player. On 7 January 2012, Humphreys replaced Luke James 90 minutes into a 2–0 win over Rochdale to make his 500th appearance for "Pools". He signed an "undisclosed extension to his contract" in May 2012. He made 33 appearances in the 2012–13 campaign, as Hartlepool were relegated into League Two.
Hartlepool released Humphreys from the club in May 2013, after it was decided that the option in his contract to extend would not be taken up.
Humphreys signed a one-year contract with League Two club Chesterfield on 15 July 2013. He became a key player for Paul Cook's "Spireites" during the 2013–14 season, and on 30 March 2014 he appeared at Wembley Stadium in Chesterfield's 3–1 defeat to Peterborough United in the final of the Football League Trophy, his first appearance at the national stadium. In total he made 49 appearances throughout the 2013–14 campaign as Chesterfield won promotion as divisional champions.
He made 25 appearances in the 2014–15 campaign, helping the "Spireites" to the play-offs, where they were beaten by Preston North End at the semi-final stage. He made only three appearances in the 2015–16 campaign, but in May 2016 signed a new contract to serve the club as a coach whilst also continuing his playing duties. On 8 January 2017, he was named caretaker manager of the club following the sacking of Danny Wilson. Gary Caldwell was appointed as manager nine days later. Humphreys retired from playing at the end of the season. He rejected the opportunity to join the coaching staff at Chesterfield, and instead signed with Northern Premier League Division One South club Sheffield.
|Club||Season||Division||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Sheffield Wednesday||1995–96||Premier League||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||0|
|Scunthorpe United (loan)||1999–2000||Second Division||6||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||2|
|Cardiff City (loan)||1999–2000||Second Division||9||2||1||0||0||0||1[a]||0||11||2|
|Hartlepool United||2001–02||Third Division||46||5||1||0||1||0||3[a][b]||0||51||5|
|Cambridge United||2000–01||Second Division||7||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||7||3|
|Port Vale (loan)||2006–07||League One||7||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||7||0|
- As of 17 January 2017
|Chesterfield (caretaker)||8 January 2017||17 January 2017||2||1||0||1||50.0|||
- Football League Third Division play-off semi-finalists: 2001–02
- Football League Third Division runners-up: 2002–03
- North East Team of the Year: 2002–03
- Football League One play-off semi-finalists: 2003–04
- Football League One play-off finalists: 2004–05
- Football League Two runners-up: 2006–07
- Hartlepool United Fans' Player of the Year: 2003, 2006, 2008
- Hartlepool United Players' Player of the Year: 2006
- Hartlepool United Player of the Decade (for the 2000s)
- North East League Player of the Year: 2006
- PFA Team of the Year: 2002–03, 2006–07
- "EFL: Club retained and released lists published". English Football League. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. p. 207. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
- "UEFA A Licence Joy For Humphreys". Hartlepool United F.C. 19 April 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- Humphreys, Ritchie (2003). From Tears to Cheers. Cheers Promotions. Introduction. ISBN 0-9545696-0-1.
- "'To score was a dream come true', says Unitedite Humphreys". Sheffield News & Sport. 30 December 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- "Humphreys dreams of Cardiff joy". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 28 May 2004. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- Dart, James (14 February 2007). "The hardest recorded shot in football – ever". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Mon 22nd Nov 1999 – Humphreys signs for City". Cardiff City Online. Michael Morris. 22 November 1999. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Ritchie Humphreys". CNN Sports Illustrated. 1 November 2001. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "The Managerial Merry-Go-Round". Sheffield Wednesday F.C. 19 June 2007. Archived from the original on 8 August 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Football: Shepherd strikes as England ride luck". The Independent. London. 19 June 1997. Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Di Canio and Wednesday Set For Divorce". 4thegame.com. 24 December 1998. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Sheff Wed 1997/1998 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 23 September 2007.
- "Sheff Wed 1998/1999 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 23 September 2007.
- Hugman (ed.). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. p. 208.
- "Scunthorpe 1999/2000 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 23 September 2007.
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- "A good day for a Wednesday reunion". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 12 November 2001. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Ritchie one of the best". Darlington & Stockton Times. 11 January 2002. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Humphreys earns praise from Turner". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 15 February 2002. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Ritchie helps Pool to forget Whaddon woe". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 12 August 2002. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Memorable Moments: Ritchie Humphreys". Frank Reid, Hartlepool Mail: Official Site. Archived from the original on 2 September 2006. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- Humphreys, Ritchie (2003). From Tears to Cheers. Cheers Promotions. pp. re–Season. ISBN 0-9545696-0-1.
- "Carlisle 1–3 Hartlepool". BBC Sport. 10 August 2002. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Details – Ritchie Humphreys". In The Mad Crowd. Archived from the original on 5 September 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Humphreys takes top player honour". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 17 April 2003. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Humphreys looking for new chapter of success". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 9 August 2003. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Play-off heartache too much for Humphreys". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 21 May 2004. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Keep it up, skipper tells Boyd". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 31 March 2004. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Humphreys caps a memorable week with new deal". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 23 May 2005. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Play-off loss a new low for Humphreys". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 31 May 2005. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Record breaker". BBC Sport. 6 December 2005. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "8: Ritchie Humphreys". Vital Hartlepool. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Humphreys leaves Pools". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 8 September 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Port Vale keen to keep Humphreys". BBC Sport. 6 October 2006. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Good to be back says Humphreys". North East Football. 12 October 2006. Archived from the original on 18 October 2006. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Post Pilgrim Papers". Hartlepool United F.C. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Humphreys left foot sets Pools apart from the rest". The Northern Echo. Darlington. 12 February 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Ronaldo secures PFA awards double". BBC Sport. 22 April 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Nelson and Liddle Big Winners". Hartlepool United F.C. 9 May 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2007.[permanent dead link]
- "Pools duo receive streets honour". BBC Sport. 13 February 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- "Humphreys is pride of Hartlepool". BBC Sport. 11 January 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- "Ritchie Humphreys delight at Hartlepool United record". BBC Sport. 28 February 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- Fraser, Paul (25 February 2011). "Watty's family pay tribute to Humphreys". The Northern Echo. Darlington. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
- "Hartlepool United 1 Sunderland 3". Peterlee Mail. 2 August 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
- "Hartlepool vs Rochdale". Hartlepool United F.C. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- "Ritchie Humphreys extends Hartlepool United contract". BBC Sport. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- "Humphreys To Leave Victoria Park". Hartlepool United F.C. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "Ritchie Humphreys: Chesterfield sign former Hartlepool full-back". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- Woodcock, Ian (30 March 2014). "Carlisle 1–3 Peterborough". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- Middleton, Nathan (10 May 2015). "Preston 3–0 Chesterfield". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- "Humphreys Extendsch-role- Stay with Player/Coach Role". Chesterfield F.C. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- "Chesterfield: Boss Danny Wilson and assistant Chris Morgan sacked". BBC Sport. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- "Gary Caldwell: Chesterfield appoint former Wigan Athletic manager as new boss". BBC Sport. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Quartet to be Offered New Contracts". Chesterfield F.C. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
- Whitney, Steve (14 August 2017). "Veteran Ritchie Humphreys Signs For Club - Pitchero Non-League". Pitchero Non-League. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- Magowan, Alistair (17 November 2013). "Ritchie Humphreys: Who is the PFA's new chairman?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 1995/1996". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 1996/1997". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 1997/1998". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 1998/1999". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2000/2001". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Games played by Ritchie Humphreys in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Managers: Ritchie Humphreys". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
- Hartlepool United Official Site- Honours List Archived 21 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 25 July 2006.
- From Tears to Cheers: Ritchie Humphreys' Hartlepool United Promotion Diary, Ritchie Humphreys, Cheers Promotions
- Ritchie Humphreys at Soccerbase