Church playing for Reading in 2012
|Full name||Simon Richard Church|
|Date of birth||10 December 1988|
|Place of birth||Amersham, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|2007–2008||→ Crewe Alexandra (loan)||12||(1)|
|2008||→ Yeovil Town (loan)||6||(0)|
|2008||→ Wycombe Wanderers (loan)||9||(0)|
|2009||→ Leyton Orient (loan)||13||(4)|
|2012||→ Huddersfield Town (loan)||7||(1)|
|2015–2016||Milton Keynes Dons||19||(2)|
|2016||→ Aberdeen (loan)||13||(6)|
|2016–2017||Roda JC Kerkrade||4||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He spent ten years at Reading after signing for their academy as a teenager. In six years as a professional, he scored 22 goals in 104 league appearances before moving to Charlton Athletic, MK Dons and finally Roda JC Kerkrade. He has also had several loan spells, including 6 goals in 13 games for Aberdeen.
Born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, Church was spotted as a youngster while playing at a youth tournament and joined hometown club Wycombe Wanderers Centre of Excellence as a nine-year-old upon recommendation from the club scout. Five years later, he joined Reading's Youth Academy at the age of 14, as part of the Nathan Tyson sale to Wycombe. He was a regular in Reading's reserve side whilst still in the academy. On 6 July 2007, he signed a one-year professional contract with Reading, but did not make a first team appearance that season due to stiff competition from the likes of Dave Kitson and Irish internationals Kevin Doyle and Shane Long.
Church joined Crewe Alexandra on loan for one month on 19 October 2007, which was subsequently extended to 19 January 2008 following rave reviews. He was put into the starting XI for Crewe on 20 October 2007 against Luton Town, where he wore the number 31 shirt and assisted Ryan Lowe for Crewe Alexandra's second goal. He scored his first goal for Crewe in a 2–2 draw with Cheltenham on 27 October 2007.
Church joined Yeovil Town on loan for the remainder of the 2007–08 season on 29 January 2008. He followed this with a loan move to his hometown club Wycombe Wanderers at the start of the 2008–09 season. His original month at the club was cut short due to a sending off and subsequent three match ban, but he later rejoined the club for a further two months on 20 October 2008.
Church made his full first team debut for Reading in the play-off semi-final second leg defeat to Burnley on 12 May 2009. With the departures of Doyle and Kitson, he became more of a regular in the first team and soon claimed a starting place at the expense of Long. On 19 September, he scored his first league goal in only his fourth start in a 3–2 defeat to Peterborough United and dedicated it to his father who died earlier that month. On 2 January 2010, he scored against Premiership side Liverpool in the FA Cup third round as the Royals took a shock lead and held the Merseyside club to a 1–1 draw at the Madejski Stadium. The Royals went on to win 2–1 in the replay. Four days later, he was offered a new deal and extended his contract until 2013. In February, he scored a brace against Crystal Palace in a 3–1 win, which lifted Reading out of the relegation zone. Midway through the 2011–12 season, Church hit form with four goals in four matches, opening the scoring against Peterborough, getting a brace against promotion contenders West Ham and earning a 0–1 win away at Leeds United with a well taken lob over Andrew Lonergan. At the end of the 2012–13 season, Church was released by the club.
On 8 November 2012, Church joined Huddersfield Town on a one-month loan deal and made his Town debut two days later in Huddersfield's 1–0 win away at Oakwell, over Barnsley. Church scored his first goal for Huddersfield Town in the 90th minute of his second game for them, a 1–2 defeat at home to Brighton & Hove Albion. Church returned to Reading after their game with Sheffield Wednesday game on 29 December, having made a total of seven appearances for Huddersfield.
On 1 August 2013 Church joined Charlton Athletic on a two-year contract and was handed the number 9 shirt. He scored his first goals for the club in the League Cup against Oxford United five days later in a 4–0 home win for Charlton.
On 12 May 2015, Church was released at the end of his contract.
Milton Keynes Dons
On 1 February 2016, after finding limited first team opportunities, Church signed for Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen on loan for the remainder of the 2015–16 season. He scored on his debut in Aberdeen's 2–1 win over Celtic on 3 February 2016.
Roda JC Kerkrade
He signed for Plymouth Argyle later that month. A hip injury meant he was only able to make two appearances before being ruled out for the rest of the season. Church retired from professional football in May 2018.
Born and brought up in England, Church qualifies to play for Wales through grandparents from Newport. He made his début for the Wales U21 team as a substitute in their 4–3 win over Sweden U21 on 21 August 2007. On 10 October 2007, he scored twice as Wales U-21 lost 3–2 to England in the first leg of their European Championship qualifying match. Church scored a brace for Wales under 21s against England under 21s as they lost 3–2 on 10 October 2008, in the 2009 European Championship play-offs. He also scored Wales's second goal in the first half of the second leg of the play-off against England, neatly lifting the ball over the on rushing Joe Hart but they lost 5–4 on aggregate to England, thus missing out on a spot in the final tournament. In March 2009, he was named captain of the U-21s.
On 29 May 2009 Church made his debut for the senior Wales international team in the friendly against Estonia. He received call-ups for the match against Italy U21 and a 2010 World Cup qualifier against Russia on 9 September but did not participate due to the death of his father. He scored his first senior goal on 14 November in friendly against Scotland that ended 3–0. His final goal for Wales came from the penalty spot in 1-1 draw against Northern Ireland in March 2017.
- As of match played 5 May 2018.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Crewe Alexandra (loan)||2007–08||League One||12||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||14||1|
|Yeovil Town (loan)||2007–08||League One||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||0|
|Wycombe Wanderers (loan)||2008–09||League Two||9||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||9||0|
|Leyton Orient (loan)||2008–09||League One||13||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||13||4|
|Huddersfield Town (loan)||2012–13||Championship||7||1||0||0||0||0||—||7||1|
|Milton Keynes Dons||2015–16||Championship||19||2||2||1||2||0||—||23||3|
|Aberdeen (loan)||2015–16||Scottish Premiership||13||6||0||0||0||0||—||13||6|
|Roda JC Kerkrade||2016–17||Eredivisie||4||0||0||0||0||0||—||4||0|
|Scunthorpe United||2017–18||League One||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||0||7||0|
|Plymouth Argyle||2017–18||League One||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0|
- Appearance(s) in the Championship play-offs
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 83. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
- "Church Notices".
- "Simon Church: Wales striker retires aged 29 because of hip injury". 9 May 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "On-loan Blues striker remembers his roots". Bucks Free Press. 4 September 2008.
- "Church lights the way for new-look Reading". BBC Sport. 2 January 2010.
- "Royals make six Academy signings". readingfc.co.uk. 6 July 2007. Archived from the original on 11 July 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
- "Crewe sign Reading striker Church". BBC Sport. 19 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
- "Striker's loan is extended". readingfc.co.uk. 9 November 2007. Archived from the original on 10 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
- "Crewe 2–0 Luton". BBC Sport. 20 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
- "Cheltenham 2–2 Crewe". BBC. 27 October 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
- "Striker makes loan move". readingfc.co.uk. 29 January 2008. Archived from the original on 4 February 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2008.
- "Church makes Wycombe loan move". readingfc.co.uk. 24 August 2008. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-25.
- "O's take Church on loan". leytonorient.com. 17 February 2009. Archived from the original on 19 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
- "Simon Church dedicates first Reading FC goal to dad". Reading Evening Post. 23 September 2009.
- "Reading 1 – 1 Liverpool". BBC Sport. 2 January 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
- "Simon Church pens new three-year Reading deal". bbc.co.uk. 6 January 2010.
- "Reading results". BBC News. 29 July 2009.
- "Noel Hunt, Ian Harte, Nicky Shorey, Simon Church and Jay Tabb released by Reading". Sky Sports. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- "Church in Terriers loan". Reading F.C. 8 November 2012.
- "Grayson goes to Church for striking options". FootballFriendsonline. 8 November 2012. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013.
- "BBC Sport – Huddersfield 1–2 Brighton". Bbc.co.uk. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
- "Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday shared a 0–0 draw in the Championship". Sky Sports. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- "Huddersfield Town target Chris Wood on verge of joining Leicester City". Huddersfield Examiner. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- "Charlton complete double striker swoop". Charlton Athletic F.C. 1 August 2013. Archived from the original on 4 August 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "Simon Church & Marvin Sordell join Charlton Athletic". BBC Sport. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "Charlton Athletic 4–0 Oxford United". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Charlton announce list of released players". Charlton Athletic FC. 12 May 2015. Archived from the original on 12 May 2015.
- "Dons make triple signing". Milton Keynes Dons.
- http://www.onemk.co.uk/8203-Simon-Church-MK-Dons-striker-leaves-loan/story-28648666-detail/story.html[permanent dead link]
- Dowden, Martin (3 February 2016). "Aberdeen 2–1 Celtic". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
- "Church heads to Holland".
- "Iron sign Simon Church".
- "Church leaves the Iron". scunthorpe-united.co.uk. Scunthorpe United F.C. 15 January 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
- "Simon Church: Wales international forward joins Plymouth Argyle". 29 May 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Gwent pair are crucial". Western Telegraph. 10 October 2008.
- "Church gets Wales U21 run-out in Sweden". Reading F.C. 22 August 2007. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
- "Sweden U21 3–4 Wales U21". BBC Sport. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
- "Church calls for more maturity". Western Telegraph. 30 March 2009.
- "News - Wales v Russia - Squad Additions - Football Association of Wales". www.webarchive.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2009-11-12.
- "Wales Under-21s boss Brian Flynn has warning for Italians". Walesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
- "Simon Church delighted to have scored first senior Welsh international goal". South Wales Echo. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2009.
- "Simon Church career statistics". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
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