Stephen Baxter (footballer)
|Date of birth||1 October 1965|
|Place of birth||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|1981||Northern Ireland U18||3||(0)|
|1987||Irish League XI||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Stephen Baxter (born 1 October 1965) is a football manager and ex-player from Northern Ireland; accessed 7 May 2014. He is the current manager of Crusaders, where he previously played.
'Stanley' (as he would later be nicknamed after the Scottish comedian) started out as a player with Glentoran before signing for Ards in 1985. His goalscoring exploits caught the notice of Linfield and he signed for them in 1987, winning two Irish League championships, three Gold Cups and a League Cup. He scored 102 goals in 219 games for the Blues, of which 169 were starts.
Unable to hold down a regular starting place, however, he signed for Crusaders in 1994. Baxter became one of the key players of Crusaders' golden team of the 90's, again winning two Irish League championships, a Gold Cup and League Cup. In 1995/96, he was named in the Football Writers' Premier League Team of the Year, and in 1996/97 he was named as the Ulster Footballer of the Year. He then moved to Glenavon for a successful period before returning to Seaview for a second two-year spell in 2000.
Baxter was memorable for his hat-trick in a relegation play-off against Lisburn Distillery, ensuring the Crues' survival. Baxter left Seaview a firm fan-favourite and legend status for a short spell at Bangor, where he coached briefly and played two cup games, before retiring from football completely and opening a sports shop in Newtownards. He played a total of 650 games in his career, and scored 303 goals.
In 2014-15 Baxter's men became the first in 14 years to bring the Gibson Cup back to Seaview, and the following season made history by becoming the first Crusaders side to retain the league title.
|Crusaders||Northern Ireland||14 February 2005||Present||590||334||102||154||1142||751||+391||56.61|
- As of 15 January 2017
As a player
- Irish League (2): 1988–89, 1992–93
- Gold Cup (3): 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90
- Irish League Cup (1): 1991–92
- Gold Cup (1): 1993–94
- Mid-Ulster Cup (1): 1998–99
- NI Football Writers' Premier League Team of the Year: 1995–96
- Ulster Footballer of the Year: 1996–97
- NI Football Writers’ Player of the Year: 1996–97
As a manager
- NIFL Premiership (2): 2014–15, 2015–16
- Irish Cup (1): 2008–09
- Setanta Cup (1): 2012
- Irish League Cup (1): 2011–12
- County Antrim Shield (1): 2009–10
- IFA Intermediate League (1): 2005–06
- IFA Intermediate League Cup (1): 2005–06
- Steel & Sons Cup (1): 2005–06
- M. Brodie (ed.), Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 2009-2010, p. 102. Belfast: Ulster Tatler Publications.