Stephen Ward (footballer)
|Full name||Stephen Robert Ward|
|Date of birth||20 August 1985|
|Place of birth||Dublin, Ireland|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Playing position||Left-back / Winger|
|2013–2014||→ Brighton & Hove Albion (loan)||44||(4)|
|2003–2004||Republic of Ireland U19||5||(3)|
|2005–2008||Republic of Ireland U21||13||(4)|
|2007||Republic of Ireland B||1||(0)|
|2011–2018||Republic of Ireland||50||(3)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:29, 26 June 2019 (UTC)|
Stephen Robert Ward (born 20 August 1985) is an Irish professional footballer who plays for EFL Championship club Stoke City. He is able to play in a variety of positions, primarily left-back, but also in left midfield and as a striker.
Ward began his senior career with Bohemians in his native Ireland, before moving to English Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2007. Featuring regularly, he was part of their promotion to the Premier League two years later and played over 230 times for the club. Following consecutive relegations though he was transfer listed, eventually leaving to return to the Premier League with Burnley in 2014.
From 2011 until his retirement from international football in March 2019, he had been a regular member of the Republic of Ireland's international squads, and played at UEFA Euro 2012 and UEFA Euro 2016.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Ward grew up in Portmarnock and played schoolboy football for Home Farm and Portmarnock. Ward joined Dublin-based League of Ireland side Bohemians from Portmarnock in the summer of 2003. He scored twice on his debut as a substitute against Skerries Town in the FAI Cup on 15 August 2003. His form in Ireland attracted interest from various English sides. The 2006 season with Bohemians ended up being his last and he made a total of 93 appearances for the club, scoring 26 times.
Ward had a bright start to English football scoring three times in his first six games, earning him the Championship Player of the Month Award for February 2007; his first goal came against Plymouth Argyle on 3 February. He featured in all of Wolves remaining fixtures as they reached the promotion play-offs where they lost to local rivals West Bromwich Albion.
The next season was less successful for Ward as he was mostly used in an unfamiliar left midfield role, covering for the injured Matt Jarvis, but announced he was happy to play anywhere. Later on in the season, Ward himself also suffered injury woes as he was struck down with patellar tendinitis that ruled him out for four months, as the team narrowly missed a second successive play-off spot.
The 2008–09 season again saw Ward adopt a new position as he was converted to a makeshift left-back, after George Elokobi sustained knee damage in only the third game of the campaign. Despite the emergency purchase of natural full back Matt Hill, Ward was often preferred in the spot anyway, helping the side win promotion to the Premier League.
Ward began the club's return to the top flight in the left-back role, but he soon suffered a cartilage injury that kept him out of action for two months. Returning in December, he made a total of 22 league appearances as the club managed to avoid an immediate return to the second tier.
During the 2010–11 season, Ward filled a variety of roles, playing left-back, left midfield and as a striker. One game up front saw him net his first Premier League goal, when he scored the only goal of the game against Liverpool at Anfield on 29 December 2010. He was part of the team that avoided relegation on the final day of the season.
Loan to Brighton
After Wolves suffered a second consecutive relegation to enter League One in 2013, Ward was one of a group of players made available for transfer by the club's new head coach Kenny Jackett. On 16 August 2013, Ward was loaned to Brighton & Hove Albion for the 2013–14 season, where he made 47 appearances as the club reached the play-offs but were defeated at the semi-final stage by Derby. Brighton then agreed to a permanent deal with Wolves for Ward over the close season, but interest from the Premier League halted the move.
On 15 August 2014, Ward moved to newly promoted Premier League side Burnley, signing a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee. On 12 May 2019, it was confirmed he would leave Burnley at the end of his contract on 1 July 2019.
Ward received his first full call-up to the Republic of Ireland national team squad on 4 May 2011, for friendlies against Northern Ireland and Scotland as well as a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier against Macedonia. He made his national team debut on 24 May 2011 in a Nations Cup game against Northern Ireland, where he opened the scoring in a 5–0 victory. Ward made his competitive debut for the Republic of Ireland against Slovakia in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match, during which he kept a clean sheet in a 0–0 draw. Ward scored his second international goal in the second leg of the play-off for UEFA Euro 2012 against Estonia, sealing Ireland's place in their first major tournament since 2002 with an unprecedented 5–1 aggregate win.
- As of match played 26 January 2019
|Bohemians||2003||LOI Premier Division||6||0||?||?|
|2004||LOI Premier Division||16||2||?||?|
|2005||LOI Premier Division||29||7||?||?|
|2006||LOI Premier Division||23||2||?||?|
|Brighton & Hove Albion (loan)||2013–14||Championship||44||4||1||0||0||0||2[a]||0||47||4|
|Republic of Ireland||2011||9||2|
- Republic of Ireland score listed first, score column indicates score after each Ward goal.
|1||24 May 2011||Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland||1||Northern Ireland||1–0||5–0||2011 Nations Cup|||
|2||15 November 2011||Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland||9||Estonia||1–0||1–1||UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying play-offs|||
|3||31 May 2016||Turners Cross, Cork, Ireland||33||Belarus||1–2||1–2||Friendly|||
- Football League Championship: 2015–16
Republic of Ireland
- Football League Championship Player of the Month: February 2007
- "Updated squads for 2017/18 Premier League confirmed". Premier League. 2 February 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
- Hugman, Barry J. (ed) (2008). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2008–09. Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-84596-324-8.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 429. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
- "Four players transfer listed". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 24 June 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013.
- "Stephen Ward on homesickness, beating Germany & the frustration of not playing". The42. TheJournal.ie. 23 January 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- "Ward ready to sign". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 15 January 2007. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012.
- "Wolves star earns February honour". BBC Sport. 4 March 2007.
- "Ward happy with his Molineux role". BBC Sport. 10 July 2008.
- "Ward glad at lucky escape". Birmingham Mail. 8 March 2008.
- "Mick McCarthy praises Wolves' match-winner Stephen Ward". BBC Sport. 30 December 2010.
- "Stephen Ward joins Brighton as Gordon Greer signs new deal". BBC Sport. 16 August 2013.
- "Brighton agree deal for Stephen Ward". Birmingham Mail. 14 August 2014.
- "Stephen Ward: Burnley sign long-serving Wolves defender". BBC Sport. 15 August 2014.
- "Stephen Ward will leave Burnley when his contract expires". Lancashire Telegraph. 12 March 2019.
- "Republic star becomes sixth signing…". Stoke City. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
- "Ireland call up Ward". Setanta Sports. 4 May 2011. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- "Ward gets Ireland nod for FYROM game". UEFA. 4 May 2011.
- "Rep of Ireland 5–0 N Ireland". BBC Sport. 24 May 2011.
- Mason, Glenn (15 November 2011). "Ireland 1–1 Estonia". RTÉ Sport. Archived from the original on 16 November 2011.
- "EURO 2012 squad named". Football Association of Ireland. 7 May 2012.
- "Euro 2016: Stephen Ward's fitness hopes improve for Republic's France game". BBC Sport. 25 June 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- Hafez, Shamoon (26 June 2016). "France 2–1 Republic of Ireland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- "Stephen Ward announces international retirement". RTÉ Sport. 14 March 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
- "Stephen Ward: Burnley full-back ends Republic of Ireland career after 50 caps". BBC Sport. 15 March 2019.
- "Stephen Ward". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
- "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
- "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
- "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
- "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
- "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
- "Games played by Stephen Ward in 2019/2020". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
- "Rep of Ireland 5–0 N Ireland". BBC Sport. 24 May 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- "Republic of Ireland 1–1 Estonia (5–1 agg)". BBC Sport. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- "Republic of Ireland 1–2 Belarus". BBC. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
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