Steve Evans (footballer, born 1979)
|Full name||Steven James Evans|
|Date of birth||26 February 1979|
|Place of birth||Wrexham, Wales|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|The New Saints|
|1999–2006||The New Saints||152||(24)|
|2001–2002||→ Oswestry Town (loan)||6||(1)|
|2009–||The New Saints||109||(13)|
|2014–2015||→ Connah's Quay Nomads (loan)||23||(3)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10:46, 29 April 2016 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16:46, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Evans began his career with as a trainee at Crewe Alexandra and West Bromwich Albion but was not offered a professional contract by either club. He joined Welsh Premier side TNS in the summer of 1999, playing in the title-winning side of 2000. He struggled to keep a first-team place in the 2001–02 season due to injury and joined Oswestry Town on loan. After six appearances for Oswestry Town, he returned to TNS and played in the title winning sides of 2005 and 2006 and the 2005 Welsh Cup with victory over Carmarthen Town.
He won the Welsh Premier player of the season award for 2004–05 and made nine appearances for the Welsh semi-professional side. Evans played two games against the then-European champions Liverpool in the summer of 2005; TNS lost both legs 3–0 but he and the rest of the side were praised for their performances against a side containing the likes of England midfielder Steven Gerrard with Liverpool manager saying, "TNS were well organised and they did well. We saw them on videos before the tie and we knew that they would be prepared.". Evans was inducted as a New Saints legend in May 2008.
In February 2006, Evans impressed for the Saints in an FAW Premier Cup semi-final against Wrexham, scoring an equaliser in extra-time to force the game into penalties, and joined Wrexham on a two-year deal in June 2006. He had made over 150 league and cup appearances for TNS. Wrexham manager, Denis Smith, said of him, "He can be as good as he wants to be – maybe he could even do a good job for Wales. Steve's good in the air, can pass well and reads the game. He's older and wiser and benefits from experience."
After joining the Racecourse club, he scored on his home debut against Grimsby Town in a 3–0 win. He was sent-off for two bookings against rivals, Chester City at the Deva Stadium in August 2006; Denis Smith, however, said that he had "...been outstanding for me since coming into the League. He was looking a bit 'leggy', he's finding full-time football a bit different, but he'll learn from this." In spite of that setback, Evans made a seamless transition from the largely semi-professional League of Wales to the fully professional Football League Two, making 40 league and cup appearances for Wrexham in the 2006–07 season, which was interrupted by a five-match ban during March 2007 for having been sent off three times in the season, and 32 league and cup appearances in the 2007–08 season. Following Wrexham's relegation to the Football Conference at the end of the 2007–08, he was out of contract and was considering his options. He signed a new one-year deal with Wrexham in June 2008, with an option for a further twelve months. However Evans fell out of favour during the season and was released by the club, along with Shaun Pejic, on 2 February. Evans then rejoined his former club, The New Saints, the next day.
In October 2010 he was fined and stripped of the captaincy of the team as part of The New Saints' actions following his arrest in September 2010 on a public order offence. He was also given extensive additional community work for the club, to play an active role in the coaching and development of young players at the club, assisting the academy and scholarship coaching programmes as well as becoming a player ambassador for the club's Football in the Community programme, working with local schools and junior clubs. In November it was announced that after failing to comply with some of the additional responsibilities set out by the club, that his contract had been terminated. After a long running contractual dispute with his former club, in May 2011 an independent Football Association of Wales tribunal in favour of Evans and decided that the player had been unfairly dismissed. The club announced that he had therefore returned to training with the club and would was still contracted to the team.
Whilst as the New Saints he completed his UEFA 'B' Licence coaching qualification. In May 2012 he signed a new contract with the club.
Whilst at Wrexham, he also impressed Wales manager John Toshack and made his international debut for Wales in a friendly against Liechtenstein in November 2006. He was called up again for Wales 0–0 draw against Northern Ireland in February 2007 when he was praised by John Toshack who said, "Steve's in a difficult situation at the bottom of the league with Wrexham, but he's come into our last two games and not put a foot wrong. He handled all the aerial stuff and has shown he can step up a level."
In September 2008, with Wrexham relegated to the Football Conference, Evans became the first non-league player to represent Wales for 76 years as a second-half substitute in Wales' 2–1 defeat in Russia.
He has made a total of seven appearances for his country.
- Welsh Premier League: Winners medal 2011–12 with The New Saints
- Welsh Cup Winners medal 2011–12 with The New Saints
- Hugman, Barry J. (ed) (2008). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2008–09. Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-84596-324-8.
- "Welsh Premier career details for Steve Evans". Welsh Premier players. welsh-premier.com. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Town shake up defence". Daily Post (Liverpool). 10 November 2001. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "McKenna praises 'dominant' TNS". BBC Sport. 15 April 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "TNS 1–0 Carmarthen". BBC Sport. 8 May 2005. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Steve Evans". Men – A Squad. Football Association of Wales. Archived from the original on 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Benitez praise for TNS goalkeeper". BBC Sport. 19 July 2005. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Saints induct four club legends". BBC Sport. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Wrexham 3–3 TNS (aet)". BBC Sport. 1 February 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Wrexham sign TNS defender Evans". BBC Sport. 23 June 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Evans can play for Wales – Smith". BBC Sport. 25 June 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Wrexham 3–0 Grimsby". BBC Sport. 6 August 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Smith backs Evans after dismissal". BBC Sport. 21 August 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Wrexham 2006/2007 player appearances". Soccerbase. Racing Post. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Evans stung with five-match ban". BBC Sport. 26 February 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Wrexham 2007/2008 player appearances". Soccerbase. Racing Post. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Wrexham will wait and see over Evans". Flintshire Standard. North Wales Newspapers Ltd. 16 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Wales' Evans sticks with Wrexham". BBC Sport. 10 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-11.
- "Saunders releases defensive duo" BBC Sport Retrieved on 2 February 2009
- "Evans rejoins Saints from Wrexham" BBC Sport Retrieved on 3 February 2009
- "Evans disciplined and stripped of captaincy". The New Saints. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2010.
- "The New Saints terminate Steve Evans' contract". The New Saints. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2010.
- "Saints bury the hatchet as Evo returns". The New Saints. 28 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- "Fraughan makes Park Hall move permanent". The New Saints. 27 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Evans Joins Nomads". The New Saints. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "Wales 4–0 Liechtenstein". BBC Sport. 14 November 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Toshack praises Evans' resilience". BBC Sport. 7 February 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Welsh Cup final: Cefn Druids 0–2 The New Saints". BBC. 5 May 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2012.