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Fabian Delph (born 21 November 1989) is an Englishmarker footballer born in Bradfordmarker who plays as a central midfielder for Aston Villa and has represented his country at under-21 level. He was on the books of Bradford City as a youngster until he moved to Leeds United aged just 11. Having played just 43 games for Leeds at League One level and one at Championship level, he transferred to Premier League side Aston Villa in August 2009 for an undisclosed fee.


Leeds United

Born in Bradfordmarker on 21 November 1989, Delph started his career in football as a youngster at Bradford City. Delph left City in September 2001 to join Leeds United after he was recommended to their academy coach Greg Abbott by former Bradford manager Paul Jewell, whose son played with Delph. He went to Tong Secondary School, which he left in 2006 to sign a two-year scholarship with Leeds United, at the age of 16 years old. He completed his studies at the partner school to LUFC, Boston Spa Schoolmarker.In March 2008, Delph started his international career, making his debut as a substitute for the England Under-19s.

After a string of impressive performances in spring 2007, Delph was made captain of the Leeds Reserves. He was given his debut at Leeds as a substitute in the final match of the 2006–07 season against Derby County on 6 May 2007. He was awarded his first professional contract on 11 January 2008, and made two appearances for Leeds in the 2007–08 season, both as a substitute.

Delph impressed in the 2008–09 pre-season friendly against Barnet, earning praise from both manager Gary McAllister and former Leeds player Eddie Gray. He made his first League Cup start in Leeds' 5–2 win away at Chester City in the first round on 13 August 2008. Having gained more first-team experience, on 5 September 2008, Delph signed a new four year contract at Leeds. He celebrated his new contract by scoring his first senior goal the following day as Leeds defeated Crewe Alexandramarker 5–2. He soon followed it up by scoring twice, both "superb goals" from long range, against Walsall during a 3–0 win.

Delph's form attracted the attention of Premier League managers, with Arsenal's Arsene Wenger reported to be lining up a £6m bid for the midfielder, and Newcastle United having a bid rejected by Leeds chairman Ken Bates. His performances also prompted Stuart Pearce to give Delph his first call-up to the England under-21 squad in November 2008. He was a late substitute for Craig Gardner as England defeated Czech Republic to win his first under-21 cap on 18 November. During the January 2009 transfer window, Leeds rejected another two bids from Premier League for Delph, with Bates saying: "We explained to both clubs that we don't deal in petty cash." The following day he scored a "goal of genuine quality" against Brighton & Hove Albion by finding the top corner of the goal with a curling shot following a long run. Manager Simon Grayson said: "If he scores goals like that, his value is going to go up. It certainly won’t go down." Despite the attention of Premier League managers, Delph remained with Leeds as the January transfer window closed. By March 2009, his performances during the 2008–09 season earned Delph a nomination for the League One player of the year, which was won by Leicester City's Matty Fryatt, and helped him to win the young player of the year in the end of season Football League Awards. The awards for the 2008–09 season did not end there, with Delph winning young player of the season, goal of the season, for his strike against Brighton and player's player of the season at the club awards. After Leeds lost out in the playoff semi finals against Millwall, there was much speculation about Fabian's future at Leeds, however he did manage to play in Leeds' early pre season games, before ultimately Leeds turned down offfers from other clubs and Delph completed his move to Aston Villa.

Aston Villa

After Leeds failed to gain promotion from League One, several Premier League clubs including Everton, Manchester City, Fulham, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa were linked with Delph. On 3 August 2009, Villa agreed an undisclosed fee with Leeds United for the transfer of Delph to Villa Parkmarker. The transfer was concluded the following day after Delph completed a medical and agreed personal terms. On 8 August 2009, Delph made his debut in a friendly match against Fiorentina, which Aston Villa won 1–0.

Delph's full Premier League debut came at home against Wigan Athletic on 15 August 2009, the first day of the 2009-10 Premier League season. In a game that Villa lost 2–0, Delph received a yellow card and was replaced in the 61st minute by Steve Sidwell.

Personal life

When Delph played for Leeds United he lived in Tadcastermarker. On 23 December 2008, he was arrested by police and charged for drink driving in Rothwellmarker, Leedsmarker, while driving home with four friends. He pleaded guilty at Leeds Magistrates' Court to the charge of driving whilst over the limit; he was fined £1400, disqualified from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay costs of £60.



Football League Awards

PFA Awards

Club Awards
  • Leeds United Player of the Year Awards – 2008–09: Players' Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year, Goal of the Season (v Brighton away)



  1. Beckford and Delph win top awards, BBC Football, 15 April 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2009
  2. Leeds Deny Delph Link to Everton, BBC Football, 10 June 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2009
  3. Man City Move for Leeds Teenager, BBC Football, 1 August 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2009
  4. No Bids for Star Duo - Grayson, Sky Sports, 8 July 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2009
  5. Redknapp Hails Delph, Sky Sports, 26 July 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2009

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