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James "Jamie" Carragher (born 28 January 1978) is an Englishmarker footballer who plays as a defender for Premier League side Liverpool. He is the current vice-captain and is one of the club's longest-serving players; he made his 500th appearance for Liverpool in all competitions in January 2008.

Carragher started his career with the Liverpool youth team. He made his professional debut in the 1996–97 season and became a first team regular the following season. He gained his first senior honours in 2001, winning a cup treble of the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup. Having initially played as a full back, the arrival of manager Rafael Benítez in 2004 saw Carragher move to the centre back position and that season he won his greatest honour to date—the UEFA Champions League. In the next season, he won the FA Cup and was selected in the PFA Team of the Year. Carragher set a record for the most appearances in European competition for Liverpool in 2007.

Internationally, Carragher held the national record for most caps at under-21 level and earned his senior debut in 1999. Although he competed at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup, he failed to pin down a first team place in the England national team. Frustrated with being used as cover for the defensive positions, Carragher decided to retire from international football in 2007, finishing with 34 senior England caps. He released his autobiography, Carra, in 2008.

Club career

Born James Lee Duncan Carragher in Bootlemarker, Merseyside, Carragher attended the former FA school of excellence in Lilleshallmarker in his youth. Although he supported Everton F.C. as a child, he chose to join Merseyside rivals Liverpool and was a member of their FA Youth Cup winning team in 1996 along with his friend Michael Owen. He signed a professional contract in October 1996 and then made his first team debut under Roy Evans' management three months later in the second leg of the Coca Cola Cup semi-final against Middlesbrough, coming on as a substitute for Rob Jones. Next came his Premiership debut, again coming on as a substitute, against West Ham. He then started the next game against Aston Villa and marked the occasion with his first goal (a header in front of the Kop) in a 3-0 win to temporarily take the side to the top of the table, but Liverpool finished the season in fourth place. In the 1997–98 season, Carragher broke into the first team, making twenty Premier League appearances. The following season he cemented his place in the first-team squad, missing just four league games all season, and Kevin Keegan awarded him his first full international cap.

Throughout his early years he was essentially used as a utility player, spending time as a centre-half, right and left full-back and defensive midfield. Because of this he would be deployed to fill in wherever there was a hole, ultimately harming his ability to hold down a first team position of his own. In 1999–2000 he played mainly as a right-back, this season saw one of Carragher's darkest Liverpool moments as he scored 2 own goals in 3-2 home defeat to Manchester United, then in 2000–01 he made the left-back position his own. 2001 also saw Carragher gain his first senior trophies: the FA Cup, UEFA Cup, League Cup (scoring in the shootout in the final against Birmingham), Community Shield and European Super Cup.

He hit the headlines in January 2002 during an FA Cup tie against Arsenal, when he threw a coin back into the stands that had been tossed at him. Carragher earned a red card and a disrepute charge from The Football Association. From 2002 till 2004 Carragher was hit by two serious injuries, firstly missing the 2002 FIFA World Cup for an operation on his troublesome knee and later due to a broken leg in the first half of the 2003–04 season after a tackle by Blackburn'smarker Lucas Neill at Ewood Parkmarker in the Reds' fifth game of the season. During this period, Carragher's place in the team was also threatened by signings of Steve Finnan and John Arne Riise. However, he succeeded in retaining his place in the team, making 24 appearances in the first half of 2004.



The 2004–05 season was a career defining one for Carragher. New manager Rafael Benítez moved him to centre-half where he managed 56 appearances alongside Sami Hyypiä. Carragher shrugged off the utility tag and established himself as a centre half. Carragher developed a reputation as a strong and positionally astute defender. His partnership with Hyypiä was central in Liverpool's 2004-2005 UEFA Champions League victory. One of the most memorable moments of the match was when Carragher made two vital last ditch intercept into extra time whilst suffering from cramp. Carragher was voted as Liverpool's player of the year at the end of the campaign. He later went on to captain the team in their 2005 UEFA Super Cup victory over CSKA Moscow.

On 13 May 2006, Carragher played in the FA Cup final against West Ham. It was his tenth final in as many years of club football. He scored an own goal in the 21st minute, but Liverpool went on to win 3–1 on penalties after the match finished 3–3 after extra-time.

On 9 December 2006, Carragher scored his first league goal since January 1999, in a match against Fulhammarker at Anfieldmarker. His central defence partner Daniel Agger flicked the ball on from a corner, and Carragher slid the ball under Fulham keeper Jan Lastuvka at the far post. The goal was only his fourth in his Liverpool career.

In Liverpool's Champions League semi-final second leg against Chelsea on 1 May 2007, Carragher set a record for the most appearances in European competition for the club. His 90th European match took him past Ian Callaghan's 89 matches between 1964 and 1978. Carragher was voted as Liverpool's Player of the Year for the 2006–07 season by the fans and soon after extended his contract till 2011. That season also saw Carragher's international retirement, with the defender citing frustration with a lack of appearances under Steve McClaren.

The 2007–08 season saw Carragher reach his 500th appearance for Liverpool. He was made captain for this match. He currently stands at 9th in the all time Liverpool appearances table in all competitions, just behind Alan Hansen.

On 18 May 2009, in the match against West Bromwich Albion, Carragher was involved in an on-field clash with fellow defender Álvaro Arbeloa and the twosome to be separated by teammates Xabi Alonso, Daniel Agger and others. Manager Rafael Benítez refused to comment any further on the matter. The former England defender later explained, "We want to keep a clean sheet and we want Pepe to have a chance of the Golden Glove for the third season running."

During the 2009/10 season, Carragher made a slow start and many questioned of his performances and whether he should remain in the starting line-up. He however put a solid performance against Manchester United on the 25th October 2009, keeping a clean sheet and silencing his critics.

On 31 October 2009, Carragher was sent off in a game against Fulham, this was his first red card in more than seven years.

International career

In 1996, Carragher had his first appearance for the England under-21 team. Playing as a defensive midfielder, he became a regular for the team, and eventually captain. In 2000, when he became ineligible for the team, he held the national record for most caps at this level, with 27. The record was eclipsed in 2007 by goalkeeper Scott Carson.

On 28 April 1999 he earned his first cap for the senior England team, as a substitute against Hungary. He made his full international début against Holland at White Hart Lanemarker in 2001, and later came on as a substitute as England famously beat Germany 5-1 in the Olympiastadionmarker. Carragher missed the 2002 World Cup through injury, but travelled with England to Euro 2004. He eventually ended up with no playing time, losing out to Ledley King when a vacancy opened up. He was selected for the England squad for the 2006 World Cup in Germanymarker, and was not in the original starting eleven, but came into the team after Gary Neville suffered an injury.

Carragher has played centre-back, right-back, left-back, and in the defensive midfield for England. Despite his many caps and regular squad appearances, he has never held down a consistent place in the starting eleven. Former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson generally used two central defenders from John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Sol Campbell in preference to Carragher, but occasionally used Carragher as right-back as deputy for Gary Neville, as he did during the 2006 World Cup.

On 1 July 2006 Carragher was one of three players to have a penalty saved by Ricardo Pereira, as England yet again succumbed on penalties to exit the 2006 World Cup in the quarter finals against Portugal. Carragher, who had been brought on as a substitute for Aaron Lennon late in he game, scored with his first attempt but was forced to re-take his penalty by the referee, who had not blown his whistle. Carragher then saw his second effort saved.

On 9 July 2007 it was reported that Carragher was considering quitting the England squad. TalkSport host Adrian Durham accused Carragher of "bottling it." Carragher confirmed on the show that he was indeed thinking about retirement, but he had already had two talks with England head coach Steve McClaren and would leave it until the upcoming match against Germany to decide.

Carragher did subsequently retire from International football. McClaren attempted to persuade him to return to the International setup on at least one occasion, whilst McClaren's replacement Fabio Capello has reportedly suggested that he would be happy to consider Carragher. Carragher's responses have suggested that he would not respond positively to any offers of a call-up. Carragher was said to have been unhappy at the failure of successive England managers to pick him at centre-back, preferring to use him as cover along the back four and even as a holding midfielder.

Personal life

Carragher was an ardent supporter of Everton in his childhood and his teens. However, he states that an incident in 1999 brought an end to his desire to support the team: Manchester United defeated Liverpool in the FA Cup and he returned, demoralised, to his local pub in Bootle. His friends taunted him about the loss and he chose to stop being an Everton supporter, later saying: "that did it for me. I couldn't take it any more. People who I thought loved me, were getting off on my misery."

Carragher received the freedom of his home borough of Sefton for his local charity work and "the exceptional example he sets to the youth of today." He occasionally visits schools as part of his charity work, promoting the importance of family life.

Carragher is married to his childhood sweetheart, Nicola Hart, and has two children; James and Mia.

Carragher has no navel due to having been born with gastroschisis.

Controversy

On 28 February 2008, Carragher was arrested and cautioned for assault outside a school near his home in Crosby. Liverpool refused to comment.

On September 11, 2008, Carragher's biography, Carra, was released, but controversial excerpts were leaked to the press beforehand. In one instance, Carragher claimed that his close friends were looking to assault West Ham United's Australian defender Lucas Neill. He also claimed that the incident was averted only because Neill was in the company of David Thompson, one of Carragher's former teammates, who Carragher did not want to "become a witness to an assault." Carragher sent a text to Thompson, "telling him Neill should give him a hug of thanks," suggesting had Thompson not been there, Neill would have faced an assault.

There was a popular rumour circling Merseyside for years prior to the release of Carragher's autobiography, that Jamie sported an Everton tattoo on his right arm, and that this was why Jamie always wore long sleeved Liverpool shirts. This rumour was proven untrue by the release of Jamie's autobiography.

Carragher claimed he launched a deliberate hard tackle in a practice session against former Liverpool teammate Rigobert Song because of the latter's perceived mockery of Carragher's defending. "Song walked on to the training pitch with a smile on his face. He was limping off it with a grimace an hour later. The first chance I got, I did him. Never have I hunted down a 50-50 tackle with greater appetite. 'You're not fucking laughing now, are you, you soft cunt?' I said as he hobbled away."

He stated that, though he was fully committed when playing for England, international defeats did not affect him as much as club defeats with Liverpool did.

Career statistics

Correct as of 30 November 2009



Honours

Liverpool



Individual



References

  1. Biography for Jamie Carragher. IMDB. Retrieved on 2009-08-09.
  2. Carragher: I should know how desperate Liverpool are for the title - The last time they won it I was an Everton fan!. The Daily Mail (2008-12-22). Retrieved on 2009-08-09.
  3. Carra explains Arbeloa exchange
  4. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8316379.stm
  5. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8330334.stm
  6. BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | McClaren fails in Carragher bid
  7. Reade, Brian (2008-09-02). Jamie Carragher exclusive: I want to be Liverpool's manager.. I just hope Fergie's still around to be knocked off his perch. The Daily Mirror. Retrieved on 2009-08-09.
  8. Carragher on family life. BBC Sport (2008-10-08). Retrieved on 2009-05-17.
  9. Jamie Carragher | Assault rap | Gets police caution | The Sun |HomePage|News
  10. http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/2008/09/04/lucas-neill-s-lucky-escape-after-breaking-jamie-carragher-s-leg-115875-20723400/
  11. Carragher, Jamie. Carra: My Autobiography. Bantam Press, 2008. ISBN 0593061020
  12. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1052062/HATCHET-MAN-Liverpools-Jamie-Carragher-Song-went-hardly-tough-guy.html
  13. Jamie Carragher autobiography: I'd just missed a penalty in the World Cup quarters but thought .. I'd rather miss for England than Liverpool FC. The Daily Mirror (2008-09-03). Retrieved on 2009-02-12.
  14. Includes 2001 FA Charity Shield
  15. Includes two appearances in the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship
  16. Includes 2006 FA Community Shield
  17. Plus four other matches
  18. Plus four other matches


External links



1996–97 Liverpool Premier League 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 1
1997–98 20 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 23 0
1998–99 34 1 2 0 2 0 6 0 44 1
1999–00 36 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 40 0
2000–01 34 0 6 0 6 0 12 0 58 0
2001–02 33 0 2 0 1 0 16 0 53 0
2002–03 35 0 3 0 5 0 11 0 54 0
2003–04 22 0 3 0 0 0 4 0 29 0
2004–05 38 0 0 0 3 0 15 0 56 0
2005–06 36 0 6 0 0 0 13 1 57 1
2006–07 35 1 1 0 1 0 13 0 51 1
2007–08 35 0 4 0 3 0 13 0 55 0
2008–09 38 0 3 0 1 0 12 0 54 0
2009–10 13 0 0 0 1 0 5 0 19 0
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