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Matthew Anthony "Matt" Derbyshire (born 14 April 1986 in Blackburnmarker, Lancashiremarker) is an Englishmarker footballer currently playing for Olympiacos F.C..

Club career

Blackburn Rovers

Derbyshire joined his boyhood team Blackburn Rovers from local club Great Harwood Town in 2003 for a small fee, having scored 18 goals in nine appearances. He had previously worked in the club's community office, coaching young children. He rejected a move to Manchester United in favour of Blackburn as he felt his first team opportunities would be greater there.

He has had loan spells at Plymouth Argyle but did not manage to score in any of his 13 games, resulting in Mark Hughes ending the player's loan early. He then joined Wrexham on loan for the final three months of the season where he made a name for himself hitting the net on 10 occasions from 16 appearances.

He opened his senior goal account for the first team in a 3–0 against Wigan Athletic on 1 January 2007 before extending his tally further with the opener away to Everton in a 4–1 FA Cup Third Round victory on 7 January. He made his first Premiership start against Arsenal on the 13 January. He scored his third goal in four games against Manchester City on 20 January.

He continued his impressive form for Blackburn scoring two goals against Luton Town in the FA Cup 4th Round on 27 January and providing an assist for another. Derbyshire has also scored against Manchester United taking advantage of a Sam Whitton error and slotting the ball in to give Blackburn a 1–0 lead, although they went onto lose the match 4–1.

He finished his first Premier League season with 9 goals in all competitions, during 14 starts and 16 substitute appearances. In the 2008 season, Derbyshire scored in the first match of the season, against Middlesbrough, coming on as a substitute to score a winner for Blackburn, with the match ending with a 2–1 victory for Blackburn.

On 1 March 2008, he scored a late stoppage time winner against Newcastle United by slotting the ball past Steve Harper and on 20 September, he again scored another late winner against Fulham by putting away a poachers goal assisted by Roque Santa Cruz.

Olympiakos F.C.

On 28 January 2009, Derbyshire moved to Greekmarker champions Olympiacos on loan until the end of the 2008–09 season. He made his first appearance for the club as a substitute in the first leg of a Greek Cup match at PAOK's Toumba Stadiummarker. In the return match, his home debut, Derbyshire scored a goal in extra time, securing progress to the next round (Greek Cup, Semi-Finals 2008–09).

Matt Derbyshire made his Greek Super League debut on 14 February 2009 in a 2–1 home victory over Aris as a 80th minute substitute for Diogo Luis Santo. On 15 March 2009, Matt scored his first Greek Super League goal for Olympiacos in a 5–0 win over Iraklis with his first touch of the ball, after coming on for Luciano Galletti in 81st minute adding his second goal (and Olympiacos' fifth) just five minutes later. The following week he started the match against Panionios and played the whole 90 minutes, scoring in a 2–3 away win.

On 2 May 2009, Derbyshire played a pivotal role in the Greek Cup final against cross-city rivals AEK Athens. With Olympiakos 2-0 down, Derbyshire was brought on at half-time. Three minutes after coming on, Derbyshire scored for Olympiakos. The game then went to 2-2 before AEK Athens had seemingly scored the winning goal in stoppage time. However, with the last touch of the game, Derbyshire popped up to head in the equaliser in the sixth minute of added time, bringing the score to 3-3, after having suffered a concussion following a clash with an opponent. It was obvious during celebrations that he was not fully aware, and he stated afterwards that he realised he had scored from the cheers of fans. Olympiakos went on to win the match 15-14 on penalties, and Derbyshire was handed the Man of the match award for his efforts.On 18 June 2009, Blackburn Roversmarker and Olympiacos agreed a fee for the permanent transfer of Derbyshire to Greece. Derbyshire signed a four year contract with the Greek team on 23 June 2009.

International career

On 1 February 2007, Derbyshire was called up to the England Under-21 squad by new manager Stuart Pearce, for the match against Spain on 6 February. He was subsequently injured playing for Blackburn against Sheffield United on 3 February, and therefore missed joining up with the squad.

However, Derbyshire was fit enough to be included in England's Under-21 match against Italy at the new Wembley Stadium on 24 March. He scored England's third goal in a thrilling 3–3 draw. During the group stage of the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, he was the scorer of a controversial goal against the Serbian under-21 team. He did not kick the ball out when Serbian defender Slobodan Rajković was down injured and went on to score England's second goal of the game, proceeding to celebrate in taunting fashion; in his defence, Derbyshire claimed he did not see the injured player. He took part in the epic semi-final shootout against hosts Netherlands, scoring his first but having his second penalty saved as England lost 13–12. On 28 March 2009, Derbyshire played the second half for England as they beat Norway 5–0, scoring two goals.

Club career statistics

(correct as of 3 May 2009)


Club Season League Cup Europe/Others Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Blackburn Roversmarker 2004–05 1 0 - 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Plymouth 2005–06 12 0 2 1 0 - 0 0 0 13 0 2
Wrexham 2005–06 16 10 - 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 10 -
Blackburn Roversmarker 2006–07 22 5 2 6 4 1 2 0 0 30 9 3
2007–08 23 3 2 4 1 0 5 1 1 32 5 3
2008–09 17 2 0 5 3 2 0 0 0 22 5 2
Olympiacos 2008–09 7 5 0 4 3 0 2 0 0 13 8 0
Olympiacos 2009–10 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Career total 128 37 10


Honours

Personal life

On 27 February 2008, Derbyshire's Irish fiancé, Melissa Norman, gave birth to twin boys, Callum and Braidín.

References

  1. Matt's England expectations, rovers.co.uk, accessed 22 June 2007.
  2. Statistics, soccernet.espn.go.com, accessed 21 September 2008.
  3. Includes FA Cup, League Cup and FA Community Shield


External links




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