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Matthew James Upson (born 18 April 1979) is an Englishmarker football player who plays for West Ham United. He is a central defender and the current captain having taken over after the departure of Lucas Neill.

Club career

Luton Town

Upson was born in Hartismeremarker, Suffolk. He joined Luton Town as a trainee in 1994. He signed professional forms in April 1996, making his sole appearance for the senior team against Rotherham United in August 1996.

Arsenal

He joined Arsenal in May 1997 in a £2 million deal. However, faced with the longevity of Arsenal's existing centre backs, Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Martin Keown, and struck by injury problems of his own, Upson rarely had a chance to break into the first team. After spending a year out of the game recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained in 1999, Upson only made a handful of first team appearance for Arsenal, in between loan spells at Nottingham Forest in 2000 and Crystal Palace in 2001.

In 2001–02, his final full season at Arsenal however, Upson did make 22 appearances; these included 14 in the league, earning him a Premier League winners' medal, but a broken leg in February 2002 ruled him out for the rest of the season and Arsenal's FA Cup-winning run as they won the Double. After recovering from his broken leg, Upson joined Reading in September 2002 on a three-month loan. It was at Reading where Upson scored his first professional career goal, in a 3-1 loss at Cambridge United in the League Cup. With Arsenal's newly-established centre back pairing of Sol Campbell and Kolo Touré keeping him out of the side, he was bought by Birmingham City in January 2003. He played 57 times for Arsenal in all competitions, never scoring.

Birmingham City

Birmingham City completed the signing of Upson from Arsenal in January 2003, for a fee of £1 million rising to £3 million depending on appearances.

He suffered a leg injury whilst preparing for the local derby against Aston Villa in April 2006 and subsequently missed the rest of the season as Birmingham City were relegated to The Championship. Upson remained with the club while he worked on regaining his fitness and returned to action in December in the Blues' 3–0 victory over Plymouth Argyle, scoring the second of the three goals.

West Ham United



On 18 January 2007, Birmingham rejected West Ham United's bid for Upson of £4 million, also rejecting an improved bid of £6 million a few days later. An offer of £6 million, with the potential to rise to £7.5 million depending on appearances, was accepted on the last day of the transfer window, and Upson agreed a four-and-a-half-year contract with West Ham. Birmingham City's manager Steve Bruce later claimed that he did not want to sell Upson, but was forced to do so by the club's Managing Director Karren Brady.

Upson suffered a calf injury less than 30 minutes into his West Ham United debut against Aston Villa, which West Ham lost 0–1. He then lasted just 11 minutes of his comeback game before coming off injured against Tottenham Hotspur in a 4–3 loss at Upton Parkmarker in March 2007.

Upson completed his first full game for West Ham in the 2–0 home defeat to Manchester City in August 2007. One week later he made his first appearance as West Ham captain in the 1–0 away win against former club Birmingham City. On 29 December 2007 Upson scored his first goal in West Ham colours when he headed in the winning goal against Premier League champions Manchester United.

In July 2008, Upson's squad number of 6 was retired by the club in memory of Bobby Moore, after which he took the number 15 shirt. In August 2009, following the departure of Lucas Neill, Upson was appointed captain of West Ham.

International career

Upson won twelve caps for the England U21 team and scored two goals. His performances for Birmingham City in the 2002–03 season led to his selection for the England senior squad and he made his debut for England against South Africa in May 2003. He won seven full caps while a Birmingham player.

Upson was named in Fabio Capello's first provisional England squad for the February 2008 friendly against Switzerland at Wembleymarker. He was named in the starting line-up to partner Rio Ferdinand, winning his eighth England cap nearly four years after his last appearance. He was named in the starting line-up against Kazakhstan for his 10th cap, after John Terry picked up an injury, playing for the full 90 minutes.

Upson scored his first goal for England on 19 November 2008 in a friendly match against Germany. The match finished 2–1 to England and Upson picked up ITV's man of the match award.

International goals

Scores and results list England's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Scored
1 19 Nov 2008 Olympic Stadiummarker, Berlinmarker 1–0 2–1 Friendly match 1


Honours

Arsenal


References

  1. Upson sets captain's example www.whufc.com


External links




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