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Nathan Levi Fontaine Ellington (born 2 July 1981 in Bradfordmarker, West Yorkshire) is an Englishmarker professional footballer. He is a striker and currently plays for Championship side Watford.

Playing career

Non-league and Bristol Rovers

Ellington began his career with non-league Tooting and Mitcham United F.C., making 1 first team appearance at 16 years of age. He played regularly for the youth team there, but was frustrated by a lack of first team chances, so he moved to Walton & Hersham, before moving to Bristol Rovers in February 1999 for £150,000. He made his professional debut on 23 February 1999, coming on as a second-half substitute for Jamie Cureton in a 1–0 home defeat to Gillingham. He came off the bench to score his first goal on 6 March 1999, helping his team to a 2–0 win over York City. He found a growing reputation with the side, and his highest point for Rovers was scoring a hat-trick in a 3–1 win against Premiership team Derby County in the FA Cup, on 6 January 2002. This was the first time a team from the Third Division had beaten a Premiership team in the FA Cup. It was also the second of three hat-tricks scored by Ellington for Rovers, with all three coming within the space of a month. He was named in the PFA Division Three team of the year for 2001-02.

Wigan Athletic

On 28 March 2002 - transfer deadline day - Ellington signed for Paul Jewell's Wigan Athletic for a then club record fee of £1.2 million. He made an instant impact, scoring on his debut in a 2–1 win at Chesterfield on 6 April 2002. He also scored on his home debut a week later as Wigan beat Northampton Town 3–0. His only hat-trick for Wigan came against West Bromwich Albion in a 3–1 League Cup victory on 2 October 2002, his second career hat-trick against Premiership opposition. He notably scored the last ever goal in Wimbledon F.C.'s final game at Selhurst Parkmarker before their rebranding and relocation to Milton Keynes, during Wigan's 2–4 victory in September, 2003. He was named Division One player of the month for February 2004. Ellington was a major factor in the club's promotion to the Premiership in the 2004–05 season, the first time they had reached the top flight in their history. He was the leading scorer in the Football League Championship and formed a formidable partnership with Jason Roberts, with whom he had previously played at Bristol Rovers. Both players were named in the PFA Championship team of the season. Ellington became one of the more desirable properties in English football, and joined West Bromwich Albion on 16 August 2005 for £3,000,001. With the player unable to agree a new contract with Wigan, Albion used a clause in his existing contract that allowed him to leave for any fee over £3m.

West Bromwich Albion

Ellington made his West Brom (and Premier League) debut in a 4–0 away defeat at Chelsea on 24 August 2005, replacing Jonathan Greening in the second half. He scored twice in a 4–1 League Cup win against Bradford City on 20 September 2005, his first goals for the club. He generally struggled in his first ever season in the Premier League, as his season was damaged by a series of niggling injuries and a shoulder problem, but he still managed to score eight goals. Ellington's first Premiership goals came in the 4–0 win against Everton; he scored a goal in either half by a penalty and a long range shot. He became quite unpopular with the West Brom fans towards the end of the same season because of his complaint of a "bruised toe", and his refusal to have painkilling injections to help him through such a minor complaint. He almost redeemed himself near the end of the season though, when he scored for Albion in the 1–1 draw with Birmingham and almost went on to score the winner as a substitute, unfortunately hitting the woodwork. In June 2006, West Bromwich Albion rejected an undisclosed offer for Ellington from his former club Wigan Athletic, insisting that the player was "not for sale".

After failing to settle in the area, Ellington submitted a transfer request in the 2007 January transfer window, which was reluctantly accepted by West Bromwich Albion. However, Albion chairman Jeremy Peace qualified this by stating that "...no-one will leave unless it suits us." Ellington was also still seen as an important part of the squad by manager Tony Mowbray. Wigan Athletic again expressed an interest in re-signing the player, but failed to meet Albion's valuation. Ellington therefore remained at the Midlands club, returning to the first team at the start of February after a month out due to a stress-related illness. Ellington won West Brom's official goal of the season competition for 2006–07, for his dipping, swerving half volley against Cardiff City, scored in a 1–0 win on 20 February 2007. One week after that goal, he received the first red card of his career, for a dangerous tackle on Middlesbrough's Stuart Parnaby. Albion subsequently lost the 5th round FA Cup replay on penalties. Ellington featured regularly towards the end of the season, helping Albion reach the play-offs, but in the play-off games he was used only as a substitute. Albion lost 1–0 to Derby County in the final at Wembley.

Ellington's only goal for Albion in 2007–08 came in a 2–0 win away at Peterborough United in the League Cup on 28 August 2007. It proved to be his last game for the club, as he signed for Watford the following day. In all he scored 20 goals in 81 appearances for West Bromwich Albion.

Watford

On 29 August 2007, Ellington joined Watford on a four-year deal. Watford paid a club record £3.25 million for the striker, a fee that could rise to £4.25m depending on appearances. He made his Watford debut three days later, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 2–0 win over Ipswich Town, hitting the post a few minutes after entering the field. Ellington initially found it difficult to command a place in the Watford starting line-up due to the excellent form of Darius Henderson and Marlon King, and his his first goal for Watford didn't come until he scored in a 1–1 draw against Charlton Athletic on 19 January 2008, and went on to score a further 2 goals in 3 games, but then didn't score again until 5 April against Coventry, his last of the season. Ellington made 34 league appearances, 18 of them starts, scoring 4 goals.Nathan Ellington confirmed that he in fact a Watford season ticket holder and has gone to games as a fan.

Derby County

Derby County signed Ellington on 30 May 2008 on a season long loan, with a view to him joining the Rams permanently on a free transfer at the end of the season, in a move that re-united the player with manager Paul Jewell. Ellington had a successful pre-season with the Rams, scoring three times in seven matches. He made his debut for the club against Doncaster Rovers on 9 August 2008, and scored his first three goals for the club with a hattrick against Lincoln City in the Football League Cup on 12 August 2008. He scored his first league goal for the club in the 2-1 victory away to Norwich City. Ellington scored a penalty in the ninety-third minute against Stoke City in the quarter-finals of the competition, which sent Derby into the semi-finals for the first time in 40 years. His final goals in a Derby shirt came against Charlton Athletic on 15 December, scoring a brace to level the game at 2-2. Ellington made only 5 more appearances before the end of the season, just 2 of them coming under new Derby manager Nigel Clough, and both of them substitute appearances. After scoring 3 league goals in 27 games, Clough decided not to take up the option of signing Ellington, and he returned to Watford.

Personal life

In 2004, Ellington married a Bosnianmarker woman. In an interview with The Daily Mail, Ellington acknowledged being a Muslim, even stating that he made that clear to Watford before signing. In the past few years he has visited his wife's country of origin and since then Ellington has expressed interest in playing for the Bosnian national team. He is nicknamed The Duke after legendary jazz musician Duke Ellington. Ellington is from a sporting family; his older brother Lee Ellington is also a footballer.

Honours



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