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Sulzeer Jeremiah "Sol" Campbell (born 18 September 1974) is an Englishmarker professional football player last attached to Notts County. A central defender, Campbell has also played for the English domestic clubs Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Portsmouth, as well as the English national team.

Born in East Londonmarker to Jamaicanmarker parents, Campbell's professional debut was at age 18 for FA Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur in December 1992. Campbell spent nine years at Tottenham, scoring 10 goals in 255 appearances, and captaining the team to victory in the 1999 Football League Cup Final against Premier League side Leicester City. In 2001 he controversially joined Tottenham's North London derby rivals Arsenal, the first high profile free transfer in the Premier League under the Bosman ruling. In his five years and 135 appearances at Arsenal he won two Premier League winners medals and three FA Cup winners medals, encompassing the 2001-02 League and FA Cup double, and being part of the team that became known as The Invincibles for their undefeated 2003-04 Premier League campaign. Campbell was also part of the side that lost 2-1 to Barcelona in the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final. In August 2006 he joined Premier League side Portsmouth on a free transfer; his three years with the club included captaining them to success in the 2008 FA Cup Final against Championship side Cardiff City.

At the end of the 2008-09 season he made the surprise move of dropping down three levels of the English football pyramid to join League Two side Notts County on a free transfer, signing a five year deal at the club where his former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson had recently become Director of Football. In another surprise however, in September 2009 Campbell left the club by mutual consent, having played just one game.

Campbell gained his first full England cap for the England national football team aged 21. In May 1998 Campbell became what was then England's second-youngest captain, after Bobby Moore, aged 23 years 248 days. Campbell's first and only goal for England came in the 2002 World Cup in the opening group game against Sweden. In 2006 Campbell become the only player to have represented England in six consecutive major tournaments, playing in the tournament stages of the 1996, 2000 and 2004 European Championships, and the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups, and he has a career total of 73 England caps. He was named in the official Teams of the Tournament for the 2002 World Cup and 2004 European Championship.

Campbell's honours in the game include being in the Professional Footballers' Association Team of the Year three times, in 1999, 2003 and 2004.

Early life

Campbell was born in Stratfordmarker to Jamaicanmarker parents Sewell and Wihelmina. He was the youngest of twelve children, nine of which were boys. His father Sewell was a railway worker and his mother Wihelmina was a Ford factory worker. Despite growing up in a rough neighborhood, Campbell veered away from a life of crime due to his strict parents.

"I became a recluse within my own house. I became insular because at home there was no space to grow or to evolve, everything was tight and there was no room to breathe. People don't realise how that affects you as a kid. I wasn't allowed to speak, so my expression was football."

Campbell attended the Portway Primary School in Stratford, London. He was a prodigious schoolboy talent and was part-educated at the FA's School of Excellence at Lilleshallmarker, where he met table tennis player and later football agent Sky Andrew. Campbell signed for Tottenham Hotspur, where he began his career as a striker.

Club career

Tottenham Hotspur

Campbell made his first team debut for Tottenham in December 1992, scoring a goal after coming on as a substitute for Nick Barmby, though he did not appear again that season. He played up front and in every defensive position over the course of the next two seasons before settling as a central defender. As club captain Gary Mabbutt's appearances became more limited because of injury and age, Campbell became Spurs' linchpin defender.

He was entering the last year of his contract with Spurs. Although Campbell successfully captained his side to a League Cup final win over Leicester City in 1998-99, Spurs never finished better than seventh during Campbell's time there. This denied him his wish to play at Europe's top level, the Champions League.

In the summer of 2001 Campbell's contract expired. Mindful of the Bosman ruling, Tottenham offered him a contract which would have made him the club's highest paid player ever, but after months of negotiations and several public assurances that he would stay at Spurs, Campbell stated his wish to leave the club in order to play Champions League football. Several top European clubs expressed interest in signing him, but he joined Arsenal — Tottenham's biggest rivals — on a free transfer. Campbell had previously stated in an interview with Spurs Monthly magazine that he would never play for Arsenal.

Ever since, he has been labelled "Judas" by Spurs supporters. Years later the bitterness from Spurs supporters remained; in January 2009, four Tottenham Hotspur fans were banned from every football ground in England and Wales for three years after being found guilty of chanting an offensive song containing indecent language aimed at Campbell. The following month, the Daily Mail listed Campbell Number 1 in a list of "Football's Biggest Traitors".


In his first season at Arsenal (2001-02), Campbell enjoyed immediate success, as he won both FA Premier League and FA Cup winners' medals as Arsenal won the Double. During the season, Sol was partnered at the back by either Tony Adams or Martin Keown.

In 2002-03, Campbell maintained his Arsenal and England place, but an injury he suffered towards the end of the season curtailed the Gunners' title chances and he also missed their successful retention of the FA Cup due to a suspension brought on by a red card against Manchester United. The following season Campbell regained his place and his defensive performances were instrumental as he helped Arsenal regain the Premier League title without losing a single game.

Campbell continued to play for Arsenal, winning an FA Cup winners' medal in 2004-05.

In the 2005-06 season, Campbell was blighted both with injuries and a loss of form. In Arsenal's 3-2 home loss to West Ham United on 1 February, Campbell was largely responsible for West Ham's first two goals, before being substituted at half-time. Unusually, he then left the stadium, not staying to watch the second half. His team-mate Robert Pirès commented that Campbell was facing a "big worry" in relation to his private life, and Campbell did not make any contact with the club for several days. However, he resumed training with his team-mates on 6 February and after 10 weeks away from first team action made his return in a draw away to Portsmouth on 13 April, although he sustained a broken nose in the process and had a short layoff while it was operated on.

He was back playing on 25 April in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Villarreal in Spain; a 0-0 draw on the night put the Gunners into the final. In the Champions League final at the Stade de Francemarker in Paris, Campbell scored the opening goal, a header from a free kick taken from Thierry Henry after a foul on Emmanuel Eboue. However ten-man Arsenal went on to lose 2-1 to Barcelona. Sol Campbell also holds the distinction alongside Teddy Sheringham, Steve McManaman, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard as one of 5 Englishmen to have scored in the UEFA Champions League Final.

On 8 July 2006, Arsenal announced that Campbell had parted ways with the club in order to seek "a fresh challenge". He made 197 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 11 goals, in all competitions.

In 2008 Campbell was voted 15th in the "Gunners' Greatest 50 Players" poll.


Campbell before a match in 2008

On 8 August 2006 he completed his move to Premier League team Portsmouth, signing a two year contract. This was seen by Wenger as a surprising decision, as Campbell signalled that he might move abroad; although Campbell admitted to keeping his options open. His time at Portsmouth started well, forming a successful partnership in the centre of defence with Linvoy Primus and helping them keep five consecutive clean sheets. He scored his first Portsmouth goal in the 3–1 win over Sheffield United on 23 December 2006.

He was named as captain for the 2007–08 season by Harry Redknapp. He signed a new two year contact with the club. He led Pompey out as captain at Wembley Stadiummarker in the 2008 FA Cup Final, which they won 1–0 against Cardiff City.

Notts County

Campbell left Portsmouth in July 2009, when his contract expired, and signed a five-year deal with League Two side Notts County the following month. Campbell said that Notts, who had recently been the subject of a takeover by a Middle Eastern consortium, were the best club for "where I am at the moment in my life", and that the recent appointment of ex-England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson (whom he played under at international level) as director of football played a "big role" in his decision. Two of his former managers, Arsène Wenger (Arsenal) and Harry Redknapp (Tottenham Hotspur), expressed their surprise on seeing Campbell sign for a League Two club. Campbell made his debut for County in the 2–1 defeat to Morecambe at Christie Parkmarker on 19 September. On 22 September 2009 Campbell walked out on Notts County, and his contract was cancelled by mutual consent the following day. He had made just one appearance for the club.The FA has since told Campbell that he cannot play for another club until January.

International career

He made his international début as a substitute against Hungary on 18 May 1996. Although he had only one cap by the time Terry Venables selected his squad for Euro 96, Campbell made the squad as defensive cover. He won his second cap in England's 2-0 Group Stage match against Scotland, again as a substitute.

Over the next two years, under new manager Glenn Hoddle, Campbell became a regular member of England's defence, partnering Gareth Southgate and Tony Adams. On 29 May 1998, aged 23 years and 248 days, Campbell became England's second-youngest captain after Bobby Moore in a 0-0 draw against Belgium, though Michael Owen has subsequently overtaken Campbell after captaining England against Paraguay in April 2002. Campbell started all four of England's matches in the 1998 World Cup.

During the 1998 World Cup, Campbell was involved in a highly controversial incident in England's second round clash against Argentina. With fewer than ten minutes to go, the score was 2-2 and England were down to ten men after David Beckham was sent off. Campbell headed a corner into the Argentinian net. He wheeled away to celebrate his first international goal, which looked likely to put England into the quarter-finals, but the referee ruled that Alan Shearer had illegally contacted the goalkeeper and disallowed the goal. Campbell was still in the corner of the pitch dancing round the corner flag as Argentina restarted the game and counter-attacked. England eventually lost the game on penalties.

Campbell was England's first choice centre-back throughout the successful qualification campaign for Euro 2000 and played in all three group games at the tournament, which England exited after defeat by Romania.

After the retirement of Tony Adams, Campbell partnered Rio Ferdinand in England's successful qualification campaign for the 2002 World Cup tournament to be held in Korea and Japan. He scored his first international goal at ththis tournament, in the opening group game against Sweden. The game ended 1-1, but in their next match England beat Argentina 1-0. Campbell's partnership with Rio Ferdinand was an integral part of a strong defensive performance throughout the tournament, and he was the only England player to be named in the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team. England progressed to the quarter finals, where they lost to eventual winners Brazil.

Campbell maintained his place in the centre of defence as he took part in England's successful qualification campaign for Euro 2004. During the tournament, Campbell had a late goal disallowed as England fought to make progress in their quarter-final clash with hosts Portugal, with the score tied at 1-1, Campbell won a header in the opposition six-yard box to score what seemed to be a late winner for England. However, the referee, Urs Meier, decided that John Terry had pushed Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo and gave a free kick. The game ended 2-2 after extra time, and England lost the penalty shoot-out. Meier received threats to his life afterwards and felt forced to retire for his own safety.

Campbell continued to play for England after Euro 2004, although his place in the international team had become less secure since the emergence of the central defensive partnership of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, which blossomed during Campbell's period of absence with injury in 2005. Nevertheless, in October 2005 he won his 66th cap and earned himself (jointly) a place in the top 20 most capped England players.

Campbell was named in England's squad for the 2006 World Cup, but was third-choice centre back, with coach Sven-Göran Eriksson preferring the partnership of Ferdinand and Terry. However, after a knock to Ferdinand, Campbell came on as a substitute in England's group game against Sweden, which made him the first player to represent England on the pitch at six consecutive international tournaments. As of 20 June 2006 he had played 69 times for England, scoring one goal. After Sven Goran Eriksson's resignation, new coach, Steve McClaren, choose to look elsewhere for central defensive strength and was dropped for his first game in charge against Greece in August 2006.

After a great first season at Pompey, ahead of England's friendly with Germany, after injuries to Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Dawson along with Jamie Carragher retiring from international football, Campbell was recalled to the national team a year after being dropped by head coach Steve McClaren. However, an injury forced him to pull out of the squad for the fixture.

McClaren recalled a fit Campbell for England's Euro 2008 qualifiers against Estonia and Russia in October 2007. This time, Campbell was selected for the game and won his 70th cap after Terry suffered a knee injury in training. Campbell played three more times under McClaren as England's qualification campaign failed and the coach was dismissed.

New coach Fabio Capello did not select Campbell for his first squad in January 2008. Campbell currently has 73 caps and still retains hopes of making it to England's squad for the 2010 World Cup along with former team mates Gary Neville, David Beckham and Owen Hargreaves. If Campbell makes it to the World Cup, this will be his seventh major tournament for his country.


Club statistics

International goals
Scores and results list England's goal tally first.


Campbell made an un-credited appearance in Guy Ritchie's film Snatch, as a bouncer at an un-licenced boxing fight. He has also appeared on ITV's Footballer's Wivesas himself.

Personal Life

After leaving the Spurs in 2001, the Englishman endured verbal abuse from Hotspurs fans in the form of chants. One such chant was " Sol, Sol, wherever you may be, Not long now til lunacy, And we couldn't give a f***, When you're hanging from a tree, Judas c*** with HIV. During his career, he was plagued with rumors of homosexualitydespite being heterosexual. Campbell along with his family have struggled with the hate-campaigns. Campbell's brother John was jailed in 2005 after assaulting a man who called his brother gay.

In 2006, following the death of his father, break up with Kelly Hoppen, and the conception of his son Joseph with former girlfriend Janet Tyler, Sol went missing. He worried friends and family. It emerged that he suffered depression.

In 2008, he began dating interior designer, Fiona Baratt. The two are now engaged.






  • FIFA World Cup Team of the Tournament: 2002
  • UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 2004
  • PFA Team of the Year: 1998-99, 2002-03, 2003-04


  3. http//
  4. Sol Campbell profile at IMDB

External links

1992–93 Tottenham Hotspur Premier League 1 1 - - - 1 1
1993–94 34 0 4 0 2 0 - 40 0
1994–95 30 0 4 0 4 1 - 38 1
1995–96 31 1 4 0 4 0 - 39 1
1996–97 38 0 1 0 4 1 - 43 1
1997–98 34 0 3 1 3 0 - 40 1
1998–99 37 6 7 0 8 2 - 52 8
1999–2000 29 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 35 0
2000–01 21 2 5 0 1 0 - 27 2
2001–02 Arsenal Premier League 31 2 7 1 - 10 0 48 3
2002–03 33 2 5 1 - 10 0 48 3
2003–04 35 1 5 0 - 9 0 49 0
2004–05 16 1 1 0 - 4 0 21 1
2005–06 20 2 1 0 2 0 6 1 29 3
2006-07 Portsmouth Premier League 32 1 2 0 - - 34 1
2007–08 31 1 5 0 1 0 - 37 1
2008–09 28 0 3 0 - 4 0 35 0
2009–10 Football League Two 1 0 - - - 1 0
Goal Date Venue Opponent Result Competition Scored
1 2 June 2002 Saitamamarker, Saitama 1–1 2002 FIFA World Cup 1

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