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Stephen Edward Claridge (born 10 April 1966) is an Englishmarker football player, pundit and coach. He plays as a forward for Conference South side Weymouth. He is also a pundit for BBC Sport football shows including Football Focus and the newly launched The Football League Show.

Claridge has represented 15 different League clubs, some of them in more than one spell, and several Non-League football clubs. He has played at all levels of English football. He has also appeared in 1000 professional or semi-professional football matches.

Early years

Claridge was born in Portsmouthmarker and grew up in Titchfieldmarker, a village near Farehammarker, and attended Brookfield Community School in Sarisbury Greenmarker. He was an adopted child.

Claridge initially played for Fareham Townmarker in the Southern League. He got into Football League side Bournemouth, though Claridge again stepped down the leagues after just seven games for Bournemouth to sign for Weymouth.

In October 1988 Claridge moved to Crystal Palace, and spent two days with them before joining Division Four team Aldershot. He spent two years with the club before signing with Cambridge United for £75,000. He moved with Cambridge up into the Second Division (which later became the First Division) and stayed with the club for most of the next four years. His tempestuous relationship with manager John Beck, which was exacerbated by Claridge's gambling problems, eventually led to his being sold to Luton Town for only £120,000 in March 1992. With Luton in financial difficulties however he was sold back to Cambridge, for £190,000, just five months later (Beck having left the club by this time).

In January 1994 Claridge moved to Birmingham City, for £350,000. During 1994, he became the first player since Trevor Francis to score 20 goals in a season. Claridge then was transferred to Leicester City for £1.2 million in March 1996. It was at Leicester that Claridge reached the Premiership, scoring winning goals in both the 1996 play-off final that gave Leicester promotion and the 1997 League Cup final replay. In 1997 his autobiography Tales From The Boot Camps, co-written with Ian Ridley, was first published. He became such a popular figure at Leicester, that in 2004, on the British telelvision programme Football Focus, he was voted Leicester's second greatest ever cult hero, after Steve Walsh

Moves into Management

In 1998 Claridge joined Portsmouth on loan and, following a brief period at Wolves, signed for Portsmouth on a permanent basis. From 2000 this was as a player-manager, though Claridge's reign lasted for just twenty-five games before he was demoted. After a period on loan with Millwall, he moved to the Londonmarker club on a free transfer in 2001. He spent two seasons with Millwall before returning to Weymouth as the club's new player-manager. Weymouth just missed out on promotion to the Football Conference. Following Ian Ridley's resignation as chairman, Claridge also left to return to playing league football.

Later playing career

In his later playing career, chronologically, Claridge played for Brighton and Hove Albion, Brentford, Wycombe Wanderers, Gillingham, Bradford City and Walsall. In the summer of 2005 he was appointed as manager of Millwall, but following board-room changes he was relieved of his duties after just 36 days, before his team had played any competitive matches. His replacement was Colin Lee. The decision to dismiss Claridge was taken by new chairman Theo Paphitis, who stated to the BBC that "we had a strong chance of being relegated under Steve". Millwall were indeed relegated from the Coca-Cola Championship that season.

At the start of the 2006–07 season Claridge didn't have a club. It was reported that Claridge had offered to play without payment in order to achieve the landmark of 1,000 games. Eventually in December 2006 he re-signed on a month-long contract with Bournemouth and his 1,000th first-team match was a 4-0 defeat to Port Vale on 9 December, at age 40.

On 16 January 2007 he signed a contract with Isthmian League Premier Division side Worthing to play in one game only, against AFC Wimbledon. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

On 30 January 2007 Claridge joined Harrow Borough and scored on his debut in a 4-4 draw against Margate .

In September 2009, Claridge came out of retirement to play unpaid for his former club, the Conference South side Weymouth, who were in severe financial difficulties.


During Claridge's time at Weymouth, he and Ian Ridley, who was club chairman at the time, were two of the subjects of a BBC documentary called Football Stories. It was around the time that he left Weymouth that Claridge began to work in the media, initially for BBC Radio 5 Live. As well as co-commentating for the radio, he also works for the BBC mainly on the The Football League Show, and for Setanta Sports News. He has also contributed scouting reports to The Guardian.

Driving conviction

On 10 June 2008, Claridge was given a six-month suspended jail sentence for dangerous driving after speeding at 100mph near Solihullmarker. He already had nine points on his licence .


With Birmingham City

With Leicester City

Managerial record

Years Club Pld W D L Pts/game
2001-2002 Portsmouth 22 5 8 9 1.05
2003-2004 Weymouth - - - - -
2005 Millwall 0 0 0 0 n/a


  1. The O'Neill Effect Bevan, Chris; 24 October 2006; BBC Sport; "Journeyman striker Steve Claridge was one of O'Neill's first Leicester signings"
  2. Cambridge United – Former Player News
  3. Football Focus - Leicester's cult heroes
  4. Claridge sacked Evening Standard; 27 July 2005; at; accessed December 2006
  5. Thursday's football gossip BBC Sport, 8 December 2006
  6. Claridge ties up Cherries switch BBC Sport, 8 December 2006
  7. Bournemouth 0-4 Port Vale BBC Sport, 9 December 2006
  8. Football: It's hello and goodbye for Rebel Claridge theargus, 17 January 2007
  9. Match report: Harrow 4-4 Margate Harrow Borough F.C. Official Website, 3 February 2007
  10. Scouting report – Ryan Shawcross, Stoke City (4 March 2008).
  11. Driving ban for 100mph footballer BBC News, 10 June 2008

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