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Steven Kenneth Fletcher (born 26 March 1987 in Shrewsburymarker, Englandmarker) is an English-born Scottishmarker professional footballer who currently plays for Burnley in the Premier League. Fletcher began his professional career with Hibernian, playing in over 150 SPL games and scoring 43 goals. Burnley paid a club record transfer fee of £3m to sign Fletcher in June 2009. He has represented Scotland seven times at full international level, scoring one goal.

Career

Background

Fletcher, who was born in Shrewsburymarker, Shropshiremarker, spent much of his early years living on British Army bases in Englandmarker and Germanymarker where his Liverpudlian soldier father was based. His father died from cancer when Fletcher was aged only 10, prompting his mother to relocate to Hamilton, South Lanarkshiremarker to be closer to her family. Hibernian youth coach John Park, also from Hamilton, spotted his footballing talent and the young Anglo-Scot joined the Leithmarker side's youth network aged 13.Coates, Jonathan. Easter Road call-up spared Fletcher a soldier's life, The Scotsman, 25 November 2006.

Hibernian

Fletcher made his debut for Hibs towards the end of the 2003–04 season in a 3–0 win over Kilmarnock. He became a first team regular in the 2004–05 season, playing 26 times and scoring 5 goals. In the 2005–06 season, Fletcher scored 10 goals in just 1,966 minutes on the pitch, which approximated to a goal every other game. He took on a more prominent role in the 2006–07 season after Hibs had sold star strikers Garry O'Connor and Derek Riordan. Fletcher scored in Hibernian's 5–0 Intertoto Cup win over Dinaburg and played regularly during the league season. The highlight of the season for Fletcher and Hibs was when he scored two goals in the 5–1 win over in the 2007 Scottish League Cup Final.

Fletcher became Hibs' main striker during the 2007–08 season. He scored his first professional hat-trick in a 4–2 win over and he won the Scottish Football Writers' Young Player of the Year Award. Fletcher was touted for a move to Real Madrid due to Madrid's scouts watching him after he performed well for Scotland's youth sides. The Daily Mail reported in November 2008 that Manchester City and two other Premier League sides were interested in signing Fletcher and the Daily Record reported on 1 January 2009 that Middlesbrough were "preparing" a £2.5 million offer. Towards the end of the January transfer window, Hibs rejected an approach from Celtic. Fletcher then publicly pleaded for Hibs to agree a deal with Celtic, arguing "for the development of my career it is time to move to a bigger club", but Hibs refused to sell him.

Burnley

On 26 June 2009, The Daily Mirror reported that Burnley had offered £2.75 million for Fletcher. A few days later, Hibs accepted an offer of £3,000,000 plus incentives based on appearances for Burnley. Fletcher completed the move when he agreed a four year contract with the Lancashiremarker club, who paid a club record transfer fee to obtain his services. After the move was completed, former Hibs striker Keith Wright questioned whether Fletcher was ready to play in the Premier League. His first competitive goals for Burnley came when he scored a brace in a 2–1 League Cup win at Hartlepool on 25 August. He scored his first goal in the Premier League on 3rd October, against Birmingham City.

International career

Despite his English birthplace, Fletcher chose to represent Scotland, his mother's home country. Fletcher made his debut for Scotland under–21s in the 2004–05 season. He was the top scorer in the Scotland under–19 side which reached the final of the 2006 European Championship, losing to Spain in the final. Following the well acknowledged achievements of the under–19 side, Fletcher was named by The Scotsman as one of the "ten to watch" in Scottish sport during 2007.

Fletcher was named in the full squad for the friendly match against Croatia in March 2008. Fletcher started the game, providing the assist for Kenny Miller's equaliser in a 1–1 draw, before he was substituted at half-time due to injury. He was dropped back to the under–21 side in September 2008, but was immediately recalled to the full squad after scoring twice against Slovenia under–21s. Fletcher scored his first full international goal in a 2–1 win against Iceland on 1 April 2009.

Career statistics

Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Hibernian 2003–04 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
2004–05 20 5 4 0 2 0 0 0 26 5
2005–06 34 8 4 2 2 0 1 0 41 10
2006–07 31 6 5 1 5 4 3 1 44 12
2007–08 32 13 2 0 1 1 0 0 35 14
2008–09 34 11 1 0 1 0 2 0 38 11
Total 156 43 16 3 11 5 6 1 189 52
Burnley 2009–10 14 5 0 0 2 3 0 0 16 8
Career total 170 48 16 3 13 8 6 1 205 60


National team caps

Scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first.
Caps Date Venue Opponent Result Competition Minutes on Pitch Scored Location
01 (00) 2008-03-26 Hampden Parkmarker, Glasgowmarker 1–1 International Match 45 0
02 (00) 2008-10-11 Hampden Parkmarker, Glasgowmarker 0–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification 34 0
03 (00) 2009-03-28 Amsterdam ArenAmarker, Amsterdammarker 0-3 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification 29 0
04 (01) 2009-04-01 Hampden Parkmarker, Glasgowmarker 2–1 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification 78 1
05 (01) 2009-09-05 Hampden Parkmarker, Glasgowmarker 2–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification 68 0
06 (01) 2009-10-10 Nissan Stadiummarker, Yokohama 0–2 International Match 45 0
07 (01) 2009-11-14 Cardiff City Stadiummarker, Cardiffmarker 0–3 International Match 35 0


References

External links




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