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Matthew Connolly




Date of birth






Starting his career as a youth at Arsenal in 1997, Connolly was made captain of their reserve side in September 2006. A month later he made his first team debut against West Brom in the Carling Cup, starting the game Arsenal finished 2-0 winners.

He was then loaned out to AFC Bournemouth in November where he remained a player until January, making 5(+2) appearances and scoring his first professional goal – the opener in a 2-0 win against Nottingham Forest that December.

On his return he made his second and last appearance for the Gunners, as an 88th minute substitute for Armand Traoré in the League Cup quarter-final against Liverpool.

For the 2007/08 season it was announced that Connolly would be spending the entirety of it on loan to Championship side Colchester united. However mid-way through the season he was recalled to his parent club in order to be sold to QPR for a £1 million fee, joining the club due to lack of first team opportunities at the Emirates. 

During his time at Loftus Road the Barnet-born defender would go on to play over 100 games in their hooped shirts, and begin his collection of Championship winner’s medals come the 2010/11 season.

That title winning campaign, Connolly played 36 out of the 43 league games, scoring his first Rangers goal that January as the club finished the season with 88 points and a champion’s medal in hand.

Halfway through the succeeding season, he dropped back into the Championship to join the Royals on a loan deal starting the 31st of January.

He entered the fray at Reading during our rich vein of form, winning 14 out of the remaining 18 games, Connolly made six starts for the club, again ending the league year as Championship titleholder.

Signing for Cardiff the following August would bring that tally up to three on the bounce. 36 appearances and five goals led to yet again, another winner’s medal come May.

After that impressive feat, the defender has made 62(+4) appearances for the Bluebirds – most recently however he was sent out on loan to Watford in March until the end of the 2014/15 season.