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Steve Sidwell

Midfielder

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Biography

Date of birth

14/12/1982

Signed

20/01/2003

Country

England

Born in London, Sidwell was part of the Arsenal youth team that won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and 2001, one of his teammates at the time was future Reading midfielder James Harper.

Following Youth Cup success, Sidwell went on loan to Brentford – starting 32 times in the league, scoring four goals as they lost out to Stoke City in the Play-off finals.

The 2002/03 season saw him go out on loan to Brighton, making only 12 appearances before his abilities were spotted by clubs during the winter transfer window.

Arsenal rejected offers from Brighton and Stoke before a bid came in from Reading that they couldn’t refuse, Sidwell signed for the Royals on a four-and-a-half year deal.

Forming a formidable pairing with James Harper in the heart of midfield, he made his debut in our 3-1 defeat to Leicester. His next match fared a lot better, scoring two goals along the way, helping Reading lash Burnley 5-2.

Sidwell earned himself 12 appearances in the 2002/03 season as Reading made it to the Play-offs, losing out that time to Wolverhampton Wanderers over two-legs.

After signing a new three-year contract with the Royals in 2004, he scored another five goals in 47 appearances, with Four Four Two Magazine voting the influential Wandsworth-born star as the best player outside the Premier League.

And his form didn’t stop there. He was arguably one of the major catalysts in earning Reading promotion in 2005/06 – another superb season in blue and white hoops had helped the club reach the Promised Land and, in Madejski Stadium’s first ever top flight match, he scored the second in a remarkable comeback against Middlesbrough, finishing the match 3-2.

He was pivotal to Reading’s success that season, an argument strengthened by the fact that, after his departure, Steve Coppell’s side couldn’t compete amongst England’s elite with any of the energy that had won them so many admirers previously.

After being unable to hang on to him any longer, moves to Chelsea, Aston Villa and Fulham followed for the former FA Youth Cup winner.

At the end of the 2013/14 season, Fulham were relegated and after criticising the team’s performance, he left to continue his premier league career with Stoke City.

With competition for first team places high at the Potters, Sidwell’s done well to earn himself a handful of games throughout the 2014/15 season.

He was on target during Stoke’s most recent pre-season friendly, netting in a 2-0 victory over a Singapore Select Xi side during the 2015 Barclays Asia Trophy.

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