|Full name||Ashley Cole|
|Date of birth||20 December 1980|
|Place of birth||Stepney, London, England|
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 7 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Left back|
|1999–2000||→ Crystal Palace (loan)||14||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:18, 11 September 2010 (UTC).|
† Appearances (Goals).
Ashley Cole (born 20 December 1980) is an English professional footballer who plays for Chelsea and the England national team. He plays as a left-back and has been named one of the best in the world.
Cole began his career with Arsenal in 1999, going on to make 228 appearances, scoring 9 goals for the club, and winning two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and a runners-up medal from the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final. In August 2006, after a protracted transfer saga, he completed the move to rival club Chelsea in exchange for £5m plus defender William Gallas. Cole is a regular in the Chelsea first-team winning a second Champions League runners-up medal in 2008, three more FA Cups and his third Premier League title in 2010. On 15 May 2010, he became the first player to win six FA Cup winner's medals.
Cole started his career by joining his local club, Arsenal, whom he had supported as a child. On 25 February 2000, he signed his first professional contract. At the age of 18, on 30 November 1999, he made his first team debut in the Worthington Cup against Middlesbrough. His Premier League debut came on 14 May 2000 against Newcastle United. Before he fully broke into the Arsenal side, he spent part of the 1999–2000 season on loan at Crystal Palace, where he played 14 league matches and scored one goal, a long-range half-volley against Blackburn Rovers. Cole caught a lucky break after an injury to Sylvinho, Arsenal's established left-back, in the autumn of the 2000–01 season gave Cole the opportunity to establish himself in the first team. He remained first-choice in the position even after Sylvinho's recovery.
With Arsenal, he won the FA Premier League twice (in 2002 and 2004), and the FA Cup three times (in 2002, 2003 and 2005, scoring in the penalty shootout in the final of the latter). Although injured for much of the 2005–06 season, he recovered in time to play in Arsenal's UEFA Champions League Final defeat to Barcelona at the end of the season. In total he made 228 first-team appearances for Arsenal, scoring 9 goals.
Cole had a very good season in 2004–05. He was a regular at left-back for both England and Arsenal despite Gaël Clichy's claim for a place in the first team squad. Cole scored his first goal of the season in the seventh game in a tough trip to Manchester City in which he scored the opening and only goal to give Arsenal an important win. He scored his second goal in a 3–1 away win to Aston Villa, scoring Arsenal's third in only the 28th minute. Cole, however, was also involved in a transfer saga with Chelsea. He was found guilty of making contact with league rivals Chelsea over a possible move, without informing Arsenal. He was fined £100,000 by the Premier League on 2 June 2005 for a tapping-up meeting at a hotel in January 2005. Cole, his agent Jonathan Barnett, the Chelsea manager José Mourinho and chief executive Peter Kenyon were present at the meeting. An appeal in August 2005 did not reject the guilty verdict, but his fine was reduced to £75,000. Chelsea were also fined £300,000 and Mourinho was fined £200,000, reduced on appeal in August 2005 to £75,000. Barnett's licence was suspended for 18 months and he was also fined £100,000.
On 18 July 2005, Cole signed a one-year extension to his contract with Arsenal, but just a year later departed from the club in acrimonious circumstances. On 15 July 2006, Cole launched a verbal attack on Arsenal; in his autobiography, quoted in The Sun, he claimed that the Arsenal board had treated him as a "scapegoat" and that they had "fed him to the sharks" over the tapping-up affair while Arsenal, from their part, insisted that they were legally obliged to punish Cole for his illegal contact with Chelsea. Cole was deliberately left out of Arsenal's 2006–07 team photograph, fuelling press speculation that he would leave.
On 28 July 2006, Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein confirmed that Arsenal and Chelsea had been in "civil talks" about the player. Chelsea insisted they would not raise their £16million bid for Cole, but Arsenal held out for at a higher valuation of £25 million. Negotiations continued throughout August and looked to be heading for deadlock, but eventually Cole signed for Chelsea on 31 August for a fee of £5 million, with William Gallas being transferred from Chelsea to Arsenal as part of the same deal. The deal was closed after the transfer window had officially ended, and was not confirmed until an hour and a half after the deadline had passed.
Cole was given the number three shirt at Chelsea, and made his first appearance for the club as a substitute for Wayne Bridge in their 2–1 win over Charlton Athletic on 9 September. He issued a public statement concerning his transfer saying he "forgave" Arsenal for how he felt he was treated during his time there. Some Arsenal fans waved fake £20 notes with the player's face on them when Chelsea next met Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on 12 December.
On 31 January 2007, Cole suffered a serious knee injury in the 3–0 victory over Blackburn Rovers in a Premier League game at Stamford Bridge, although after a scan it was revealed to be not as bad as first thought, with Chelsea optimistic that he would return before the end of the 2006–07 season. Cole did indeed make a return at the end of the season, playing in the last twelve minutes of the 2007 FA Cup Final at the new Wembley Stadium against Manchester United. Chelsea emerged victorious 1–0 after extra-time with a goal scored by Didier Drogba, to win the 2007 FA Cup.
Cole was reportedly one of the players upset when José Mourinho was relieved of his position as Chelsea manager. He was dropped in favour of Wayne Bridge for the 2008 League Cup final, which Chelsea lost 2–1 to Tottenham Hotspur. However, Cole scored his first Chelsea goal in Chelsea's very next game, on 1 March 2008, the fourth goal in a 4–0 away victory against West Ham United. On 19 March 2008, Cole was involved in a controversial incident in a Premier League game against Tottenham at White Hart Lane where he performed a high tackle on Tottenham's Alan Hutton. Referee Mike Riley gave Cole a yellow card, a decision which was judged as too lenient by some analysts. Cole allegedly also "turned his back on the referee" and the episode renewed debate in the media over the game's rules on dissent towards officials.
In Chelsea's final league match of the 2008–09 season against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Cole scored his second Chelsea goal in the Blues' 3–2 win. The following season, after starting Chelsea's first six games in the league, Cole scored his third, fourth and fifth Chelsea goals at home to Burnley, Tottenham and Sunderland respectively. On 2 September 2009, he signed a new four-year deal which will contract him to Chelsea until 2013.
On 10 February 2010, he suffered a fractured left ankle in the 2–1 defeat against Everton that kept him out of action for three months. He eventually made his return against Stoke City F.C., a game which Chelsea won 7–0.. Cole scored a goal against Wigan on the last day of the Premier League in an 8-0 win.
Cole has played for England at youth and senior levels. He was capped for the England U-20 team at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship alongside Stuart Taylor, Peter Crouch, Andrew Johnson and Matthew Etherington. However, the team finished bottom of their group, suffering three defeats without scoring any goals. He also made four appearances for England under-21s, scoring once.
Cole made his senior England début against Albania, on 28 March 2001. He played for England at the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, and was named as one of four England players in the all-star squad for the latter tournament. Cole was also an ever-present for England in the 2006 World Cup; in their second round match against Ecuador he made a crucial block, deflecting Carlos Tenorio's shot onto the crossbar. The match ended with England winning 1–0, but England were knocked out on penalties by Portugal in the quarter-finals. By the end of 2008, Cole had achieved 68 caps for England, all of which were starting appearances.
He made his 79th appearance for England on 12 June 2010 in the 1-1 draw against USA in the 2010 World Cup Group stage match. He beat the record of 79 caps by a black English international (John Barnes, who appeared for England from 1983 to 1995). when he played against Algeria later that month.
|Season||Club||Loan||Division||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Community Shield||Champions League||Total||Discipline|
|1999/2000||Crystal Palace||Loan||Division One||14||1||0||0||0||0||-||-||-||-||14||1||1||0|
Cole's father, Ron Callender, is from Barbados. He left the family after seven years of marriage and later moved to Melbourne. Ashley and his younger brother Matthew were brought up by their white mother Sue Cole, going to Bow School in Tower Hamlets. Cole is a distant cousin of American singer Mariah Carey.
He met Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Tweedy in September 2004; they married on 15 July 2006 in Wrotham Park, Hertfordshire. In January 2008, the couple almost separated after allegations were made that Cole had had affairs with three other women. He, however, disputes the allegations and the couple stayed together. It was announced on 23 February 2010 that the couple will separate following further allegations of adultery. Three months later, it was announced that Cheryl was filing for divorce.They officially divorced on 3 September.
In 2006, Cole sued the News of the World and The Sun newspapers for libel after they printed allegations that he was involved in a "homosexual orgy". Both the News of the World and The Sun later retracted the allegations. That same year, Cole released an autobiography titled, My Defence, which sold 4,000 copies in the first six weeks of release. Cole's former teammate, Jens Lehmann, criticised Cole for writing an autobiography when he was 25.
Cole has had a couple of minor brushes with the police. On 4 March 2009 he was held after swearing in front of a police officer outside a South Kensington nightclub. He was taken to a police station and issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice before being released. On 4 January 2010, Cole was convicted of a speeding offence committed on 17 November 2009. He was recorded exceeding the speed limit by doing 104 mph in a 50 mph zone on the A3 road in Kingston upon Thames, a residential stretch. His defence at Kingston Magistrates Court, opposing the charge in his absence, argued unsuccessfully that the police speed gun was faulty. Cole also claimed that his actions were excuseable because he was trying to evade the paparazzi. On 29 January he was fined £1000 and disqualified from driving for four months.
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|Full name||Ashley Cole|
|Date of birth||20 December 1980|
|Place of birth||Stepney, London, England|
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 71⁄2 in)|
→Crystal Palace (loan)
|Club Performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||Football League Cup||Europe||Total|
|1999/00||Crystal Palace||First Division||14||1||0||0||0||0||-||14||0|
|England national team|