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Christian Roberts
Christian Roberts
Personal information
Full name Christian Roberts
Date of birth October 22, 1979 (1979-10-22) (age 30)
Place of birth    Cardiff, Wales
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current club Maesteg Park
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
1997–2000
1999
2000
2000–2002
2002–2004
2004–2008
2009–
Cardiff City
Hereford United (loan)
Drogheda United (loan)
Exeter City
Bristol City
Swindon Town
Maesteg Park
Total
023 0(3)
009 0(2)
00? 0(?)
079 (18)
094 (20)
111 (21)
005 0(0)
321 (64)   

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 20:40, 13 October 2009 (UTC).
* Appearances (Goals)

Christian Roberts (born October 22, 1979 in Cardiff, Wales) is a Welsh midfielder who currently plays for Maesteg Park after retiring from professional football in September 2008, finishing his career with Swindon Town.

Christian made a name for himself at Exeter City where he scored 18 goals in 67 appearances before Bristol City decided to snap him up. He had joined Exeter from Cardiff City where he began his career as a trainee. However, he never fully established himself in the squad and was sold after being loaned out to Hereford United and Drogheda United.

After a permanent deal for Darius Henderson fell through, Swindon Town manager Andy King moved quickly to sign Roberts from local rivals Bristol City, for an initial £20,000 - the rest of the £50,000 fee being paid in instalments based on appearances and performance. Roberts made his debut the following Saturday, scoring the winner for the Town in a 1-0 win over Oldham Athletic on 16 October 2005. His second goal came just a week later, in a 2-2 draw at Barnsley - Roberts was also giving some impressive performances, most notably in the two games with Sheffield Wednesday - where firstly he played a major part in helping the Town come from 2-0 down with twelve minutes to go to win the league match 3-2, and then in mid-November, in a 4-1 victory in the FA Cup.

Part of the deal with City meant that Roberts would not be eligible to play in any of the games against them during the season, but when the two sides were drawn together in the LDV Vans Trophy, City boss Brian Tinnion gave permission for Roberts to play. Unfortunately though, a car accident on the way to the match kept him out of the game and the FA Cup tie with Notts County at the weekend, when his car was hit by a bus, then crashed into another car as he pulled out of a petrol station near the County Ground - and though he suffered minor whiplash and bruising, it was a lucky escape.

The incident was just the start of an injury-stricken period for Roberts - after being substituted during the Boxing Day win at Peterborough United, he sat the next few games out with what was thought to be a simple groin injury. A visit to a specialist in mid-January highlighted a bigger problem though, and he was forced to undergo hernia surgery. It was mid-March before he returned to the first team, coming on as a substitute at Luton Town, but the lay-off had obviously taken its toll - though he featured in all but one of the remaining games during the run-in - mainly on the right wing in an attacking five man midfield - in every one, he was either substitute or substituted during the match.

Having admitted to personal problems during the season, prior to the new campaign Roberts declared that the "little devils in my head are out of the way" - but with the arrival of Tony Thorpe and Jamie Cureton, throughout pre-season Roberts was utilised in the same wide-right berth instead of the central attacking role he preferred. Roberts sat out the season's opener, but started and scored in the following game against Oldham - when Rory Fallon returned from suspension for the next match, Roberts found himself on the bench again. Though he was brought on ten times, he didn't start another league game until the middle of October, when on his 26th birthday, he netted a penalty in a 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe - and just when it seemed that new manager Iffy Onuora was about to give Roberts a longer chance in the first team, a toe injury kept him out for the next three weeks. He returned to feature as a second half substitute against his former club Bristol City in mid-November, and though he played in the next four games, a change of formation for a relegation clash at Rotherham United saw him dropped to the bench again - and when he came on, he received a knock to the leg that again sidelined him, before flu kept him out over the Christmas period.

Early in January though, problems that had been alluded to in the past were finally confirmed when it was announced that Roberts had been suffering from an alcohol problem for over a year. As Roberts checked into the Sporting Chance clinic to receive treatment for a 28 day period, manager Onuora praised him for facing up to his problems. Surprisingly, Roberts was back in action shortly after his treatment - making four substitute appearances before the end of a season that manager Onuora had previously stated had been "written off" as far as Roberts was concerned.

After Onuora's sacking in May 2006, Roberts made an instant impression on new manager Dennis Wise - firstly, Wise bet that Roberts would score twenty goals in the coming season, offering to pay for a family holiday if he did so - and then, by installing Roberts as vice-captain for the new campaign.

This was then given to Jamie Vincent under the new management of Paul Sturrock. As well as this, his right wing first team spot was also handed to Jon-Paul McGovern and he had to settle for a squad rotation even after an impressive run in the first team.

On 25 September 2008 Roberts announced that he was retiring from professional football after he failed to recover from a micro-fracture in his knee, despite having surgery to repair it.[1] Christian has now lined up a testimonial game with a Swindon select XI v a Chelsea XI (March 25, 2009) hoping the likes of Glenn Hoddle, Gianfranco Zola, Gus Poyet etc can appear.

In August 2009, Roberts joined Welsh Football League Division Two side Maesteg Park.[2]

External links

References

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