Kevin Phillips (footballer): Wikis


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Kevin Phillips
Kevin Phillips 20070922.jpg
Warming up for West Bromwich Albion in 2007
Personal information
Full name Kevin Mark Phillips
Date of birth 25 July 1973 (1973-07-25) (age 36)
Place of birth Hitchin, England
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Birmingham City
Number 9
Youth career
19??–1992 Southampton
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1994 Baldock Town
1994–1997 Watford 59 (24)
1997–2003 Sunderland 208 (113)
2003–2005 Southampton 64 (23)
2005–2006 Aston Villa 23 (4)
2006–2008 West Bromwich Albion 71 (38)
2008– Birmingham City 48 (17)
National team
1998 England B 1 (0)
1999–2002 England 8 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:03, 5 March 2010 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Kevin Mark Phillips[1] (born 25 July 1973 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire) is an English footballer who currently plays as a striker for Birmingham City.

His favoured position is as a centre forward alongside a target man, which was the basis for his success at Sunderland, although he has found success alongside a variety of strike partners during his career.

Starting his career at non-league Baldock Town as a right-back after being rejected as a defender as they saw him as too short for Southampton, Phillips was the Premier League top scorer in the 1999–2000 season with 30 goals for Sunderland, and he then went on to win the Golden Boot for the whole of Europe in that season. He has also had spells at Watford, Southampton, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion.


Club career

Early career

Phillips started his football career as a right back. He was released by Southampton in his youth and was quickly snapped up by one of his local teams, non-league semi-professional Baldock Town F.C. There his eye for goal and unique ball control were quickly noticed and he was shifted to striker. His goal-scoring turned Baldock into a top-of-the-table side, as well as an extended run in cup competition, including the FA Trophy. His exploits netted him a move into the Football League, to Watford.


It was during the 1994-95 season that he caught the eye of manager Glenn Roeder's Watford and on 19 December he was purchased for £10,000. Injuries to first team strikers led to his first team debut at the club but it was his impressive performances ensured that he remained in the first team squad.

He played well during the 1995-96 season, despite playing in a side that struggled overall. Unfortunately a foot injury late in that season kept him out for a year and by the time of his return Watford were mid-table in the Second Division. He agreed personal terms with George Burley to join Ipswich Town however the clubs were unable to agree terms on the £250,000 deal when Ipswich refused to pay an extra £50,000 for him.[citation needed] Later in the year he scored four goals relatively quickly, including a hat-trick against Bristol City, but remained goalless for the remainder of the term. At the end of the season he was signed by Sunderland for a fee of a basic £350,000, eventually coming to over £600,000 based on appearances and achievements at the club.


Phillips signed for Sunderland just after their relegation from the Premiership. His career started slowly with the team struggling to get results while he struggled with niggling injuries. As the season progressed both his and the team's fortunes improved including one stretch which saw him score in seven consecutive league games, equalling the club record. He also became the first Sunderland player since Brian Clough to score 30 goals in a season. This mile-stone was reached in a 3–0 win at home to Stoke City in the penultimate game of the Division One season. In total, Phillips hit 35 goals in all competitions, the most by any Sunderland player in one season since the Second World War.[2] His tally for the season included a four goal haul in the FA Cup 3rd round at Rotherham United and two goals in the play-off campaign. In the build-up for Sunderland's third goal in the 4–4 draw with Charlton Athletic in the play-off final, Phillips pulled up with an injury and missed the remainder of the match, which Sunderland lost 7–6 on penalties. Phillips later described the final as his "most disappointing day in football",[3] but also as the best match he had ever played in.[4]

In the 1998–99 season, Phillips again impressed with his all-round striking ability. He started the season in good form, scoring eight goals in the opening weeks of the season as Sunderland reached the top of the Division One table but in a League Cup tie against Chester City, Phillips sustained a toe injury that would keep him out for nearly four months. At the time his absence was believed to be a huge blow to Sunderland's promotion push but this was shown to be less serious than expected when Sunderland crushed Oxford United 7–0 in the first home match after Phillips was injured. On his return from injury in January 1999, Phillips scored a long-range volley away to Queens Park Rangers but took several weeks to regain his form completely. In April, promotion was clinched largely by Phillips, who scored four of Sunderland's five goals in an away game against Bury at Gigg Lane. This form earned Phillips an international call-up for England and he made his debut against Hungary. Phillips ended the season with 23 goals in 26 league games and 25 goals in all competitions.

Phillips was predicted to struggle in the top flight; in the run-up to the start of the 1999-2000 Premiership season, pundit Rodney Marsh stated that Phillips would 'struggle to get six goals'.[5] . In response to Marsh's comments, Phillips had scored six goals by mid-September and was named Premier League Player of the Month for October. His goal tally was 20 by mid-January and 30 by the season's end, an excellent return for a striker that was confined to non-league just a few years previously. Phillips netted a double at home to his former club Watford in August, which opened the floodgates. His winner away to Newcastle United, a lob over stand-in goalkeeper Tommy Wright from an acute angle, cemented his place at the fore of Sunderland folklore. A month later he scored his first Premiership hat-trick away to Derby County. Perhaps the most memorable goal of the season was the 30-yard half-volley scored at home to Chelsea on 4 December 1999 in a 4–1 win. This was the game that marked Phillips as a striker of proven Premiership class. The 30th goal of the season was scored in the final home game, at home to West Ham United. His 30 FA Premier League goals for Sunderland in the 1999–2000 season earned him the Premiership Golden Boot and European Golden Boot awards (he is currently the only Englishman to have won the latter), and helped his side finish 7th in the table, just missing out on a UEFA Cup place.

The 2000–01 season emphasised the progress that Phillips had made. He still contributed 14 goals but worked on other aspects of his game such as crossing and making goals, rather than just scoring them. Phillips was now a known quantity and was frequently marked out of games as Sunderland's primary goal source, however an increased input from other areas of the team, particularly from attack-minded midfielder Don Hutchison lessened the impact. Another hat-trick was scored on Boxing Day at Bradford City. In January 2001 he broke Sunderland's post-war goalscoring record.[6] As the season wore on however, Phillips suffered a lack of form, going two months without a goal until his volley against Charlton Athletic. Again, Sunderland finished seventh and narrowly missed out on a UEFA Cup place.

2001-02 was frustrating for Phillips and his colleagues, as Sunderland failed to build on their promise from the previous two seasons. The 2001–02 season saw Phillips relinquish his penalty-taking duties, after having three consecutive spot-kicks saved.[7] Sunderland plummeted to 17th in the final table, only surviving thanks to a 1–1 draw with Derby, while Ipswich were beaten 5–0 at Liverpool. Phillips was also becoming disillusioned with the situation and was rumoured to have asked for a transfer mid-season, which was rejected. The 2002–03 season saw Sunderland finish the season in 20th (last) place with a (then) Premiership record low of 4 wins, 19 points and 21 goals. The mass clearout that followed, as Sunderland struggled to avoid receivership due to high debts incurred by a large scale panic buy in August 2002, saw Phillips leave for Southampton in a £3.25 million deal in the close season. Southampton capitalised on Sunderland's need to reduce its wage bill by tabling a £3,25 million bid which was one sixth of the amount at which he had been valued in his prime by the tabloid press. On his departure, Phillips revealed that three transfer requests had been turned down, two by Peter Reid and one by Reid's successor Howard Wilkinson (who had by now been replaced by Mick McCarthy).

Phillips was a firm favourite of the Sunderland faithful not only for his goals but for his all-round play. Despite being small for a striker, Phillips was a complete player, equally lethal with his right foot, left foot and head. Phillips also possessed a potent shot for someone so small, most notable in his first Premiership season where long-range efforts were scored against Watford, Chelsea, Everton and Sheffield Wednesday. Phillips contributed to the team's play through dropping deep if required and also possessing a quality many modern-day strikers lack — unselfishness. Together with Quinn he created one of the most feared attacking pairs in the country, as was shown by 143 goals from the pair in their first three seasons together many of which were provided by the other member of the duo.

In all, Kevin Phillips made 209 league appearances for Sunderland, scoring 115 goals, at an average of more than one goal every two matches.


However Sunderland's Premier League success did not last and after the North East club's relegation from the Premiership he left the Black Cats to join Southampton, the club where his career began as a youth player, in a £3.25 million deal.[8] His goals in Southampton's brief foray in the UEFA Cup in 2003 cemented his place in the club's history. He netted a spectacular long-range strike on his debut away to Leicester City, which was to win goal of the month. His form was patchy, however and he never reproduced his prolific goal-scoring on the South coast. Ultimately, as with Sunderland, his time at Southampton was to be ended by relegation. Phillips wanted to remain in the Premiership and so moved on.

Aston Villa

He moved from Southampton, who had just been relegated, to Aston Villa for a fee of £1 million on 29 June 2005.[9] Wearing the number 20 shirt, he scored on his debut for Villa and shared front-man duties with Juan Pablo Ángel and fellow new signing Milan Baroš. After recovering from injury at the start of 2005–06 season he cemented his place in Villa folklore following his winner against bitter rivals Birmingham City. However, a series of short-term injuries meant he was unable to get a regular position in the first team and the arrival of Martin O'Neill hastened his exit to West Bromwich Albion.

West Bromwich Albion

With Phillips having been in and out of the Aston Villa team during the second half of the 2005–06 season there were gathering rumours of a possible return to Sunderland with the recent takeover and management of the Wearside club by his former strike-partner Niall Quinn. However, West Bromwich Albion eventually signed him for a fee of £700,000.[10] He later revealed he did not want to move his family out of the area, as he had moved three times in recent years. Phillips notched his 200th career goal in an FA Cup 5th round tie against Middlesbrough[citation needed]. On the final day of the 2006–07 season, Phillips hit a hat-trick in a 7–0 win over Barnsley - his second of the season. He also scored in both legs of the Championship play-off semi-final against Wolves to ensure Albion's progression to the Play-off final at Wembley Stadium, although they lost 1–0 in the final to Derby County.

Phillips' two goals in Albion's 5–1 home victory over Queens Park Rangers on 30 September 2007 earned him a place in the Championship Team of the Week.[11] Phillips missed six weeks of the season due to a knee injury sustained in early November,[12] but rediscovered his goalscoring form on his return to win the Powerade Championship Player-of-the-Month award for December.[13] Phillips again made the Team of the Week when he scored in Albion's 3–1 away win at Hull City in January.[14] In March 2008 Phillips was named Championship Player of the Year at the fourth annual Football League Awards in London.[15]. The event sponsored by Four Four Two rated Phillips as the top player in the Football League ahead of Andy Gray of Charlton Athletic and Michael Kightly of Wolverhampton Wanderers.[16] Albion manager Tony Mowbray has referred to Phillips as "a natural goal-scorer with great awareness and vision".[17] Phillips scored his 200th League goal in a 1–1 draw with Crystal Palace on 13 March 2008.[18] Fans of West Bromwich Albion chose to dress up as superheroes for the last match of 2007–08 (away to QPR) in honour of Phillips, who is nicknamed "Super Kev".[19] Albion won the match 2–0 to win promotion to the Premiership as league champions.[20] Phillips meanwhile picked up Player-of-the-Year awards from both the West Bromwich Albion Supporters Club and from the club itself, after scoring 24 goals from 30 starts and finishing as the Championship's second top goalscorer.[21][22] He was also named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year, alongside team mates Paul Robinson and Jonathan Greening.[23]

Birmingham City

When his contract with West Bromwich Albion expired at the end of the 2007–08 season, the club offered him a one-year deal, with an additional second year if he made 19 or more league appearances. Phillips rejected the offer and joined Championship club Birmingham City, signing a two-year contract on 9 July 2008.[24] He made his debut on the opening day of the 2008–09 season against Sheffield United, coming on as a substitute to score a stoppage time winner in a 1–0 victory.[25] Phillips continued his scoring run with goals in his next two games, against Southampton and Barnsley. On 21 November, against Swansea, Phillips came on as a substitute in the 2nd half, scoring both goals as Birmingham came from 2-1 down to win 3-2.

At the end of season awards, he won the top goalscorer award with 13 goals, and he also won the Goal of the Season, for his goal against Reading. Finally he also scored the winning goal to take Birmingham City straight back up into the Premier League 12 months after they were relegated. The match ended 2-1 against Reading. Phillips has kept his place in Birmingham's starting line-up so far in the 2009-10 season, scoring what the Blues thought was a well earned equaliser against Bolton on 26 September, only for Chung Yung Lee to cancel out Phillips' strike 2 minutes later. Phillips also made his return to the Stadium of Light with Birmingham on 22 September in the Carling Cup 4th round, a game in which he captained the away side. Phillips received a tremendous reception on his return to the club for which he holds the record for the most post war goals. On 7 February 2010, Phillips came on as a substitute when Birmingham were 1-0 down in the Midlands Derby between Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. and Birmingham and won the game by scoring two goals in the 80th and inside the last 5 minutes of normal time.

International career

Despite his success at club level, Phillips has not been able to score in eight caps for the English national team and he was never given a full ninety minutes for his country. The closest Phillips came to scoring was in a pre-Euro 2000 match against Malta, where he rounded the keeper only to hit the side-netting. Phillips was three times an unused substitute during the group stage of the Euro 2000 finals. His final appearance for England came against the Netherlands in February 2002.

Career statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1994–95 Watford First Division 16 9 - - 16 9
1995–96 27 11 2 0 2 1 31 12
1996–97 Second Division 16 4 - - 16 4
1997–98 Sunderland First Division 46* 31* 2 4 - 48 35
1998–99 26 23 1 0 5 2 32 25
1999–00 Premier League 36 30 2 0 - 38 30
2000–01 34 14 4 2 4 2 42 18
2001–02 37 11 1 1 1 1 39 13
2002–03 32 6 4 3 - 36 9
2003–04 Southampton 34 13 1 0 - 2 1 37 14
2004–05 30 10 4 2 2 1 36 13
2005–06 Aston Villa 23 4 2 0 2 1 27 5
2006–07 West Bromwich Albion Championship 39* 19* 3 3 1 0 43 22
2007–08 35 22 3 2 - 38 24
2008–09 Birmingham City 36 14 0 0 2 0 38 14
2009–10 Premier League 12 3 3 0 1 0 16 5
Career Total 479 222 32 17 20 8 2 1 533 252
* These figures include playoff games.

Source: Birmingham City F.C.[26] Last updated: 21:03, 5 March 2010

Personal life

Phillips is married to Julie, whom he met over 15 years ago. They have four children: Millie, twins Toby and Tia, and Alfie.[27]


As a player

  • Football League Division 1 champions: 1998-99
  • Premier league player of the month October 1999
  • Golden Boot 1999-2000
  • European Golden boot 1999-00
West Bromwich Albion
Birmingham City


  1. ^ Hugman, Barry, ed (2005). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2005/2006. Queen Anne Press. p. 323. ISBN 978-1-85291-662-1. 
  2. ^ "Give Phillips his chance". BBC Sport. 2001-02-06. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  3. ^ Lansley, Peter (2007-05-28). "Phillips is hoping not to pay the promotion penalty". TimesOnline. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  4. ^ "Kevin Phillips - Simply the Best...". West Bromwich Albion F.C.. 2007-02-20.,,10366~965303,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  5. ^ White, Clive (2008-08-03). "Two Kevins hope to call shots after drop". Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  6. ^ Barnes, Scott (2001-01-28). "Dichio rises to eclipse England rivals". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  7. ^ "Phillips quits as penalty taker". BBC Sport. 2002-01-02. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  8. ^ "Southampton land Phillips". BBC Sport. 2003-08-14. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  9. ^ "Phillips completes Villa switch". BBC Sport. 2005-06-29. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  10. ^ "Phillips makes move to West Brom". BBC Sport. 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2007-03-05. 
  11. ^ "Coca-Cola Championship Team Of The Week (01/10/2007)" (pdf). The Football League. 2007-10-01.,,10794~103066,00.pdf. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  12. ^ ""Kev's back in the saddle"". West Bromwich Albion F.C.. 2007-12-27.,,10366~1199647,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  13. ^ "Phillips wins Player of the Month". BBC Sport. 2008-01-08. Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  14. ^ "Coca-Cola Championship Team Of The Week (14/01/2008)" (pdf). The Football League. 2008-01-14.,,10794~118466,00.pdf. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  15. ^ "Phillips wins Championship award". BBC Sport. 2008-03-03. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  16. ^ "Football League Awards 2008". Four Four Two. 2008-03-02. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  17. ^ Johnson, William (2008-01-14). "Ageless Kevin Phillips fuels Albion's rise". Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  18. ^ Edwards, Ian (2008-03-13). "Victor Moses rescues a point for Crystal Palace". Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  19. ^ "Fans gear up for 'Super' day". West Bromwich Albion F.C.. 2008-04-24.,,10366~1296499,00.html. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  20. ^ "QPR 0-2 West Brom". BBC Sport. 2008-05-04. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  21. ^ Lepkowski, Chris (2008-04-25). "Kevin Phillips named West Bromwich Albion Player of the Year". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  22. ^ "More plaudits for King Kev". West Bromwich Albion F.C.. 2008-05-14.,,10366~1311151,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  23. ^ "Ronaldo named player of the year". BBC Sport. 2008-04-27. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  24. ^ "Phillips signs Blues deal". Sky Sports. 2008-07-09.,19528,11661_3796911,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  25. ^ "Birmingham 1-0 Sheff Utd". BBC Sport. 2008-08-09. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  26. ^ "Player profile: Kevin Phillips". Soccerbase. Retrieved 17 May 2009. 
  27. ^ Laws, Roz (2007-01-28). "She's the WAG who hates shopping". Sunday Mercury (Birmingham). Retrieved 2009-10-12. 

External links

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