|Full name||Matthew Thomas Jarvis|
|Date of birth||22 May 1986 |
|Place of birth||Middlesbrough, England|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Current club||Wolverhampton Wanderers|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:27, 15 March 2010 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
After an unsuccessful spell as a youth team player for Millwall, Jarvis began his professional career with Gillingham, making his Football League debut for the Kent-based team at the age of 17. He made more than 100 appearances for Gillingham and became a target for a number of larger clubs, eventually signing for Wolverhampton Wanderers in June 2007. After a slow start to his career with the club due to injury, he has gone on to establish himself as a first team regular. His parents were both professional table tennis players and were ranked as Britain's number one men's and ladies' players.
Born in Middlesbrough, Jarvis started his career on the books of Millwall, but was released by the club, and moved on to Kent-based club Gillingham as a trainee. On 4 November 2003, at the age of 17, he made his Football League debut in a match against Sunderland when a number of senior players were missing due to influenza. He came on as a 76th minute substitute for Richard Rose in a match which his team lost 3–1. He next played for the first team in an FA Cup defeat to Burnley on 24 January 2004, and went on to feature regularly in the team in March and April. In total he made two starts and eight substitute appearances during the 2003–04 season, but also continued to play for the youth team, helping them reach the last sixteen of the FA Youth Cup. Shortly before the end of the season he signed his first professional contract with the club when manager Andy Hessenthaler gave him a three-year deal.
In the 2004–05 season Jarvis became a regular in the Gillingham first team, playing in 30 Football League matches, although he was out of action for five weeks in January and February after undergoing an operation on a hernia. He also scored his first goal for the club in a win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on 30 October 2004. Gillingham, however, were relegated from the Football League Championship at the end of the season. In the 2005–06 season he was again a regular, and scored seven goals, his best season tally to date.
Midway through the 2006–07 season Gillingham offered Jarvis a new contract, which the club described as the most lucrative it had ever offered to a player of his age. Jarvis rejected the contract offer, but later claimed via his agent that he would be happy to remain at Priestfield Stadium if the club "demonstrated that it could match his ambitions". A number of Premier League and Championship clubs showed interest in signing Jarvis, and Plymouth Argyle made an unsuccessful bid for the player, manager Ian Holloway commenting that "we did make a bid but it got knocked back". Towards the end of the season Nottingham Forest of Football League One made an offer of £650,000, hoping to circumvent the transfer window by taking the player on loan until the end of the season, but the bid was turned down by the player's agent. At the end of the season Charlton Athletic expressed their interest in Jarvis, but Gillingham chairman Paul Scally stated that he believed the player's agent had already agreed a deal with another club. Scally also claimed that Jarvis had the potential to play for England by the time he was 24.
In April 2007, the members of the Professional Footballers' Association selected Jarvis for inclusion in their League One Team of the Year. The following month Gillingham made a further improved contract offer in a final attempt to retain the player, but Jarvis instead chose to join Wolverhampton Wanderers of the Championship, signing a two-year contract with the option to extend his stay by a further year. The clubs agreed a transfer fee but the exact amount was not disclosed.
Jarvis suffered hip and groin injuries during pre-season training and was unable to take any further part in training until September. He finally made his debut for his new club on 20 October 2007, when he came on as an 88th minute substitute in a 2–0 home victory over Charlton Athletic. After regaining full fitness, he became a first-choice player at Molineux, making a further 27 appearances during the 2007–08 season. He scored his first goal for the club in a 1–1 draw with Leicester City in December 2007.
Jarvis injured his hamstring in the defeat to Reading on 30 September 2008 and was expected to be out of action for approximately six weeks. He made his return in the 1–0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers on 6 December. He is signed to the Midlands club until 2012.
Statistics correct as of end of the 2008–09 season
|Club||Season||Football League||FA Cup||Football League Cup||Football League Trophy||Total|
In 2006 former team-mate Steve Claridge identified Jarvis' main strengths as his mental quickness, pace, and ability to anticipate the movement of the ball. He noted that Gillingham were more of an attacking threat when Jarvis was given space to run at opposition players. Jarvis was said to be "competent" jumping for the ball in the air, although his comparatively short stature meant that he was not used as a target man. He was also said to be less than comfortable when his back was to his opponents' goal.
Jarvis' parents, Nick and Linda, both played table tennis professionally and each reached number one in the sport's British rankings. Later they set up the table tennis supplies company Jarvis Sports, which relocated from Guisborough to Guildford in the same year that Jarvis was born.