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Michael Tonge
Personal information
Full name Michael William Eric Tonge[1]
Date of birth 7 April 1983 (1983-04-07) (age 26)[2]
Place of birth Manchester, England
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Derby County
(on loan from Stoke City)
Number 19
Youth career
Manchester United
000?–2001 Sheffield United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2008 Sheffield United 262 (21)
2008– Stoke City 10 (0)
2009–2010 Preston North End (loan) 7 (0)
2010– Derby County (loan) 9 (2)
National team
England U20
England U21 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:00, 16 March 2010 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Michael William Eric Tonge (born 7 April 1983) is an English footballer who plays for Derby County as a midfielder, on loan from Stoke City.

Born in Manchester and raised in Astley, Tonge began his football career at Manchester United but moved to Sheffield United at the age of 16 after being released by the Premier League club and now plays for Stoke City.




Sheffield United

Born in Manchester[2] Tonge was signed as a youth player by manager Steve Bruce when he was released by Manchester United. His talent quickly emerged and he was in the Sheffield United first team reckoning by April 2001. He made his first senior start in the last game of the 2000-01 season, a 1–1 draw away at Bolton.[3] Tonge scored his first competitive goal for the Blades in October the following season, netting the winner in a 1–0 home victory over Crewe.[4]

Good performances led to an England youth international call-up and by the end of 2003 interest from clubs such as Liverpool, especially after scoring two goals to help the Blades to a 2–1 win in the first leg of the Semi-Final of the League Cup against the Merseyside team.[5]

A highly rated midfielder during the 2002–03 season who has since never really lived up to the form shown in that season. During the 2002/03 season Sheffield United reached both English cup semi finals and the league play-off final, and Tonge was a key man throughout. Playing on the left wing Tonge had many outstanding moments, including mesmeric performances against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, Norwich City, Wolves, Reading, Derby, Liverpool in the League Cup and in particular the home game 3-1 win against Millwall, where Tonge single handedly tore the Millwall defence to shreds with his dribbling ability. This performance is still thought of by Blades fans as one of the best individual performances by a Sheffield United player in recent years. He ended the season with the young player of the year award and speculation on his future at the club, with Liverpool reportedly interested after his two goals against them earlier in the season.

The following season much was again expected of Tonge, with a newly improved contract Blades fans were delighted to still have him at the club following the clubs failure to reach the premiership. 2003–04 saw Tonge impressively notch up over 15 assists but only 4 league goals. With the loss of Michael Brown much of the expectation lay solely on Tonge's still young shoulders, and the pressure at times showed. Still, the season saw him show some excellent individual performances, with the West Brom away 2-0 win being a highlight. Tonge ended the season coming 2nd in the player of the year award, and speculation on his future was again rife.

Season 2004–05 was a disappointing one for Tonge, poor form and criticism from sections of the crowd hinded his progress, however his performance live on the BBC against Aston Villa in the FA Cup was a reminder of the great talent he possessed. The following season, he played in 33 games during the 2005-06 promotion campaign and his goal against Sheffield Wednesday on 18 February 2006 was selected as the Capital One Goal of the Season. Tonge was in outstanding form from December onwards and his new permanent position in central midfield looked like being the breakthrough Tonge had needed for a few years. In July 2006, Tonge signed a two-year extension to his contract which would take him through to the end of the 2007-08 season. He ended the 2005-06 campaign with 3 goals and 3 assists.

During the season 2006–07 in the premiership Tonge made some telling contributions including a spectacular free kick against West Ham United but whilst his technical play is praised, he has also been accused of poor consistency and a lack of confidence in the midfield for the Blades.[citation needed] He scored his first Premiership goal against Fulham on 30 January 2007. Tonge ended the Premiership season with some excellent individual performances, particularly against West Ham United, Watford and Charlton Athletic. Overall though, Tonge looked comfortable at Premiership level.

During the summer there were rumours of possible moves to Birmingham City and Derby County, Tonge has however always stayed loyal to his Sheffield United roots.

The 2007/08 season has so far been a bitter disappointment for Sheffield United and the players, with manager Bryan Robson ending up getting fired. Tonge has suffered along with the rest of the side, many poor and inconsistent performances have once again troubled him. However, since new manager Kevin Blackwell took control of the side Tonge has been in excellent form, showing the ability all Sheffield United fans know he is capable of. He has so far scored only once this season.

Stoke City

On 1 September 2008 Tonge signed for Premier League side Stoke City for a fee believed to be in region of £2 million, which could eventually rise to £2.5 million. After failing to fully settle at Stoke, Tonge left on 19 November 2009 when he signed a loan deal with Preston North End and made his debut on the 23rd November against Newcastle United. Tonge later signed for Derby County on transfer deadline day on loan until end of the season. This deal has a possibility of a permanent deal, according to Stoke City F.C.[6] Tonge scored his first goal for Derby in a 2-0 win over Watford on 6 March 2010.[7]

Career statistics

Club Performance
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Others Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Stoke City 2009-10 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
2008-091 10 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 0
Sheffield United 2008-091 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
2007-08 45 1 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 51 1
2006-07 27 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 28 2
2005-06 30 3 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 33 3
2004-05 34 2 5 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 41 3
2003-04 46 4 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 51 4
2002-03 44 6 4 0 7 2 0 0 3 0 58 8
2001-02 30 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 32 3
2001-02 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 272 21 20 0 20 3 0 0 3 0 314 24

1 Last updated 23 September 2009


  1. ^ "Statistics". Premier League.,,12306~146370,00.pdf. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  2. ^ a b Hugman, Barry J. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946-2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 616. ISBN 1852916656. 
  3. ^ "Bolton strike late to deny Blades". BBC Sport. 2001-05-06. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  4. ^ "Sheff Utd 1-0 Crewe". BBC Sport. 2001-10-27. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  5. ^ "Blades cut down Liverpool". BBC Sport. 2003-01-08. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  6. ^ "Tonge seals Preston loan switch". BBC Sport. 2009-11-19. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  7. ^ "Derby 2 - 0 Watford". BBC. 6 March 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2010. 

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