Who is Alan Smith?
At a very young age of 18, Alan made himself visible in the international football scene by the virtue of his talent. Alan stole the hearts of the Leeds United fans in his 6-year long tenure. However later, he went on to upset his supporters by joining the team’s arch rivals Manchester United. He is also famous for having earned 56 yellow cards and 8 red cards in a period of seven years. While few players would have lost hope, Alan emerged strong from his horrific ankle injury which kept him out of action for almost a year. Most people even concluded that his career was over but Alan’s passion for the game proved everyone wrong. Alan who reached the peak of his career very quickly, also came spiraling down equally fast. He lost his place at Newcastle United after repeated poor performances, and ended up playing for a relatively low profile Milton Keynes Dons F.C. Alan however, still continues playing the sport with the same passion and dedication as he did during the start of his international career.
Childhood & Early Life
Alan was born on October 28, 1980 at Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Alan started playing professional football at the age of 18, for the club Leeds United. His debut was a match against Liverpool.
Playing as a substitute in this game, Alan scored a crucial goal for his team, which grabbed the attention of sports officials. He was soon considered for the English Football season of 1998-99.
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Alan's talent was completely revealed in the 2001 UEFA championship, where he performed really well for Leeds. The same year saw him get selected to the national Football team of England.
Alan received the first red card of his career during a Euro 2004 Qualifier match against Macedonia.
After a six year stint with Leeds, during which he emerged as a hero in the eyes of Leeds fans, Alan moved to ‘Manchester United’. He was signed for a 7 million Euro deal. His transfer left Leeds fans very upset.
In his debut match for Manchester in 2004, Alan scored a goal against big fish Arsenal. However, his team lost the match with the end score 3-1.
Soon later Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson decided to groom him to become the mid-fielder for Manchester United. In spite of all the training, Alan failed to perform, and was widely criticized by Manchester United fans.
In a 2006 match against Liverpool, Alan dislocated his ankle in a bid to save a free kick. The injury was termed as one of the worst any footballer could face. Alan was out of action for several months due to this.
Manchester United's 4-0 Victory over ‘Wigan Athletic’ in Alan's presence was a huge sigh of relief for the man. All his teammates expressed their solidarity for Alan's grave injury by wearing 'For You Smudge' T-shirts.
In 2007, Alan made his last appearance for Manchester United. He was honored with a special medal by the team as a mark of respect for his great contribution.
In 2007, Alan joined the club ‘Newcastle United’. He signed a five year contract with the club and the deal was made for 6 million Euros. In his very first match, Alan scored a goal against ‘Sampdoria’, leading the team to a 1-0 victory.
Though Alan pioneered his team to a 6-0 against the club ‘Aston Villa’, his poor performance against Manchester United and Blackpool shook the team management’s faith in him. Alan was soon replaced by Cheick Tiote for the position of mid-fielder.
In 2011, the team’s management asked Smith to leave the team. The very next year he was relieved of his duties with Newcastle United. It was also rumored that Alan would move back to his previous team Leeds United, since the team’s manager Simon Grayson had expressed his interest to have him back on their side.
In early 2012, Alan became a part of a relatively new football club called ‘Milton Keynes Dons F.C’. The same year he scored his first goal in five years, leading his team to a 1-0 victory against Sheffield United. On May 16, 2014, the club released Smith from its services.
After his contract with MK Dons ended, Smith joined Notts County on May 20, 2014 as a player-coach for a one-year contract.
Awards & Achievements
During his time at Leeds United, Alan received the ‘Supporters’ Player of the Year’ award for two successive years, 2003 and 2004 respectively. This was the first time in the history of the club that a single player won the title in quick successions.
Alan was awarded the prestigious Premiership medal by the club in spite of not finishing 10 matches of the championship, taking into account his dedication towards the team.
In a 2009 match against his previous club Leeds United, Alan was booed by the crowd each time he held possession of the ball.