Birthdate: 6 January 1989
Birthplace: Gateshead, England
Other clubs: Newcastle United (2005-11), Preston North End (loan 2007-08), West Ham United (loan 2012-13)
Bought from: Newcastle United
Signed for LFC: £35m, 31.01.2011
International debut: 17.11.2010 vs. France
International caps: 8/2 (7/2 at LFC) - 15.08.2012
Liverpool debut: 06.03.2011
Last appearance: 26.08.2012
Debut goal: 11.04.2011
Last goal: 05.05.2012
Contract expiry: 2016
Win ratio: 44.83% W: 26 D: 13 L: 19
Games/goals ratio: 5.27
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 1 / 1
LFC league games/goals: 44 / 6
Total LFC games/goals: 58 / 11
Andrew Thomas Carroll was born in the north-eastern town of Gateshead but signed a professional contract with neighbouring Newcastle United when he was only 17-years-old. He made four Premier League appearances for the Magpies in 2006/07, in addition to becoming the club’s youngest-ever player to feature in a European fixture when he played against Palermo on 2 November 2006. His FA Cup debut came two months later against Birmingham City. Carroll first played for England’s Under-19 side in 2007 after Scotland had named him in their U-19 side as he was eligible to play for both countries. In 2007 he was the recipient of a ‘rising star’ award bearing the name of Newcastle legend Jackie Milburn but despite his growing reputation was loaned out to Championship club Preston North End to give him a better chance of regular first-team football. But his time at Deepdale was not a great success, just one goal from twelve League and cup matches and the first red card of his fledgling career against Scunthorpe. He returned to Newcastle in January 2008 and had added a further four Premier League matches to his total by the end of the 2007/08 season but had still not scored for the Magpies. To be fair to him he had only started one game and was often a late substitute. By the time the following season started, Carroll was much more in the first-team picture despite the team battling, ultimately unsuccessfully, against relegation from the Premier League. He scored his debut goal in a 2-2 draw against West Ham on 10 January 2009 and added two more in a total of 16 matches. Carroll's career blossomed in 2009/10 when he scored 17 goals as Newcastle returned to the top division as winners of the Championship.
In the summer of 2010 Carroll was handed the legendary No. 9 shirt at Newcastle that Jackie Milburn, Malcolm Macdonald and Alan Shearer had worn with such distinction. Carroll was understandably quite proud: "Alan Shearer was my idol as a young lad and who would have thought I'd be following in his footsteps?," Carroll enthused. "When you look at the fantastic players down the years who have worn the shirt, it sends shivers down your spine, it's amazing. It's every young Geordie lad's dream to be the Newcastle United No. 9." The legendary shirt certainly did Carroll no harm as the goals continued to flow when Newcastle resumed their place at English football’s top table. He had delivered 11 goals from 19 League games halfway through the season. His powerful performances for Newcastle had been noted by England’s national manager, Fabio Capello, who played Carroll in a Wembley friendly against France in November 2010. Liverpool had already seen first-hand his all-round strength and shooting capabilities at Newcastle in December. He beat Pepe Reina from distance and had a hand in the other two goals in a 3-1 victory. Incoming Newcastle manager Alan Pardew attempted to dissuade potential suitors for his in-form striker by declaring that he was not for sale and had a “bright future at St. James’ Park”. A week later Carroll was injured during a defeat at Tottenham which kept him out of action as the January transfer-window opened. Because the player was unavailable for selection, it was maybe a bit of a surprise when Liverpool made their move towards the end of the window, although Kenny Dalglish already knew that he was likely to lose Fernando Torres to Chelsea and knew he had to act swiftly with time running out for him to secure an adequate replacement. The size of the fee astounded the footballing world, £35 million, making Carroll the most expensive British player in history. Liverpool's Director of Football at the time, Damien Comolli, said the deal was worth making as it was a part of a bigger picture, as he told the Times in December 2012: "The way we looked at it, we were selling two players, Fernando Torres and Ryan Babel, and we were bringing two in, Luis Suárez and Carroll, and we were making a profit and the wage bill was coming down as well. It was a four-player deal."
From being short of cover in attack, Liverpool were able to unveil two new forwards on the same day, Carroll and Luis Suarez, with Reds’ supporters eager to see what impact the new men would have as they despondently watched Torres disappear in the direction of the capital city. Carroll needed a month to recover from his injury and had to wait for his first goal until in his sixth match against Manchester City at Anfield, a ferocious left-foot strike from the edge of the penalty area. He added a second ten minutes before half-time with a towering header from a Meireles' cross from the left. For much of the 2011/12 season the enormous transfer seemed to hang like a millstone around the young striker's neck. Only nine goals from 47 first-team matches did not seem to represent good value for money. But big Andy persevered and got his reward in the middle of April when he headed late winners against Blackburn in the Premier League and against Everton in the FA Cup semi-final. He scored in the FA Cup final against Chelsea and was denied a second goal by a miraculous save. His improved form towards the end of the season earned him a place in Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad for the Euro 2012. As soon as Brendan Rodgers took over at Liverpool it was abundantly clear that Carroll didn't suit his requirements. On 30 August 2012 Carroll was loaned for the whole of the 2012/13 season to Sam Allardyce's West Ham without a replacement coming in following the collapse of the deal to bring Clint Dempsey in from Fulham, leaving the Reds a striker short until January.