Player profile

David James

David James

Birthdate: 1 August 1970
Birthplace: Welwyn Garden City, England
Other clubs: Watford (1984-92), Aston Villa (1999-2001), West Ham United (2001-04), Manchester City (2004-06), Portsmouth (2006-10), Bristol City (2010-12), AFC Bournemouth (2012-13), IBV Vestmannaeyjar (2013), Kerala Blasters (2014-)
Bought from: Watford
Signed for LFC: £1m, 06.07.1992
International debut: 29.03.1997 vs. Mexico
International caps: 53/0 (1 at LFC) - 27.06.2010
Liverpool debut: 16.08.1992
Last appearance: 21.04.1999
Contract expiry: 17.06.1999
Win ratio: 48.01% W:133 D:70 L:74
Honours: League Cup 1995
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 16 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 214 / 0
Total LFC games/goals: 277 / 0

Player profile

James was considered one of England's best and brightest goalkeepers when he was establishing himself at Watford. Arriving at Liverpool only 21 years of age he vowed to become the club's first-choice 'keeper and England's as well inside two years. James didn't start his Liverpool career very promisingly and critics were happy to write him off after failing at the first hurdle. Grobbelaar recaptured his place but even with him out later through illness Mike Hooper was preferred to James in the 1992/93 season. Before the season was out though James was again handed the number one jersey. James had to settle for bench duty the following season until 19 February 1994 when Grobbelaar got injured. From that point on James made 213 consecutive appearances until Brad Friedel took his place on 28 February 1998. James got back into the side in the 1998/99 season but that turned out to be his last at Liverpool.

James was too prone to make mistakes but that was a fact that Liverpool's fans had grown quite accustomed to after watching Grobbelaar's wild antics. But unlike the past Liverpool were not winning each game despite the goalkeeper's errors and when James made a mistake it was the reason behind Liverpool's defeat that particular evening. Contrary to people's expectations James seemed to become less confident as the years passed by even earning the nickname "Calamity James" and one high pass into the penalty area was basically what was needed because the opposition knew he would have trouble controlling it. James once attributed his lack of concentration to playing Nintendo games long into the night! 

   Despite his Liverpool career having its ups and downs James had has a very successful career with a number of clubs and a healthy number of international caps to his name. On 14 February 2009 he achieved the all-time Premier League appearance record with 536 appearances, overtaking Gary Speed. He held the record until Ryan Giggs broke it in 2011. James won the FA Cup with Pompey in 2008 which proved third time lucky as he had lost with Liverpool in the 1996 final to a late Eric Cantona goal and Aston Villa in 2000. James reached the cup final again with Portsmouth in 2010 but he was denied a winners' medal for the third time. Pompey were relegated at the end of the season after finishing well clear at the bottom of the table. After being part of every season of the Premier League since its inception in the 1992/93, James moved to Bristol City in the Championship for the 2010/11 season. After appearing regularly in the Championship for a couple of years the 41-year-old goalkeeper was released at the end of 2011/12. Towards the end of September 2012 having passed his forty-second birthday James joined his eighth different English League club when he signed for AFC Bournemouth until the end of the 2012/13 season. In April 2013 James signed on as player-coach of Iceland's IBV Vestmannaeyjar where his former Portsmouth team-mate Hermann Hreiðarsson was the manager. James played twenty-three times for ÍBV during the Icelandic season of 2013 and announced his retirement as a player as soon as that season was over. James didn't stay retired for long as he was appointed player-boss of Kerala Blasters in the inaugural Indian Super League in the summer of 2014. Kerala reached the final of the Indian Super League and James played in goal for their 1-0 defeat by Atlético de Kolkata in Mumbai. 

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 214 19 22 22 0 277
1992-1993 29 0 1 1 0 31
1993-1994 14 0 0 0 0 14
1994-1995 42 7 8 0 0 57
1995-1996 38 7 4 4 0 53
1996-1997 38 2 4 8 0 52
1997-1998 27 1 5 4 0 37
1998-1999 26 2 0 5 0 33

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
15 Leeds United
13 Chelsea
13 Arsenal
13 Wimbledon
12 Everton
12 Newcastle United
12 Blackburn Rovers
12 Aston Villa
11 Southampton
11 Manchester United
11 Coventry City
10 Middlesbrough
10 Nottingham Forest
10 Sheffield Wednesday
10 Tottenham
9 West Ham United
8 Leicester City
6 Manchester City
6 Crystal Palace
5 Derby
5 Ipswich Town
5 Burnley
4 Bolton Wanderers
4 Charlton Athletic
4 Norwich City
4 Sunderland
3 Sheffield United
2 Oldham Athletic
2 Birmingham City
2 Celtic
2 Valencia
2 Spartak Vladi.
2 Brøndby
2 Mypa 47
2 Sion
2 Brann
2 Paris St Germain
2 Strasbourg
2 Celta Vigo
1 Shrewsbury Town
1 Kosice
1 Rochdale
1 Barnsley
1 Port Vale
1 Chesterfield
1 Grimsby Town
1 Apollon Limassol
1 Stoke City
Total Started/substitutions
276 Started
64 On the bench
1 Substitute
1 Substituted
Total Competition
214 Premier League
22 League Cup
19 FA Cup
13 UEFA Cup
9 European Cup Winners Cup

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 16.08.1992 Nottingham Forest City Ground League
50 17.09.1994 Manchester United Old Trafford League
100 06.05.1995 Aston Villa Villa Park League
150 08.04.1996 West Ham United Anfield League
200 10.04.1997 Paris St Germain Parc des Princes Europe
250 31.10.1998 Leicester City Filbert Street League

Related Articles

Bruce Grobbelaar - 13 medals in 13 years wanted to get to know the man behind the myth and what drives Bruce Grobbelaar.More

I cried. For the first time, I cried

Is there a worse feeling in football than losing a Cup final? Not for the man who kept goal for Liverpool in 1996 and Villa in 2000. He has the scars - but not the medals - to prove it.More

Saved By David James

An article from Liverpool Super magazine in 1994.More

Cup finalist James living with "Calamity" tag

Liverpool Daily Post article on 18th May 2000.More

WHO would dare drop Michael Owen now?

Liverpool Echo report on Liverpool - Aston Villa on 06.09.2000.More

James plays the fool

Match report from British Soccer Week on Norwich - Liverpool on 01.05.1993.More

Sherri shoots down Reds

Match report from British Soccer Week on Nottm for - Liverpool on 16.08.1992.More

James for England

Joe Corrigan can't believe David James isn't an England regular.More

A dogged Portsmouth earns draw

BBC report on Liverpool 0-0 Portsmouth on 29 November 2006.More

Various reports from The Daily Telegraph, Press Association and The Daily Express

Various reports on Tottenham Hotspur 0 - 0 Liverpool on 22 March 1995.More

If you thought trainspotters were weird ... try footballers

David James on October 22, 2006. More

Related Quotes

"I have taken stock of what I am about. The problem in the past was that everything was taken for granted. A lot of people believed I was capable of becoming England's number one and I took it for granted that I was going to do that without having to do the hard stuff which was working at it. "The worst point was the 'Calamity James' time of my career when I was 26-27 and I was trying to equate how I would be able to get back into the England team. The move to Aston Villa was the right move at the right time."

James in June 2004