Players - Craig Bellamy

Craig Bellamy
Birthdate: 13 July 1979
Birthplace: Cardiff, Wales
Other clubs: Norwich City (1990-2000), Coventry City (2000-01), Newcastle United (2001-05), Celtic (loan, 2005), Blackburn Rovers (2005-06), West Ham United (2007-09), Manchester City (2009-11), Cardiff City (loan, 2010-11), Cardiff City (2 / 2012-14)
Bought from: Blackburn Rovers / Manchester City
Signed for LFC: 6000000 / Free, 01.07.2006 / 31.08.2011
International debut: 25.03.1998 vs. Jamaica
International caps: 78/19 (17/5 at LFC) - 15.10.2013
Liverpool debut: 09.08.2006
Last appearance: 13.05.2012
Debut goal: 09.08.2006
Last goal: 31.01.2012
Contract expiry: 10.07.2007 / 10.08.2012
Win ratio: 50.63% W:40 D:15 L:24
Games/goals ratio: 4.39
Games/assists ratio: 6.08
Honours: League Cup 2012
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 12 / 0
League games / goals / assists: 54 / 13 / 5
Total games / goals / assists: 79 / 18 / 13

Player Profile

Bellamy started his career at Norwich making his first-team debut in the 1996/97 season. He alerted bigger clubs to his ability by scoring 13 goals in 38 games in his first full season and making his Wales debut. He scored 19 goals in 43 games the following season and after an injury-hit 1999/2000 season, he was sold for a club-record fee of £6.5 million to replace Robbie Keane at Coventry. His former manager in the Welsh international side, Bobby Gould, had great faith in young Craig: "Bellamy is a terrific talent with tremendous flair and ability. When I was working at international level, there were three outstanding prospects in the country - Michael Owen, Robbie Keane and Craig Bellamy. Craig is right up there with the other two. He's a philosopher and disciple of the game, and travels all over Europe at his own expense, watching the top clubs and learning from the best players. I was telling Premiership managers three years ago to go out and buy him, so I think it's a great signing." The Sky Blues were relegated from the Premier League in his only season but luckily for Bellamy Newcastle were fully aware of his capabilities.

Bellamy spent next four years at Newcastle and was voted PFA Young Player of the Year in his debut 2001/02 season. His boss Bobby Robson described him as "a great player wrapped round an unusual and volatile character." Knee problems curtailed his career at the Magpies and Bellamy was even worried that he might never overcome them. He still managed to play 128 games and score 43 goals. After Sir Bobby left Newcastle in 2004 Bellamy had a very public falling-out with his successor, Graeme Souness, who voiced his displeasure in his notes in Newcastle's match programme: "Craig Bellamy has been a disruptive influence from the minute I walked into this football club with his attitude to the coaching staff, to me and to his teammates." Former assistant manager of Newcastle Terry McDermott wasn't a big fan either. "I've never come across so much hatred and unrest over one person." Bellamy was sent on loan to Celtic at the end of January 2005. He scored nine goals in 15 matches in Scotland but Bellamy wasn't interested in a long-term deal. The fiery Welshman joined another fiery Welshman at Blackburn prior to the 2005/06 season. Bellamy flourished under Mark Hughes' guidance and scored 17 goals in 32 games and was considered by many the buy of the season. He had a £6 million get-out clause in his contract which Liverpool took full advantage of and this lifelong Red joined his idols. Bellamy was very inconsistent in which proved to be his only season at Liverpool when he made 33 starts and nine substitute appearances. He showed his obvious talents on occasions but unfortunately, the "highlight" was his Tiger Woods imitation on Liverpool's club trip to Portugal when John Arne Riise faced the angry Welshman and his golf club. Bellamy made light of the incident when celebrating his goal against Barcelona in February 2007 with a mock golf swing. His international manager, John Toshack, was impressed by Bellamy when commenting on him in November 2006: "Craig is the nearest thing to Kevin Keegan I have seen in 20 years. For us, he led by example and is a constant threat with his pace and running. He is so like Kevin, my old strike partner at Liverpool. Kevin could turn bad passes into good ones with his determination and running, and Craig does the same. Their work rates are very similar - Craig just runs, and runs and so did Kevin."

Bellamy played with the Hammers for one and a half season where injuries took their toll on him, but despite only managing nine goals in 26 games for 18 months, he was sold for a whopping £14 million to Manchester City in January 2009. Bellamy scored four goals in 11 matches in his debut season at Eastlands. He seemed to be fairly settled at City, missing only six of the 38 Premier League matches in 2009/10. He endeared himself to the City fans by scoring twice in a League match at Old Trafford, the second making the score 3-3 with time running out; however, there was still enough time for Michael Owen to grab a United winner in added-time. In what turned out to be his only full season at City Bellamy scored ten goals from 32 Premier League matches as well as boasting eight assists. Bellamy was on the move again, but this time on a season-long loan deal to his hometown club, Cardiff City. He was immediately named club captain, scored 11 goals from 36 matches and proved instrumental with 13 assists in 2010/11. Cardiff's quest to become a Premier League club again ended in disappointment after Reading defeated them in the end-of-season play-off semi-final.

On the last day of the 2011 summer transfer-window, 32-year-old Bellamy made a surprise return to Liverpool five years after he first arrived at Anfield. Bellamy had been granted a free transfer by Manchester City after the club agreed to settle the final year of the player’s £90,000-a-week contract, though the compensation did not total the full £4.6 million. Liverpool's Director of Football, Damien Comolli, was pleased with adding the Welshman to Dalglish's squad: "Both for Kenny and I, it was a no-brainer. He has pace, he's a good finisher, he works hard and the timing of his runs is second to none. His work-rate is really good and what we really liked is the fact he is so versatile. He can play wide, he can play up front, he can play off the target man, so he is an ideal complement to the squad we have built during the summer." Bellamy was one of the big success stories of the season. He appeared in almost three-quarters of the 51 first-team matches, even though he was rarely asked to play twice in the same week due to his physical condition. He made a significant contribution with nine goals, the most important of which was the strike that took the club through to the final of the League Cup, ironically where they met Cardiff City. In the final, he came on as a substitute for Jordan Henderson midway through the second half, applauded by both sets of fans. As Liverpool celebrated the win Bellamy made a point of going to the Cardiff fans, thanking them for their reception. He was also a substitute in the FA Cup semi-final with Everton at Wembley and laid on the winning goal for Andy Carroll, guaranteeing himself a starting place in the final against Chelsea. Bellamy contributed nine goals to the campaign, but failed to score in his last 13 games of which six were 'starts'. Bellamy left for Cardiff in August 2012, the main reason being he wanted to live with his family there, having been forced to live apart while he was at Liverpool.

Bellamy was a key figure in 2012/13 as his hometown club returned to the top division for the first time since 1962. He played in thirty-three Championship matches, scoring four times. If Bellamy was thrilled to be playing in the top division for his hometown club, his team had a quite miserable season finishing bottom of the Premier League with only 30 points and so making an immediate return to the Championship. Even a change of manager mid-way through the season did not change the club's fortunes on the field of play. Craig played in exactly half (19) of Cardiff's 38 Premier League matches. He only scored once, against Norwich City in January, but that goal meant that he had scored for seven different clubs in the Premier League. Bellamy's two-year contract with Cardiff City expired at the end of the 2013/14 season. With his 35th birthday looming in the summer, Bellamy announced his retirement as a player on 22 May 2014 saying his body could not take any more. In December that year, he returned to his old club as an academy coach, combining his role there with media work. In January 2019 he stepped down from coaching Cardiff's under-18s while investigations of bullying were investigated. The following June, he joined up with ex-Manchester City teammate Vincent Kompany who had recently been appointed as head coach of Anderlecht. Bellamy agreed a deal to coach the Belgian club's under-21 side. In 2021 he was promoted to assistant manager but left the role in September that year, saying he needed to focus on combatting depression, a condition he had battled since his playing days.
Appearances per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 54 4 8 12 1 79
2006-2007 27 0 2 12 1 42
2011-2012 27 4 6 0 0 37
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
Apps Minutes Opponent
8 365 Chelsea
4 334 Newcastle United
4 266 Blackburn Rovers
4 210 Tottenham
4 202 Manchester City
3 244 Fulham
3 186 Aston Villa
3 135 Wigan Athletic
3 116 Manchester United
3 114 Everton
3 111 Arsenal
3 99 PSV Eindhoven
3 47 Stoke City
2 180 Bolton Wanderers
2 175 West Ham United
2 166 Watford
2 159 Norwich City
2 147 Barcelona
2 74 Galatasaray
2 69 Maccabi Haifa
2 44 Swansea City
2 30 WBA
1 90 Wolves
1 90 Brighton & Hove Albion
1 90 Sheffield United
1 90 Middlesbrough
1 90 Portsmouth
1 90 Charlton Athletic
1 89 Birmingham City
1 87 Bordeaux
1 75 Oldham Athletic
1 69 Sunderland
1 62 Cardiff City
1 50 Reading
1 12 QPR
Total Started/substitutions
51 Started
6 On the bench
28 Substitute
34 Substituted
Total Venue
44 Away
31 Home
4 Neutral
Total Competition
54 Premier League
12 Champions League
8 League Cup
4 FA Cup
1 Community Shield
Total W D L Win % Manager
42 23 7 12 54.8% Rafa Benítez
37 17 8 12 45.9% Kenny Dalglish
Goals per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 13 1 2 2 0 18
2006-2007 7 0 0 2 0 9
2011-2012 6 1 2 0 0 9
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
Assists per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 5 2 2 3 1 13
2006-2007 2 0 0 3 1 6
2011-2012 3 2 2 0 0 7
A more detailed look at the player's assists
Milestone Appearances
# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 09.08.2006 Maccabi Haifa Anfield Europe
50 05.11.2011 Swansea City Anfield League
Milestone Goals
# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 33 09.08.2006 Maccabi Haifa Anfield Europe
Related Articles
Craig Bellamy: GoodFella

Chris Wood shares his opinion on the new Craig Bellamy book

The new Bellamy

By Michael Walker in the Daily Mail on 30th January 2012.

The best week of my life

Interview by Chris Bascombe at the Liverpool Echo on 22nd of February 2007, the day after Liverpool's great win at Nou Camp.

Bellamy blitz ends awayday misery

Match report from The Observer on Wigan - Liverpool on 02.12.2006.

Bellamy fight club

From Goodfella: My autobiography. Published in the Daily Mail on 7 June 2013.

Related Quotes

"Craig loves playing the game and joining such a good club as Liverpool can only benefit him. He has always wanted to play in the big tournaments and his talent deserves that. He is a tremendous player and I'm sure he will do well for them. He has got speed, confidence and he scores goals so being at Anfield will be good for Wales, but I'm not so sure it's such good news for the rest of he Premiership.

The move will be good for him in so many ways, not least because at most of his previous clubs Craig has had to shoulder a great deal of the responsibility. But now he will have better players around him, which will ease the pressure on him and he probably won't even have to play in every game for Liverpool. "And he is an important player for Wales too. He is, like me, one of the senior players now and the onus is on us to set standards for the younger lads coming through, both on and off the pitch."

Man Utd star Ryan Giggs on his welsh teammate Craig Bellamy

"He can become a Liverpool legend, he can do that. If he went to a Barcelona, a Milan or a Madrid he would have an impact because of what he has - a great work ethic as well as great ability. Sometimes his personality grates on some people but as a professional, as someone who comes in to try to better himself every day, you can't fault Craig. If you don't know him you don't understand the desire he has to be the best player he can be. I don't think he should ever be knocked for that. He did an excellent job for us at Blackburn. We embraced him and he embraced us and what we were about, that's why it worked. Captaining his country was also important to Craig. He likes to be recognised as one of the more important, senior players."

Mark Hughes on Craig Bellamy in December 2006

"I've never come across so much hatred and unrest over one person. I have experienced it from the inside, and it's across the board. What I've been told, not by players and coaches, but by people who have been at United for 30 and 40 years, hardly made for harmony. They've begged me not to let this guy back into the club. I've no axe to grind with Craig Bellamy. I've never met him and he's done me no personal harm. But, in the six days I've been here, what I've heard from many sources means I don't want to meet the guy. Some of the things said by him, not just last week but throughout his period here, have been disgraceful. I know about the voicemail message he sent because I was playing golf with Alan [Shearer] when he received it. That message alone should mean Bellamy never plays here again.

Former assistant manager at Newcastle Terry McDermott on Craig Bellamy’s legacy at Newcastle

Other Clubs
Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Norwich City 1996-1997 England First Division 3 0 3 0
Norwich City 1997-1998 England First Division 36 13 38 13
Norwich City 1998-1999 England First Division 40 17 45 19
Norwich City 1999-2000 England First Division 4 2 4 2
Norwich City 2000-2001 England First Division 1 0 1 0
Coventry City 2000-2001 England Premier League 34 6 39 8
Newcastle United 2001-2002 England Premier League 27 9 39 14
Newcastle United 2002-2003 England Premier League 29 7 36 9
Newcastle United 2003-2004 England Premier League 16 5 24 10
Newcastle United 2004-2005 England Premier League 21 7 29 10
Celtic 2004-2005 Scotland Premier League 12 7 15 9
Blackburn Rovers 2005-2006 England Premier League 27 13 32 17
West Ham United 2007-2008 England Premier League 8 2 9 4
West Ham United 2008-2009 England Premier League 16 5 17 5
Manchester City 2008-2009 England Premier League 8 2 11 4
Manchester City 2009-2010 England Premier League 32 10 40 11
Cardiff City 2010-2011 England Championship 35 11 36 11
Cardiff City 2012-2013 England Championship 33 4 33 4
Cardiff City 2013-2014 England Championship 22 2 22 2
Total 404 122 473 152