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 was due to expire shortly after the end of the 2013/14 season. With his 35th birthday looming in the summer, it was unclear whether the charismatic Welshmen would be seeking a new contract with City, looking elsewhere to continue playing or call time on his playing career completely.
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.
|2||West Ham United|
|1||Brighton & Hove Albion|
|1||Brighton & Hove Albion|
Chris Wood shares his opinion on the new Craig Bellamy book
By Michael Walker in the Daily Mail on 30th January 2012.
Interview by Chris Bascombe at the Liverpool Echo on 22nd of February 2007, the day after Liverpool's great win at Nou Camp.
Match report from The Observer on Wigan - Liverpool on 02.12.2006.
From Goodfella: My autobiography. Published in the Daily Mail on 7 June 2013.
"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
|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|