16 August 2006

Dave Campbell

The name of David Campbell stands out in the history books… as one of just a handful of players to turn out for ten or more League clubs. Another Northern Ireland player who's early career promised so much, but ultimately delivered little but statistical oddities...

Name: David Anthony Campbell
Born: 2 June 1965, Eglinton
Height: 5.09 ft
Weight: 10.09 st
Position: Midfielder

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 10 Full Caps (1986-1988), Under-18 Caps; League of Ireland: 1 Cap (1991).

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
FL Cup
Other
Oxford United Stars
-
Youth
(Northern Ireland Intermediate League)
Nottingham Forest
83/84-87/88
Jun-81
Youth
35 (6)/ 3
0(1)/0
4(0)/2
-
Notts County
86/87
Feb-87
Loan
18 (0)/ 2
-
-
-
Charlton Athletic
87/88-88/89
Oct-87
£75k
26 (4)/ 1
1(1)/0
3(0)/0
2(0)/0
Plymouth Argyle
88/89
Mar-89
Loan
1 (0)/ 0
-
-
-
Bradford City
88/89-89/90
Mar-89
£75k
27 (8)/ 4
0(1)/0
2(0)/0
0(1)/0
Derry City
90/91
Dec-90
Loan
5 (0)/ 0
-
-
-
Shamrock Rovers
90/91-91/92
Jan-91
-
30 (1)/ 5
-
-
-
Cliftonville
91/92
Jan-92
Loan
4 (0)/ 0
-
1(0)/0
-
Rotherham United
92/93
Nov-92
Free
0 (1)/ 0
-
-
1(0)/0
West.Bromwich.Alb.
92/93
Feb-93
Free
0 (0)/ 0
-
-
-
Burnley
92/93
Mar-93
-
7 (1)/ 0
-
-
-
Lincoln City
93/94
Feb-94
Loan
2 (2)/ 1
-
-
1(0)/0
Portadown
93/94
Mar-94
Loan
7 (0)/ 2
1(0)/0
-
-
Wigan Athletic
94/95
Aug-94
Free
7 (0)/ 0
-
4(0)/0
-
Cambridge United
94/95
Jan-95
Free
1 (0)/ 0
-
-
-
Tamworth
-
-
-
(Southern League)
Sutton Coldfield Town
-
-
(Southern League)
Paget Rangers
-
-
-
(Southern League)
TOTALS
-
£150k
170(23)/18
2(3)/0
14(0)/2
4(1)/0

Biography:
Born in Eglinton, just outside Londonderry, Dave Campbell’s playing career took off at local intermediate side, Oxford United Stars. From there he moved on to Nottingham Forest as an apprentice in June 1981, picking up Northern Ireland Youth Caps along the way, before signing professional forms at the City Ground in June 1983.

At Forest Campbell’s route to a regular first team midfield spot was always going to be difficult, especially with young English talent such as Neil Webb and Steve Hodge also battling to establish themselves. As it was, Campbell did admirably to break into the Forest team for the second half of the 1985/86 season, enjoying a run of 27 consecutive Division One appearances through to the following season.

It was Campbell’s impressive First Division form that prompted Billy Bingham to call him up as Northern Ireland searched for the right squad mix to take to the World Cup Finals in Mexico. Campbell made his international bow as a sub in the pre-World Cup warm-up game with Morocco, and did enough to earn a place in the Finals’ squad. His first start for Northern Ireland was against Brazil at the Finals, but he could do little to prevent a 3-0 defeat in the Guadalajara sun.

On returning from Mexico, Campbell’s continued good form brought him impressive press, his skills on the ball allowing him to twist and turn his way into the opposition’s penalty area. Here though lay the problem, once in these dangerous positions he would often lose the plot, blasting wildly goal-wards, or fluffing the easy pass, and Brian Clough took the decision to drop him. In February 1987 Campbell was loaned to Forest’s Third Division neighbours, Notts County, where he regained his confidence for another attack on the Forest first eleven. Indeed, the following season began brightly with Campbell forcing his way back into the team, but it was clear that Clough still wasn’t confident in the youngster, and he was sold to Charlton Athletic for £75,000 in October 1987.

On the international front, Campbell continued as a regular, playing in every one of Northern Ireland’s Euro ’88 qualification matches. By the end of the campaign though, Bingham was looking for more reliable players who would suit his preferred style of play, and Campbell found himself making way for the likes of Michael O’Neill and Kevin Wilson. He made his final international appearances as substitute in the friendlies against Greece and Poland early in 1988.

From then on, Campbell’s career as a wandering pro began. A loan spell with Plymouth in March 1989 was a cut short to allow a £75,000 move to Bradford. He lasted a year-and-a-half in Yorkshire before returning home to Derry City on loan in December 1990, then at Shamrock Rovers a month later – a move that later became permanent. Whilst with Rovers Campbell gained an Inter-League cap in a 2-0 defeat by the Irish League at Tolka Park in November 1991. From there, Campbell had a loan spell with Cliftonville (January ‘92), non-contract spells at Rotherham (November ’92) and West Brom (February ’93), an injury ravaged year with Burnley (from March ’93) and a brief loan spell at Lincoln (February ’94). In March 1994 Ronnie McFaul brought Campbell to Portadown as they pushed, ultimately unsuccessfully, for the double, eventually finishing Irish League runners-up to Linfield and losing in the Irish Cup semi-final to Bangor.

A new beginning seemed on the horizon when Campbell was signed on a non-contract basis by Kenny Swain for Wigan Athletic in August 1994, but with Swain dismissed just a month of the season, Campbell found himself released in October after just seven games. He signed for Cambridge United to the end of the season the following January, and made his debut against Brentford. It proved to be a miserable game, with Cambridge losing 6-0 (it had been scoreless at half-time), and Campbell suffering a broken leg which forced his retirement as a professional footballer.

Since retiring from playing Campbell has run summer schools, coaching youngsters throughout the UK.

Northern Ireland Cap Details:

23-04-1986 Morocco... H W 2-1 FR. sub
12-06-1986 Brazil.... N L 0-3 WCF
15-10-1986 England... A L 0-3 ECQ
12-11-1986 Turkey.... A D 0-0 ECQ
01-04-1987 England... H L 0-2 ECQ
29-04-1987 Yugoslavia H L 1-2 ECQ
14-10-1987 Yugoslavia A L 0-3 ECQ
11-11-1987 Turkey.... H W 1-0 ECQ sub
17-02-1988 Greece.... A L 2-3 FR. sub
23-03-1988 Poland.... H D 1-1 FR. sub


Summary: 8(2)/0. Won 2, Drew 2, Lost 6.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

still showing his class on a wednesday evening at Formby!!

Anonymous said...

Utter Quality At Formby On A Thursday Evening !!

Nothing but admiration for them slick passes he switches across that greasy surface .. QUALITY is never left behind !!

Smashing Stuff Davey

© NIFG 2006-2014

Who was Northern Ireland's Greatest Captain?