Arjan de Zeeuw

Arjan de Zeeuw
Personal information
Full name Adrianus Johannes de Zeeuw[1]
Date of birth (1970-04-16) 16 April 1970
Place of birth Castricum, Netherlands
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[1]
Playing position Centre back
Youth career
Vitesse '22
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1995 Telstar 102 (5)
1995–1999 Barnsley 138 (7)
1999–2002 Wigan Athletic 126 (6)
2002–2005 Portsmouth 106 (5)
2005–2007 Wigan Athletic 52 (0)
2007–2008 Coventry City 17 (0)
2008–2009 ADO '20 12 (0)
Total 553 (23)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 09:26, 25 February 2008 (UTC).

Adrianus Johannes "Arjan" de Zeeuw (born 16 April 1970 in Castricum, North Holland) is a retired Dutch footballer, who played as a centre-back.

Club career

De Zeeuw started his career at Vitesse '22 in the Dutch amateur leagues,[2] and studied for a degree in medical science whilst playing for the club.[3] At the age of 22, after completing his degree,[4] he turned professional and signed for Telstar in the Eerste Divisie. In 1995, De Zeeuw considered quitting football after he felt Telstar had priced him out of a move to Eredivisie side Utrecht, but decided to stay with the club for one more year.[3] He was approached by Barnsley later that year, who signed him for a fee of £250,000 during the 1995–96 season. In December 1995, he scored his first goal in English football in a 2–2 draw against Ipswich Town.[5] He was a key player in the side that won promotion to the Premier League in the 1996–97 season. The club were relegated the following year, and it appeared that De Zeeuw was set to leave the club in the summer after turning down a new contract,[6] but was later persuaded by new manager John Hendrie to sign a one-year deal.[7] When his contract expired at the end of the 1998–99 season, he moved to Wigan Athletic.[8]

At Wigan he soon became a vital team member, proving to be highly dependable at the back, and received the club's Player of the Year award in 2001 and 2002.[9] His contract with Wigan expired in the summer of 2002, and the following season, he moved on a free transfer to Portsmouth. He was an integral part of the Portsmouth squad that claimed the First Division championship.[10]

He continued to perform to high standards as Portsmouth played well in their debut FA Premier League season, and was recognised by the fans who voted him Portsmouth Player of the Year. He was rewarded with the captaincy for the 2004–05 season, following Teddy Sheringham's departure to West Ham United, and led the team to stave off relegation following the departure of manager Harry Redknapp.

In the summer 2005, after falling out with then-Portsmouth manager Alain Perrin, he returned to Wigan Athletic for the nominal fee of £90,000.[10] De Zeeuw, who is now advanced in years for the life of a footballer, wanted the guarantee of first-team football which Perrin was unwilling to provide. The majority of Portsmouth supporters lamented this decision and loss of their former captain, who had a very consistent season with Wigan at the heart of their defence, helping them to a better-than-expected mid-table finish and even received praise from then Prime Minister Tony Blair.[11]

De Zeeuw is considered by many to be an excellent example of professionalism in the modern game. He refused to retaliate after El Hadji Diouf spat in his face during a match at the Reebok Stadium in November 2004.[12] His response was to score the winning goal in Portsmouth's 1–0 victory.

In Wigan's second Premiership season, he struggled to get a regular first team place due to a series of injuries and was released by the club on 17 May 2007. Whilst at Wigan he started in the 2006 Football League Cup Final. In a poll to celebrate the centenary of the Professional Footballers' Association fans voted De Zeeuw to be the best player of all time for Wigan Athletic.

In June 2007, it was announced that De Zeeuw had signed a one-year contract with Coventry City. During pre-season training, a freak accident left the defender sidelined for 6–8 weeks. He made his debut against Bristol City on 15 September 2007.[13] It was announced towards the end of the 2007–08 season that De Zeeuw would be one of eight first team players whose contracts wouldn't be renewed. His season was hampered by injury and lack of form leading to new manager Chis Coleman decided he was surplus to requirements.

In 2009, he signed with ADO'20.

Following his retirement in 2009, De Zeeuw began working as an investigative detective, specialising in forensics and stating PCR was among his most loved techniques.[14]


Career statistics


Club performance League Cup League Cup Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1995–96BarnsleyFirst Division31120-331
1997–98Premier League2605020330
1998–99First Division3845060494
1999–2000Wigan AthleticSecond Division4233030483
2002–03PortsmouthFirst Division381-10391
2003–04Premier League3614020421
2005–06Wigan AthleticPremier League3101030350
2007–08Coventry CityChampionship1701010190
total 4431828031050218


  1. 1 2 Hugman, Barry J. (ed) (2008). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2008–09. Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-84596-324-8.
  2. "Vitesse'22 en ex-profs bezorgen jeugd onvergetelijke dag" (in Dutch). 28 September 2010. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  3. 1 2 Wilson, Paul (20 November 2005). "Doctor at the heart of Wigan". The Observer. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  4. "The List: Sportsmail's top 50 golden oldies to have graced British football". Mail Online. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  5. "Barnsley battle to draw". The Independent. 23 December 1995. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  6. "Leicester seek a free Dutch treat". The Mirror. MGN. 15 May 1998. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  7. Potter, Derek (10 August 1998). "De Zeeuw double takes the heat off Hendrie". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  8. "Football: Second Division preview – Latics look to go all the way". The Independent. 6 August 1999. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  9. "Who Gets Your Vote?". 20 April 2005. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  10. 1 2 3 "Profiles - Arjan De Zeeuw". Coventry City FC. Archived from the original on 8 July 2007.
  11. Charles, Chris (7 November 2005). "Blair on the Ball". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
  12. Ken Gaunt (29 November 2004). "Diouf apologises for spitting incident as Bolton impose fine". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
  13. "Coventry sign De Zeeuw and Cairo". BBC Sport. 30 June 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  14. "Best & Worst: Arjan de Zeeuw". The Times. London. 31 January 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  15. "Arjan De Zeeuw". Soccerbase. Retrieved 12 January 2016.

External links

Preceded by
Teddy Sheringham
Portsmouth captain
Succeeded by
Dejan Stefanović
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