Paul Warhurst

Paul Warhurst
Personal information
Full name Paul Warhurst
Date of birth (1969-09-26) 26 September 1969
Place of birth Stockport, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Defender / Midfielder /
Youth career
Manchester City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1988 Manchester City 0 (0)
1988–1991 Oldham Athletic 67 (2)
1991–1993 Sheffield Wednesday 88 (18)
1993–1997 Blackburn Rovers 57 (4)
1997–1998 Crystal Palace 27 (4)
1998–2003 Bolton Wanderers 91 (0)
2003Stoke City (loan) 5 (1)
2003 Chesterfield 4 (0)
2003 Barnsley 4 (0)
2004 Carlisle United 1 (0)
2004 Grimsby Town 7 (0)
2004 Blackpool 4 (0)
2005 Forest Green Rovers 6 (2)
2005 Wrexham 11 (1)
2006–2007 Barnet 28 (0)
2007 Northwich Victoria 2 (0)
Total 380 (20)
National team
1990–1991 England U21 8 (0)
Teams managed
2007 Northwich Victoria (caretaker)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Paul Warhurst (born 26 September 1969) is an English former professional footballer who played as a defender, midfielder or as a makeshift striker from 1987 to 2007.

Warhurst notably played for Blackburn Rovers and was part of the club's Premier League winning squad of 1995. Before that he had experienced relative success with Sheffield Wednesday, reaching several cup finals. He also featured for Manchester City, Oldham Athletic, Crystal Palace, Bolton Wanderers, Stoke City, Chesterfield, Barnsley, Carlisle United, Grimsby Town, Blackpool, Forest Green Rovers, Wrexham and Barnet before finishing his career with a brief stint at Northwich Victoria. Throughout his career he represented 16 different clubs and in his later years he was regarded as one of the quintessential journeymen of English football.

Playing career

Manchester City

Warhurst began his career as a trainee at Manchester City in 1988, he was added to the club's first team squad at the beginning of the 1988–89 season, but by October he found himself frozen out of the squad and he was sold.

Oldham Athletic

He joined Oldham Athletic for a fee of £10,000 There he became a first team regular, featuring in the team's memorable run to the semi-finals of the 1990 FA Cup. After 86 appearances (scoring twice), he began to capture the eye of bigger clubs and the 1990–91 season was his final season for the club.

Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday came in for Warhurst in the summer of 1991, for £750,000. He began his career at the club as a solid defender, but midway through his second season, injuries to David Hirst and Mark Bright saw Warhurst employed as an emergency striker. In a phenomenal sequence, he scored 12 goals in as many games, and after four years as a defender, was called up to the England national team as a striker. Warhurst was injured, however, and missed an opportunity to win his first cap. His scoring ratio inevitably slowed down, and when Hirst returned to action, Warhurst fell out with manager Trevor Francis, who wanted the player to return to defensive duties. In the summer of 1993, Warhurst was transfer-listed and left the club, having scored 18 goals in 88 games for Wednesday. Whilst at Wednesday, Warhurst played in both the 1993 League Cup Final and the 1993 FA Cup Final.

Blackburn Rovers

Following his departure from Sheffield, Warhurst signed for Blackburn for £2.7 million. Ironically, he played primarily as a defender for Blackburn, but injuries ruined his spell there. He did, however, play occasionally as a forward. While at Ewood Park, Warhurst was part of the most successful squad in the club's recent history. He played amongst the likes of Alan Shearer, Chris Sutton, Tim Flowers, Colin Hendry, Henning Berg and Graeme Le Saux and won a Premier League winners' medal in the 1994–95 season, as Rovers beat rivals Manchester United to the title. The following season, Rovers struggled to maintain their form and Manchester United regained the title, finishing ahead of Newcastle United. Blackburn could only manage to finish in 7th place. The following season saw the club finish in the bottom half of the league down in 13th, as the club initially seemed to struggle following the loss of Shearer to Newcastle United. In the summer of 1997, after 74 games for Blackburn (yielding 4 goals), Warhurst left Blackburn.

Crystal Palace

Warhurst made a switch to Crystal Palace for the 1997–98 season, as the club had recently earned promotion back to the top flight. Palace suffered relegation, though, in their first season back since 1995, but Warhurst remained with the club despite losing their status as a Premier League club. He made 30 appearances, scoring four times, before being loaned to Bolton Wanderers in November 1998.

Bolton Wanderers

Following a successful spell at Bolton, this led to the Lancashire team signing him permanently for £800,000 in January 1999. Warhurst became an integral part of The Trotters midfield, and In 2000–01 he helped Bolton gain promotion to the Premier League under Sam Allardyce. Despite this Warhurst kept his place in the team, despite injuries starting to mount, other players such as Youri Djorkaeff were brought in and in the end, even if Warhurst was fit he struggled to break into the first team. Stoke City signed Warhurst on loan from Bolton for two months in the close of the 2002–03 season, where he scored once against Rotherham United.[1] At the end of the season Warhurst was released by Sam Allardyce after 100 club appearances. After failing to find another club, Bolton briefly re-signed Warhurst in September 2003.[2] However he made no more appearances for the club and was released again in October.


In October 2003, Warhurst signed a short term deal for Second Division side Chesterfield and made his debut in a 3–0 home victory over Swindon Town.[3] However, after only playing 6 times and scoring one goal against Lincoln City in the League Trophy[4] he was released from his monthly rolling contract after only playing for the club for 4 weeks.


His next port of call was to link up with fellow Second Division side Barnsley. He made his club debut in the Yorkshire derby against his former club Sheffield Wednesday. In a 1–1 draw, Warhurst was sent off against the club where he arguably made a name for himself. Following the completion of three other league games, Barnsley also opted to release the veteran player from his contract.

Carlisle United

In February 2004 Warhurst joined Division Three relegation strugglers Carlisle United on non-contract terms.[5] He played in the club's 1–1 away draw with Macclesfield Town and after the game he left the club due to the amount of time he would need to travel.[6]

Grimsby Town

In March 2004, he was signed by new Grimsby Town manager Nicky Law, as well as a wave of new players brought to the club to stave off the threat of relegation. In his debut after playing well all game, he headed into his own net to give Bournemouth a 1–1 draw at Blundell Park. Warhurst was used as a forward, midfielder and a centre back for The Mariners, who eventually released him at the end of the season after playing in 7 games.


Following his release from Grimsby in the summer, Warhurst struggled to find himself a new club, until landing a short term deal with Blackpool following a successful trial.[7] Warhurst managed to stay with the club for 3 months, playing 6 times in that period until he was released yet again.[8]

Forest Green Rovers

In April 2005 he moved to have his first taste of Non League football, having signed a one-month contract with Conference club Forest Green Rovers. He played in the club's final 6 games of the season before leaving the club at the close of the 2004–05 season.


In August 2005 he moved back into The Football League and signed for Welsh side Wrexham, where he added experience to their otherwise young side.[9] He managed to play in 13 games for the club, scoring once against Barnet,[10] before being released in March 2006.


Upon his release from Wrexham, Warhurst signed a short term deal with fellow League Two side Barnet as well adding much needed experience to his new club, who were managed by Paul Fairclough. Warhurst played out the remainder of the 2005–06 season for the club, and was given a one-year deal for the following season. Warhurst managed to chalk up 23 games in all competitions during the 2006–07 season and completed his first full season for one club only since playing for Bolton Wanderers in the 2001–02 season, this had ended a spell of moving from club to club ever since his release by The Trotters in the summer of 2003.[11]

Coaching career

Warhurst was released by Barnet following the conclusion of the 2006–07 season and in September 2007 he joined Northwich Victoria and on 17 September took over as caretaker manager following Neil Redfearn's resignation. Despite initially being favourite to be permanent manager, he left the club before the appointment was decided. Warhurst has since retired from football.

Career statistics

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Oldham Athletic 1988–89 Second Division 4010001060
1989–90 Second Division 301606000421
1990–91 Second Division 331202010381
Total 672908020862
Sheffield Wednesday 1991–92 First Division 330102010370
1992–93 Premier League 2967574434718
1993–94 Premier League 4000000040
Total 6668594538818
Blackburn Rovers 1993–94 Premier League 90001000100
1994–95 Premier League 272204000332
1995–96 Premier League 100003050180
1996–97 Premier League 112100000122
Total 574308050734
Crystal Palace 1997–98 Premier League 223101000243
1998–99 First Division 5100100061
Total 274102000304
Bolton Wanderers 1998–99 First Division 200000020220
1999–2000 First Division 190204020270
2000–01 First Division 200201000230
2001–02 Premier League 250001000260
2002–03 Premier League 7010000080
Total 9105060401060
Stoke City (loan) 2002–03 First Division 5100000051
Chesterfield 2003–04 Second Division 4010001161
Barnsley 2003–04 Second Division 4000000040
Carlisle United 2003–04 Third Division 1000000010
Grimsby Town 2003–04 Second Division 7000000070
Blackpool 2004–05 League One 4010001060
Forest Green Rovers 2004–05 Conference National 6200000062
Wrexham 2005–06 League Two 111001000121
Barnet 2005–06 League Two 9000000090
2006–07 League Two 190102010230
Northwich Victoria 2007–08 Conference National 2000000020
Career Total 3802029536419446433
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Football League Trophy, Football League play-offs, Full Members Cup UEFA Champions League, and UEFA Cup.


Oldham Athletic
Sheffield Wednesday
Blackburn Rovers
Bolton Wanderers


  1. "Stoke 2–0 Rotherham". BBC. 9 April 2003. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  2. "Warhurst back at Bolton". BBC. 11 September 2003. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  3. "Chesterfield sign Warhurst". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  4. "Lincoln City 4 Chesterfield 3". 4 November 2003. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  5. "Carlisle sign Warhurst". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  6. "Warhurst ends Carlisle stay". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  7. "Warhurst signs Blackpool contract". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  8. "Veteran Warhurst leaves Blackpool". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  9. "Warhurst accepts Wrexham's offer". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  10. "Wrexham 3–1 Barnet". BBC. 29 August 2005. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  11. "Warhurst's latest challenge". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
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