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Burnley FC Player Profiles

STEPHEN WARD
  • 23
  • STEPHEN WARD
  • DEFENDER

UPDATED 08:04 1st August 2015

Republic of Ireland international Stephen Ward became the Clarets seventh summer signing when he signed in August 2014, joining from Wolverhampton Wanderers on a three-year deal.

And a highlight of his time at Turf Moor was being a member of the side that went 23 games unbeaten between January and May 2016, to win the Championship title.

A month later, he earned the accolade of becoming the first ever Burnley player to appear at the European Championship finals, when he appeared for his country against Belgium in France.

Dublin-born Ward, 28, began his professional career with League of Ireland side Bohemians where he spent four years and made 93 appearances, scoring 26 goals before joining Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2007.

At Molineux, he made an impressive start to life in English football, scoring three times in just six games and earning the Championship Player of the Month Award for February. Ward then went on to feature in all of Wolves remaining fixtures before they suffered a play-off defeat.

The 2008/09 season saw Ward adopt a role at left-back having previously operated as a striker and then a left winger at the Midlands club and he excelled as he helped earn promotion to the Premier League alongside Clarets teammates Michael Kightly, Sam Vokes, David Jones and Jason Shackell.

He made 94 appearances for Wolves in the top flight between 2009 and 2012 and also represented Republic of Ireland at Euro 2012, but following Wolves relegation from the Premier League and then the Championship in consecutive seasons, Ward moved to Brighton and Hove Albion on loan for the 2013/14 campaign.

A total of 47 appearances followed as Ward helped The Seagulls to soar into the Play-Offs, only to experience disappointment in the semi-final against Derby County.

The 2014/15 campaign brought 10 appearances, with a troublesome ankle injury sidelining him for a period of time.

After biding his time for a starting berth in the Sky Bet Championship winning season, Ward broke into the side in December as Ben Mee was moved inside to partner Michael Keane at centre back.

The Republic of Ireland international never looked back and made 27 appearances in total, helping to keep 20 clean sheets in a watertight defence.

He also netted twice in victories over Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town on the road as well as contributing four assists.


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