Nathan Ellington

Nathan Ellington
Personal information
Full name Nathan Levi Fontaine Ellington[1]
Date of birth 2 July 1981 (1981-07-02) (age 30)
Place of birth Bradford, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) [2]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Ipswich Town
Number 18
Youth career
Tooting & Mitcham United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–1999 Walton & Hersham
1999–2002 Bristol Rovers 116 (35)
2002–2005 Wigan Athletic 134 (59)
2005–2007 West Bromwich Albion 68 (15)
2007–2011 Watford 51 (5)
2008–2009 Derby County (loan) 27 (3)
2010 → Skoda Xanthi (loan) 16 (7)
2011 Preston North End (loan) 19 (2)
2011– Ipswich Town 9 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:17, 20 November 2011 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Nathan Levi Fontaine Ellington (born 2 July 1981) is an English footballer who plays a striker for Championship side Ipswich Town.


Playing career

Non-league and Bristol Rovers

Born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, Ellington began his career with non-League Tooting & Mitcham United, making one first team appearance at 16 years of age. He played regularly for the youth team there, but was frustrated by a lack of first team chances, so he moved to Walton & Hersham, before moving to Bristol Rovers in February 1999 for £150,000. He made his professional debut on 23 February 1999, coming on as a second-half substitute for Jamie Cureton in a 1–0 home defeat to Gillingham. He came off the bench to score his first goal on 6 March 1999, helping his team to a 2–0 win over York City. He found a growing reputation with the side,[citation needed] and his highest point for Rovers was scoring a hat-trick in a 3–1 win against Premiership team Derby County in the FA Cup, on 6 January 2002.[3] This was the first time a team from the Third Division had beaten a Premiership team in the FA Cup. It was also the second of three hat-tricks scored by Ellington for Rovers, with all three coming within the space of a month. He was named in the PFA Division Three team of the year for 2001–02.[4]

Wigan Athletic

On 28 March 2002—transfer deadline day—Ellington signed for Paul Jewell's Wigan Athletic for a then club record fee of £1.2 million.[5] He made an instant impact, scoring on his debut in a 2–1 win at Chesterfield on 6 April 2002.[6] He also scored on his home debut a week later as Wigan beat Northampton Town 3–0.[7] His only hat-trick for Wigan came against West Bromwich Albion in a 3–1 League Cup victory on 2 October 2002, his second career hat-trick against Premiership opposition.[8] He notably scored the last ever goal in Wimbledon F.C.'s final game at Selhurst Park before their rebranding and relocation to Milton Keynes, during Wigan's 2–4 victory in September 2003.[9] He was named Division One player of the month for February 2004.[10] Ellington was a major factor in the club's promotion to the Premiership in the 2004–05 season, the first time they had reached the top flight in their history. He was the leading scorer in the Football League Championship and formed a formidable partnership with Jason Roberts, with whom he had previously played at Bristol Rovers. Both players were named in the PFA Championship team of the season.[11] Ellington became one of the more desirable properties in English football, and joined West Bromwich Albion on 16 August 2005 for £3,000,001.[12] With the player unable to agree a new contract with Wigan, Albion used a clause in his existing contract that allowed him to leave for any fee over £3 million.

West Bromwich Albion

Ellington made his West Brom (and Premier League) debut in a 4–0 away defeat at Chelsea on 24 August 2005, replacing Jonathan Greening in the second half.[13] He scored twice in a 4–1 League Cup win against Bradford City on 20 September 2005, his first goals for the club.[14] He generally struggled in his first ever season in the Premier League, as his season was damaged by a series of niggling injuries and a shoulder problem,[citation needed] but he still managed to score eight goals. Ellington's first Premiership goals came in the 4–0 win against Everton; he scored a goal in either half by a penalty and a long range shot. He became quite unpopular with the West Brom fans towards the end of the same season because of his complaint of a "bruised toe", and his refusal to have painkilling injections to help him through such a minor complaint.[citation needed] He almost redeemed himself near the end of the season though, when he scored for Albion in the 1–1 draw with Birmingham and almost went on to score the winner as a substitute, unfortunately hitting the woodwork. In June 2006, West Bromwich Albion rejected an undisclosed offer for Ellington from his former club Wigan Athletic, insisting that the player was "not for sale".[15]

After failing to settle in the area, Ellington submitted a transfer request in the 2007 January transfer window, which was reluctantly accepted by West Bromwich Albion. However, Albion chairman Jeremy Peace qualified this by stating that " will leave unless it suits us." Ellington was also still seen as an important part of the squad by manager Tony Mowbray.[16] Wigan Athletic again expressed an interest in re-signing the player,[17] but failed to meet Albion's valuation. Ellington therefore remained at the Midlands club, returning to the first team at the start of February after a month out due to a stress-related illness. Ellington won West Brom's official goal of the season competition for 2006–07, for his dipping, swerving half volley against Cardiff City, scored in a 1–0 win on 20 February 2007.[18] One week after that goal, he received the first red card of his career, for a dangerous tackle on Middlesbrough's Stuart Parnaby. Albion subsequently lost the 5th round FA Cup replay on penalties.[19] Ellington featured regularly towards the end of the season, helping Albion reach the play-offs, but in the play-off games he was used only as a substitute. Albion lost 1–0 to Derby County in the final at Wembley.

Ellington's only goal for Albion in 2007–08 came in a 2–0 win away at Peterborough United in the League Cup on 28 August 2007. It proved to be his last game for the club, as he signed for Watford the following day. In all he scored 20 goals in 81 appearances for West Bromwich Albion.


On 29 August 2007, Ellington joined Watford on a four-year deal. Watford paid a club record £3.25 million for the striker, a fee that could rise to £4.25 million depending on appearances.[20] He made his Watford debut three days later, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 2–0 win over Ipswich Town, hitting the post a few minutes after entering the field.[21] Ellington initially found it difficult to command a place in the Watford starting line-up due to the excellent form of Darius Henderson and Marlon King, and his first goal for Watford did not come until he scored in a 1–1 draw against Charlton Athletic on 19 January 2008, and went on to score a further 2 goals in 3 games, but then did not score again until 5 April against Coventry, his last of the season.[22] Ellington made 34 league appearances, 18 of them starts, scoring 4 goals. On 21 December 2009, Ellington signed for Greek side Xanthi FC on loan for the rest of the year.[23] Having played in Greece for the whole of 2010, he returned to Watford in January 2011, but is unlikely to feature in their games.[24]

He trained with Preston North End in January 2011, scoring two goals in a reserve team fixture on 11 January 2011.[25] He signed for Preston on 13 January 2011 on loan until the end of the 2010–11 season.[26] He will then be out of contract.

Derby County

Derby County signed Ellington on 30 May 2008 on a season long loan, with a view to him joining the Rams permanently on a free transfer at the end of the season,[27] in a move that re-united the player with manager Paul Jewell. Ellington had a successful pre-season with the Rams, scoring three times in seven matches. He made his debut for the club against Doncaster Rovers on 9 August 2008,[28] and scored his first three goals for the club with a hattrick against Lincoln City in the Football League Cup on 12 August 2008. He scored his first league goal for the club in the 2–1 victory away to Norwich City. Ellington scored a penalty in the ninety-third minute against Stoke City in the quarter-finals of the League Cup, which sent Derby into the semi-finals for the first time in 40 years. His final goals in a Derby shirt came against Charlton Athletic on 15 December, scoring a brace to level the game at 2–2. Ellington made only 5 more appearances before the end of the season, just 2 of them coming under new Derby manager Nigel Clough, and both of them substitute appearances. Ellington finished joint top scorer in the League Cup, with 6 goals, but after scoring just 3 league goals in 27 games, Clough decided not to take up the option of signing Ellington prefering Rob Hulse, Chris Porter and Luke Varney in attack. He managed just a F.A cup match againist Nottingham Forrest whilst Nigel Clough was in charged and subsequently returned to Watford.[29]

Preston North End

Ellington signed for Preston North End on 13 January 2011 on loan until the end of the 2010–11 season.[26] He made his debut as a substitute in the 1-1 draw with Leicester City. He scored his first goal in the last minute of the game against Coventry City. His second goal was against Sheffield United when Iain Hume put him through on goal.

Ipswich Town

Ellington signed a two-year contract for Ipswich Town on a free transfer on 21 June 2011, linking up with manager Paul Jewell for the third time.[30]

Personal life

In 2004, Ellington married a Bosnian woman, Alma from Tuzla,[31] and adopted his wife's Muslim faith after they married.[32] In the past few years he has visited his wife's country of origin and since then Ellington has expressed interest in playing for the Bosnian national team.[33] He is nicknamed The Duke after legendary jazz musician Duke Ellington.[34] Ellington is from a sporting family; his cousin Lee Ellington is also a footballer. Nathan Ellington once represented Great Britain in Table Tennis and finished 4th respectively.



  1. ^ Hugman, Barry J. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 192. ISBN 1852916656. 
  2. ^ transfermarkt UK Retrieved 10 March 2011
  3. ^ "Ellington rips Rams apart". BBC Sport. 6 January 2002. Retrieved 10 August 2007. 
  4. ^ "Plymouth players rewarded". BBC Sport. 15 April 2002. Retrieved 25 April 2007. 
  5. ^ "Wigan win race for Ellington". BBC Sport. 28 March 2002. Retrieved 10 August 2007. 
  6. ^ "Chesterfield 1–2 Wigan". BBC Sport. 6 April 2002. Retrieved 10 August 2007. 
  7. ^ "Wigan 3–0 Northampton". BBC Sport. 13 April 2002. Retrieved 10 August 2007. 
  8. ^ "Ellington blows away Baggies". BBC Sport. 2 October 2002. Retrieved 10 August 2007. 
  9. ^ Harling, Nicholas (14 September 2003). "Weary Wimbledon eager for escape". London: Retrieved 15 April 2009. 
  10. ^ "Ellington gets League award". BBC Sport. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 31 May 2008. 
  11. ^ "Sunderland/Wigan dominate line-up". BBC Sport. 24 April 2005. Retrieved 26 April 2007. 
  12. ^ "Ellington blames Wigan for exit". BBC Sport. 15 August 2005. Retrieved 25 April 2007. 
  13. ^ "Chelsea 4–0 West Brom". BBC Sport. 24 August 2005. Retrieved 10 August 2007. 
  14. ^ "WBA vs Bradford City". West Bromwich Albion F.C.. 20 September 2005.,,10366~32142,00.html. Retrieved 10 August 2007. 
  15. ^ "West Brom reject Wigan triple bid". BBC Sport. 23 June 2006. Retrieved 17 May 2008. 
  16. ^ "Baggies braced for Ellington exit". BBC Sport. 10 January 2007. Retrieved 10 August 2007. 
  17. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (2 January 2007). "Wigan chase West Brom's Ellington". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 August 2007. 
  18. ^ "Duke bags Goal-of-the-Season gong". West Bromwich Albion F.C.. 7 May 2005.,,10366~1021478,00.html. Retrieved 23 June 2007. 
  19. ^ Sinnott, John (27 February 2007). "West Brom 1–1 Middlesbrough (aet)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 August 2007. 
  20. ^ "Watford sign Ellington for £3.25m". BBC Sport. 29 August 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2007. 
  21. ^ "Watford vs Ipswich Town". Watford F.C.. 1 September 2007.,,10400~37498,00.html. Retrieved 1 September 2007. 
  22. ^ "Watford 1–1 Charlton". BBC Sport. 19 January 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2008. 
  23. ^ "Ο Nathan Ellington στα κόκκινα" (in Greek). Skoda Xanthi F.C.. Retrieved 21 December 2009. [dead link]
  24. ^ "Nathan Ellington set for Watford return as club receive no offers for former Bristol Rovers striker". Watford Observer. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  25. ^ "Watford striker Nathan Ellington scores twice for Preston North End Reserves". Watford Observer. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  26. ^ a b "Ellington Joins The Lilywhites". PNE FC.,,10362~2265391,00.html. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  27. ^ "Rams sign Ellington and Stewart". BBC Sport. 30 May 2008. Retrieved 31 May 2008. 
  28. ^ "Derby County vs Doncaster". Derby County F.C.. 9 August 2008.,,10270~43659,00.html. Retrieved 7 October 2008. 
  29. ^ "Ellington in limbo after Rams' decision". Club Call. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2009. 
  30. ^ "Watford's Nathan Ellington seals move to Ipswich Town". BBC Sport. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2011. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ Moxley, Neil (28 September 2007). "I pray five times a day, the boys call me beardo...". London: The Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  33. ^ "Ellington eyes Bosnia call-up". SkySports. 12 March 2008.,19528,11686_3288839,00.html. Retrieved 12 March 2008. 
  34. ^ Sloan, Tom (27 May 2008). "Duke and Kris to join Derby". Burton Mail. Retrieved 31 May 2008. 

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