David Batty (born December 2, 1968 in Leeds, England) is a
professional football (soccer) player who plays in a midfield
position. He is most famed for playing for Leeds United F.C., as
well as being capped for the England national football team.
Batty started his career at Leeds United F.C. in 1987, a team
who he supported as a boy, and played until he left in 1993.
During this period he was part of a team which helped Leeds to
promotion to the old first division, and then went on to win the
first division in just Leeds' second year in the top flight. The
following year Leeds struggled, especially after the sale of the
influential player Eric Cantona, and in October 1993 David fell
out with then manager Howard Wilkinson and was sold to Blackburn
At this point Blackburn were an emerging force in the newly
named Premiership with players such as Alan Shearer and Chris
Sutton. However, Batty unfortunately suffered a serous injury
which ruled him out of Blackburnís winning title campaign in
1995. He refused a medal at the end of the season stating that
his contribution was minimal.
The Champions League
By the following season Batty was available to help Blackburnís
Champions League campaign, although the team was already a spent
force. The team struggled during the competition and eventually
bowed out, but not before a bizarre moment during a European
game where Graeme Le Saux, Batty's team-mate, lashed out at him
on the pitch.
Batty moved on from this in 1996 to Newcastle United F.C. under
Kevin Keegan. With Batty providing "balance" to the Newcastle
Midfield, the team were able to challenge the dominant
Manchester United. Newcastle finished runners up twice in the
league and Kevin Keegan surprisingly resigned as their manager,
to be replaced by Kenny Dalglish. Dalglish's team was guided to
the FA Cup final, which they lost 2-0 to Arsene Wenger's Arsenal
1998 World Cup
Batty's club performance during this period allowed him to be
selected for the English national team's campaign for the 1998
World Cup. He made limited starts in the 4 matches England
competed in and was notable for, along with Paul Ince, of
missing a penalty which prevented the team from advancing to the
quarter-finals. Batty struggled with injury for the next few
months after the tournament.
Return to Leeds United
In December 1998, Leeds United made an offer for Batty to rejoin
their team. Leeds had not been doing well since Batty had left,
but under manager David OíLeary, and with up and coming young
talent such as Harry Kewell and Alan Smith, Leeds were resurgent.
O'Leary wanted Batty for his proven record, and with his old
team he was considered a "successful buy".
Batty has not been a regular player for Leeds since O'Leary was
sacked in 2002. He is now reportedly looking for other playing
opportunities and may even consider a coaching role if offered.