Sunderland (England), Southampton (England), Aston Villa (England)
Kevin Phillips (born July 25, 1973 in Hitchin) is an English
footballer who currently plays for Aston Villa. He holds the
Sunderland A.F.C. record for most post-war goals, breaking a
record previously set by Gary Rowell.
Phillips started his career as a right back. He was released by
Southampton in his youth, and was quickly snapped up by one of
his local teams, non-league Baldock Town FC. There his eye for
goal and unique ball control were quickly noticed, and he was
shifted to striker. His goalscoring turned Baldock into a top-of-the-table
side, as well as a huge progression in cup competitions, such as
the FA Trophy. It was in the latter part of the 1994/95 season
that he caught the eye of Glenn Roeder's Watford and was brought
in during for £10,000. Forced into the Watford side due to
injuries, he impressed with his goal scoring ability.
He played well during 95/96, despite playing in a struggling
side. A foot injury late in the season kepy him out for year, by
which time Watford were mid-table in the Second Division. He
scored four goals relatively quickly, three of these in a hat
trick against Bristol City, but remained goaless for the
remainder of the season. At the end of the season he was signed
by Sunderland for a fee of £600,000.
"Super Kev" was a hero at Sunderland, and his famous striking
partnership with targetman Niall Quinn was one of the most
feared in the Football League. Phillips' ability to poach goals
made him a central figure in Sunderland's most successful
Premiership campaigns. After the decline of the club he returned
to Southampton, the club where his career began as a youth
player. His goals in Southampton's brief foray in the UEFA Cup
in 2003 cemented his place in the club's history.
The highlight of his career was his 30 FA Premier League goals
for Sunderland in the 1999-2000 season which earned him the
European Golden Boot.
He moved from Southampton, who had just been relegated, to Aston
Villa on 29 June 2005 where he scored on his debut and he now
seems set to share front-man duties with fellow new signing
Milan Baros. After recovering from injury at the start of
2005/06 season he will have cemented his place in Villan
folklore following his winner against Birmingham City.
Phillips scored 24 goals in 59 games for Watford (1 goal per 2.5
games), 113 goals in 207 games for Sunderland (1 goal per 1.83
games) and 23 goals in 64 games for Southampton (1 goal per 2.8
games). Prior to his starting at Aston Villa he had a career
total of 160 goals in 330 games (currently standing at 385 games
/ 186 goals).
Despite his success at club level, Phillips has not been able to
score in eight caps for the English national team. This was
because, astonishingly, he was never given ninety minutes, most
of his appearances coming from the bench.