Adam Matthews

Last updated

Adam Matthews
Adam Matthews 2013.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1992-01-13) 13 January 1992 (age 30) [1]
Place of birth Swansea, Wales [2]
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) [1]
Position(s) Right back
Club information
Current team
Charlton Athletic
Number 16
Youth career
2000–2009 Cardiff City
Senior career*
2009–2011 Cardiff City 40 (1)
2011–2015 Celtic 101 (4)
2015–2019 Sunderland 58 (2)
2016–2017Bristol City (loan) 21 (0)
2019– Charlton Athletic 67 (0)
National team
2008–2009 Wales U17 9 (0)
2008–2011 Wales U19 5 (1)
2009–2013 Wales U21 6 (0)
2011– Wales 14 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 17:10, 23 October 2021 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17:10, 15 January 2022 (UTC)

Adam James Matthews (born 13 January 1992) is a Welsh footballer who plays as a right back for Charlton Athletic and the Wales national team. Matthews has also played for Cardiff City, Celtic and Sunderland, having had loan spells with Bristol City.


Early life

As a child, Matthews attended Penyrheol Comprehensive School in Swansea and before choosing football, was also a talented rugby player including being followed by the Ospreys rugby union side. [3] Matthews' cousins, Liam and Sam, were both previously members of the academy at Cardiff City. [4]

Club career

Early career

After playing local football, Matthews was taken on trial at Swansea City but suffered a broken arm and was told to come back when he had recovered from the injury. After returning to fitness Matthews attempted to return to Swansea but was told that their youth system was now full. [5]

Cardiff City

Matthews playing for Cardiff in 2009 Adam Matthews.jpg
Matthews playing for Cardiff in 2009

Matthews attended a trial at Swansea's South Wales rivals Cardiff City and as the only player of around forty attendants at the trial chosen, signed on academy terms at the age of 8. [6] After making his way through the youth side, signed a professional contract in January 2009. [7] On 21 April 2009 Matthews featured in the full side for the first time, when he was named as a substitute in a 2–2 draw with Charlton Athletic.

He went on to make his professional debut at the start of the 2009–10 season when he replaced Paul Quinn during a 1–1 draw with Blackpool on 15 August. [8] Due to injuries in the squad, Matthews was handed consecutive starts start in a 3–1 win over Plymouth Argyle followed by a 3–0 win over Bristol City, forcing an own goal from Bristol City captain Jamie McCombe. [9] [10] His performances earned him a regular starting spot in the side, missing two matches in the following two months, including scoring his first senior goal during a 4–0 win over Watford on 3 October 2009 when goalkeeper Scott Loach misjudged Matthews' 50-yard free-kick, allowing the ball to bounce into the net. [11] Prior to the January 2010 transfer window, Matthews was linked with moves to a number of Premier League clubs, including reports of an already completed deal with Premier League champions Manchester United, however Cardiff manager Dave Jones dismissed the rumours stating that no offers had been made. [12] His performances during his debut season also saw him named as the Football League Apprentice of the Year for the Championship with Cardiff academy assistant manager Geraint Twose describing him as "a shining example to every young player on how to perform on the pitch, and also how to behave off the pitch." [13]


On 25 February 2011, Celtic announced they had secured the signing of Matthews on a pre-contract agreement to commence on 1 July, on a four-year contract. Matthews would team up with his former Cardiff teammate Joe Ledley. [14] Matthews was given the number 2 shirt that was previously worn by Andreas Hinkel. [15]

Matthews made an impressive debut in a 1–0 win over Aberdeen on 7 August. [16] [17] He then played in his first European match, after coming on as a substitute in Celtic's 2–0 loss to Atlético Madrid. [18] On 29 September he played in Celtic's 1–1 Europa League draw with Udinese, he started the match at right back but moved to left back for the second half when fellow countryman Joe Ledley went off injured. [19] After an impressive start to the season, it was reported that Premier League clubs Fulham and Everton were interested in signing Matthews in the January transfer window. [20] He made his Champions League debut at Celtic Park against HJK Helsinki on 1 August 2012. Matthews scored his first ever goal for Celtic on 12 December 2012, a powerful strike into the far corner of the goal against Arbroath in the Scottish Cup replay. [21]


On 3 July 2015, Matthews signed for Sunderland on a four-year contract, moving for a fee of £2 million. [22] [23] His debut came on the opening day of the season, in a 4–2 loss to Leicester City. Matthews later suffered an ankle injury which kept him out for six weeks and struggled to regain a place in the first team. [24]

Loan to Bristol City

After only two appearances for Sunderland, he joined Championship club Bristol City on loan for the remainder of the season, on 7 March 2016. [25] He made his debut in Bristol City's 6–0 win over bottom club, Bolton Wanderers on 19 March. [26] Matthews helped City to safety during his nine appearances.

New Sunderland manager, David Moyes, deemed Matthews surplus to requirements at the Stadium of Light and he rejoined Bristol City on a season-long loan on 28 July 2016. [27] [24] He suffered a hamstring tear in August, which ruled him out for 4 weeks. [28]

Charlton Athletic

Matthews signed a one-year deal with Charlton Athletic having been training with the club for a number of weeks after leaving Sunderland at the end of his contract. [29]

On 26 October 2020, Matthews signed a new one-year deal with Charlton Athletic. [30]

On 8 July 2021, Matthews signed a new deal with the club, keeping at Charlton Athletic for the 2021-22 season. [31]

International career

Matthews made his début for the Wales under-17 side on 28 February 2008 in a 1–0 win over Austria and played in two out of the team's three matches during the 2008 UEFA Under-17 Championship elite round. On 15 September 2008, he captained the side for the first time during a 4–1 win over Faroe Islands, [32] the first match during the qualifying round of the 2009 UEFA Under-17 Championship, remaining as captain throughout the remaining matches of the qualifying round. His final appearance for the under-17 side came on 28 March 2009 in a 3–0 defeat against Finland. [33]

In July 2008, he was part of the under-19 side that took part in the Milk Cup, featuring in games against Chile and Israel. [34] [35] His next participation at youth level for Wales came when he was called up to the under-21 side for matches against Hungary and Italy, but remained on the bench in both games. On 9 November 2009, Matthews was called up to the Wales senior squad for the first time in his career for a friendly against Scotland at the age of seventeen, [36] but remained on the bench. Four days later, Matthews made his début for the under-21 side when he played 45 minutes in a 2–1 defeat to Bosnia and Herzegovina before being substituted due to a foot injury. [37]

Matthews made his senior Wales début on 25 May 2011, against Scotland, in the Nations Cup, he came on as 61st-minute substitute for Neal Eardley. [38] [39] After playing in some friendlies, Matthews took part in his first qualifying game for a major tournament on 11 October 2011 when he came on as a substitute in a Euro 2012 qualifying tie away against Bulgaria. [39] It was his long pass that set up Gareth Bale to score the only goal in a 1–0 victory. [40]

On 22 December 2011 it was revealed that Matthews had been invited to participate in the Great Britain team for the 2012 Summer Olympics. [41] However, he was not subsequently selected for the GB squad.

Matthews was not called up for the national team during the 2014–15 season despite being a regular starter at Celtic. He started in the friendly against Northern Ireland in March 2016, having won his last cap three years earlier. [42] He was not selected for the final Euro 2016 squad. [43] Matthews didn't play again for Wales until March 2018, when he came on as a substitute in Wales' 1–0 loss against Uruguay in the final of the 2018 China Cup. [39] [44]




Career statistics

As of 15 January 2022 [47]
ClubSeasonLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeOtherTotal
Cardiff City 2009–10 3212010351
2010–11 80202010130
Cardiff City total401403010481
Celtic 2011–12 270204050380
2012–13 2224130100393
2013–14 231101060311
2014–15 291301090421
Celtic total1014101903001505
Sunderland 2015–16 10001020
2016–17 00000000
2017–18 3410030371
2018–19 231200030281
Sunderland total582204030672
Bristol City (loan) 2015–16 90000090
2016–17 1200020140
Bristol City total2100020230
Charlton Athletic 2019–20 2900000290
2020–21 27010001 [lower-alpha 1] 0290
2021–22 11000002 [lower-alpha 2] 0130
Charlton Athletic total670100030710
Career total2877171150300703568


  1. One appearance in the EFL Trophy
  2. Two appearances in the EFL Trophy

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