Anthony Pilkington

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Anthony Pilkington
FIFA WC-qualification 2014 - Austria vs Ireland 2013-09-10 - Anthony Pilkington 02.jpg
Pilkington with Republic of Ireland in 2013
Personal information
Full nameAnthony Neil James Pilkington [1]
Date of birth (1988-06-06) 6 June 1988 (age 32)
Place of birth Blackburn, England
Position(s) Winger
Club information
Current team
East Bengal
Number 22
Youth career
2003–2004 Preston North End
2004–2005 Manchester United
2005 Blackburn Rovers
Senior career*
2005 Blackburn Rovers 0 (0)
2005-2006 Atherton Collieries 35 (19)
2006–2009 Stockport County 80 (17)
2009–2011 Huddersfield Town 92 (19)
2011–2014 Norwich City 75 (14)
2014–2019 Cardiff City 103 (20)
2019–2020 Wigan Athletic 24 (2)
2020– East Bengal 16 (3)
National team
2008 Republic of Ireland U21 1 (0)
2013–2020 Republic of Ireland 9 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 17:23, 2 February 2021 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 March 2016

Anthony Neil James Pilkington (born 6 June 1988) is an Irish professional footballer who plays as a winger for SC East Bengal in the Indian Super League. [2]


After playing non-league football briefly, he began his professional career with spells at Stockport County and Huddersfield Town. In July 2011, he joined Premier League side Norwich City in a deal worth up to £3 million and went on to play 75 matches in the top tier for the Canaries before moving to Cardiff City three years later. He also represents Republic of Ireland at international level and to date has won 9 caps.

Club career

Stockport County

Born in Blackburn, Lancashire, Pilkington spent time with the youth systems of Preston North End, Manchester United and hometown club Blackburn Rovers. He joined Stockport County on 15 December 2006, from Atherton Collieries, where he made his name scoring a hat-trick against F.C. United of Manchester and signed initially on a short-term contract at Edgeley Park, [3] and made an instant impact on the team, scoring three goals in his first four games for the club, including two against Shrewsbury Town at Gay Meadow. Pilkington then played a big part in County's record breaking run of results during January and February 2007.

He continued to help Stockport's push for the playoffs by scoring a further two goals in a season which saw County miss out on the play-offs only on goal-difference.

The following season he scored the second goal for Stockport and assisted the third in their 3–2 win over Rochdale at Wembley Stadium. He also picked up the official man-of-the-match award as Stockport were promoted to League One.

In January 2008, his brother Danny also signed for Stockport.

Huddersfield Town

On 23 January 2009, he was signed by fellow League One side Huddersfield Town on a three-and-a-half-year contract. He made his debut in the 1–0 defeat by Yeovil Town at Huish Park on 27 January 2009. On 3 March, he scored his first league goal for Huddersfield against Colchester United at the Galpharm Stadium. The match ended 2–2. His first away goal for the Terriers came in the 2–1 win against Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium on 31 March 2009.

Pilkington started the 2009–10 season well, scoring on the opening day of the season against Southend United when Huddersfield were two goals down to make it 2–1, they eventually drew the game 2–2. He then scored two more in the second round of the Football League Trophy in a 3–3 draw with Chesterfield, eventually losing on penalties. His second league goal came in a 2–1 away loss at Charlton Athletic with a 30-yard free kick just before half time.

Pilkington was a regular in the Huddersfield team throughout the 2009–10 season, only missing one league game all season. He made 45 league appearances with a further five coming in cup competitions, scoring seven league goals as Huddersfield made a play-off semi-final, with a further two goals coming in the Football League Trophy.

In the 2–1 home win over Rochdale, on 8 March 2011, Pilkington suffered a dislocated left ankle as well as a break to the fibula bone above the ankle. [4] On 30 June, the club announced that Pilkington had declared his intention to leave following their failure to win promotion from League One. [5]

Norwich City

Pilkington with Norwich in 2011. AnthonyPilkington Norwich.jpg
Pilkington with Norwich in 2011.

Pilkington joined Norwich City on 6 July 2011 and signed a three-year deal with the option of a further 12 months. [6] The fee was reported to be around £2 million but rising to £3 million with add-ons. [7] [8]

He made his first appearance since his injury in the 1–1 friendly draw versus Real Zaragoza on 3 August 2011, coming off the bench to replace Bradley Johnson. Pilkington made his competitive Norwich debut in the opening day Premier League 1–1 draw at Wigan Athletic, replacing Steve Morison. [9] Pilkington's first Norwich goal came on 17 September 2011, in a 2–1 win against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium. [10] Pilkington scored a double in the 3–1 win over Swansea City at Carrow Road on 15 October 2011. [11] He scored his eighth goal of his first Premier League campaign in a 2–1 away win over Tottenham Hotspur on 9 April 2012.

Pilkington in action for the Republic of Ireland. FIFA WC-qualification 2014 - Austria vs Ireland 2013-09-10 - Anthony Pilkington 09.JPG
Pilkington in action for the Republic of Ireland.

On 17 November 2012, Pilkington scored the winning goal against his former club Manchester United in a 1–0 win for Norwich.

Cardiff City

On 14 August 2014, it was reported that Norwich had agreed a £1m fee with Cardiff City for Pilkington. [12] The move was completed on 15 August with Pilkington signing a three-year deal. [13] His first goal for Cardiff City came during their 2–1 win against Sheffield Wednesday on 27 September 2014. He became a regular in the starting eleven until a hamstring injury put him out for several months on 29 November. [14] He made his return in April in a 3–1 loss at Ipswich Town. [15]

Pilkington playing for Cardiff City in 2016. Anthony Pilkington 2016.jpg
Pilkington playing for Cardiff City in 2016.

Pilkington returned to the starting line up, the following season, eventually scoring his first goal against Huddersfield Town in September. [16] Following with consecutive goals against Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday. [17] [18] With the club short on forwards following departures in the January transfer window, Pilkington was moved into an unfamiliar more advanced role playing as a striker and finished the season with nine goals in total, including braces against Rotherham United and Preston North End, [19] [20] finishing the season as the club's top scorer.

Pilkington opened his accounts for the new season, against Fulham in a 2–2 draw before scoring a brace against former club, Norwich City. [21] [22] On 27 September, he was rewarded with a two-year contract extension, keeping him at Cardiff until 2019. [23] Despite finishing as one of the club's top goalscorer during the season, with 8 goals, he only managed 7 appearances following Neil Warnock's arrival in October, leading to the manager claiming he didn't know whether Pilkington had a future at the club. [24]

Despite the uncertainty of his future, Pilkington stayed at the club during the summer of 2017, making appearances in the EFL Cup and scoring against Burton Albion. [25] He made his first league appearance on 16 December, starting in a 1–0 win over Hull City, due to the club being left without a recognised striker. [26] Pilkington managed to find the net in a 4–0 win over Sunderland and in a FA Cup at Mansfield Town. His return to the first team led to Warnock stating that there could still be a future for the striker, despite offers during the January transfer window. [27]

Wigan Athletic

On 10 January 2019, Pilkington was signed by Wigan Athletic on a free transfer after leaving Cardiff City by mutual consent, signing an 18-month deal. [28]

International career

He received a call-up to the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad in October 2008; not knowing he was eligible to play for Republic of Ireland national sides until a scout enquired of his availability. He qualifies through his paternal grandmother from Dublin. He played in the 3–0 away victory over Lithuania, where he impressed and even hit the woodwork. [29] Giovanni Trapattoni and Marco Tardelli were reported to have been keeping an eye on him ahead of Ireland's participation in UEFA Euro 2012. [30] In January 2013, Pilkington was called up for the Republic of Ireland Senior Team to play Poland in a friendly in February. [31] The Norwich winger played almost 20 minutes during Ireland's 2–1 loss to Sweden in Dublin on 6 September 2013 as a replacement for James McClean in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA) game. [32]

On 18 November 2014, Pilkington scored his first goal for Ireland against the U.S.A with a sublime chip over the keeper. [33]

International goals

Scores and results list the Republic of Ireland's goal tally first.
1.18 November 2014 Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Republic of IrelandFlag of the United States.svg  United States 1–04–1Friendly

Personal life

Pilkington has a younger brother, Danny, who plays for Stalybridge Celtic.

Career statistics

As of as on 15 January 2021 [34]
ClubSeasonLeague F.A. Cup League Cup OtherTotal
Atherton Collieries [35] 2005–06 NWCFL Division One 167000000169
2006–07 NWCFL Division One19120000001912
Stockport County 2006–07 League Two 245000000245
2007–08 League Two296002031347
2008–09 League One 245411000296
Huddersfield Town 2008–09 League One162000000162
2009–10 League One437202020497
2010–11 League One31104110213812
Norwich City 2011–12 Premier League 308200000328
2012–13 Premier League305102000335
2013–14 Premier League151002100172
Cardiff City 2014–15 Championship 201001000211
2015–16 Championship419000000419
2016–17 Championship347111000368
2017–18 Championship83312100135
Wigan Athletic 2018–19 Championship101000000101
2019–20 Championship163000000163
East Bengal 2020–21 Indian Super League 910091
Career Total379741741437242184


Stockport County

Cardiff City


See also

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