Richie Wellens

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Richie Wellens
Wellens vs Oxford.png
Wellens playing for Leicester City in 2010
Personal information
Full nameRichard Paul Wellens [1]
Date of birth (1980-03-26) 26 March 1980 (age 39) [1]
Place of birth Manchester, England
Playing position Midfielder [1]
Club information
Current team
Swindon Town (manager)
Youth career
1997–1999 Manchester United
Senior career*
1999–2000 Manchester United 0 (0)
2000–2005 Blackpool 191 (16)
2005–2007 Oldham Athletic 87 (8)
2007–2009 Doncaster Rovers 84 (9)
2009–2013 Leicester City 129 (4)
2012Ipswich Town (loan) 7 (0)
2013–2016 Doncaster Rovers 88 (3)
2015–2016Oldham Athletic (loan) 3 (0)
2016 Shrewsbury Town 12 (0)
2016 Salford City 6 (1)
2016–2017 Macclesfield Town 2 (0)
Teams managed
2017–2018 Oldham Athletic
2018– Swindon Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Richard Paul Wellens (born 26 March 1980) is an English professional football manager and former player who played as a midfielder. He is the manager of League Two club Swindon Town.


Wellens began his career at Manchester United before signing for Blackpool in 2000, where he went on to win promotion from League Two via the playoffs in 2001. In 2005, he left them to move to Lancashire rivals Oldham Athletic where he made 87 appearances in two seasons at the club. After his spell at Oldham, Wellens made his successful move to Doncaster Rovers in the summer of 2007 where he became an instant fans' favorite, helping the club rise into the Championship for the first time in 50 years. His time at Doncaster came to an end in 2009 after he had helped the club to consolidate their Championship position as he moved to Leicester City. In his time in the Midlands, Wellens made 129 appearances, scoring four goals, and winning the club's Player of the Year in 2011. After a short loan spell with Ipswich Town, Wellens rejoined Doncaster in 2013. He managed Oldham Athletic from September 2017 to June 2018.

Club career

Manchester United

Born in Manchester, [1] Wellens started his career at Manchester United, playing alongside the likes of Wes Brown and John O'Shea. His only first team appearance for the club was as a substitute in a 3–0 League Cup defeat to Aston Villa on 13 October 1999. [2]


Frustrated at the lack of opportunities at Manchester United, he moved to Blackpool in 2000. Wellens became an instant first team regular at the club and before long he was a fan's favourite. While at the club he helped them win promotion via winning the 2001 Football League Third Division play-off Final which he played in at the Millennium Stadium. He would return to win at the Cardiff stadium two more times with Blackpool, both with the Football League Trophy; first in 2002 [3] after scoring a crucial opening goal against Huddersfield Town in the first leg of the North Area Final, and again in 2004, [4] the same season he was placed in the 2003–04 Football League Second Division PFA Team of the Year. He made 226 appearances with Blackpool before his move in 2005 to Oldham Athletic.

Oldham Athletic

In 2005, he left Blackpool for his local side Oldham Athletic, with Scott Vernon going the other way. This was done to bypass the 50% sell-on clause that Manchester United had added during Wellens' transfer to the Seasiders. [5] In summer 2007, after turning down an improved contract offered by Oldham, he signed a two-year contract with fellow League One side Doncaster Rovers. [6] Wellens made the 2004–05, 2006–07 and 2007–08 League One PFA Team of the Year. Overall, he made 101 appearances and scored 8 times for Oldham.

Doncaster Rovers

Wellens was a member of the Doncaster side that gained promotion to the Championship in 2007–08. His midfield performances brought him several individual awards, several key goals and helped the team gain promotion. His first competitive goal for Doncaster was in August 2007 in the Football League Cup with the second strike in a 4–1 victory over Lincoln City; however, this wasn't the first time he had hit the back of the net for Doncaster: in his very first appearance in a Donny shirt, Wellens chipped the ball over the opposition goalkeeper and into the net from 40 yards in a pre-season friendly against non-league Retford United. Wellens made 97 appearances, scoring 10 times, during his spell with Doncaster prior to his £1,000,000 move to Leicester City.

Leicester City

Wellens and Steve Howard playing for Leicester City in June 2010 Wellens and Howard.png
Wellens and Steve Howard playing for Leicester City in June 2010

On 7 July 2009, Wellens joined Leicester City for a potential fee of £1.2 million, [7] signing a three-year contract. [8] Their biggest signing of the summer, Wellens was named by the BBC Sport as the club's key player for the 2009–10 season. [9] He made his debut in a 2–1 win over Swansea City on 8 August 2009, [10] scoring his first goal in a 2–0 win over Middlesbrough on 2 May 2010. [11] Wellens featured in all but three matches for Leicester in The Championship that season. He played a crucial role in Nigel Pearson's team that reached the play-offs – only to lose to Cardiff City away in Wales. [12]

In his second season at the club, Wellens continued to play in midfield under the reign of both Paulo Sousa and Sven-Göran Eriksson. He was named Championship Player of the Month for January, [13] and won the club's player of the year award on 3 May 2011. [14]

During the 2011–12 season, Wellens ended the season, back under the returning Nigel Pearson, with 46 appearances in all competitions and captaining the side 19 times.

On 4 October it was confirmed that Wellens had signed a one-month loan deal with Ipswich Town. [15]

On 23 July 2013 Wellens left Leicester City by mutual consent, [16] having played a total of 149 games and scoring 6 goals over his four seasons with them.

Return to Doncaster Rovers

On 26 July Wellens played for Doncaster Rovers in the first half of their pre-season friendly against Bradford City, and on 2 August signed a short-term contract with the club. [17] In January 2014 he extended his contract for a further 18 months. [18]

Shrewsbury Town

Wellens joined Shrewsbury Town on a free transfer in January 2016, signing an 18-month contract. [19] Having helped Shrewsbury to safety in League One, making twelve appearances in the second half of the 2015–16 season, he was made available on a free transfer less than five months later with manager Micky Mellon unable to guarantee him first-team football. [20] He left in August after having game time limited. [21]

Salford City

In September 2016, Wellens signed for National League North side Salford City. [22] He left the club in October. [23]

Managerial career

On 4 July 2017, Wellens returned to Oldham Athletic as a first-team coach. Wellens had played for Latics from 2005–2007, he also had a brief loan spell at Latics in the 2015–16 season.

On 25 September 2017, Wellens was put in charge of Oldham Athletic on an caretaker basis. [24] After a five-match unbeaten run, he was appointed manager on a permanent basis on 18 October 2017 on a two-year contract. [25] He was dismissed on 8 June 2018 after Oldham's relegation to League Two. [26]

On 13 November 2018, Wellens was appointed manager of League Two side Swindon Town following the sacking of Phil Brown. [27]

Personal life

Wellens' son, Charlie, is also a footballer who is currently contracted to Manchester United. [28]

Career statistics

Source: [29]
ClubSeasonDivisionLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeOtherTotal
Manchester United 1999–2000 FA Premier League 0010000010
Blackpool 1999–2000 Second Division 8000000080
2000–01 Third Division 39810301 [lower-alpha 1] 0448
2001–02 Second Division 36120205 [lower-alpha 1] 1452
2002–03 39130102 [lower-alpha 1] 0451
2003–04 41320304 [lower-alpha 1] 0503
2004–05 League One 28342002 [lower-alpha 1] 0345
Oldham Athletic 2005–06 League One 45440101 [lower-alpha 1] 0514
2006–07 42440103 [lower-alpha 2] 0504
Doncaster Rovers 2007–08 League One 45620214 [lower-alpha 3] 0537
2008–09 Championship 3934010443
Leicester City 2009–10 Championship 41120102 [lower-alpha 4] 0461
2010–11 4522042514
2011–12 4115000461
2012–13 2020000040
Ipswich Town (loan) 2012–13 Championship 70000070
Doncaster Rovers 2013–14 Championship 3700020390
2014–15 League One 39341202 [lower-alpha 1] 1475
2015–16 12010201 [lower-alpha 1] 0160
Oldham Athletic 2015–16 League One 3000000030
Shrewsbury Town 2015–16 League One 120000000120
Career total601404232630029269848

Managerial statistics

As of match played 7 March 2020
Managerial record by team and tenure
Oldham Athletic 25 September 20178 June 201843141613032.6 [26] [30]
Swindon Town 13 November 2018Present72321723044.4 [30]




Doncaster Rovers



Oldham Athletic

Doncaster Rovers

Leicester City

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  2. "Villa make merry with United's fledglings". The Independent. 13 October 1999. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  3. "Seasiders relish return to scene of past success". Independent. 25 March 2002. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
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  7. "Richie Wellens signs for Leicester City". Doncaster Rovers F.C. 7 July 2009. Archived from the original on 9 July 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  8. "Foxes sign Wellens from Doncaster". BBC Sport. 8 July 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
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  11. "Leicester 2 – 0 Middlesbrough". BBC Sport. 2 May 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  12. Wellens profile Archived 2 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 9 April 2011
  13. Wellens Wins Monthly Award,, 11 March 2011, archived from the original on 23 September 2011
  14. "Richie Wellens wins Leicester City player of year award". BBC Sport. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  15. "Ipswich sign Leicester midfielder Richie Wellens on loan". BBC Sport. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  17. "Richie Returns". DRFC Official Site. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  18. "PD: "Richie deserves credit"". DRFC official site. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  19. "Kyle Vassell and Richie Wellens sign for Shrewsbury Town". BBC Sport. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  20. "Shrewsbury Town offer Richie Wellens on a free transfer". Shropshire Star. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  24. "Wellens to take temporary charge". Oldham Athletic A.F.C. 25 September 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  25. "Richie Wellens: Oldham Athletic appoint caretaker boss as full-time manager". BBC Sport. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  26. 1 2 "Richie Wellens: Oldham Athletic sack manager after relegation from League One". BBC Sport. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  27. "Swindon Town appoint ex-Oldham Athletic boss as manager". BBC Sport. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  28. Marshall, Adam (18 September 2019). "Injury update for United's Europa League opener". Manchester United. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  29. "Games played by Richie Wellens in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  30. 1 2 "Managers: Richie Wellens". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 17 August 2019.