Brett Ormerod

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Brett Ormerod is an English striker who was born in Blackburn on 18th October 1976. He began his career with Blackburn Rovers, but was released in 1995 after being told he wouldn't make it. Ormerod dropped to non-league after leaving Ewood Park, signing for Accrington Stanley in 1995. He scored 32 times in 54 matches for the Lancashire outfit, while simultaneously working at in a cotton mill.

On 21st March 1997 Blackpool signed Ormerod for £50,000. Brett made his debut for The Seasiders on 29th March 1997 in a 0-0 draw with Chesterfield. The striker was rarely used at Bloomfield Road in 1997/98. He scored his first goal for the club on 26th December 1997 in a 1-1 draw with Carlisle, and followed that up with a second just two days later against Wrexham. Ormerod established himself as a regular in 1998/99, and end the season with four goals in his final five matches.

Ormerod started the 1999/2000 season off well with a brace on the opening day against Wrexham. However, on October 23rd Brett suffered a badly broken leg in a match with Wycombe, which ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign. Blackpool suffered in Ormerod's absence, and were relegated to Division Three. Brett returned to fitness for the start of 2000/01, and helped Blackpool win promotion back to Division Two. The former Accrington man had the most successful season of his career at that point, scoring an incredible 27 goals in all competitions, including 10 in his last 8 matches of the campaign. Ormerod continued to bang them in for fun during 2001/02, and even netted a hatrick against Wigan in the League Cup.

On 5th December Gordon Strachan's Southampton paid £1,750,000 to bring Ormerod to St Marys. Brett had caught Strachan's eyes in a League Cup tie earlier in the season at Northampton, when the Scottish manager was out of work. Strachan said of Brett in his autobiography "It was almost as if he was the only man playing -- no matter where the ball was he seemed to be there". Ormerod made his Saints debut on 15th December 2001 in a 2-1 win over Sunderland. He scored his first goal for the club on 2nd March 2002 in a 3-1 win at Ipswich, which was his only goal for Southampton in 2001/02.

Ormerod had struggled to adapt to his new surroundings in the Premiership in his first few months at St Marys. He improved massively through sheer hard work, and never gave anything less than 100%, forming a fantastic strike partnership with former Blackburn youth teammate James Beattie. While the more prolific Beattie grabbed most of the headlines, Ormerod's contribution was just as important. His unselfish running in wide areas created countless chances for Beattie, who ended the season with 24 goals. Brett only scored 9, although most of those were very important goals. After scoring a hatrick in a 6-1 League Cup win over Tranmere on 2nd October 2002, he bagged himself a brace in an impressive 2-0 win over Manchester City three days later. Ormerod scored one of the clubs most famous goals ever on 13th April 2003, when he netted the opener in a 2-1 win over Watford in the FA Cup semi-final. Brett's performances didn't go unnoticed by fans either, as he became a St Marys favourite. He played the full 90 minutes of Southampton's FA Cup final defeat against Arsenal on 17th May 2003.

Ormerod featured less in 2003/04 following the arrival of Kevin Phillips from Sunderland. That's not to say he didn't make any less of a contribution. He scored a double in a 3-2 win over Charlton on December 7th, which remains one of the all time classic matches to be played at St Marys. Six days later he scored the opener in a shock 2-1 win at Anfield over Liverpool, after a fine run and finish in the second minute. In 2004/05 Ormerod dropped even further down the pecking order after the signing of another striker, Peter Crouch. In September 2004 he dropped down a division to sign for Leeds on loan for a month. He returned to St Marys in October, but failed to recapture the form he had shown previously. His only goal for the South Coast club that season came in a 5-2 Carling Cup hammering at Watford. Brett moved to Wigan on loan in March 2005, and helped the club win promotion to the Premiership with two goals in a 2-0 win over Leicester on 16th April 2005. He was recalled by Saints manager Harry Redknapp in April, and was a surprise starter in the clubs final game of the season against Manchester United.

Ormerod started 2005/06 well for Southampton, who were by now a Championship side. He scored in his first appearance of the season at Southend in the League Cup on 22nd August, and followed that up with his first league goal at Derby a few weeks later. Brett struggled for form after that however, and was in and out of the side during the winter.

On 27th January 2006 Ormerod signed for Preston for a free transfer. He scored on his debut four days later in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, the same opposition he faced a week earlier in his final Southampton appearance. Brett helped North End reach the 2006 play-off semi-finals, scoring four goals for the Deepdale club. Ormerod performed reasonably well in 2006/07, scoring 9 times, as Preston missed out on a play-off spot following a poor run of form late on. He eventually lost his place in the North End side during 2007/08 after a series of lacklustre displays. Brett spent the last few months of the season on loan at League 1 Nottingham Forest, and helped the Midlands club reach the play-offs.

Ormerod had completely fallen out of favour at Deepdale in October 2008 when he joined Oldham Athletic on loan for a month. On January 30th 2009 Ormerod rejoined Blackpool on a free transfer, following his release from Preston. He celebrated his return by scoring in the 2-0 win over Norwich on 7th March 2009. In 2009/10 Ormerod played an important role in helping Blackpool reach promotion to the Premiership. His first goal of the campaign came in 2-1 win over eventual champions Newcastle on 16th September 2009. Brett also scored the winner in the Championship play-off final against Cardiff on 22nd May 2010. Ormerod was used sparingly in the clubs first Premiership campaign of 2010/11. On 22nd February 2011 he became the first Blackpool player to score in all four divisions, after netting in The Seasiders 3-0 victory over Tottenham. On June 3rd 2011 Ormerod signed a new deal with Blackpool, not long after the club had been relegated back to The Championship.