Dean Hammond

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Dean Hammond is an English midfielder born in Hastings on 7th March 1983. Hammond began his career at Brighton and Hove Albion. He made his first appearance for the club in December 2000 against Cardiff in the LDV Vans trophy. Hammond scored his first goal for The Seagulls in September 2002 in a League Cup defeat at Ipswich. He made four league appearances during the 2002/03 season, as Brighton were relegated from Division One.

The following season Brighton loaned Hammond out in order to gain first team experience. He was first sent to Conference side Aldershot in September, and then later to Division Three side Leyton Orient where he made 8 appearances. During the 2004/05 season Hammond finally broke through as a regular in the first team at The Withdean, making 30 league appearances. While Hammond spent most of his time in central midfield, he also filled in on the left hand side on occasions. During the 2006/07 season Hammond became captain under manager Dean Wilkins. It was Hammond's most successful season for the Seagulls, scoring 8 goals in 37 games.

At the start of the 2007/08 season Hammond was entering the last year of his Brighton contract. The club were keen to offer him a new deal and opened talks with the midfielder in October. By the time January rolled around however, Hammond still hadn't signed a new deal and the club took the decision to place him on the transfer list. He moved to Colchester who were rooted to the bottom of the Championship, for £250,000 plus add ons. It was a bitter end for Hammond at the club he had grown up at. Brighton chairman Dick Knight said the club had done everything they could to keep Hammond, and claims to have offered the player a get out clause if the club failed to reach the Championship that season. Hammond however said the club should have begun negotiations much earlier.

Hammond failed to save Colchester, who were relegated from the Championship in 2008 meaning the U's man was back in League 1 for the 2008/09 season. He captained the side to a 12th place finish, missing out on the play-offs. The following season he started Colchester's first game, an incredible 7-1 win away to Norwich. Not long after Hammond moved to St Mary's to join Southampton for an undisclosed fee. No doubt Dean Wilkins, who was by now on the coaching staff at Southampton, had a big say in recommending him to the club. Hammond was given a three year deal and made his debut at home to Brentford on August 22nd.

Hammond scored his first Southampton goal in a 3-1 win at Oldham in October 2009. The following week he bagged his second for the club against MK Dons. By this time he had also replaced Kelvin Davis as team captain. Hammond proved himself a fine box to box midfielder in his first season at the club, working hard defensively in front of the back four. His range of passing was also very good, and he'd also pop up with the odd goal here and there. He won the hearts of many Saints fans for his crunching challenge on Quincy Owusu-Abeyie in the South Coast Derby in February 2010. Hammond also managed a goal against former club Brighton in April.

Hammond continued to be very consistent during the 2010/11 season as Saints climbed up the league table after a terrible start. Hammond scored vital goals at his old club Colchester, and bagged the second in Southampton's 3-1 win at Bournemouth on 12th March. He was in top form in the final months of the campaign, and helped Saints to a 2nd place finish and a place back in the Championship.

Hammond started 2011/12 in style with a scorching strike on the opening day win over Leeds on August 6th. He stepped up his efforts considerably and worked hard to improve his game. Hammond formed a good central midfield partnership with Jack Cork, and helped to start off attacks by spraying the ball about in his role just in front of the back four. He was sent off at Reading on October 22nd. Hammond entered his most consistent run of form over Christmas and New Year when many others in the team were underperforming. He lost his place in early 2012 when Morgan Schneiderlin entered a superb run of form. He was still a useful option from the bench. Hammond started the last few games in Southampton's promotion run in from April 2012 when Schneiderlin was injured. He made a premature exit on the final day against Coventry due to injury.

Hammond slipped down the pecking order during pre-season following the arrival of Steven Davis. He was left out of squads for games against Manchester City and Wigan, but did put in a solid display against Stevenage in the League Cup in August 2012. He made a surprise return to Brighton on loan a couple of days later. Hammond enjoyed a fairly successful stay in East Sussex, helping the Seagulls qualify for the play-offs. He scored a spectacular own goal in April, in an otherwise productive season. Missed out on a second consecutive promotion, with Brighton going down to Crystal Palace in the play-off semi-finals.

On 30th August 2013 Hammond signed for Championship side Leicester for an undisclosed fee.