Dexter Blackstock

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Dexter Blackstock is an English striker who was born in Oxford on 20th May 1986. Blackstock began his career as a youth player at Oxford United, before being snapped up by Southampton in 2003 for £275,000. A long list of injuries at St Marys meant he was brought up to the first team squad earlier than expected. He made his debut on 16th October 2004, in a 1-0 defeat at Everton. After another Premiership start against Birmingham, Blackstock opened his account for Saints with a perfect hatrick (left foot, right foot and a header) in a League Cup tie against Colchester on 27th October 2004. He scored a consolation goal in the same competition on 9th October 2004 in a humiliating 5-2 loss at Watford. His first Premiership goal was one to remember, as it was the equaliser in a match against rivals Portsmouth on 13th November 2004, which Saints went on to win 2-1. Blackstock's inexperience was evident in the weeks following that victory however. He was dropped in December, and then loaned to Championship side Plymouth in February 2005. Blackstock had a decent run at Home Park, scoring four times.

Blackstock appeared mostly from the bench in 2005/06 for a Southampton side who new resided in the second tier of English football. In October 2005 he joined Derby on loan, and scored on his debut against QPR on 29th October. He followed that up with a double against Ipswich on 2nd November. Those goals led to Saints recalling the striker in December. Blackstock scored for George Burley's men on New Year's Eve at Cardiff, and grabbed a brace in a 2-1 win over Brighton two days later. On 18th February Blackstock was forced to play in goal for Southampton when Bartosz Bialkowski was stretchered off injured. He looked terrified, but somehow managed not to concede.

On 10th August 2006 Blackstock moved to Queen's Park Rangers for a fee of £500,000. His R's debut came on 12th August 2006 in a 2-0 win over Southend. He had a decent first season at Loftus Road, finishing as the clubs top marksmen with 14 goals. Perhaps somewhat inevitably, one of those goals came against former club Southampton, in a 2-1 win at St Marys on 30th September 2006.

On 16th August 2007 Blackstock won his first England under 21 international cap, and provided the assist for his former Saints team mate Andrew Surman in a 3-0 win. Blackstock was less prolific for QPR in 2007/08, but ended the season strong, with 4 goals in his last 7 matches. He continued where he left off the following campaign, netting 5 from his first 7 in 2008/09, including two against Southampton. He kept banging the goals in over the winter months before a March 2009 loan move to Nottingham Forest. Blackstock made his Forest debut on 4th April 2009 in a 1-1 draw with Barnsley. A week later he scored his first goal for the club in a 3-2 win over Bristol City.

Blackstock joined Forest on a permanent basis in the summer of 2009, following the clubs survival in the Championship the previous campaign. He started the 2009/10 season well, scoring in his first match against Bradford in the Carling Cup. Blackstock also scored in the 3-2 win over arch rivals Derby on 29th August, and hit the only goal of the game against runaway leaders Newcastle on 17th October. He also scored in the club's 5-0 drubbing of former club QPR. Blackstock helped Forest reach the 2010 play-offs, which they lost out to Blackpool in the semi-finals. Blackstock missed over half the 2010/11 season after suffering an injury at Cardiff on November 20th 2010, just minutes after he had come off the bench to score Forest's second goal in a 2-0 win.

Blackstock returned to action for Forest on 10th December in a 1-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace. He took a while to regain his form in a struggling outfit, before firing Forest to safety with 8 goals. Blackstock scored twice in a surprise 2-1 win at Birmingham on 25th February 2012, and then repeated the feat a month later in an incredible 7-3 triumph at Leeds.

In 2009 Blackstock set up the 'Dexter Blackstock Soccer School', a training course run in the school holidays for youngsters aged between 6 and 14. The school is run by qualified coaches and aimed at getting kids off the street.