Richard Chaplow is an English central midfielder, born in Accrington on 2nd February 1985. Chaplow joined Burnley at the age of 8 and earned a scholarship at the Turf Moor club in 2001. He made his professional debut for Burnley at Carrow Road on 12th April 2003 in a 2-0 defeat to Norwich. He played a further four times for The Clarets that season.
During the 2003/04 season Chaplow became a Burnley regular, featuring 44 times in total. He quickly established a reputation as one of the best young players outside the top flight. He scored his first ever goal on August 30th against Crewe, and bagged four more before the final day. Chaplow was also sent off for the first time in his career, in a FA Cup tie at Mansfield in January. He won his first and only England under 21 cap in February 2004 against Holland.
Chaplow continued to shine during 2004/05 under new boss Steve Cotterill. A televised FA Cup tie against Liverpool gave the bald headed midfielder a chance to show the whole world what he was made of, and it was an opportunity that didn't pass him by. Chaplow put in an excellent performance in a shock 1-0 win for Burnley.
Chaplow signed for West Brom on the January 2005 transfer deadline day for £1.5million. He had played his final game for old club Burnley just two days previously, an FA Cup tie against Bournemouth. Chaplow was brought to the Hawthorns primarily as 'one for the future'. He featured just four times for a West Brom side that narrowly avoided relegation from the Premiership. He made his debut in The Baggies 4-1 win at Charlton, winning a penalty shortly after coming on as a late sub. He made his first Premiership start at Tottenham on April 20th in a 1-1 draw.
Chaplow appeared sporadically for West Brom in the first half of the 2005/06 season. He got both of The Baggies goals at Reading on January 17th in a 3-2 FA Cup replay defeat. In early February 2006 Chaplow was signed on a 3 month loan by George Burley's Southampton as part of the deal that saw Nigel Quashie move in the opposite direction. Chaplow made his Saints debut on a Friday night televised clash at league leaders Reading. The youngster impressed for a Southampton side that was in a period of transition. His final match of his loan spell came at Stoke on April 15th.
After struggling for first team opportunities in the opening half of 2007/08, Chaplow left West Brom for Preston on January 9th 2008. He made his debut at Deepdale on January 12th against Watford. He scored both of Preston's goals in their 2-0 win against Stoke on February 26th.
Chaplow was a regular starter for Preston over the next two years until he found himself frozen out of the side following a fall out with boss Darren Ferguson, who had been appointed in January 2010. Chaplow's last appearance for The Lilywhites came in a 2-2 draw against QPR on March 27th 2010.
Despite Preston being stranded at the bottom of the Championship, Chaplow failed to resolve his rift with manager Ferguson. He didn't feature once for Preston during 2010/11, and was loaned to Southampton for one month on 30th September 2010. He made his second Saints debut two days later on October 2nd coming on for the last 10 minutes against Bournemouth. Chaplow made an immediate impression in his second spell at St Marys. His energetic box to box displays gave the team a real boost, as he competed with the likes of Dean Hammond and Morgan Schneiderlin for a midfield spot.
After bagging two goals against Peterborough and Huddersfield, Chaplow signed a permanent deal with Southampton for the bargain price of £50,000 on January 1st 2011. He celebrated his new contract with a goal against Oldham on January 11th. On 29th January he gave Saints a short lived lead against Manchester United in the FA Cup 4th round. He came up against old nemesis Darren Ferguson on 5th February when Southampton travelled to Peterborough. Chaplow responded perfectly, scoring the opening goal and winning a penalty in a 4-4 draw. Ferguson accused Chaplow of diving to win the penalty after the game. The midfielder's form dipped during the final months of the season, which led to him being dropped.
Chaplow started 2011/12 on the bench behind Dean Hammond and Jack Cork. He netted in the Carling Cup on August 8th against Torquay, but was then sent off against Barnsley a few days later. Once Chaplow served out his suspension he returned to form. He scored against Birmingham on September 18th and would soon enter a very impressive run of form. Chaplow was asked to play on the left and right of midfield when Adam Lallana was injured. The former Burnley man thrived in this new role, adding a new attacking energy down the flanks. His displays against West Ham and Middlesbrough in October were most impressive. Chaplow also scored against Peterborough and Coventry in November. On 26th November 2011 he suffered an injury that would rule him out for months. It's probably not a coincidence that Saints struggled in his absence. Chaplow would return in early February, but took his time to rediscover his early season form. He was in and out of the side until April, where he started matches in the promotion run-in. His campaign came to a premature end on 21st April 2012 when he was forced off injured in the 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough.
2012/13 was a season to forget for Chaplow. He appeared in all three League Cup games to mixed results. He also made a couple of unremarkable substitute appearances against Fulham and Everton, but never looked like forcing his way into the side. Chaplow had a role in the equalising goal at Chelsea on January 16th, in what was his only notable contribution. He moved to Millwall on loan in March 2013. Chaplow improved The Lions' fortunes, helping the London club to back to back wins. The midfielder contributed with a couple of assists, but was forced to cut his stay short after suffering a nasty injury, missing out on a potential Wembley FA Cup semi-final appearance.
On July 11th 2013 Chaplow's Southampton contract was terminated by mutual consent