Dwight Yorke

This article is about the association football player. For the Nuwaubian leader, see Dwight York.
Dwight Eversley Yorke

Yorke in Azadi Sport Complex - August 2015
Personal information
Full name Dwight Eversley Yorke
Date of birth (1971-11-03) 3 November 1971
Place of birth Canaan, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1988–1989 Signal Hill Comprehensive School
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1998 Aston Villa 232 (73)
1998–2002 Manchester United 96 (52)
2002–2004 Blackburn Rovers 60 (12)
2004–2005 Birmingham City 13 (2)
2005–2006 Sydney FC 21 (7)
2006–2009 Sunderland 59 (6)
Total 479 (147)
National team
1989–2009 Trinidad and Tobago 74 (19)
Teams managed
2009–2010 Trinidad and Tobago (assistant)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Dwight Eversley Yorke CM (born 3 November 1971) is a Tobagonian former football player. Throughout his club career, he played for Aston Villa, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Sydney FC and Sunderland, mainly as a forward, between 1988 and 2009. He was the assistant manager of the Trinidad and Tobago national team until the completion of the qualifying matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

At international level, Yorke represented Trinidad and Tobago on 74 occasions between 1989 and 2009, scoring 19 goals. He helped his nation reach the semi-finals of the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and also helped Trinidad and Tobago to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in its history, later representing his national side in the final tournament in 2006. Along with Russell Latapy and Pat Jennings, Yorke holds the record number of participations in different World Cup competitions, including qualifying stages – six in total (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010).[1]

Club career

Aston Villa

Yorke was first discovered by Graham Taylor, at the time the Aston Villa manager, on a tour of the West Indies in 1989. Yorke appeared in a team that played a friendly match against Aston Villa, Taylor was impressed and offered Yorke a trial at Villa. Yorke was subsequently given a permanent contract and he made his First Division debut for Aston Villa against Crystal Palace on 24 March 1990: Crystal Palace won the game 1–0. During his time with Aston Villa, from 1989 to 1998, Yorke played initially as a right winger until the 1995–96 season, he then switched to centre forward and quickly established himself as one of the Premier League's top strikers.

Yorke was an integral member of the Villa team that reached the League Cup Final in 1996. Villa won 3–0 against Leeds United with Yorke getting on the scoresheet. On 30 September 1996 he scored a hat-trick against Newcastle United in a 4–3 defeat. Newcastle were leading 3–1 at half-time and Aston Villa were down to ten men, with Mark Draper being sent off late in the first half. Yorke showed great character in leading his team in a brave fight back by scoring two more goals in the second half to complete his hat-trick, although it was to no avail as Aston Villa still lost the game. Yorke thought he had scored a fourth goal to equalise the game at 4–4, only for it to be ruled offside. It was performances like this that led to interest from Manchester United in August 1998. Yorke appeared for Aston Villa on 231 occasions, scoring 97 times. He also has the distinct honour of being the last ever Villa player to score in front of the old Holte End standing terrace, notching both goals in a 2–1 victory on the final day of the 1993–94 season, 7 May 1994.

The circumstances of his departure from Aston Villa were controversial. John Gregory, Aston Villa manager at that time, made it known that the club did not want to sell Yorke to Manchester United unless they were prepared to exchange Andy Cole, a striker at Manchester United. Yorke then approached Gregory to state that he wanted to leave the club, to which Gregory was famously attributed to saying that he would shoot Yorke if he had had a gun in his office. Yorke played for Villa on the opening day of the season at Everton on 15 August 1998, however it appeared he made no effort during the match as he was unhappy at not being allowed to leave the club. Villa were left with no option but to sell the player and he was transferred to Manchester United for £12.6 million on 20 August 1998.[2] Despite spending 9 years at Villa he is disliked by some of its fans for his behaviour at the time he left the club and also because he later joined Birmingham City.

Manchester United

In his first season Yorke was a key player in guiding his club to a unique treble of the Premiership title, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League, and forming a legendary partnership with Andy Cole.[3] Yorke finished the season as the top league goalscorer with 18 goals and contributed goals against Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Internazionale,[4] and Juventus in the Champions League, and he won the Premier League Player of the Season. Yorke was also a regular member of United's 1999–2000 title winning team, contributing 22 goals in all competitions.

Despite a less successful third season personally, Yorke scored a hat-trick in the top of the table clash with Arsenal as United went on to win a third successive title.[5] Yorke's limited appearances in the 2001–02 season led to rumours that he'd fallen out with United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, following his much publicised relationship with British model Jordan. After a January move to Middlesbrough fell through[6] Yorke signed for Blackburn Rovers for £2 million during the close-season.[7] Altogether he scored 64 goals for Manchester United in 188 appearances.

Blackburn Rovers

Yorke spent two years at Blackburn Rovers, where he rejoined his old United strike partner, Andy Cole, he managed 13 goals in his first year at Blackburn helping them finish 6th and qualify for the UEFA cup, the following season he was in and out of the team and fell out with manager Graeme Souness. It was rumoured that Souness accused him of not trying hard enough, and during a six-a-side match the pair once exchanged a few tough tackles. Subsequently he joined Birmingham City in 2004 on a free transfer.

Birmingham City

Yorke started his Birmingham career well with a goal on his home debut against Charlton[8] which went a long way in winning over sceptical fans owing to his lengthy association in the past with city rivals Aston Villa. He scored again against Graeme Souness's Newcastle in October.[9] However, Yorke ended up spending most of the remainder of his time at the club on the bench and was eventually released by Steve Bruce just eight months after signing,[10]

Sydney FC

Yorke during his time with Sydney F.C.

Yorke immediately signed for Sydney FC,[11] with a salary of $1 million a season. He scored the first goal for Sydney FC in its first A-League regular season match, a diving header against the Melbourne Victory. Yorke came to Sydney FC with the biggest pedigree of all players in the A-League, having won the treble with Manchester United. Yorke scored 7 goals in the A-League, with three of them being from penalty kicks. Sydney FC coach Pierre Littbarski moved Yorke into a midfield role and gave him the team captaincy.

He played a major role in leading Sydney FC to victory in the inaugural A-League Grand Final on 5 March against regional rivals Central Coast Mariners. He set up the only goal, scored by Steve Corica, in front of a sell out crowd of over 41,000 at Aussie Stadium, and was awarded the Joe Marston Medal as best player in the grand final. Yorke was the marquee player for Sydney FC – meaning that his salary fell outside the salary cap. He was also a star name for the A-League as a whole. Aside from his footballing talents, the drawing power and credibility he brought both locally and internationally proved to be beneficial for the competition in its inaugural season, leading the FFA to use his image and name for the promotion of the A-League's second season.

In June 2006, Yorke trained with Manchester United in a bid to keep a high level of fitness prior to the 2006 World Cup, although he was at that time contracted to Sydney FC. This was because the Australian season had already ended and pre-season training had not yet commenced. He returned to Sydney FC to take part in a friendly against Everton in 2010. The game was considered his 'farewell game' as he never had the chance to say a proper farewell to the fans at Sydney FC. Everton won the match 1–0, and Yorke was substituted midway through the second half.[12]


Dwight Yorke playing for Sunderland

On 31 August 2006, Yorke's transfer to Sunderland was announced.[13] The transfer for a fee of £200,000 (A$ $500,000) re-united Yorke with ex-teammate Roy Keane, then manager of Sunderland. Yorke made his debut in the home match against Leicester City and received a rapturous standing ovation from home fans when he came on as a substitute in the first half. Yorke was used as a defensive midfielder rather than his usual striker role.[14] He scored his first goal for Sunderland in the 2–1 loss against Stoke and was accepted by the people of Sunderland, switching on the city's Christmas lights in 2006. He was handed the number 19 shirt at Sunderland, the number which he wore at Manchester United and Sydney.

On 2 January 2008, during Sunderland's 1–0 defeat to Blackburn, Yorke was given a red card by referee Rob Styles. Yorke stated several times he would like to return to the A-League, preferably Sydney FC. However, following Sydney FC's signings at the time it seemed unlikely that Sydney would have been able to fit him under the salary cap. It was reported that Yorke play for rivals Central Coast Mariners, the team bankrolled by the man who brought him to Sydney, Peter Turnbull.[15]

On 11 March 2008, it was announced that the Mariners were in "advanced negotiations" with Yorke to become the marquee for two years.[16] However, on 1 July 2008 Yorke signed a new one-year contract to stay with Sunderland for the 2008–09 season.[17] He was named man of the match for his performance[18] against Arsenal on 4 October 2008, with Sunderland drawing 1–1 at home. Following Roy Keane's departure from the post of Sunderland manager in December 2008, Yorke and Neil Bailey were named as assistants to Ricky Sbragia.[19] Yorke was released at the end of the 2008–09 season.[20]


Yorke has completed his Level B coaching badge, and in 2010 was quoted as being interested in pursuing a career in coaching, ideally with Aston Villa.[21] On 17 April 2011 he completed the London Marathon in a time of 3 hours and 32 minutes.[22] On 14 August 2011, Yorke signed a two-year deal to work for Sky Sports as a pundit.[23]

International career

Yorke was capped 72 official times for the Trinidad and Tobago national team, scoring 26 goals, but has played over 100 matches for T&T that were not recognised as international friendlies. Along with his friend Russell Latapy, Yorke was a member of the 1989 'Strike Squad', the national team which narrowly failed to qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. He retired from international football in 2001 after a disagreement with the side's coach; however he returned to the team for the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, in which the team qualified for the World Cup finals for the first time in their history after a 2–1 aggregate qualifying victory over Bahrain.

Yorke was captain for all of Trinidad and Tobago's games at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and was Man of the Match in the 0–0 draw against Sweden, pipping his close friend Shaka Hislop to the honour despite the then West Ham goalkeeper making several world-class saves. He was one of six players in the Trinidad squad (the others being Brent Sancho, Dennis Lawrence, Chris Birchall, Carlos Edwards and Stern John) to have played every minute of the campaign. Yorke was rated the best defensive midfielder in the opening stages of the World Cup.[24]

Yorke announced his retirement from international football in March 2007, choosing to focus on his club career at Sunderland.[25] He captained the side in Germany, and up until his retirement. However, he made a guest return appearance for a friendly against England in June 2008 after being invited by FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.[26] On 10 July 2008, the TTFF announced Yorke's return to the national team for the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign.[27]

On 15 October 2008, he scored his first international goal after returning from retirement against the United States in a 2010 World Cup Qualification match. The game ended 2–1 for Trinidad and Tobago. His goal was a crucial tie-breaker scored in the 79th minute, which put Trinidad and Tobago in a great situation to advance to the next qualifying stage, needing only a tie against Cuba in their final game. On 11 February 2009, Yorke scored a 26th-minute penalty for his country, but was sent off in the dying seconds of Trinidad and Tobago's opening match of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Fourth Round against El Salvador (2:2) after exchanging heated remarks with Mexican referee Marco Antonio Rodríguez (the Trini star had voiced his disapproval of the disruptions caused by the home crowd) and was consequently banned for 4 games due to his use of abusive language. The suspension was later reduced to 2 matches.[28]

After being released from Sunderland and being unable to find a club before the end of the current transfer window, Yorke retired from football altogether in September 2009, and took up the post of assistant manager with the Trinidad and Tobago national team.[29]

Personal life

Yorke was once in a brief relationship with Page 3 model Jordan, and has a son with her, Harvey, who is blind and has autism.[30] Yorke disputed paternity until Jordan's claims were proven by a DNA test.[31]

The Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago, constructed for the 2001 U-17 World Cup, was named in Yorke's honour. Yorke is a cricket fan. One of Yorke's closest friends is Brian Lara. During the 1999 Cricket World Cup, Yorke made regular appearances bringing on drinks for the West Indies cricket team. Yorke's older brother, Clint Yorke, is a former first class cricketer who has represented Trinidad and Tobago as an opening batsman.[32]

Yorke featured extensively in an episode of Australia's The Biggest Loser TV show, which aired 28 February 2006. The episode involved Yorke coaching the "red team" of contestants while they competed against the "blue team" in a game of football. Mark Rudan, Yorke's Sydney FC team-mate, was the manager of the "blue team". For his contribution to the national team in the 2006 FIFA World Cup he was made a Sports Ambassador for Trinidad and Tobago. He released his autobiography, "Born To Score", in 2009.[33]

Career statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Club Season Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Aston Villa 1989–90 First Division 2000000020
1990–91 182201000212
1991–92 32115520003916
1992–93 Premier League 276414000357
1993–94 122210000143
1994–95 376214100438
1995–96 35175286004825
1996–97 37172221004120
1997–98 30122210724016
1998–99 1000000010
Total 2317324142287228497
Manchester United 1998–99 Premier League 321883001185129
1999–2000 3220001534723
2000–01 22920221113712
2001–02 81101030121
Total 924811332401214765
Blackburn Rovers 2002–03 Premier League 3383342304313
2003–04 234101220276
2004–05 4000000040
Total 60124354507419
Birmingham City 2004–05 Premier League 132102000162
Sydney 2005–06 A-League 217 217
Sunderland 2006–07 Championship 325100000335
2007–08 Premier League 201000000201
2008–09 7010000080
Total 596301000636
Career total 478148412032145214581196

Updated on 26 April 2010.[34]

International goals

Scores and results list Trinidad and Tobago's goal tally first.[35]
Num Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1, 2 9 July 1989 Bridgetown, Barbados  Grenada 2–1 Win 1989 Caribbean Championship
3 21 May 1993 Montego Bay, Jamaica  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 4–1 Win 1993 Caribbean Cup
4 23 June 1996 Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago  Dominican Republic 8–0 Win 1998 World Cup Qualifier
5 15 February 2000 Los Angeles, United States  Guatemala 4–2 Win 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup
6 7 May 2000 Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago  Haiti 3–1 Win 2002 World Cup Qualification
7 19 May 2000 Port-au-Prince, Haiti  Haiti 1–1 Draw 2002 World Cup Qualification
8, 9 8 July 2000 Port of Spain  Jamaica 2–4 Loss Friendly
10 16 July 2000 Edmonton, Canada  Canada 2–0 Win 2002 World Cup Qualification
11, 12 16 August 2000 Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago  Panama 6–0 Win 2002 World Cup Qualification
13 23 June 2001 Hamilton,  Bermuda 5–0 Win Friendly
14, 15 28 February 2006 London, England  Iceland 2–0 Win Friendly
16 7 October 2006 Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 5–0 Win Friendly
17 15 October 2008 Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago  United States 2–1 Win 2010 World Cup Qualification
18 19 November 2008 Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago  Cuba 3–0 Win 2010 World Cup Qualification
19 11 February 2009 San Salvador, El Salvador  El Salvador 2–2 Draw 2010 World Cup Qualification



Aston Villa
Manchester United
Sydney FC

National team



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  2. http://www.premierleague.com/en-gb/news/features/on-this-day-20-aug-1998-dwight-yorke-joins-manchester-united-from-aston-villa.html
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  4. Thorpe, Martin (3 March 1999). "Inter are Yorked by United". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  5. "United hit Arsenal for six". The Daily Telegraph. London. 25 February 2001. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
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  13. Andrew Howe. "Sydney FC Home". Sydney FC. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
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  16. Davutovic, David (11 March 2008). "Dwight Yorke close to A-League comeback with Mariners". The Daily Telegraph.
  17. Yorke to stay with Black Cats, Sky Sports News, Accessed 2 July 2008.
  18. Taylor, Louise (6 October 2008). "No substitute for sentiment as Leadbitter's sweet celebration is dedicated to his father". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  19. Alexander, Nick (4 December 2008). "Sbragia to take charge at United". Sunderland AFC. Retrieved 7 December 2008.
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  21. Mat Kendrick (11 January 2010). "Aston Villa: Dwight Yorke sets his sights on becoming Aston Villa manager". birminghammail. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  22. "Sports". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  23. http://www.tntmirror.com/2011/08/14/yorke-scores-big-job
  24. http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/germany2006/news/newsid=21543.html
  25. "BBC SPORT - Football - Internationals - Yorke retires from internationals". Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  26. Yorke to make surprise T&T appearance
  27. SIX PLAYERS ADDED TO SOCA WARRIORS ROSTER... Dwight to rejoin team for qualifiers, TTFF, Accessed 11 July 2008.
  28. Trinidad News
  29. "Yorke opts to end playing career". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
  30. Deveney, Catherine (5 February 2006). "Two faces of Jordan". The Scotsman. Retrieved 18 March 2007.
  31. "It won't be a Dwight Christmas for Jordan". Evening Standard. London. 23 December 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
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  33. "Books, eBooks, Kindles, Textbooks and Children's Books - Waterstones.com". 18 June 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  34. Dwight Yorke career statistics at Soccerbase
  35. Mamrud, Roberto (7 January 2009). "Dwight Yorke – Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 February 2009.
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