Revealed: 12 players who loved relegation more than life itself.
Recently, it is Curtis Davies who became the 13th player to feature in at least four Premier League relegation campaigns as Hull suffered the drop on Sunday. Luke Ambler looks at more doomed top-flight stars
1. Rob Green
His first fall from grace came with Norwich in 2004/05, before he suffered a similar fate at West Ham and twice at QPR
Goalkeeping veteran Rob Green has been relegated with three of the four clubs he’s played for. His first fall from grace came with Norwich in 2004/05, before he suffered a similar fate at West Ham in 2010/11 and twice at QPR in 2012/13 and 2014/15.
Green, who will be forever lambasted for his clanger against the USA at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, now plies his trade in the Championship with Leeds, who narrowly missed out on the play-offs this term.
2. Hermann Hreidarsson
The 6ft 3in man-mountain, who won 89 caps for his country, now manages hometown club Fylkir
The imposing Icelandic defender is one of only two players in Premier League history to have been relegated with five different clubs: Crystal Palace, Wimbledon, Ipswich, Charlton and Portsmouth all dropped into English football’s second tier while Hreidarsson was on their books.
The 6ft 3in man-mountain, who won 89 caps for his country, now manages hometown club Fylkir, with whom he’s yet to be relegated.
3. Nathan Blake
Alongside Hreidarsson, Blake holds the record for the most relegations in Premier League history
Alongside Hreidarsson, Blake holds the record for the most relegations in Premier League history.
The Wales international was first demoted with Sheffield United in 1993/94, then twice at Bolton in 1996 and 1998, at Blackburn Rovers the following season and again at Wolves in 2004.
Blake got on the wrong side of the law by stealing from a fruit machine in his youth, but has been more sensible and successful in his post-football career. He’s set up his own property development company and won an award for Best Supporting Actor at Film Fest Cymru for his role in a short film called The Homing Bird. Beats going down to the Championship for a sixth time.
4. Steven Caulker
The centre-back’s career has been haunted by injuries and relegations
Caulker, a product of the Tottenham academy, impressed in his first full Premier League season with Swansea in 2011/12. Since then, though, the centre-back’s career has been haunted by injuries and relegations.
His move to Welsh rivals Cardiff City in 2013/14 didn’t work out well, as the Bluebirds (then playing in red) dropped down to the second tier. A move to QPR the following season brought the same result. Caulker has subsequently spent time on loan at Southampton and Liverpool, where he was at times used as an emergency striker during the second half of last term.
5. Marcus Bent
Bent scored a total of 40 goals in the Premier League, represented 16 professional clubs across his career and was relegated on four occasions
Before an incident in which Bent received a 12-month suspended jail sentence for remonstrating with police officers while in possession of a meat cleaver, he was a useful centre-forward for top-flight clubs of a certain stature.
Bent scored a total of 40 goals in the Premier League, represented 16 professional clubs across his career and was relegated on four occasions. Alongside Hreidarsson, the striker went down at both Crystal Palace and Ipswich, before following that up with disappointment at Leicester and Charlton.
6. David Wetherall
Wetherall remained a loyal servant at Valley Parade, but the club plummeted from the top tier in 2001 to the fourth in 2007
Wetherall’s career highlight came in 1999/2000, when his goal proved decisive as Bradford beat Liverpool to remain in the Premier League. But aside from that joyous moment, the new millennium was a nightmare for both the defender and the Bantams.
Wetherall remained a loyal servant at Valley Parade, but the club plummeted from the top tier in 2001 to the fourth in 2007. The centre-back made over 300 appearances for the Yorkshire outfit, briefly becoming caretaker manager in 2007 when Colin Todd was dismissed. Wetherall, acting as player-manager, was in charge as the club was relegated at that end of that season.
7. Paul Dougherty
Dougherty has the unenviable record of having been relegated for three seasons in succession while at the same club
Dougherty has the unenviable record of having been relegated for three seasons in succession while at the same club. The midfielder, who was still in his teens at the time, played sporadically during each of Wolves’ plunges down the divisions between 1984 and 1987. He was joined by his team-mate at Wolverhampton Geoffrey Palmer, although the right-back did at least manage to escape for a year on loan at Burnley in 1984/85.
Dougherty spent most of the rest of his career in the US, where he picked up the journeyman tag after playing for 16 different teams.
8. Paul Garner and Tony Kenworthy
Kenworthy went close to registering a complete set of three promotions and three relegations
Between 1975 and 1981, Sheffield United fell from Division One to Division Four. Garner and Kenworthy remained at Brammall Lane throughout this period and, remarkably, both helped the Blades back up to Division Two by 1984.
In the 1986/87 season, Kenworthy went close to registering a complete set of three promotions and three relegations. However United fell from their handsome position of second, which they held at Christmas, to seventh, and narrowly missed out on promotion back to the top flight.
9. Fabio da Silva
His twin Rafael has never been relegated and currently plays for Ligue 1 outfit Lyon
The less successful of the Da Silva twins, Fabio has failed to beat the drop on three occasions. After suffering his first demotion while on loan at QPR in 2012/13, the former Manchester United full-back suffered the same fate at Cardiff in 2013/14, before again falling into the second tier when Middlesbrough lost to Chelsea on Monday.
His twin Rafael has never been relegated and currently plays for Ligue 1 outfit Lyon.
10. BRAD GUZAN
The American goalkeeper has a habit of attracting clubs on the verge of becoming embroiled in a relegation battle. Guzan, who was at Aston Villa between 2008 and 2016, spent many of those years flirting with the drop before eventually succumbing to it in 2015/2016. He’s followed a similar path with Middlesbrough this time around.
11. Roger Johnson
Veteran centre-half Johnson, who was linked with a shock move to Arsenal in 2010, is another who simply struggles to shake the relegation bug.
After relegation with Birmingham in 2011, Johnson’s career has followed a downward trajectory. The defender suffered a double drop from Premier League to League One with Wolves, before suffering relegation from the Championship with Charlton last term. Some people have no luck.