Date and Place of Birth
13th September 1983 - ROMFORD
Transfers to and from Burnley
from BOURNEMOUTH - 26th August 2005 (£35,000)
released - 6th May 2008
First and Last Burnley Games
READING (a) - 29th August 2005
sub: replaced Micah Hyde
SOOUTHAMPTON (a) - 19th April 2008
sub: replaced Robbie Blake
DONCASTER ROVERS, LEYTON ORIENT (loan), NOTTS COUNTY,
Burnley Career Stats
|Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Others||Total|
Profile by Tony Scholes
When Owen Coyle revealed his first ever Burnley retained list at the end of the 2007/08 season the only out of contract player not on it was John Spicer. After almost three seasons at Turf Moor John, who had hardly featured under the new manager, was left to look for a new club.
Spicer had arrived at Burnley in August 2005 just a few days before the transfer window came to a close, the first Burnley had been subjected to. He was brought from Bournemouth for £35,000 in a deal that had been speculated on all summer, and it meant three of their midfield who had done so well in the cup tie against us in the previous January were now Burnley players.
He started his football career as an apprentice with Arsenal and he progressed through the junior teams. He made the first team just once (in October 2003) and that was as a substitute in a League Cup tie against Rotherham. The game went to extra time and after a 1-1 draw the Gunners won it 9-8 on penalties. Spicer replaced Justin Hoyte after 117 minutes and went on to a pitch including such as Cesc Fabregas and Gael Clichy.
The next time he saw first team action was eleven months later. This time it was for Bournemouth who he had joined the day before on loan. They were beaten 3-1 at home against Colchester and he lined up alongside Garreth O'Connor.
After three months on loan at Bournemouth he made the deal a permanent one but had a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave should an offer come in over a specific figure and less than a year after his first game for the Cherries it was Burnley who triggered that clause and brought him to Turf Moor for £35,000.
His three years as a Claret never really saw him establish himself in the first team although it is fair to say he had his moments and in particular there were two games for which he will always be remembered.
The first of those came at Luton in November 2005. He was in the first team and playing well. He was only one game away from his first goal in Burnley colours against Leicester, but before he could find the net he had a very different role to play.
The Clarets were 2-0 up and seemingly cruising against a Luton side unbeaten at home when goalkeeper Brian Jensen was controversially sent off by referee Paul Melin. With no goalkeeper on the bench it was Spicer who volunteered to take up the position for the rest of the game.
In what was one of the most memorable Burnley games of recent years he conceded two goals but left the field a hero after the Clarets had edged it with a 3-2 win, a performance that saw them receive a standing ovation from home and away fans alike.
One week later, back in midfield, he scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against Leicester and when he twice in the next home game against Crewe things really looked to be on the up for him.
It didn't quite work out and he lost his place after Christmas. He won it back for a few games but by the end of the season wasn't in that first team midfield although he did play in the final game as an emergency right back.
If the 2005/06 season had ended disappointingly then the following season was almost a complete disappointment. He didn't start a single game. Not only that he reached March having only made two substitute appearances.
Things looked up slightly with nine more appearances from the bench and one in particular at Birmingham. In a tense Easter Saturday game in which both sides needed points for different reasons he came on and got on the end of a mistake to score the only goal of the game.
Suddenly Spice was a hero again and no one there will ever forget the goal celebration as he was joined by many of his team mates right in front of the travelling Burnley fans. The goal certainly got him back in favour and during the 2007/08 season he did win a place back in the side.
He played well too and was beginning to show the sort of form that had persuaded Steve Cotterill to sign him. But in the away game at Leicester, with Steve Davis in charge, he was stretchered off and when new boss Owen Coyle came in he was out injured.
He had to wait for his chance and referee Lee Mason gave him that by sending off two of our midfield in the home defeat against Preston whilst another was forced out with injury. Spicer started the following week at Ipswich. He was playing well too, but his return lasted less than half a game before he was sent off by referee Phil Dowd.
That was his last ever start for the Clarets. After serving his suspension he was never again given an opportunity by the manager and his substitute appearances were rare and usually very short. There were nine of them in all but only one in the last two months of the season.
It was inevitable that there would be no new offer of a contract and on Tuesday 6th May came the news that he had been released by the Clarets and was in search of a new club.
Spicer had talks with a number of clubs and on Tuesday 17th June 2008 opted to rejoin his old Bournemouth manager Sean O'Driscoll and signed a two year deal with newly promoted Doncaster Rovers.
He struggled to settle at Doncaster initially but won a place in the side during the second half of his first season there. However, having been very much a regular in the first two months of the 2009/10 season he lost his place in October and was mainly used as a substitute. This led to him signing a loan deal with Leyton Orient on the Football League's loan deadline day in March 2009 until the end of April.
That loan was extended until the end of the 2009/10 season after which he was released by Doncaster Rovers on the expiry of his contract. He was linked with a number of clubs, with Leyton Orient considered favourites, but on 2nd July 2010 he signed a two year deal with Notts County. He spent two years with Notts County but after flitting in and out of the team in his first season he found himself out of the reckoning in 2011/12 and made just one brief substitute appearance in the league all season. He was released at the end of the 2011/12 season.
Pre-season 2012 was spent with Southend United as he tried to win a deal. That deal came on the eve of the 2012/13 season when he signed for one year, making his debut at Accrington on the opening day of the season. He settled in well initially, establishing himself in the first team. However, he lost his place in October and made only one more league appearance during the remainder of the 2012/13 season. After Phil Brown replaced Paul Sturrock as manager he was not involved at all and it was no surprise when he was released at the end of the season.