Feature by Tony Scholes
Updated Friday, 5th July 2013
Date and Place of Birth
12th September 1980 - STIRLING
Transfers to and from Burnley
from SUNDERLAND - 31st January 2007 (£400,000)
released 11th May 2010
First and Last Burnley Games
QUEENS PARK RANGERS (a) - 3rd February 2007
sub: replaced Stephen Foster
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (h) - 9th May 2010
NNEWCASTLE UNITED, BLACKPOOL (loan), BRADFORD CITY (loan),
LEEDS UNITED (loan), SUNDERLAND
WIGAN ATHLETIC, BIRMINGHAM CITY, TORONTO FC
Burnley Career Stats
|Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Others||Total|
Profile by Tony Scholes
There aren't many players who have captained a Burnley team at Wembley and even less who have captained a winning Burnley team at the national stadium.
John Pender was the first to lift a trophy, when we won the Division Two play off final in 1994, and in May 2009 Steven Caldwell became the second when we signalled our return to the top flight.
It was, without doubt, the pinnacle of Caldwell's three and a half years at Turf Moor which started at the end of January 2007 when Steve Cotterill made him an eleventh hour signing from Sunderland at the end of the mid-season transfer window.
He came into a club that had just gone nine league games without a win and would go on to play another nine before things turned round with a home win against Plymouth.
Scot Caldwell started his career at Newcastle United in their youth system and went on to make his first team debut in September 2000 in a 1-0 win at Manchester City, coming on as a substitute for Andy Griffin. His first league start came just a couple of months later in a home defeat to local rivals Sunderland.
His early form won him a call up to the Scotland squad and he won his first cap for his country as a substitute in a friendly in Poland in April 2001.
However, unable to establish himself at St. James' Park he twice went out on loan during the 2001/02 season. The first move was to Blackpool where he played for them at what is now League One and soon after moved up a division to play for Bradford City in what was their first season after relegation from the Premier League.
By the 2003/04 season his time at Newcastle was coming to an end. He'd played less than forty games for them and he made a third loan move for the second half of that season, joining Leeds United's relegation battle in the Premier League.
He went straight into the side there, and impressed, but couldn't help them beat the drop. He was released by Newcastle and was expected to make the move to Leeds a permanent one. However, he made the short trip to the Geordie's main rivals Sunderland, snapped up by then manager Mick McCarthy.
He quickly won the captaincy at the Stadium of Light and in his first season at the club helped steer them back into the Premier League. Not only that, but on St. George's Day, 23rd April 2005, he scored the winning goal in a home game against Leicester City that clinched promotion.
It was one of five goals he scored that season, and he'd also scored the winner in the game at Leicester in a crucial game.
It's fair to say the next season didn't go too well for Sunderland and they created a new Premier League record (since broken by Derby County) by securing just fifteen points in the entire season during which they won just once at home.
McCarthy lost his job and former Claret Kevin Ball took over for a while. Chairman Niall Quinn was installed as manager at the beginning of the next season but quickly handed over to Roy Keane who arrived in late August.
Caldwell was out of the side through injury when Keane arrived, and it was November before he got back into the side, but he again dropped out at the end of the year and by the time he was fit again had moved club.
Keane made him available for transfer and Burnley manager Steve Cotterill quickly showed an interest. We looked favourites at one point but it looked as though we wouldn't get him when both Watford (then in the Premier League) and Coventry stepped in.
When the transfer window closed at the end of January we'd brought in four new players during the month, two of them on loan, but it looked as though we'd missed out on Caldwell. In fact he'd signed just a few minutes before the end of the deadline and the club didn't bring the news until mid-morning on the 1st February. He'd signed a three and a half year deal for a fee believed to be around £400,000, although some media sources reported it as less than that.
Steven Caldwell couldn't have come into Burnley at a worse time. The early season promise, we were in second place during November, had long vanished and we'd won just four points from our last nine games, one of those coming in a 2-2 home draw against Sunderland when he'd played for the visitors.
He was on the bench for our visit to QPR, and with both Andy Gray and Steve Jones alongside him after injury there was some real hope of a quick improvement. All three of them came on in a triple substitution but if that was good news it was the only good news of the day as the Clarets turned in a shocking performance in losing the game 3-1.
From then, Caldwell was in the side and was quickly given the captaincy which had previously been held by Wayne Thomas.
Things didn't improve too much over the next few games and we didn't win any of the next eight, but the form of Caldwell was one positive at the time. Thankfully the run came to an end and we had an inspired run, winning five out of six games, to banish any fears of relegation in a season where promotion hopes had been high for the first third of the season.
The 2007/08 season was one of change at Turf Moor with Steve Cotterill replaced by Owen Coyle as manager in November. Again Caldwell was injured when the new man came in. He'd been struggling all season with an injury and was forced off early in a home game against Southampton.
That was his last appearance for Cotterill's Burnley. Under Coyle the results initially were somewhat strange. We had sensational wins away from home but couldn't win a home game. Caldwell missed all that and got back into the side just before Christmas and he was there to stay.
Cotterill had given him the captaincy at Burnley and Coyle had no intentions of changing that. He too had seen his leadership qualities.
Fully fit again, the 2008/09 season proved to be a special one for Caldwell and Burnley. He led the side through the most dramatic season in years as we reached the semi-final of the Carling Cup before cruelly going out to Spurs and then all the way to Wembley and the play off final triumph.
He missed just four games all season, and all four were through suspension. Unfortunately for him that meant he missed both games against Spurs and for the second leg at Turf Moor joined Jeff Stelling in the Sky box.
It all came to a glorious end on 25th May 2009 when we beat Sheffield United at Wembley with Steven Caldwell following in John Pender's footsteps as he proudly led the Burnley team up to the Royal box.
He embraced chairman Barry Kilby and his wife Sonya before lifting the trophy and signalling the biggest celebrations at Burnley Football Club for many a year. Alongside man of the match Clarke Carlisle he'd turned in an impeccable performance on the big day to keep out the Blades.
Such had been his form that he won a recall to the Scotland squad, and as it turned out that was the worst thing that could have happened. The game, a World Cup qualifier against Norway in Oslo, was incredibly played three days before the start of the Premier League season.
For Scotland and the Caldwell family it wasn't the best of nights despite the fact that Steven lined up alongside brother Gary in the centre of defence. The Scots were beaten 1-0; Gary was sent off in the first half and Steven was substituted just after the start of the second half with a groin injury.
The injury ruled him out of Burnley's return to the top flight at Stoke, and in truth just about ruined his season. He missed the first seven league games of the season but returned to the side for the home game against Birmingham at the beginning of October.
Again, once back in the side he was clearly first choice for Coyle. There were always questions over his fitness and on the Sunday before Wolves he was forced off again and this time was to miss the next four months.
Just as had happened with the arrival of Keane at Sunderland, and Coyle at Burnley, he was injured again when there was a managerial change, this time Brian Laws replacing Coyle at Burnley.
As the team struggled against the drop it was a watching brief for Caldwell who finally returned with a late substitute appearance in the dramatic 4-1 win at Hull. He was on the bench again back at Sunderland and for the home game against Liverpool before returning to the side at Birmingham.
He kept his place for the last game of the season, finally getting to grips in a claret and blue shirt against Spurs, but he knew his time at Turf Moor was coming to an end. In an interview after the Birmingham game he said there had been no offer and he was expecting to leave.
That was confirmed a few days after the last game when the club revealed that he would not be offered a new contract.
He went on to speak very warmly about the club, and the managers he'd played for with particular reference to Steve Cotterill who had brought him to Turf Moor. He admitted that his time at Burnley had been the most enjoyable of his career. He said the parting was amicable and he wished the club the very best. The comments were such that you don't always get from players forced to move on but said so much about Steven Caldwell.
His Burnley future was always one of debate. Some fans pointed to his lack of pace as much as anything and felt that it was time for him to move on. Others, myself included, would always point to his leadership qualities. I always felt we looked a better unit at the back when Caldwell played. He seemed to be the organiser and the leader in defence.
But no matter which side you are on, there is no doubting that Steven Caldwell played a massive part in an exciting era for Burnley Football Club. Just the second player to captain a Burnley team to a Wembley win, he also became the first Burnley captain to take us back to the top flight since Martin Dobson in 1973.
Having been released by Burnley, he was linked with a number of clubs during the close season. Once pre-season training got underway he spent some time with Bolton before joining Wigan where he played in one of their friendlies.
Manager Roberto Martinez confirmed they were looking at him and checking his fitness, and after two heavy defeats to start the season he signed Caldwell on 23 August 2010 on a one year deal, once again, for the first time since they were at Newcastle, playing for the same club as younger brother Gary.
He played just occasionally for Wigan during the 2010/11 season, making 11 Premier League appearanced, and was released at the end of the season. He wasted no time in finding a new club and on 7th July 2011 he signed a two year deal with Birmingham City.
In May 2013 Caldwell moved to Toronto in Canada to join the local MLS club on loan. He impressed the coaches and enjoyed his early games there and that led to him signing a permanent deal with the club until the end of their 2015 season.