Matt Heywood

Last updated : 10 June 2015 By Tony Scholes

Date and Place of Birth

26th August 1979 - CHATHAM


Transfers to and from Burnley

youth from summer 1996

to SWINDON TOWN - 22nd January 2001


First and Last Burnley Games

YORK CITY (h) - 22nd August 1998

sub: replaced Steve Blatherwick


WYCOMBE WANDERERS (a) - 20th February 1999

sub: replaced Peter Swan


Other Clubs





Burnley Career Stats


Season League FA Cup League Cup Others Total
  apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls
1998/99 11(2) - 1 - - - 1 - 13(2) -
Total 11(2) - 1 - - - 1 - 13(2) -


Profile by Tony Scholes

On 22nd August 1998, just four days before his 19th birthday, I think it is fair to say that central defender Matt Heywood was suddenly in the spotlight at Turf Moor. With the Clarets trailing 1-0 at home to York at half time, he and Chris Scott were introduced as substitutes for the start of the second half with both Lee Howey and Steve Blatherwick withdrawn.

It was some debut for them both, with Scott following in the path of his dad Derek and granddad Brian Miller into the Burnley first team. Maybe the spotlight might have been on Chris more than Matt for that reason but the comments from manager Stan Ternent after the game, which ended at 1-0 in York's favour, ensured both were set to play a part in the first team.

It's now part of Burnley folklore but Ternent said on local radio after the game: "It's not personal, it's business wise. Steve Blatherwick, Lee Howey, Mark Winstanley and to a lesser degree Michael Williams, because he will never win the crowd over, will not play for Burnley Football Club again.

"They are not right for Burnley and they are not coming from where I am coming from. They are on the transfer list. They can go on a free transfer. I want them out of the place. They are no good to me."

Suddenly, from being a young defender playing in the junior teams, Matt, from Chatham in Kent, was thrust into the first team squad. It was clearly too soon for him but he played in a total of 15 games with the last of them coming in February when he replaced Peter Swan in a defeat at Wycombe where we ended the game with nine men with both Lenny Johnrose and Ally Pickering sent off.

He was in the side beaten by Darlington in the FA Cup and the one that conceded four times at Fulham, prompting Stan to claim it wasn't his team. But he also played in some better games and turned in some better performances that suggested he might have a bright future. The overall view was that he'd done well.

His last start came against Northampton on the last Saturday before Christmas. By that time Brian Reid had claimed one of the central defensive positions, Gordon Armstrong was at the club and we were about to bring Steve Davis back from Luton.

Mitchell Thomas signed for us in the following summer and by then Matt was out of the equation, even more so when Ian Cox was signed in February 2000.

He remained with us for almost a further two years after that game at Wycombe but things were changing in January 2001 at Burnley. We'd won promotion in the previous season and, despite a difficult spell of results in the previous month, we were in the top half of Division One.

Swindon, under the management of former Everton player Andy King, were keen on snapping up Heywood. He'd been down to spend a few days with them and had played in a reserve game.

On Monday 22nd January, with the Clarets preparing for an FA Cup replay at Scunthorpe, Heywood made the move to Swindon and on the following Saturday made his debut for them in a 3-0 home win against Bury.

He said he needed to move to get his career back on track and that's exactly what it did. He spent four and a half years with Swindon and was a regular in the first team throughout that time.

He was to play for three other league clubs. He was at Bristol City for the 2005/06 season, then enjoyed two years at both Brentford and Grimsby. However, his second season at Grimsby, his last in league football, wasn't a good one because of injury. He played just once in a 4-0 defeat at Port Vale in September 2009.

It was his 301st and last game in league football and came just a month after his 30th birthday. Grimsby released him in February 2010 and he spent the remainder of the season training with Mansfield although never signed for them.

He joined Barrow in the summer of 2010 before signing for Buxton who proved to be his last club. He left at the end of the 2010/11 season having played nine games for them.

Although no longer involved with football, he remained in sport having set up his own personal training and sports massage business in Cirencester which he continues to run today. 



Heywood on trial at Gateshead (14/07/10)

It's Barrow for Heywood (02/08/10)

Heywood leaves Barrow (12/10/10)

Ex-Clarets on the move (02/12/10)