- Joe Ledley
Infobox Football biography
playername = Joe Ledley
fullname = Joseph Christopher Ledley
nickname = Deadly Ledley
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1987|1|21
youthyears = 1996-2004
youthclubs = Cardiff City
currentclub = Cardiff City
clubnumber = 16
position = Central midfielder / Left winger
years = 2004–
clubs = Cardiff City
caps(goals) = 166 (19)
nationalyears = 2003–2004
nationalteam = Wales U17
nationalcaps(goals) = 006 0(0)
pcupdate = 13:26
4 October 2008
ntupdate = 16:29,
10 September 2008
Ledley was born in
Cardiff, growing up in the Fairwater area. As a youngster he attended Cantonian High School, where his picture is still displayed. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7334999.stm Local hero Ledley reaps rewards] , " BBC News Online". Retrieved on 14 April, 2008] He is not the first footballer in the family, however, his older cousin Luke Pittardplayed in goal for Wales under-21s, before injury cut short his career.
Ledley joined his hometown club Cardiff City at the age of nine and made his way through the youth ranks at the club. During his later days as a trainee he was in charge of cleaning then captain
Graham Kavanagh's boots. [ [http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/footballnation/cardiff-city-fc/2006/09/13/when-ledley-took-a-shine-to-kav-91466-17738493/ When Ledley took a shine to Kav] , " South Wales Echo". Retrieved on 24 December, 2007]
Ledley is currently one of the rising stars of Cardiff City, after performing well for the reserve team, and thus being called into the full team in the middle of the 2004–05 season, making his debut against Milton Keynes Dons on
21 September, 2004[ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/cardiff_city/3761110.stm Bluebirds praise teenager Ledley] , " BBC Sport Online". Retrieved on 3 October, 2007] before making his league debut the next month on 16 Octoberagainst Rotherham United. He scored his first goal for the senior team in a league match against West Ham United which the Bluebirds won 4–1 [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/cardiff_city/3978389.stm Parry pleased for Ledley] , " BBC Sport Online". Retrieved on 3 October, 2007] . Primarily a midfielder, being able to play in the centre or on the left, Ledley can also play at left-back as he showed at the end of the 2006–07 season when he filled in at the position with Cardiff's small squad struggling with suspensions and injuries late in the season. He has also played at left-back for Wales. At the end of the 2006–07 season he picked up the goal of the season award for his strike against Barnsley [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/cardiff_city/6417713.stm Gunter and Ledley secure prizes] , " BBC Sport Online". Retrieved on 3 October, 2007]
Ledley began the 2007–08 season in great form and earned several man of the match awards in the first four months and in October 2007 he signed a two-year extension to his current contract at Cardiff [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/cardiff_city/7022924.stm Ledley extends Cardiff contract] , "
BBC Sport Online". Retrieved on 3 October, 2007] . In December 2007, Wolverhampton Wanderers offered a reported £2.5 million pounds, which could go up to as much as £3.5m with add-ons, to Cardiff for Ledley. Cardiff offered the deal to Ledley who turned the move down in order to stay with the Bluebirds. [ [http://www.exprssandstar.com/2007/12/22/wolves-fail-in-25m-bid/ Wolves fails in £2.5m bid] , " Express & Star". Retrieved on 24 December, 2007] Premier Leagueside Everton are also known to have taken an interest in him, reportedly considering making an offer of 3.5m. [ [http://www.dailypost.co.uk/sport-news/everton-fc/2008/01/04/everton-face-battle-for-joe-ledley-55578-20311957/ Everton face battle for Joe Ledley] , "Daily Post". Retrieved on 14 April, 2008] Cardiff value him at a reported £5 million.
Despite the speculation about his transfer Ledley himself has stated that he is desperate to stay at Cardiff but concedes that he may have no choice should a high offer be made. [ [http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/footballnation/cardiff-city-fc/2008/01/06/ledley-s-plea-to-bluebirds-91466-20317194/ Ledley's plea to Bluebirds] , "
South Wales Echo". Retrieved on 7 January, 2008] Everton attempted a second move for Ledley at the end of the January transfer window, reportedly beating Wolves' previous £3m move, but the move was rejected by Cardiff. [ [http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/footballnation/cardiff-city-fc/2008/01/31/bluebirds-boss-fends-off-big-money-offers-91466-20418043/ Bluebirds boss fends off big money offers] , " South Wales Echo". Retrieved on 13 February, 2008] His form continued into February and early March before a hamstring injury forced him to miss several games, including Cardiff's 2–0 FA CupQuarter Final victory over Middlesbrough. He returned to the side in time for the Semi Final against Barnsley where he scored the only goal to send Cardiff to their first Final since 1927, [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/fa_cup/7326118.stm "Report: Barnsley 0–1 Cardiff] , " BBC Sport Online". Retrieved on 7 April, 2008] a goal which later earned him 'Player of the Round'. [ [http://www.thefa.com/TheFACup/TheFACup/NewsAndFeatures/Postings/2008/04/POTR_LedleyWinsSF.htm Ledley takes the vote] , " The FA". Retrieved on 14 April, 2008] Cardiff went on to lose in the Final to Portsmouth.
1 September, 2008, the final day of the summer transfer window for the 2008-09 season, recently promoted Premeiership side Stoke City bid a reported £6m to sign Ledley but the bid, the second from Stoke in recent months after a previous £5m bid, was firmly rejected by Cardiff. [ [http://www.walesonline.co.uk/footballnation/cardiff-city-fc/2008/09/02/ledley-stays-but-cardiff-are-smarting-over-smertin-91466-21651632/ "Ledley stays, but Cardiff are smarting over Smertin"] Western MailRetrieved on 2 September, 2008] On 7 October, Ledley was named Welsh clubman of the year for the second consecutive year. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/7093725.stm "Bellamy nets Welsh player award"] BBC SportRetrieved on 10 October, 2008] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/7658105.stm "Davies wins Welsh player award"] BBC SportRetrieved on 10 October, 2008]
Ledley played at several youth levels for Wales as a youngster eventually winning his first senior Wales cap in an away World Cup qualifying match against Poland in October 2005. His first international goal came against San Marino in a
Euro 2008qualifier on 17 October, 2007.
In 2008 Ledley, along with a number of other full Wales internationals, was called back into the Wales U21 squad in bid to help the team qualify for the U21 championships, only for a back injury to rule him out.
* Welsh clubman of the year: 2007, 2008
* [http://www.cardiffcityfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/ProfilesDetail/0,,10335~31642,00.html Joe Ledley profile] on
Cardiff City F.C.'s website
* [http://www.faw.org.uk/teams/1/27 Joe Ledley profile] on the
Football Association of Wales's website
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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