Hoping to dance With Wolves

Published : Jul 29, 2010 00:00 IST

When Burnley's relegation to the Championship was confirmed in April, that dream must have faded. However, Fletcher has been handed another chance to make a name for himself in the EPL by Wolves manager Mick McCarthy, writes Joe Davies.

Steven Fletcher was born in Shrewsbury but moved to Scotland with his mother following the death of his father. At that time the youngster's dream of playing regular English Premier League football seemed a million miles away.

When Burnley's relegation to the Championship was confirmed this April, that dream must have faded. However, Fletcher has been handed another chance to make a name for himself in the EPL by Wolves manager Mick McCarthy, who splashed out a club-record equalling transfer fee of GBP6.5 million for the Scotland international in June.

Fletcher has got to the top tier of English football the hard way, though. He joined Hibernian at the age of 13, making his first-team debut in a 3-0 win over Kilmarnock in 2004. The 2004/05 season saw the striker come to the fore as he scored five goals in 26 appearances and also made his debut for Scotland under-21s.

An 11-goal haul in the following campaign paved the way for Fletcher to feature at the 2006 under-19 European Championship in Poland, where Scotland lost 1-2 to Spain in the final. The departures of Derek Riordan and Garry O'Connor from Hibs prior to the start of the 2006/07 season gave Fletcher a much more prominent role at club level — and he did not disappoint. A brace in Hibernian's 5-1 Scottish League Cup final win over Kilmarnock at Hampden Park in 2007 proved to be the standout moment in his career up to that point and in total he scored over 50 goals for the club in little under 200 appearances before deciding it was time to move on.

In 2009, he reportedly pleaded with Hibs officials to let him move to Celtic and was also linked with the likes of Middlesbrough and Manchester City. In the end it took a club-record GBP3million pound bid from the newly-promoted EPL side, Burnley, to prise Fletcher away from Easter Road last June.

Fletcher's ability to play in one of Europe's top leagues was questioned by Scottish pundits, but they were proven wrong as he won plaudits for his tireless displays in a struggling team that eventually suffered relegation to the Championship. With 12 goals in all competitions, he finished as the team's top scorer.

A number of EPL clubs were linked with Fletcher's move after Burnley's fate had been sealed and it was Wolves who stumped up the cash for a player whose experience belies his tender age of 23. He also fits the “young and hungry” tag that McCarthy and Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey so often talk about and also fits into the ethos of having Premier League experience.

Having adapted to EPL already, Fletcher will be hoping he can shine with Wolves. Suffering relegation from the Premier League in his first season at Burnley will have been a bitter pill to swallow for Fletcher, especially as he performed consistently.

The striker is not known for a passion for cars like some of his contemporaries, but was once rumoured to have been interested in buying a BMW X5.

© PA Sport, 2010, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, re-written, re-distributed or commercially exploited. Sportstar is not responsible for any inaccuracy in the material.

More stories from this issue

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment