Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Hignett: Craig John (Craig)

2004-2004 (Player Details) (Player Details)


Born: Prescot: 12-01-1970

Debut: Nil

59 11st 10lb (2007)

After attending school in Huyton, Liverpool, Craig started his career in the youth team at his hometown before moving to Crewe Alexandra on 11th May 1988, making his debut on 8th October 1988 against Wrexham. In his first spell with Crewe he scored fifty-seven goals and made one hundred and fifty appearances, including sixteen as substitute. In the League he scored forty-two goals in one hundred and eight starts and thirteen games from the bench. He also found the net eight times in the F.A. Cup from eleven starts and one substitute appearance, four more in the League Cup from nine starts and one from the bench and three more in seven other games, one of which was as a substitute. He helped them to promotion from the old Fourth Division in the 1988-89 season and to the play offs in the 1991-92 season, his last season at Gresty Road, before moving to the EPL with Middlesbrough on 27th November 1992. In his first season with Middlesbrough, the club suffered relegation, but he was there when they returned to the top flight two seasons later in 1994-95. He ensured a place in the club's history by scoring the first goal at the Riverside Stadium, Boro's new ground, after leaving Ayresome Park, in a 2-0 win over Chelsea on 26th August 1995, in their first home game at the start of 1995/6 Season. In 1996-97 Middlesbrough were once more relegated, but to make matters worse they were also defeated in the Final of the League Cup and the F.A. Cup, for a triple disappointment after the omens had looked promising. The club brought in several high profile players to try to buy their way back to prominence. Manager Bryan Robson brought in Paul Gascoigne, Fabrizio Ravenelli, Paul Merson, Mikkel Beck, to add to Emerson and Gianluca Festa. Hignett famously took a pay cut in order to stay at the club, in stark contrast to those big-name signings. The club achieved promotion at the first time of asking 1996-97, with Hignett chipping in eight goals. The 1997-98 season proved to be Hignett's last in a Boro shirt and he scored seven goals in thirty-five league appearances. On 21st May 1998 he left Middlesbrough to sign for Aberdeen on a free transfer having made one hundred and ninety-four appearances, including thirty-five off the bench, and scored forty-eight goals for Boro. One hundred and twenty-five starts and thirty games from the bench in the League had produced thirty-three goals and in the cups and other games he had scored three in ten starts and one game from the bench in the F.A. Cup, twelve goals in nineteen starts and three games from the bench in the League Cup while six appearances in other games, one as a substitute had not yielded any goals. His stay at Aberdeen was short lived, less than six months, before signing for Barnsley for 800,000 on 25th November 1998. He scored twice in thirteen Scottish League appearances for the Dons and two appearances in the Scottish League Cup, without scoring. After suffering relegation from the Premiership, Barnsley were looking for a quick return to the top flight and Hignett's twenty goals in his second season at Oakwell helped them reach the play off final of the 1999-2000 season. Hignett scored twice in the final but Barnsley lost 4-2 to Ipswich Town. Hignett finally left Barnsley on 10th July 2000 after seventy-six starting appearances, and another four from the bench, and scoring thirty-seven goals for the club. There were twenty-eight goals in sixty-two starts and four from the bench in the League, five goals in six starts in the F.A. Cup, Two starts without finding the net in the League Cup and four goals in six starts in other games. He signed for Blackburn Rovers for a fee of 2.25 million. He helped Rovers regain their Premiership status and won a League Cup winners medal in 2002 when Blackburn beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in the final. However, in the 2002-03 season he only played three League games and one UEFA Cup game. Hignett was sent on loan to Gary McAllister's Coventry City halfway through the season on 1st November 2002, having seven starts and one from the bench in the League and scoring twice, together with one start in the League Cup, without scoring, in his short stay until 29th December 2002. After returning, he scored on the final day of the season in what was to prove to be his last appearance for Blackburn Rovers in a 4-0 win at White Hart Lane over Tottenham Hotspur on 11th May 2003. He played sixty-eight times, with thirty-eight of them from the bench, and scored fourteen goals for Rovers before being released on a free transfer. He scored eight times in twenty starts and thirty-three games from the bench in the League, three goals in four starts and four games as a substitute in the F.A. Cup, three goals in five starts and one game from the bench in the League Cup and one other game without scoring. On 25th July 2003 he signed for Leicester City but struggled to get in the side, making only fifteen appearances. There was one start in each of the F.A. Cup and League Cup, without scoring, but ten of his thirteen League games were from the bench, and he only scoring once in the League before going on loan back to Crewe Alexandra on 19th February 2004 until the end of the season, playing another fifteen League games, including four as substitute, but failed to score. In the 2004-05 pre-season he had a brief stint on trial at Leeds United. His only action was to play in a friendly at Oldham on 23rd July 2004 and was an unused substitute in the home fixture with Huddersfield Town in the League Cup on 24th August 2004. After being rejected by Leeds he then signed for Darlington on 8th September 2004. It was a couple of days after Darlington had come out of administration. He played his first game against Rochdale and scored a late debut goal to ensure Darlington grabbed an unlikely point and he instantly made himself a hero with the fans.He scored nine times in nineteen League games, two of which were off the bench, before moving to Cyprus signing on 1st April 2005 with Apollon Limossol to apparently end his professional playing days there. In late August 2006, after helping Limasool win the League and qualify for Europe, Hignett signed for Northern League Two side Spennymoor Town on a part-time contract. He made an impressive debut for them scoring in a 3-1 win over title challengers, South Shields. His second game saw him up against Goole in the First Qualifying Round of the F.A. Cup. On 12th November 2006, after a two month absence, he played a "Man of the Match" performance as he made the first two and then scored the third in a tight match against Hebburn Town. Hignett made limited appearances for Spennymoor Town due to other commitments and on 22nd March 2007, Hartlepool United signed Hignett on a short-term contract. Hignett had been training with the club and had taken part in Reserve Team fixtures prior to signing up permanently. He made his debut on 30th March 2007, as a substitute in the 3-0 home win over Chester City, but on 7th April 2007 he played his second and final League game at Barnet, again as a substitute, in a 1-2 loss. He also scored twice in four Reserve games. He left the club in May 2007. He turned out for Billingham Synthonia during the 200809 season, and played four games for the club, scoring two goals in the process. He was part of the Middlesbrough Academy coaching staff in 2008 and now works as a pundit and after dinner speaker and sometimes as an agent.