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

Spring: Matthew John (Matthew)

2004-2005 (Leeds Player Details)(Player Details)


Born: Harlow: 17-11-1979

Debut v Plymouth Argyle (a): 14-09-2004

6’0” 11st 5lb (2007)

A star of the Luton Town youth team that reached the FA Youth Cup semi-final in 1997, Spring came through the youth ranks at Luton and made his debut in a 0-3 loss at Bristol City on 27th September 1997. During his first spell, he had an eventful home debut on 11th October 1997 against Plymouth Argyle, in a welcome 3-0 win, which ended an eleven game winless streak for the club. However, the normally controlled midfielder was sent off late in the game for an impetuous tackle and was used sparingly for the remainder of the season. He was voted Luton’s joint ‘Young Player of the Year’ for 1997-98. He made an amazing fifty-two appearances in all competitions for Luton in the 1998-99 season, despite being only eighteen years of age. He missed only one of Luton's fixtures for the entire season, that being due to an injury. The 1999-00 campaign really saw him again excel. A virtual ever-present, he figured in fifty-two of the Hatters fifty-four matches and scored eight times. The 2000-01 season was a disappointing campaign as Luton were relegated to Division Three and Spring never quite fulfilled the promise of the previous three seasons. He was again an almost ever-present in 2000-01 as he made fifty-one appearances during the season, forty-one being in the League. He was yet again an automatic choice in Luton's midfield during the 2001-02 season, apart from the first month when he was injured. He came back in Luton’s eighth game of the season and it was his partnership with Kevin Nicholls, Nicholls with his fierce tackling and Spring with his ball-playing skills and long-range shooting, that gave Luton the edge in midfield. The Hatters stormed to promotion back to Division Two at the first attempt. It was his first taste of silverware as a Luton player, and it silenced his critics, who had criticised him during the relegation season. Out-of-contract at the end of the season, it looked as though he would leave the Hatters and join Matthew Taylor in signing for a CCCL club. However, he agreed to sign a new two-year deal that kept him at Kenilworth Road until 2004. Spring enjoyed another fairly good season during the 2002-03 campaign, which culminated in him netting eight goals as he was, once again, always a regular in the side in midfield alongside Kevin Nicholls. His form dipped somewhat towards the end of the season as Luton failed to achieve their play-off aspirations and finished in ninth position in Division Two. Spring made forty League appearances during the course of the season and a total of Forty-five in all competitions. Spring had a rather disappointing 2003-04 season as he missed the last three months of the campaign through injury. As always, he was an automatic selection in the centre of Luton Town's midfield until the 3rd January 2004 when he suffered an injury in a 2-1 FA Cup Third Round win at Bradford City, which forced him to sit out the following month's action. He came back too early and was then forced to sit out the rest of the season. He still made thirty appearances in all competitions during the season, of which twenty-four were in the League. He was out-of-contract at the end of the season and he took the opportunity to join CCCL side Leeds United on a Bosman free transfer. His record in his first spell at Kenilworth Road showed that he scored twenty-six goals in making two hundred and fifty League appearances, of which seven were as a substitute. He also scored three goals in nineteen F.A. Cup ties, of which one was from the bench, scored one goal in sixteen starts in the League Cup, and failed to score in four starts in the Football League Trophy for the Hatters. This was an excellent achievement at the age of just twenty-four. He became the eighth new signing for new Leeds United boss Kevin Blackwell, following in the footsteps of fellow new arrivals Clarke Carlisle, Danny Cadamarteri, Julian Joachim, Paul Butler, Jermaine Wright, Michael Ricketts and Danny Pugh. However, the move to Elland Road turned sour as Matthew endured lengthy spells out through injury. In August 2005, and after just thirteen League appearances, of which nine were as a substitute, and one goal for Leeds, he left the club in a £150,000 move to Watford. After making his debut, as a sixty-sixth minute substitute and scoring in the eighty-third minute of a 3-1 home win over Burnley on 20th August August 2005, he them nade his first team full debut in a 3-1 home League Cup win over Notts County three days later before making his full League start in a 0-0 draw at home to Reading just four days later and capped a good start to his Watford career by again scoring two days later in a fine 2-1 win at Derby County. He helped the Hornets to the Premiership, but was unable to break into Watford's EPL squad on a regular basis. He was limited to just two EPL starts and four substitute appearances, together with a further three Cup matches. His final game had been in a 0-1 home defeat by Sheffield United on 28th November 2006 when he was replaced at half-time by Lloyd Doyley. He left Watford after forty-five League appearances, including seven as a substitute and scoring eight goals he also started four and came off the bench once in the League Cup and scored once in three starts in the Play-offs. Spring re-joined Luton Town on 18th January 2007 for a fee of £200,000 that could have possibly risen to £300,000 depending upon his success at Kenilworth Road. Returning to the Hatters at the age of twenty-seven, he signed a two-and-a-half-year deal. In his second spell with Luton he made his first appearance in a 0-1 defeat at Coventry City on 30th January 2008 and was again a regular and had scored ten goals in fifty-eight League starts and two further goals in four League Cup starts, none in five F.A. Cup stsrts and one in his only Johnstone's Paint Trophy start, before Luton were relegated to League Division Two at the end of 2007-08. On 31st July 2008, Spring joined Sheffield United on a year long loan deal, signalling the end of a disappointing second stint at Luton Town. He made his debut for the Blades in the first round of the League Cup, a 3-1 home win against Port Vale on 13th August 2008. His League debut came as an eightieth minute substitute for Grefg Halford in a 3-1 away win at Blackpool ten days later. He was hampered by injury in his early days at Bramall Lane but by October he had started to feature regularly in the Blades first team, after coming on as a half-time substitute in a 0-0 draw with Southampton at Bramall Lane on 21st October 2008, which was quickly followed, four days later, by his starting League debut in a 1-0 home win over Preston North End. His first goal came on 25th November at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, but his seventy-fifth minute strike was merely a consolation in a 1-3 defeat. His loan was cut short as he had fallen out of favour after the return of Gary Speed and, after playing his final game in a 1-1 home draw with Swansea City on 13th December 2008, he was released at the beginning of January 2009. He scored once in eight League starts and three games off the bench and he also started two League Cup game for the Blades. He signed for Charlton Athletic on 9th January 2009 on an eighteen month contract, Making his starting League debut the following day in a 0-2 home defeat by Nottingham Forest, before scoring an eighty-sixth minute consolation goal in a 1-4 beating at Hillsborough by Sheffield Wednesday a week later and then on his third appearance, ten days later at home to Crystal Palace, he scored the only goal of the game in the fourteenth minute. Those two goals proved to be his only goals for the Addicks and after playing his final game for them, as an eighty-second minute substitute in a 2-0 win at Oldham Athleticon 8th May 2010, his sole appearance that year, he was released by Charlton at the end of the 2009-10 season. He had made nineteen League starts and six games from the bench and made one start in the League Cup and two in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. He signed a two year contract with Leyton Orient on 30th June 2010 on a free transfer. He made his Orient starting debut on 7th August 2010 in a 1-2 defeat at Yeovil Town and soon became a regular, scoring his first goal with the second equaliser in the fifty-fourth minute of a 2-3 defeat by Notts County at Meadow Lane. He remained a regular until the end of his contract, making his final start for them in a 2-1 home win over Rochdale on 5th May 2012, and in that time he scored six League goals in eighty starts, one goal in nine F.A. Cup games, one of which was as a substitute, and no goals in three starts and one game from the bench in the League Cup and two starts in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. On 3rd July 2012 he signed a two year contract with Wycombe Wanderers. He made his debut for them in a 0-1 League Cup defeat at Watford on 11th August 2012 and seven days later made his League debut in a 3-1 win at York City. His first goal came with a thirteenth minute opener at Crewe in the F.A. Cup on 3rd November 2012, but they went down 1-4. It proved to be his only goal for Wycombe and after being a regular in 2012-13 he fell out of favour with Gareth Ainsworth and made his final start for Wycombe on 4th December 2013 in a 2-2 draw at Portsmouth. He was not retained at the end of the season when his contract expired after he had started twenty-one League games and a further nine as a substitute together with two starts in the F.A. Cup, two in the League Cup and two starts and one game from the bench in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. He did pre-season training with his friend and former Luton Town teammate, Nathan Abbey, who was player-assistant manager at St Neots Town and after a few pre-season games he signed for the Southern Premier League team.

League 4/91
League Cup 20