Matthew John Spring
(born 17 November 1979
, in Harlow
) is an English
currently playing for Sheffield United
on loan from Luton Town
Spring started his career at Luton, making his debut as a half-time substitute in a 3-0 loss to Bristol City
on 27 September 1997
. He went onto make 12 further appearances that season, and in the 1998-99
season established himself as a first-team regular. In total he made 289 appearances for the Hatters, scoring 30 goals.
Despite missing the last three months of the 2003-04
season through injury, Spring was signed by newly appointed Leeds United
manager Kevin Blackwell
on a Bosman transfer
, as he re-modelled his newly relegated side. Spring's first season in the Championship
was an unhappy one, with a combination of injuries and personal problems restricting him to just 15 appearances.
As the 2005-06
season commenced Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd
, who had worked with Spring when he was first team coach at Leeds, brought the midfielder to Vicarage Road
to be part of his reshaped side. Spring scored on his debut, coming off the bench to put in a late third in a 3-1 victory over Burnley
on 20 August 2006
. As Boothroyd's side flew high in the Division, Spring, a regular in the side, scored 7 further goals from central midfield by January. However, he didn't score again until Watford reached the play-offs in May, when he scored the third goal in the 3-0 victory against Crystal Palace
in the first leg of the semi-final.
Spring's chances were limited in Watford's Premiership campaign. Making only two starts all season, he found himself behind new signing Damien Francis and Al Bangura.
On 18 January
2007 Luton signed Spring back from Watford for a fee of £200,000 (rising to £300,000).
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 home tie against Port Vale in August of that year.
Spring is one of the few players to have played for both Luton and their arch-rivals Watford. On the 10 September 2002
he scored a 30-yard goal in a 2-1 victory over Watford in the League Cup
, the first meeting of the two sides for over three years. His subsequent transfer to Watford was controversial amongst Luton fans. Meanwhile Watford supporters often regailed Spring with the chant of "Oh Springy, Springy, used to be a scummer but he's alright now" during his time at the club. Spring was a vital cog in Watford's promotion and many fans have been disappointed to see him sold.