Phillip Anthony "Phil" Bardsley
(born 28 June 1985
) is an English footballer
(although he is also eligible to play for Scotland
). He currently plays for Sunderland
, having been signed from Manchester United
in January 2008.
Bardsley attended Hope High School, Salford, along with former United team-mate Mark Howard
. Bardsley started his career with Charlestown Lads Club before signing for Manchester United.
Bardsley grew up near Manchester United's old training ground, The Cliff, and has stated he would often go there on his school holidays to see his heroes train. Prior to his departure for Sunderland, he was the only current player who progressed through all the levels of the academy, starting out at the club at the age of 8.
Bardsley was occasionally included in UEFA Champions League
and League Cup
squads for Manchester United. In 2004, he spent four months on loan to Manchester United's Belgian feeder club, Royal Antwerp
On 16 March 2006, he joined Championship side Burnley, where he played on loan until the end of the season. He has played five games and scored a first minute own goal against Southampton.
He was sent out on loan again at the start of the 2006-07 season, this time to Scottish Premier League club Rangers. On 9 September 2006, he scored his first goal for Rangers against Falkirk. He was sent off against Hibernian, and therefore missed the Old Firm match against Celtic, although this was a match he was unlikely to play in because of poor form.
On 17 October 2006, it was reported that Bardsley was involved in a training ground disagreement with manager Paul Le Guen and his future at Rangers appeared to be in doubt. Indeed, Bardsley never played for Rangers again and returned to Manchester United in December 2006.
On 8 January 2007, Bardsley joined Aston Villa on loan until the end of the season, playing his first Premiership game against Watford on January 20. It was announced on 1 May 2007 that Bardsley would be returning to Manchester United when his loan deal with Villa ran out because Martin O'Neill did not want to make the move permanent.
On 15 October 2007, it was confirmed Bardsley would join Sheffield United on loan until January 2008. He made his full debut for the Blades a few days later in a 1-1 draw with Preston at Bramall Lane. Despite the Blades agreeing a deal with Manchester United to sign him permanently. Phil left at the end of his loan deal in January 2008 having played sixteen games.
On 22 January 2008
, Bardsley joined Sunderland on a three and a half year contract in a deal that could eventually be worth up to £2m. He said of the move, "Sunderland is a great club with a great manager (Roy Keane) and it is an honour to play for them". He made his debut in the 2-0 win against Birmingham
in the Premier League on 29 January
. On 27 August 2008
, he scored his first goal in English football to level a Carling Cup
match between Sunderland
and Nottingham Forest