Ricardo Dwayne Fuller
(born 31 October 1979) is a Jamaican football
player who currently plays as a striker
for Premier League
club Stoke City
and for the Jamaica national football team
Tivoli Gardens & Crystal Palace
Fuller was born in Kingston, Jamaica
and began his career with Tivoli Gardens
before moving to English club Crystal Palace
in February 2001 for £1million, after impressing on trial during January. Despite this he played just eight games for Palace (having suffered from knee problems; fans nicknamed
him 'Glass-Knees'), and after failing to settle, he returned to Tivoli at the end of the campaign.
Fuller spent the next season (2001–02) on loan at Scottish Premier League
. Fuller had an instant impact, scoring 8 goals in 27 appearances. However, the Edinburgh-based club could not afford to sign Fuller on a permanent basis, and so English league side Preston North End
stepped in to sign the striker, paying £500,000.
Preston North End
Fuller scored on his Preston debut, a 2–1 defeat at home to old club Crystal Palace, and soon became a vital team player. He had an explosive scoring rate, but unfortunately he suffered knee ligament damage in early December, which ended his season prematurely. He had scored 11 goals in only 20 appearances for the club.
A fit again Fuller began the 2003–04 season on fire, including a run of six goals in five games, but his form tailed off as his knee troubled him once more. Despite this, he still scored 19 goals that season.
Both Leeds United
then displayed their interest, however, Fuller's knee problems meant both clubs withdrew their offers after he failed medicals. However, Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp
was still keen on the Jamaican and Pompey negotiated a 'pay-as-you-play' deal with Fuller, meaning they would not lose a great deal of money should his recurring knee injuries force him to miss long periods of seasons. Fuller moved to Fratton Park
in August 2004 for £1 million, after scoring 31 goals in only 63 appearances for Preston.
Fuller failed to make a huge impact in the Premier League, falling down the pecking order as the season progressed. Despite the sale of some of his fellow strikers at the end of the season, the return from long-term injury by strikers Vincent Pericard and Svetoslav Todorov, and the purchase of Collins Mbesuma, meant Fuller was not guaranteed first team football at Portsmouth and new manager Alain Perrin agreed to let Fuller go. A move to Sunderland fell through when Fuller failed a medical. Instead he was re-united with Harry Redknapp, who signed him for Southampton for £90k.
Southampton & Ipswich Town
His start at Southampton was fairly dramatic, scoring Saints' only goal at Coventry on 29 August 2005, and scoring again at Derby
on 18 September. After that his career at Saints declined. His perceived lack of effort and his history as a former Portsmouth player, combined with the general air of dissatisfaction at St. Mary’s led to Fuller receiving a considerable amount of abuse from large sections of the home crowd.
In February 2006, he went on loan to Ipswich, where he had an eventful time. In four games, he scored two goals, collected two yellow cards and one red card in the 2–2 draw at Crystal Palace (one of his former clubs), for a hand gesture at the crowd. He returned to Southampton at the end of March.
On his return to Southampton, he was a changed player and in the final six games of the season he scored six goals to bring his tally for the season to nine. Unfortunately, he didn't fit into George Burley's plans for 2006–07 and was transferred to Stoke City on transfer deadline day, 31 August 2006.
Fuller joined Stoke City
for a fee of around £500,000. However a significant percentage of the fee depends on the amount of appearances that Fuller makes for the Potters. In his first season at Stoke he was the top goalscorer with 11 goals, but he also had the worst disciplinary record, accumulating two red cards
and 10 yellow cards.
In the 2007–08 season, Fuller weighed in with 15 goals including a hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion at the Britannia Stadium. He has also seemingly controlled his discipline further this season becoming a firm fan favourite in the process. Fuller missed Stoke's home game against Hull City as he was attending the funeral of his grandmother in his home nation of Jamaica.
Fuller scored Stoke City's first-ever Premier League goal, a late consolation in a 3–1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers on the opening day of the 2008–09 season. He followed this up with a fine individual effort in Stoke's 3–2 win over Aston Villa F.C. in their first ever Premier League home match. This goal won "goal of the month" for August.
||Heart of Midlothian
||rowspan="3"|Preston North End