Steven John Pressley
(born October 11 1973
) is a Scottish international footballer
, currently playing for Randers FC
in the Danish Superliga
and is also joint Scotland
assistant manager with Terry Butcher
. He is often known by his nickname, Elvis
Pressley started his career at Rangers
as a youngster. During his time at Ibrox
, he won a Scottish Cup
winner's medal in 1993, appearing as a substitute as Rangers defeated Aberdeen
in the final. This would end up being the last cup he would win until 2006 when he won the Scottish Cup with Hearts
. Despite being hailed in the media as "the new Richard Gough
", he struggled to establish himself as a regular and was transferred to English
side Coventry City
in 1994 for £630,000. He only lasted a year in England, where he had problems with his form and disciplinary record, before returning to Scotland with Dundee United
for a fee of £750,000. He helped United to promotion back to the Scottish Premier League
in his first season, followed by a third place finish in the top flight in season 1996-97
Pressley's influential style of play and his organisational skills were noticed by Hearts manager Jim Jefferies
, and he was signed by the Edinburgh
club on a Bosman
free transfer in 1998. His time at the club during the pre-Romanov
years saw Hearts usually being known as the third-best team in Scottish football
. He was appointed club captain in 2001-02, only Bobby Parker would hold the Hearts captancy for a longer period.
Pressley was also at the helm when the team beat VfB Stuttgart, Bordeaux and Basel in European matches. He helped Hearts finish second in the league in 2005/06, third on three occasions, as well as reaching the Scottish Cup and League Cup semi-finals. Pressley led Hearts to success in the Scottish Cup Final on May 13 2006, albeit on a penalty shoot-out after the club were held to a 1-1 draw with Gretna after extra time. Pressley scored the first penalty for Hearts, who eventually won 4-2. His enrollment into the Hearts Hall of Fame highlights the status which he enjoyed at Tynecastle.
He acted as a spokesman for the playing squad in response to the various controversies affecting the club under the ownership of Vladimir Romanov. On October 27 2006, Pressley led a press conference, flanked by fellow internationals Craig Gordon and Paul Hartley, announcing that there was "significant unrest in the Hearts dressing room" following majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov's most recent comments. Romanov stated that he would sell players if Hearts failed to beat Dunfermline Athletic, a match which ended 1-1. However, this game was played out in front of a sell-out crowd who showed their vocal backing for Pressley, Gordon and Hartley. Pressley was then absent from the Hearts squad to face Falkirk on November 13 2006 and he had been reportedly stripped of the captaincy. A month later, on December 9 2006, it was confirmed that Pressley and Hearts had parted company and was reported to be attracting the interest of several clubs.
Despite reported interest from Championship Derby County and Charlton, it was revealed in December 2006 that Pressley had been signed as a free agent by Celtic until May 2008. Having previously played for Rangers, he joined players such as Maurice Johnston, Alfie Conn and Kenny Miller in crossing the Old Firm divide.
He made his Celtic debut on January 2 2007 against Kilmarnock and then returned to Tynecastle as stand-in Celtic captain on January 14. He scored his first competitive goal for Celtic against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup. He featured in the Celtic team that won the Scottish Cup, making him the first person to do so with three different clubs. He made fewer appearances during the 2007-08 season, and he left the club after his contract expired in the summer.
After his release from Celtic, Pressley continued to train with Celtic Reserves to keep his fitness up and joined Doncaster Rovers
, then Blackpool
on trial but failed to win a contract at both clubs. Then, on September 1 2008
he signed for Randers FC
of the Danish Superliga
on a four-month contract, ending in December
. Although he had the eagerness to play in a foreign country throughout his career, this was the first offer he had received from abroad. He said "The prospect of playing abroad excited me and it's an ideal situation for both parties. I had a couple of opportunities to go to England, but I wanted to play abroad and experience a new challenge
Pressley made his debut September 14 against AC Horsens. Pressley played all 90 minutes and the game ended 1-1.
Pressley was capped
32 times by Scotland
. He is the most capped Scottish player at Hearts surpassing the record of 29 caps held by Bobby Walker
. He made his debut in 2000 against World
. His appearance against Lithuania
on September 6 2006
ensured that he surpassed Bobby Walker
's 91-year old record as Hearts' most capped Scotland player. He was sent off in what proved to be his last appearance for Scotland, a Euro 2008
qualifier against Ukraine
on October 11 2006
. He retired from international football in February 2008 when he was named as Scotland's assistant manager, but continued to play club football.
Along with Terry Butcher
, Pressley was named as an assistant to the Scotland manager George Burley
in February 2008. Pressley was Hearts
captain under Burley
during his short reign at Tynecastle