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He began his professional playing career with Blackburn Rovers, with whom he won the Football League Cup, and in 2003 was signed for £17 million by Chelsea, where he won two Premier League titles and another League Cup. After four seasons at Stamford Bridge, he left for Newcastle United where he won the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup, and then moved on to Fulham, with whom he played in the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final.
He ended his career with brief spells in the A-League with Melbourne City and the League of Ireland with Shamrock Rovers before retiring in December 2015. Since then he has moved into coaching, working with the Shamrock Rovers under-15s and first team, and the Republic of Ireland under-15s.
And now the Former Chelsea winger has said he actually wanted to join Manchester United over the Blues back in 2003:
“I met [Alex Ferguson] a long time ago. I was just a nervous wreck, they were my club. Obviously before I was at Chelsea I was at Blackburn and I wanted to go there but it didn’t materialise.
“It’s only kind of years later, I meet Roy [Keane] when he joined back up with the Irish team and he was like ‘why didn’t you come?’
“I said I wanted to come and then you realise right, well something has gone missing somewhere along the line, but I’m not one to sit at home mulling over things.”