Where Are They Now? Craig Bellamy

Clinical forward Craig Bellamy was one of many in a prestigious list of true fan favourites at Upton Park, representing The Hammers in the mid-noughties and dazzling with his natural goal-scoring ability.

But, why did his West Ham United career only see him make just over 25 appearances? How did his controversial footballing existence pan out? And, more importantly, where is he now?

Craig Bellamy

The Welshman began his long Career with the Academies of Bristol Rovers and Norwich City, before making his competitive bow for The Canaries in 1996.

With that, a star had been born, one that would go on to dazzle fans up and down the Country with his flair and talent.

After four years in East Anglia, Gordon Strachan and Coventry City came calling for his signature, succeeding with a, pricy in those days, bid of just over £5 million.

Despite moving a Division up to the Premiership, Bellamy later slated his time with The Sky Blues, as he suffered a first Relegation of his Career, Coventry ending a very lengthy stay in The Top-Flight indeed.

But, the winger had impressed enough over the course of that campaign to catch the attention of Bryan Robson, who was able to take him to The North East with Newcastle United, for a similar fee as his last move.

Featuring in both The UEFA Cup and Champions League during successful early days at St James’ Park, the attacker would leave a club, once more, on the worst possible terms.

His departure from The Magpies, following a loan to Celtic in which he lifted the 2005 Scottish Cup, was marred by controversy following reporting bust-ups with England legend Alan Shearer among others.

It was at this point his Career would take a dramatic turn, leaving Newcastle depleted and finding his way to Ewood Park, where he would net close to 20 times and earn Player of the Year.

Such was the quality of his showings that season, he entered the radar of Rafa Benitez at Liverpool, making the move to Anfield in the summer of 2006, again for around £6 million.

However, things wouldn’t pan out so well for him in The North West, despite lifting the Community Shield almost instantly, the highlight of his Reds spell being a goal away at Barcelona in the Champions League.

Bellamy left at the end of that season amid rumours of a broken-down relationship with Benitez, alleged assaults off the field and a spell of poor form on it.

Seeing the spark that the attacker still had in him, Alan Curbishley took a club-record gamble on the Wales International, who would go on to be capped close to 100 times for his nation.

The sum of money was £7.5 million, paid at the end of the 2006/2007 campaign, and The Claret & Blue Army could not wait to see him in action at the start of the next season.

Bellamy did not disappoint from the off in East London, netting four goals by mid-October two apiece in the Premier League and League Cup, but injury soon struck, one that would see him make only a single appearance between then and the beginning of the 2008/2009 term.

The Welshman vowed to come back stronger and was true to his word, scoring in his first game back in August 2008, a home victory over former club Blackburn Rovers.

Bellamy’s form peaked in that winter as he notched four goals in as many League games over the Festive Period, this made him a target of Mark Hughes, backed by new Arab money and in charge of Manchester City.

They made the winger an offer he simply couldn’t refuse, and he was on his way, managed to get himself on the scoresheet on his debut at The City of Manchester Stadium against The Magpies, The Hammers were £15 million richer for it, however.

The following years saw his powers fade, against the backdrop of more off-field troubles, Bellamy’s largely unsuccessful tenure with The Citizens ending after a loan move to hometown team Cardiff City.

But, he was thrown another lifeline in 2011, Kenny Dalglish taking him back to Liverpool, this time around, things would be different, winning The League Cup and contributing heavily to The Reds reaching an FA Cup Final.

In that time, he had also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics, scoring at Old Trafford against Senegal, bringing him nicely to his final Footballing resting place with Cardiff.

Luckily for Bellamy, this would be a superb period as he guided his boyhood club to The Premier League for the first time by winning the Championship, the following season becoming the first player in PL history to score for seven different clubs.

With The Bluebirds’ Relegation at the end of the 2013/2014 season, he announced his retirement after a playing Career that had lasted for the best part of 20 years.

Instantaneously, Bellamy took up a coaching role working with some of the younger teams at The Cardiff City Stadium.

While, away from Football, the former winger continued to work with his Charity The Craig Bellamy Foundation, helping young children in Africa, as well as helping to develop mixed-martial artists at his owned-gym in Cardiff, while mentoring former Wales U16 International son Ellis.

Nowadays, the ex-Hammer can be seen regularly on Sky Sports, often as a Pundit for live games, in addition to appearing on Shows such as “The Debate”, he is also believed to be interested in embarking on a Managerial Career of some kind.

Craig Bellamy may not have been the most orthodox if players, best behaved but he will certainly be remembered for generations, certainly in East London where he made his mark, The Claret & Blue Army could well be seeing him soon once again, this time as a Manager.

About the Author

Luke Glanville
Lead Writer and Site Manager of MTJAC, Sub-Editor for the Falbros Media Group.