Player Profile: Jason Roberts
Full Name: Jason Roberts
Date of Birth: 25th January 1978, Park Royal, London
Squad Number: 30
Internationals: Capped at Full level for Grenada
Signed: July 2006
Previous Clubs: Hayes, Wolverhampton Wanders, Torquay United (loan), Bristol City (loan), Bristol Rovers, West Bromwich Albion, Portsmouth (loan) & Wigan Athletic
Jason started his career in non-league football with Hayes (the team for whom his Uncle, the legendary Cyrille Regis also started his footballing career) before working his way through the Divisions.
A £250,000 move to Wolverhampton Wanderers came about in September 1997. Having barely had time to settle in Roberts was on the move again joining West Country side Torquay United on loan in November 1997. Roberts remained on loan at Plainmoor until the beginning of March 1998 scoring 6 goals in 13 League appearances before returning to Molineux.
His return would be brief as he was soon loaned out again to another South Western side in Bristol City at the end of March 1998. In a brief spell Roberts made 3 League appearances scoring a solitary goal; returning once again to Wolves early in April for the remainder of the 1997-1998 season failing to make a first team appearance.
The summer of 1998 saw a permanent move away from Wolves; signing for Bristol City's fiercest rivals Bristol Rovers for £250,000 so Wolves recouped the full amount they has paid for him less than a year earlier. In his two-years with Rovers he found the net 48 times in 93 appearances which naturally alerted the attentions of bigger clubs. West Bromwich Albion were the bigger club to eventually snap up Roberts for £2 million in July 2000 ahead of the 2000-2001 season. That season saw a lethal partnership formed with West Brom legend Lee Hughes as the baggies made the Division One play-offs before eventually missing out on promotion.
Roberts missed most of the 2001-2002 promotion season for West Brom with a foot injury but still managed a more than respectable 7 goals from 12 League appearances. Getting himself fit he finally gained his chance in the Premiership in the 2002-2003 season, however this proved a struggle…
A loan to Portsmouth for the 2003-2004 season proved little more productive. His four month loan spell yielded 4 goals in 12 League and Cup appearances, only a single goal in ten Premiership games although in fairness to Roberts most of these came as a substitute.
Having requested a transfer away from West Brom he also wanted away from Fratton Park and in order to gain the regular first team football he so desired he dropped down a Division to secure a £2 million move to Wigan Athletic in the Championship playing out the remainder of the 2003-2004 at the JJB Stadium scoring 8 goals in 14 appearances.
Roberts returned to the Premiership the following season as Wigan earned a place in the top flight for the first time in their history following a runners up spot in the Championship to Sunderland in 2004-2005 finishing the season as the second top goalscorer in the Division behind his team mate Nathan Ellington, with whom a deadly partnership had been formed.
With much help from Roberts Wigan endured a highly successful 2005-2006 first season in the Premiership finishing in a mid table position and making in to the Carling Cup Final eventually finishing as runners up to Manchester United. These antics brought him to the attention of Mark Hughes and he signed him in the summer of 2006 for £2.5 million, thus giving 28-year-old Roberts the chance he'd been craving for all these years a chance at European football.
Injury however has prevented his impact with Rovers (which I'm sure will be huge) during the 2006-2007 season; limiting his European appearances also but with Rovers' advancement through the group stages into the knockout phase and him returning soon this will almost certainly be realised as the season and UEFA Cup tournament progresses.
Roberts' family connections allow him to play his International football with Grenada however despite him having the potential to be one of their very best, if not the best performers his lack of availably for the nation at times has lessened the potential impact he could have made; which has already been immense.
Blackburn Rovers appearances and goals up to the start of the 2006-2007 Season:
FA Cup: 0
League Cup: 0
Other (European etc.): 0
TOTAL: 0 - 0 goals
Roberts only signed in July 2006 so he has no previous Rovers data.
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