Steven James Sidwell (born 14 December 1982) is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Brighton & Hove Albion. He is a former England U21 international.
Sidwell began his career at Arsenal and after winning two FA Youth Cups he had constructive loan spells at Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion. Sidwell joined Reading in January 2003 and spent four-and-a-half-years with the Royals helping them to gain promotion to the Premier League in 2005–06. He joined Chelsea on a free transfer for the 2007–08 season, however opportunities were limited at Stamford Bridge and he moved on to Aston Villa in July 2008 for a fee of £5 million. In his two-and-a-half-year stay at Villa Park he played 64 times scoring four goals. Sidwell then spent three-and-a-half-years at Craven Cottage making 115 appearances scoring 17 goals. His time at Fulham ended after the club was relegated from the Premier League in 2013–14 and he joined Stoke City in June 2014 on a free transfer. He made only 13 appearances for the club, and rejoined Brighton & Hove Albion, initially on loan, in January 2016.
Sidwell was born in Wandsworth, London. He was part of the Arsenal youth team that won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and 2001. One of his team mates during these years was James Harper, who he would go on to play with at Reading. Sidwell spent the 2001–02 season on loan at Brentford where he played 35 times scoring four goals as Brentford lost 2–0 to Stoke City in the play-off final. After originally having been sent on loan to Beveren, but not being able to obtain a first team place in preseason, he began the 2002–03 season on loan at Brighton & Hove Albion for whom he scored five goals in 12 appearances. In January 2003 Brighton and Stoke City both had bids for Sidwell rejected by Arsenal but an offer from Reading was accepted.
Sidwell moved to Reading for an undisclosed fee on a four-and-a-half-year deal in January 2003. He made his debut for Reading on 29 January 2003 in a 3–1 defeat against Leicester City. In his next match on 11 February 2003 he scored twice in a 5–2 victory over Burnley. Sidwell played 15 times in 2002–03 as Reading reached the play-offs where they lost out to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Sidwell made a good start to the 2003–04 season, scoring in the first three matches. Sidwell was sent-off for the first time in his career on 27 March 2004 for two-bookable offences against Coventry City. Reading failed to make the play-offs in 2003–04 finishing in ninth position with Sidwell playing in 48 matches scoring nine goals. Sidwell signed a new three-year contract with Reading in July 2004.
In the 2004–05 season Sidwell played 47 times, scoring five goals as Reading again miss out on a play-off spot finishing in 7th position. During the season FourFourTwo Magazine voted him the best player outside the Premier League and he was later named in the PFA Team of the Year. The 2005–06 season saw Reading finally gain promotion to the Premier League and they did so in emphatic style finishing 1st with 106 points. Sidwell played in 40 matches scoring ten goals and his performances again earned him a place in the PFA Team of the Year.
In the summer of 2006, Sidwell rejected a contract extension, which was set to expire at the end of the 2006–07 season. Reading resisted the chance to cash in on Sidwell and he scored on the opening day of the season, a 3–2 victory over Middlesbrough. On 10 February 2007 Sidwell scored both goals in a 2–0 win over Aston Villa. Over the course of the season, he was linked with a number of high-profile clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea as Reading enjoyed a successful season in the Premier League. In total Sidwell played 37 times in 2006–07 scoring four goals as Reading finished in 8th position narrowly missing out on a UEFA Cup spot. At the end of the season Reading manager Steve Coppell confirmed that Sidwell had agreed to join another club.
Sidwell married Krystell on 19 June 2005. Within days of returning from their honeymoon, he had a tattoo of the wedding vows he had written for her placed on his back. Their first son Harry was born in April 2006. His second son, Rocko, was born on 4 December 2008 a few days before he scored a goal against Everton in the Premier League. His third son, Lenny, was born on 9 February 2010.
His brother, Lee Sidwell, is also a footballer. He played for AFC Wimbledon during the 2002–03 campaign, their inaugural season in the Combined Counties Football League Premier Division, and also won the award for Player of the Year during that season. He left the club in September 2004 to join Whyteleafe, though he no longer plays for them. He has also played for Netherne (now Coulsdon United) and Chipstead.
With regard to the Sidwells, the former being Steve is a big Arsenal FC fan.