George Boyd


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1985 (34 years old)

Birth Place
Chatham, England


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George Jan Boyd (born 2 October 1985) is a professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Peterborough United.

Boyd started his career in the Charlton Athletic youth system, joining Stevenage Borough of the Conference National in 2001 and making his first-team debut in 2002. Boyd spent five seasons at Stevenage, scoring over thirty goals from midfield in all competitions. He left in January 2007 to join League Two side Peterborough United for a fee of £260,000, and won two successive promotions in the 2007–08 and 2008–09 seasons. In March 2010, Boyd joined Nottingham Forest on loan until the end of the 2009–10 season. On return to his parent club in July 2010, Boyd signed a new three-year contract at Peterborough. In February 2013, Boyd joined Hull City on loan for the remainder of the 2012–13 season, and he helped the club earn promotion back to the Premier League during his time there. Shortly after the end of the season, he signed for the club on a permanent basis.

He also played for the England National Game XI team, who represent England at non-League level, from 2005 to 2006, earning six caps and scoring one goal. Boyd was born and raised in England, and also qualified to play for Scotland through his maternal grandfather. After playing for the Scotland B team in 2009, he earned his first cap at senior level in 2013.

On 1 September 2014, Burnley signed Boyd on a three-year deal. On 18 October Boyd scored his first Premier League goal in a losing effort against West Ham United F.C. in a 3–1 defeat for the clarets. On 2 December Boyd scored his second league goal of the season in a 1–1 draw with Newcastle. On 28 December Boyd scored the opening goal for Burnley in a 2–2 draw over Manchester City. On 1 January 2015 Boyd scored the equaliser in the 86th minute in a 3–3 draw over Newcastle. On 14 March Boyd scored the winner against Manchester City in the 61st minute.

Boyd is generally deployed as a winger, and has been used on the left-wing throughout the majority of his career. He has described himself as a winger, but has stated that he prefers to play "in the hole" because the position allows him to get more time on the ball. He has expressed his willingness to "play anywhere" to help the team, believing his versatility across the midfield and attacking areas to be one of his main strong-points. He said "I have played on both sides of the park and will always try my best to do a good job regardless of where the manager plays me". Under former Peterborough United manager, Jim Gannon, Boyd was given a "free-role", essentially playing across the midfield and behind the strikers. Gannon said "if we can get him free in attacking areas he can be a great creative force". Gannon believes that Boyd is at his best when he "is saved from doing defensive work that wingers may have to do", and as a result, during Gannon's short spell at Peterborough, was deployed just behind the strikers as part of a 3–4–1–2 formation. Boyd has also been used as a striker by manager Mark Stimson during the first-half of Stevenage's 2006–07 campaign. He is predominantly left-footed, and scores the majority of his goals with his left-foot, but is also comfortable using his right. Kieran Trippier, Boyd's team-mate at Burnley, said of Boyd: "He's great to play with, with a good left foot and a great engine".

During his time at Stevenage, Boyd earned the nickname "The White Pelé" – this was down to his use of tricks, as well as the amount of flair Boyd brought to the team at such a young age. Stevenage manager Graham Westley, who gave Boyd his first run of games in the first-team, described Boyd as a "special talent" following his two goals away at Woking in August 2005. Westley proceeded to call Boyd "gifted", and a player with "fantastic technical ability". He has been labelled a creative and flamboyant midfielder, and described as "a player who will create goalscoring opportunities all game long". Boyd has stated that he considers assisting goals a "big part of his game", and says "I try to create chances for other players and that gives me just as much pleasure as scoring". Boyd's creative nature is emphasised by the fact that he has assisted over 50 goals for Peterborough during his time at London Road. Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson has said that Boyd "has the tendency, and ability, to score goals from long distance", talking after Boyd's 35-yard volley against Boston United. This was further highlighted when Boyd scored from just inside the opposition's half in a win against Huddersfield Town in October 2012. Boyd collected a Saido Berahino knock-down, before hitting a dipping volley from the edge of the centre circle. Manager Darren Ferguson stated — "If Lionel Messi had done it you'd be seeing it over again. For vision and execution it was one of the best I have seen". Boyd also scored several long range goals during his time at Stevenage, scoring from outside the area on seven different occasions; most notably on the half-volley from 30 yards in a game against Cambridge United in January 2006.

Boyd believes that he needs to work on his turn of pace and also improve his heading ability, and considers these as his main weaknesses. Former manager Darren Ferguson said "there might be those who say he lacks a little bit of pace but what he does not have in his legs he has in his head". In his career, Boyd has only ever scored three headed goals, and says that he is much more comfortable with the ball at his feet.

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