Craig Ian Conway (born 2 May 1985) is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a winger for Salford City. He has made seven appearances for the Scottish national team.
Conway started his career with Ayr United before moving to Scottish Premier League side Dundee United in 2006. Ayr did not receive compensation for the deal until 10 months after he left. In 2011, he moved to Championship side Cardiff on a free transfer. On 13 September 2013 he signed for Brighton & Hove Albion in the English Football League Championship on a three-month loan. On 31 January 2014, Conway joined Championship side Blackburn Rovers on a 2 1⁄2-year deal.
Born in Irvine, North Ayrshire, Conway started his career with Caledonian Boys Club in Prestwick and later signed with Ayr United, making 61 league appearances for the club and scoring seven times. Conway's good form alerted then-Dundee United manager Craig Brewster and he agreed a pre-contract deal with Conway to bring him to Tannadice, with the transfer completed on 1 June 2006, with compensation decided ten months later. Largely used as a substitute under Brewster, Conway started the majority of matches under Craig Levein and assisted more goals than any other United player in 2006–07. In late February 2007, Conway suffered a broken foot which appeared to end his season prematurely, although it later transpired he would be fit for the final two matches of the season. In fact, Conway appeared in the final four matches. Although playing at the start of the following season, it transpired that Conway was suffering similar issues and it was discovered that a bone graft was needed, ruling Conway out for the last three months of 2007.
Conway returned to action in 2007–08, playing three matches before being sidelined for four months, returning in December. He scored his first goal for the club a month later in the 2–1 win over Kilmarnock in January and two matches later, scored the third goal in the 4–1 League Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen.
Conway signed a two-year contract extension in September 2008 to extend his time at Tannadice until 2011. On 15 May 2010, Conway scored two goals in a man of the match performance as United beat Ross County 3–0 in the 2010 Scottish Cup Final. In April 2011, United manager Peter Houston indicated that he expected Conway to leave the club at the end of the season, due to the Terrors being unable to match his wage demands.
Conway playing for Cardiff City in 2012
On 21 June 2011, Conway confirmed that he had agreed terms with Cardiff City and that he would have a medical within the next couple of days. Conway completed his move and signed a three-year contract with the Bluebirds on 23 June 2011. He made his debut in a 1–0 win over West Ham United on the opening day of the Championship season. Conway scored his first goal for Cardiff the following game against Oxford United in the Football League Cup. He then followed up his goal against Oxford with another goal against Bristol City in the league just four days later. Conway's third came as the winning goal against Huddersfield Town, putting the Bluebirds through to the third round of the League Cup. He made his 250th career appearance in a 2–0 win over Crystal Palace on 5 November. Conway was an unused substitute at Wembley in the Carling Cup Final. Following a stint of bad form, Conway was dropped from the side but on his return to the starting line up he scored the winner against Portsmouth. A period on the bench followed until April, when he started against Watford, but was taken off with 32 minutes played following a tackle made by Jonathan Hogg, which resulted in an ankle injury and ended his season, four games early.
Conway returned in time for pre-season. He made his competitive return on 14 August 2012 against Northampton in a 2–1 Capital One Cup defeat. Following a lack of first team football during the season, Conway put in a transfer request on 23 November 2012 after starting only two games out of his four total appearances. The request was rejected by manager, Malky Mackay. Conway was included in the squad for the next two games following the request and he made an appearance against Derby County. His first goal of the season came on 2 December, where he scored the winner against Sheffield Wednesday, which ensured Cardiff beat their Club record of nine successive home wins. Following a run of successful performances, Conway withdrew his transfer request on 21 December, and went on to play a crucial role in Cardiff's Championship-winning season, including scoring the goal that sealed the title in a 1–1 draw at Turf Moor against Burnley in April.
Loan to Brighton & Hove Albion
On 13 September 2013, Conway joined Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion on a 93-day short-term loan, running until 14 December 2013. Conway scored his first and only goal in this loan period on 7 December 2013, in the 3–1 victory against Leicester City.
On 31 January 2014, Transfer Deadline Day, Conway joined Championship side Blackburn Rovers on a 2 1⁄2-year deal. Conway scored his first goal for the club on 22 February 2014 in a 1–0 win away against Reading. On 10 December 2015, Conway signed a new deal which will keep him until 2018.
Conway made his International debut under George Burley on 10 October 2009 against Japan, he started the game but Scotland lost 2–0. It took him two years to make his next appearance for Scotland, which came in the 2011 Nations Cup against Northern Ireland, this time Scotland won 3–0. His third appearance for Scotland was on 11 November 2011 in a 2–1 friendly victory over Cyprus in Larnaca.
Most recently, he was a substitute in the 3–2 friendly loss to England at Wembley in August 2013.