Daniel Adam "Danny" Pugh (born 19 October 1982) is an English footballer who plays as a midfielder for Blackpool.
Pugh began his career with Manchester United where he made a handful of appearances before joining Leeds United in the summer of 2004. Pugh spent two seasons at Elland Road before joining Preston North End. Another two-year spell followed until he joined Stoke City in November 2007. He became a regular under Tony Pulis helping the club gain promotion in 2007–08. He struggled to hold down a regular place in the side in the Premier League and had loan spells back at Preston and then Leeds where he joined permanently for a second time in January 2012. Pugh made 62 appearances in his second spell at Leeds and also played on loan at Sheffield Wednesday in 2012–13. He then went on to play for Coventry City, Bury and Blackpool.
Pugh came through the youth ranks at Manchester United. In his time at the club, he made seven first-team appearances, six of which came in cup competitions.
Pugh became the first player signed under new Leeds United manager Kevin Blackwell as part-exchange for former Leeds favourite Alan Smith. Pugh was signed as a utility player – his ability to play on the left side of midfield or defence and centre midfield was to be a key factor in a Leeds squad which only had four players remaining from the season before.
His Leeds career started well; for the first half of the season, he held down the left midfield position in a 4–4–2 formation, and had been the club's top scorer until the arrival of David Healy from Preston North End. Pugh was then switched to left-back after an injury to Stephen Crainey and a dip in form from Frazer Richardson. However, Pugh subsequently fell out of favour at Leeds. Blackwell's decision to switch to a 4–3–3 formation meant that Pugh's position was taken by Eddie Lewis or David Healy and, with Matthew Kilgallon occupying the left full back position, Pugh was dropped to the bench. His last few months at Leeds having been spent almost entirely out of the first team he had made only five appearances in his final six months with the club that reached the playoff finals under Kevin Blackwell. In total Pugh made 57 appearances for Leeds in all competitions and scored 6 goals.
Preston North End
Pugh was sold to Preston in June 2006 for a fee of £250,000, becoming manager Paul Simpson's first signing, Pugh was a regular in the first team, playing tucked in off the left flank or occasionally as an out-and-out central midfielder.
On 2 November 2007, it was announced that Stoke City had signed Pugh, initially on loan with a view to a permanent move in January. Manager Tony Pulis was "delighted to have signed a quality left-sided midfielder". The move was made permanent on 3 January 2008, with Stoke paying Preston £500,000 for Pugh's services. Pugh has been a regular since joining the club, playing as left-sided midfielder and left-back. He has also deputised in centre midfield, winning man of the match awards in games against Watford and Newcastle United.
Pugh struggled to establish himself in the side during the 2008–09 season with most of his appearances coming off the bench. He scored his first goal for Stoke in a 2–0 win over Rotherham United in the League Cup. Due to injury to Danny Higginbotham towards the end of the season Pugh took his place at right back for the final few matches against Fulham, Wigan Athletic and Arsenal. Despite not playing much Pugh signed a one-year contract extension keeping him at Stoke until 2012. Pugh scored his first league goal for Stoke in a 3–1 defeat to Arsenal however he also gave away a penalty in the match. After struggling for first team appearances for Stoke, Pugh returned to his old club Preston North End on a months loan on 17 November 2010 along with fellow Stoke team-mate Michael Tonge. This was extended until 16 January 2011. He signed a contract extension with Stoke keeping him at the Britannia Stadium until 2013 on 20 December 2010. He signed this despite only making a few appearances for Stoke since the club's promotion to the Premier League in 2008.
He was recalled from his loan spell at Preston on 31 December by manager Tony Pulis. Pugh made only his second league start for Stoke in two seasons away at Birmingham City in February 2011. In total Pugh made 18 appearances for Stoke in all competitions during the 2010–11 season including an appearance as a substitute in the 2011 FA Cup Final. Pugh made six appearances at the start of the 2011–12 season and scored against Swiss side FC Thun the Europa League giving Stoke a 1–0 win on 18 August 2011. However Pugh was left out Stoke's 25-man Premier League squad by manager Tony Pulis for the 2011–12 season. He left Stoke in January 2012 to re-join Leeds United on a permanent transfer after five seasons with the "Potters" making 89 appearances scoring three goals.
Return to Leeds United
On 22 September, Pugh re-joined Leeds United on a three-month loan with the option to a permanent move, Leeds revealed after they had signed him that they tried to sign Pugh on transfer deadline day but Stoke needed him a little while longer, before he completed his loan move to Leeds. Pugh made his second debut for Leeds in a 3–3 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion. Pugh scored his first goal of his second spell at Leeds in the 1–0 victory against Portsmouth at Elland Road in a Championship game on 1 October 2011. Pugh scored his second goal in consecutive games in the match against Doncaster Rovers on 14 October. Due to the injury to Jonny Howson, Pugh moved into a central midfield position. He signed for Leeds on a two and a half-year deal on 2 January 2012.
In August 2012 Leeds Manager Neil Warnock announced that Pugh and team mate Robbie Rogers had been placed on the transfer list to generate funds for a new striker. Pugh made his first appearance of the 2012–13 season coming on as a substitute in the 2–1 defeat to Blackpool then made his second appearance of the season coming in to the starting line up in the 2–1 win over Everton in the 3rd Round of the League Cup.
In January 2013 Pugh joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan until the end of the 2012–13 season. Pugh was originally signed to fill in the left wing for Jérémy Hélan who was set to leave Hillsbrough, however upon Hélan's return to the club, Pugh dropped back to the left back position. Pugh made his debut for the Owls in a 2–1 away victory at Charlton Athletic. He scored his first goal for Wednesday in a 3–1 home victory over Brighton & Hove Albion, directly from a free kick.
In June 2013, Pugh returned to Leeds United for pre-season training. Having been out in the cold for the start of the 2013–14 season, Pugh was brought back into the team for the game away to Charlton Athletic playing in a left wing back position. The game finished 4–2 to Leeds with Pugh winning a penalty for Leeds in the second half which Ross McCormack coolly dispatched from 12 yards. On 16 May 2014, Pugh was released by Leeds United.
Pugh joined Coventry City on 16 July 2014 on a one-year contract. He was released at the end of the season, signing for Bury on a one-year contract on 13 July 2015. Pugh spent the 2015–16 season with the Shakers before moving onto Blackpool in July 2016.
- As of 8 May 2016
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other[A]||Total|
|Manchester United||2002–03||Premier League||1||0||0||0||1||0||3||0||5||0|
|Preston North End||2006–07||Championship||45||4||3||0||1||0||—||49||4|
|Preston North End (loan)||2010–11||Championship||5||0||0||0||0||0||—||5||0|
|Sheffield Wednesday (loan)||2012–13||Championship||16||1||0||0||0||0||—||16||1|
|Coventry City||2014–15||League One||5||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||7||0|
- A. ^ Includes appearances and goals in the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and Football League Trophy.