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David Cotterill

David Cotterill

Welsh professional footballer
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Welsh professional footballer
A.K.A. David Rhys George Best Cotterill
Countries United Kingdom Wales
Occupations Association football player
Gender male
Birth 4 December 1987 (Cardiff)
The details

David Rhys George Best Cotterill (born 4 December 1987) is a Welsh international footballer who plays as a winger for Bristol City on loan from Birmingham City.
Born in Cardiff, Cotterill began his career at Bristol City before signing for Premier League Wigan Athletic where he spent two seasons before switching to Sheffield United, initially on loan and then later on a permanent deal. From United, Cotterill transferred to Swansea City in his native Wales, before spending a spell on loan at Portsmouth and then transferring to Barnsley. It was from Barnsley that Cotterill signed for near neighbours Doncaster Rovers, where he spent two seasons before joining Birmingham.
Cotterill has represented Wales at full international level on more than 20 occasions, scoring twice.

Club career

Bristol City

Cotterill started his career at Bristol City, making his debut as a substitute for Michael Bell during a 0–0 draw with Colchester United on 30 October 2004. He played 57 games and scored seven goals for Bristol city during the 2005–06 season and was subsequently voted City's Young Player of the Season.

Wigan Athletic

Cotterill joined Premier League side Wigan Athletic on a three-year deal for £2 million on 31 August 2006. He scored his first goal for the club with a curling shot against West Ham United in a 2–0 victory at the Boleyn Ground, on 6 December 2006. Despite scoring two goals in 24 games for the Latics, his other goal coming against Sunderland in the FA Cup, Cotterill never fully established himself in the first team and was made available for loan.

Sheffield United

Seeking first team football to aid his international career, Cotterill joined Championship side Sheffield United on 8 February 2008 on a loan deal to last until the end of the 2007–08 season. He made his debut for the Blades the next day in a 0–0 home draw with Scunthorpe United eventually going on to play sixteen games for the Blades during his loan spell.

Cotterill returned to Bramall Lane later that summer and signed permanently for the Blades in July 2008 for an undisclosed fee. Having made his move permanent, Cotterill found it difficult to find the form that had made his loan spell a success and struggled to hold down a place in the side. It wasn't until the turn of the year that he began to force his way into the Blades first team, and was rewarded in March with his first goal in United colours, slotting home a penalty in a 2–1 home win against Birmingham City, and having taken over spot-kick duties he finished the season with four goals. After the Blades failure to secure promotion, Cotterill once again found form and first team starts hard to come by in the following season and was largely used as a substitute by manager Kevin Blackwell.

Swansea City

Cotterill moved to Swansea City on loan in November 2009, signing until the following January with a view to making the move permanent. He made his debut in the away fixture against Newcastle United, coming on as a second-half substitute, and scored his first goal for Swansea in a 2–1 FA Cup third round defeat to Leicester City on 2 January 2010. Following the move being made permanent for a then club record fee of £600,000, Cotterill scored three more goals during the 2009–10 season. The arrival of Scott Sinclair at the beginning of the 2010–11 season saw Cotterill employed more as a second striker behind Stephen Dobbie, rather than on the wing. Cotterill started the season off well under new manager Brendan Rodgers, putting in some good performances and converting a penalty in a 4–0 win over Preston North End. However, Cotterill then missed his next two penalties which on both occasions would have put his side in the lead and his confidence on the pitch appeared to drop. Cotterill was eventually sent out on loan to fellow Championship side Portsmouth in February 2011 initially on a one-month loan deal, taking the number 17 shirt vacated by John Utaka. He made his debut two days later in a 1–0 win over Barnsley, and scored his first goal for his new club against Ipswich Town on 26 February. Cotterill later extended his loan with Portsmouth until the end of the 2010–11 season.

During the 2011–12 season, as Swansea gained promotion to the Premier League, Cotterill's first-team appearances were limited and he was reportedly approached by Dutch team ADO Den Haag to sign for the club on loan. Cotterill was ultimately released from his Swansea City contract by mutual consent on 12 January 2012 after making no appearances during that season. A few days later he joined Leicester City on trial with a view to earning a permanent deal.


Cotterill signed for Barnsley on 16 February 2012, as a free agent. He scored his first, and what turned out to be only goal, for his new club against Peterborough United on 24 March 2012. After making eleven appearances for Barnsley, Cotterill was released at the end of the 2011–12 season when his short-term deal expired.

Doncaster Rovers

Cotterill joined Doncaster Rovers on 27 June 2012 on a two-year deal as they looked to bounce back to the Championship at the first time of asking. In his league debut for Doncaster at Walsall, he scored with a long-range shot from around 40 yards (37 m) out. Cotterill scored ten goals in 49 appearances during the 2012–13 season, and was named in the PFA Team of the Year for League One.

Birmingham City

Cotterill with Birmingham City in April 2016

Although Doncaster offered Cotterill a new contract at the end of the 2013–14 season, he opted to move somewhere closer to his family in Wales. He signed a two-year contract with Championship club Birmingham City, and made his debut in the first-round League Cup win against Cambridge United on 12 August. He became a regular selection, and scored his first goal for the club on 27 September in a 2–1 defeat at home to Fulham. After Callum Reilly won the ball in midfield and slid it out to the wing, Cotterill cut inside a defender and curled a 25-yard (23 m) shot into the far top corner. In the next match, away to Millwall, he set up goals for Clayton Donaldson and Wes Thomas as well as scoring himself with a swerving free kick from 25 yards. Cotterill established himself as a regular member of the starting eleven, and finished his first season with 9 goals from 45 appearances in all competitions. Manager Gary Rowett highlighted his rare ability to "play badly and still affect the game in a positive way", such that "even when he is not on song he can still affect the game with a little bit of quality", as indicative of his importance to the team. In the 2015 close season, he signed a two-year extension to his contract.

He continued as a regular in the side until a hamstring injury sustained in early October kept him out for three weeks, and on his next start, in early November at home to Blackburn Rovers, he damaged a knee. Although the knee recovered and he was expected to be available for the visit to Sheffield Wednesday on 26 December, manager Gary Rowett chose not to risk him because of tightness in his hamstring. Cotterill returned to the side for the FA Cup match on 9 January, came off at half-time with a tight hamstring, and did not reappear for another five weeks, as a late substitute in the goalless draw at Rotherham United.

Bristol City (loan)

On 31 January 2017, Cotterill moved to Bristol City, the club with which he began his career, on loan until the end of the season.

Career statistics

As of match played 31 January 2017
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Bristol City 2004–05 League One 12 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 13 0
2005–06 League One 45 7 1 0 0 0 1 0 47 7
2006–07 League One 5 1 1 1 0 0 6 2
Total 62 8 1 0 1 1 2 0 66 9
Wigan Athletic 2006–07 Premier League 16 1 1 0 17 1
2007–08 Premier League 2 0 1 1 1 0 4 1
Total 18 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 21 2
Sheffield United (loan) 2007–08 Championship 16 0 0 0 16 0
Sheffield United 2008–09 Championship 24 4 3 0 3 0 2 0 32 4
2009–10 Championship 14 2 0 0 0 0 14 2
Total 54 6 3 0 3 0 2 0 62 6
Swansea City (loan) 2009–10 Championship 4 0 1 1 0 0 5 1
Swansea City 2009–10 Championship 17 3 0 0 17 3
2010–11 Championship 14 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 16 1
2011–12 Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 35 4 1 1 2 0 0 0 38 5
Portsmouth (loan) 2010–11 Championship 15 1 15 1
Barnsley 2011–12 Championship 11 1 11 1
Doncaster Rovers 2012–13 League One 44 10 0 0 3 0 2 0 49 10
2013–14 Championship 40 4 1 0 2 0 0 0 43 4
Total 84 14 1 0 5 0 2 0 92 14
Birmingham City 2014–15 Championship 42 9 1 0 2 0 45 9
2015–16 Championship 29 4 1 0 0 0 30 4
2016–17 Championship 25 1 1 1 0 0 26 2
Total 96 14 3 1 2 0 101 15
Bristol City (loan) 2016–17 Championship 0 0 0 0
Career total 376 48 11 3 14 1 6 0 406 53

International career

Cotterill was capped three times, scoring once for the under-19 team, and scored four goals from nine appearances for the under-21s.

Cotterill is a full Welsh international, making his debut against Azerbaijan in October 2005. He attracted controversy when he criticised the Wales manager John Toshack in 2007, for having not been picked in the squad, but was recalled in 2009.

International goals

Scores and results list Wales' goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 11 August 2010 Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli, Wales  Luxembourg 1–0 5–1 Friendly
2. 13 October 2014 Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales  Cyprus 1–0 2–1 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying

Personal life

Cotterill was born in Cardiff, Wales, and has two children with former wife Sasha. After signing for Swansea City in 2010, Cotterill revealed that he had received death threats from fans of Cardiff City after scoring a penalty against them whilst at former club Sheffield United.


Doncaster Rovers

  • League One: 2012–13

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