Matthew Wicks

Biography

Name Matthew Francis Wicks.
Born 8th September 1978 in Reading, England.
Nationality England.
International caps England under-17 caps.
Relationship Son of Steve Wicks.
Posh debut Peterborough Utd 0 - 1 Swansea City 13/03/1999, Third Division.
Links Matthew Wicks's career at Soccerbase
Matthew Wicks's page at Wikipedia

The son of former Queens Park Rangers defender Steve Wicks, Matthew was a teenage star touted as the next Tony Adams, captaining the England under-17 team and graduating from the FA School of Excellence in 1995. Despite being attached to Arsenal he quickly joined Manchester Utd and the club were promptly reported to the FA. His father gave evidence in favour of United, claiming that Arsenal had ‘neglected’ his son: “When it came time to talk terms with Matthew we met Terry Murphy and Steve Burtenshaw at Highbury, and they admitted they hadn't seen him play for 18 months. In contrast, Alex Ferguson took time out to convince the boy personally to go to Manchester Utd.”

He returned to Highbury in January 1996, as Manchester Utd escaped a fine while Arsenal dropped a demand of £1,500,000 in compensation. He failed to reach expectations and, having never to progressed past the Arsenal reserves, joined Crewe Alexandra on a free transfer. Arsenal were due £100,000 if he established himself as a first-team regular, but after only 7 appearances, however, he fell out of favour and was placed on the transfer list. After a trial at Derby County he arrived at London Road and, with Dario Gradi no longer asking for a fee, he earned a contract at Posh in March 1999.

He made 24 appearances during the play-off winning 1999/00 season, but was unable cement a place in the starting line-up. He began the new season on-trial at Rushden & Diamonds, but, despite rumours of interest from Bournemouth, he joined Brighton & Hove Albion on-loan, scoring 3 goals in 8 games. Wicks issued a ‘sign me’ plea to the Seagulls, but he returned to Peterborough following the end of his loan spell, with the club unwilling to match Barry Fry’s valuation. Chairman Dick Knight said, “We are not going to pay £50,000 for Matthew Wicks. I am not having a gun put to my head.” Nevertheless, with his shirt number at London Road having been given to Dave Rogers, who had arrived on-loan from Ayr Utd, a permanent deal was inevitable, with Wicks joining Brighton for £25,000 a few days later.

His impressive form continued, so much so that in December he was linked with Newcastle Utd and Wolverhampton Wanderers, with the latter allegedly offering £500,000. During the second half of the season, however, he suffered a series of reoccurring hamstring injuries and was unable to participate as Brighton won the league. Micky Adams then brought in Simon Morgan to partner Danny Cullip in defence and Wicks, having also fallen behind Adam Virgo in the pecking order, left for Hull City in swap deal in January 2002 for former Tottenham Hotspur youngster David Lee, becoming the Tigers' 16th signing of the season. Luton Town manager Joe Kinnear had announced that he had agreed a deal to take Wicks on-loan with a view to a permanent deal the previous month, but this was denied by new manager Peter Taylor.

At the end of the season he was placed on the transfer list having fallen out with the chairman and went into exile, with the club paying up his contract in February 2003. In March he signed a 2-year deal with Australian side Newcastle Utd Jets, managed by former Norwich City defender Ian Crook, for the new season, but it was speculated in June that he was having second thoughts about the move down under. He was released from his contract at the beginning of August, before the season had begun, on compassionate grounds following a family illness. He never returned to football.