Foxes A to Z, Steve Guppy, Leicester double, England one cap wonder and a Scottish adventure

Steve Guppy’s career in football is like a fairy story in different special chapters, from being a Newcastle misfit to become an England international, being axed by Kevin Keegan at The Toons and then given his full international debut by the same man.

Steve was released by Southampton as a youngster and had to shape his career by going down and into non-league football. He then had Martin O’Neill as manager and the two had a number of good years with The Chairboys taking the club into the EFL.

Kevin Keegan did see the talent and decided to use £150.000 to get him to St. James Park, but it never really worked out, and never used in a Premier League game by the former England and Liverpool legend. Instead John Rudge, then manager of Port Vale, made the call and decided to pay a fee of £225.000 for Steve’s services.

Port Vale might have been a step down for Steve at the time, but at the time Port Vale were at their very best playing at Championship level at the time (2nd tier). Eventually Martin O’Neill came back for his former pupil at Wycombe Wanderers and a transfer to Leicester City happened in February 1997. A fee of £850.000 made it possible for Steve Guppy to finally make his Premier League bow. He had to wait until he almost reached the age of 28 to finally get his big breakthrough.

He fast established himself as a key player under MON at Leicester City, with astonishing and special performances that made it possible to get to Wembley twice in the EFL Cup, winning the latter in 2000 v. Tranmere Rovers. When at his best at Leicester City his former boss at Newcastle United, Kevin Keegan, decided to play him for England in a friendly v. Belgium, but it was the only cap to be. This England cap made Steve Guppy rare and very special as he is the only player to have played for England, England U.21, England Semi-Pro and England B.

Steve Guppy played 146 league games and scored 9 goals in first spell at Leicester City, before again joining Martin O’Neill for a third time now with Celtic, and up north he had great success. winning both the SPL and the cup. He returned to Leicester City in January 2004, playing 15 league games, and by that one of a few to have played for Leicester City at both King Power (Walkers Stadium) and Filbert Street. When arriving back in the it was as an emergency signing to help the club to avoid relegation, but his 15 appearances did not result in that happening.

For the next four years Guppy continued his career at a number of locations, playing for Leeds United, Stoke City, Wycombe Wanderers and Stevenage Borough in England and also a spell in the MLS and USL with DC United and Rochester Rhinos. He finished his playing career with The Rhinos at the age of 39. A great football vision, fantastic passes and ability to hold the ball out on the flank and make that vital and often great assist or dribble, being one of the best players to appear in this role at Leicester City.

Steve Guppy has during and after his career playing been involved in coaching at Rochester Rhinos, Port Vale, Sunderland, Nottingham Forest and for the Republic of Ireland, often been in company with Martin O’Neill.

FACTFILE:

  • Full Name: Stephen Andrew Guppy
  • Position: Winger
  • Date of Birth: 29.03.1959
  • Birthplace: Winchester
  • Nation: England
  • Caps / Goals: 1
  • Major League Career:
    • 1989-94, Wycombe Wanderers (178/26)
    • 1994-97, Port Vale (105/12)
    • 1997-01, Leicester City (146/9)
    • 2001-04, Celtic (33/0)
    • 2004, Leicester City (15/0)
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