Writer: Peverell Green
Date:Monday April 29 2013
The Where Are They Now series moves to more recent times with a look at the career of Chris Hargreaves.
CHRIS HARGREAVES - Born 12th May 1972 Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.
Chris began his football career as a trainee with Grimsby in June 1998 and turned professional with them eighteen months later.
In 1993 he was loaned out to Scarborough where he made three appearances before returning to his parent club. He stayed with Grimsby until the end of the 1992-93 season when a £50,000 bid from Hull City persuaded Grimsby to let him go.
While at Grimsby he made a total of 64 appearances, although 44 were as substitute, and scored seven goals.
In the two seasons Chris spent with Hull he made 57 appearances scoring a solitary goal.
From Hull he moved on to West Brom spending only one season at the Hawthorns where he only made two appearances, both as substitute. While at West Brom he also spent three months on loan at Hereford making 18 appearances and scoring two goals.
At the end of the season Chris left West Brom to join Hereford on a permanent basis.
During the two seasons at Hereford he made another 30 appearances for them scoring seven goals.
With his contract up at the end of the 1997-98 season Argyle manager Kevin Hodges signed Chris on a free transfer.
He made his debut on 8th August 1998 in a 2-1 opening day win at home to Rochdale with Ronnie Mauge and Earl Jean scoring for Argyle. He scored his first goal for the club in January in a 3-0 win at Home Park over Mansfield with Dwight Marshall scoring twice to see off the Stags.
He also scored in a 3-2 defeat at Chester City with Dwight Marshall also scoring. The next season saw Chris on the scoresheet again, his first came in the 5-0 thrashing at home to Leyton Orient with Chris Leadbitter (2) and Sean McCarthy (2) sending the fans home happy. He also scored the third goal in a 3-1 win at home to Southend in December with Darren Bastow and Ian Stonebridge netting the other goals.
His last league goal for the club came in a 1-1 away draw at Rotherham. Chris also scored two FA Cup goals that season, the first in the second round replay away to Brighton in a 2-1 win after a 0-0 draw in the home game, Darren Bastow also scored for the Greens in the replay.
In the third round Chris scored at Reading in a 1-1 away draw, with Argyle winning the replay thanks to Mick Heathcote scoring the only goal of the game.
Chris played his last game on 29th April 2000 in a 1-0 defeat at home to Hull. At the season end with his two year contract over he decided against signing on again, preferring to move on, this time to Northampton.
While at Argyle he made 92 appearances and scored seven goals.
Chris joined Northampton on 27th June 2000 and at the end of his second season at the club was voted 'Player of the Season', unusually for him he signed a second two year contract in July 2002, an almost ever present during his time at the club making 176 appearances scoring 11 goals.
In June 2004 he moved south again, this time joining Brentford, although a first team regular he only spent one season at Griffin Park, making 39 appearances and scoring three goals.
His next club was struggling Oxford, at the end of his first season they were relegated to the Conference, at the end of his first season of non-league football he was released after making eighty appearances scoring six goals.
Chris didn't have to wait long before finding another club, being signed by newly relegated Torquay.
After a season of consolidation in his second season at the club they reached the Conference play-off final at Wembley.
Chris not only captained the side but also scored the first goal in a 2-0 victory for our Devon neighbours.
After achieving promotion Chris only spent five more months at Torquay, leaving in January 2010 to re-join his former club, Oxford United.
While at Plainmoor he made 121 appearances and as well as his Wembley goal scored another nine for the club.
When he joined them Oxford were already having a good season in the Conference and for the second season in succession saw his club promoted out of the Conference and back into the Football League.
At the end of the season Chris was released and at thirty eight, after twenty one years as a professional footballer decided it was time to hang up his boots.
2011 was a busy year for Chris, he opened a sports shop in Sidmouth called Chris Hargreaves Sports Republic and also wrote an autobiography called 'Where's your caravan' not only because of the many moves he had made as a footballer but also because of the terrace chant he had to put up with at almost every away ground he played at due to his long hair.
In 2012 he also had a go at coaching at Exeter before being offered the role of development coach at Bournemouth, a job he still does, combining the role with regular appearances on BBC television giving a summary of how the Westcountry teams had performed at the weekend.
Date:Monday April 29 2013
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