Dave Kitson

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Dave Kitson : biography

21 January 1980 –

David Barry "Dave" Kitson (born 21 January 1980) is an English footballer who plays as a striker for Oxford United.

Kitson began his career with non-league Hitchin Town and Arlesey Town whilst working as a shelf-stacker for Sainsbury’s. He joined Cambridge United in 2001 and became one of the brightest prospects in the Third Division which led to him being signed by Reading in 2003 for a fee of £150,000. He enjoyed great success with the "Royals", forming a formidable partnership with Kevin Doyle as Reading gained promotion to the Premier League in 2006. After two seasons in the top flight Reading were relegated and Kitson signed for newcomers Stoke City for a club record fee of £5.5 million.

However his career soon started to become sour and after failing to score a single goal he was loaned back to Reading. He began the 2009–10 season better, scoring twice, but was then loaned out again this time to Middlesbrough. He returned to Stoke in January 2010 but continued to struggle and after manager Tony Pulis branded him ‘petulant’ he was allowed to join Portsmouth as part of a swap deal for Marc Wilson. He spent two seasons at Fratton Park but agreed to cancel his contract with Portsmouth in August 2012 with the club in danger of being liquidated, and subsequently joined Sheffield United on a short-term deal, before signing a two-year contract at Oxford United in June 2013.


  • Football League Championship: 2006

Club career

Cambridge United

Kitson joined Cambridge United, then in Division Two, in 2001 after being recommended by agent Barry Silkman to U’s manager John Beck. He made his debut in 3–2 victory away over Stoke City on 17 March 2001. On the final day of the same season, Kitson notched his first goal for the club in a 1–1 draw at Swansea City. The following season saw the club relegated from League One but Kitson scored 10 goals, finishing as the club’s second-top goalscorer, one behind Tom Youngs. It was in the 2002–03 campaign that Kitson really found his feet. He netted 25 goals in a prolific campaign which saw him hot on the heels of David Crown’s club record of 27 goals in a season. After 11 goals in 19 appearances at the start of the 2003–04 season, Kitson left Cambridge to join second-tier outfit Reading. His return of 47 goals in 123 appearances in all competitions ensured Kitson’s place among the club’s all-time legends.


Kitson was sold to Reading on 26 December 2003, for a fee of £150,000. At Reading, he scored five goals in 10 starts in his first season. In the 2005–06 season, despite injury he went on to record an impressive goals-to-game ratio, and continued to do so as Reading won the Championship title.

Following promotion with Reading, Kitson scored the club’s first Premier League goal in their 3–2 home win against Middlesbrough on the opening day of the 2006–07 season, but was then badly injured later in the same match. The injury kept him out of the game until Reading’s FA Cup victory over Birmingham City on 27 January 2007. On 27 March, he committed his future to Reading, signing a new deal that would expire in June 2010.

At the start of 2007–08, he was sent off less than a minute after coming on as a substitute for Reading against Manchester United, for a late challenge on Patrice Evra. In January 2008 he made some controversial comments regarding the FA Cup, saying "We are not going to win the FA Cup and I do not care less about it, to be honest."

Stoke City

On 18 July 2008, Kitson moved in a £5.5m move from Reading to Stoke City, breaking Stoke’s record transfer fee.

Having failed to score any goals in any of the 18 competitive games he played for Stoke City in the 2008–09 season, speculation arose as to whether Kitson was settled there or not. Chairman Peter Coates and manager Tony Pulis both denied any rumour that he might be leaving the Britannia Stadium. The Stoke City board reacted to this growing disquiet, and he rejoined Reading on loan until the end of the 2008–09 season on 10 March 2009.