Dave Kitson

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Dave Kitson : biography

21 January 1980 –

Kitson later revealed that he made the "wrong decision" in joining Stoke, adding that he and his family were happy at Reading and that "I threw all of that away for what I thought was going to be a new challenge… I hold my hands up – it was my fault. I made the decision to go to Stoke, I didn’t have to, no-one forced me to go, and it was a bad decision." With regards to his failure to score for Stoke, he said "I’d been bought for a lot of money but I wasn’t sure I was being utilised in the way I thought I was going to be… You do have some days at training when you go back in and wonder what you’re doing there."

However, Reading failed to gain promotion, meaning that Kitson returned to Stoke. Kitson stated that he would "start his Stoke career again". His first competitive goal for Stoke came in a 1–0 League Cup win at Leyton Orient on 26 August 2009. He scored his first league goal for Stoke on 29 August 2009, which proved to be the winning goal against Sunderland and then scored again with a goal against Bolton Wanderers. However Kitson lost his place to James Beattie and joined Middlesbrough on a two-month loan. He scored his first goals for Middlesbrough when he scored a brace against Peterborough United on 28 November 2009. He returned to Stoke on 1 January 2010. He scored in the FA Cup against Manchester City and against Bolton. However after an awful performance against Chelsea he never played for Stoke again and was branded as ‘petulant’ by manager Tony Pulis.

Portsmouth

Kitson was announced as a Portsmouth player alongside Liam Lawrence on deadline deal as part of a deal which took Marc Wilson to Stoke City. Kitson made his Portsmouth debut on 11 September 2010 in a 0–0 draw with Ipswich at Fratton Park. He scored his first goal for the club in a 4–1 defeat at Crystal Palace on 14 September 2010 and a further 2 goals in a 6–1 win over Leicester at Fratton Park on 24 September 2010. In his first season, Kitson made 39 appearance and scored 8 goals. In his second season, along with Rocha, Kitson was frequently omitted from the squad before manager Steve Cotterill left to become manager of Nottingham Forest. Kitson claimed "the team are more united" after Cotterill’s departure. Kitson experienced a dip in form and was dropped to the bench by Cotterill’s successor, Michael Appleton. After some criticism by the fans and media Kitson scored his first Pompey goal since October 2011 when he scored away at Doncaster Rovers in the 90th minute with his hands to equalise; Márkó Futács scored minutes later to win the game for Pompey 4–3. This defeat kept Portsmouth in the division for another week at least and sent Doncaster down. Kitson agreed to leave the club in August 2012.

Sheffield United

On 31 August 2012, Kitson joined Sheffield United on a short-term deal, due to run until the end of December. He made his debut on 15 September 2012, coming on as a second-half substitute in the 1–1 draw with Bury. His first goal for the Blades came in a 1–1 draw against Notts County at Bramall Lane on 29 September 2012. On 16 November 2012 Kitson extended his contract until the end of the season, stating that "It wouldn’t have sat comfortably with me to leave a job half done after integrating myself into a great squad… I still would like to go to America but we will revisit that at a later date because the aim is to have a good crack at winning promotion here." Kitson played regularly for the remainder of the season, making 37 appearances in total and scoring eleven goals, but with the Blades failing to gain promotion he was released when his contract expired in June 2013.

Oxford United

On 27 June 2013 Kitson joined League Two side Oxford United, signing a two-year contract.

Career statistics

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Cambridge United 2000–01 Second Division 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 1
2001–02 Second Division 33 9 2 0 1 0 4 1 41 10
2002–03 Third Division 44 20 6 1 2 1 4 3 55 25
2003–04 Third Division 17 10 1 1 1 0 0 0 19 11
Total 102 40 9 2 4 1 8 4 123 47
Reading 2003–04 First Division 17 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 5
2004–05 Championship 37 19 0 0 0 0 0 0 37 19
2005–06 Championship 34 18 2 0 3 4 0 0 40 22
2006–07 Premier League 13 2 4 2 0 0 0 0 18 4
2007–08 Premier League 34 10 0 0 2 0 0 0 36 10
Total 135 54 6 2 5 4 0 0 146 60
Stoke City 2008–09 Premier League 16 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 18 0
2009–10 Premier League 18 3 2 1 2 1 0 0 22 5
Total 34 3 3 1 3 1 0 0 40 5
Reading (loan) 2008–09 Championship 10 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 12 2
Total 10 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 12 2
Middlesbrough (loan) 2009–10 Championship 6 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 3
Total 6 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 3
Portsmouth 2010–11 Championship 35 8 1 0 1 0 0 0 37 8
2011–12 Championship 33 4 1 0 1 0 0 0 35 4
Total 68 12 2 0 2 0 0 0 72 12
Sheffield United 2012–13 League One 33 11 2 1 0 0 2 0 37 12
Total 33 11 2 1 0 0 2 0 37 12
Career total 388 125 22 6 14 6 12 4 436 141
A.  The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Football League play-offs, and Football League Trophy.

Personal life

On 9 January 2008, Kitson was stopped by police whilst driving late at night near his home in Shinfield, Berkshire, and was charged with failing to provide a breath sample. He appeared at Reading Magistrates’ Court on 18 January 2008, and received an 18-month driving ban, a £1000 fine, and was ordered to pay £60 costs.

Early life

Born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, Kitson spent his early career in non-league football with Hitchin Town and Arlesey Town; his day job was working at national supermarket chain Sainsburys as a frozen food stacker.