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Damien Duff

Damien Duff is an Irish footballer who played international football for his country for 14 years and currently plays for Premier League team Fulham. He participated in the 2002 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012 competition as captain of the Ireland team. He is a member of the FIFA Century Club, having made his 100th international appearance against Italy at UEFA Euro 2012. Duff has previously played for Blackburn Rovers, with whom he won the Football League Cup, Chelsea, where he won two Premier League titles and another League Cup, and Newcastle United, where he won the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup. With Fulham he has played in the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final.

Irish Times

Damien Duff was born in Ballyboden, Dublin, on March 2nd 1979. He attended De La Salle College Churchtown for some years. After playing for Leicester Celtic, Lourdes Celtic and St Kevin's Boys as a schoolboy, Duff joined Blackburn Rovers as a trainee in 1996. He made his Blackburn debut at the age of 18 against Leicester City on the final day of the 1996-97 season, for which he won the 'Man of the Match' award. In his first full season (1997-98) he scored four goals. Blackburn were relegated the following season.

Duff helped Blackburn achieve promotion back to the Premier League in 2001 and then win the League Cup in 2002. Despite injury problems in the 2002-03 season, he finished as Rovers' top goalscorer with 11 league goals. In the run up to the 2003-04 season Chelsea made a series of bids for Duff, including a £17 million offer, eventually triggering a release clause in the player's contract. Duff then chose to move to West London and was instrumental in securing Chelsea's highest league finish for 49 years. In the 2004-05 season Duff scored ten goals, while the team won the Premiership title and the League Cup.

In July 2006, Duff agreed terms over a £5 million move to Newcastle United, signing a five-year contract. Injuries plagued him for the season. He moved to left-back and, in the final match of the 2008-09 season (which was against Aston Villa in a crucial relegation decider), Duff unluckily scored the deciding own-goal that sent his side down. Much as when he did when with Blackburn, Duff confirmed his intention to stay at the relegated club and help them back into the Premier League.

On 15 January 2011, Duff made his 500th career appearance in English football, playing the full 90 minutes. At the end of the 2010-11 season, Duff made 27 appearances and scored 4 goals in all competitions, including making 24 Premier League appearances. On 22 February 2013, Duff signed a new contract with Fulham, keeping him at the club until summer 2014.

While playing for the Republic of Ireland in Malaysia Duff scored the first ever Golden Goal in a World Cup match. He made his senior debut for the Republic of Ireland in 1998 against the Czech Republic. He played every game for Ireland at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and was voted the team's player of the tournament. He captained Ireland on his 100th cap against Italy in Ireland's final group game of the tournament, and Duff's own final match for Ireland, on 18 June 2012. He announced his retirement from international football on 24 August 2012.

Duff married his wife Elaine in June 2010 in Midsomer Norton. The couple's first child, Woody, was born a year later in Somerset and they now have another son, Darcy.


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