Dwight Eversley Yorke CM (born 3 November 1971) is a Trinidadian and Tobagonian professional football coach and former player who was most recently in charge of Australian A-League club Macarthur FC. Throughout his club career, he played for Aston Villa, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Sydney FC and Sunderland, mainly as a forward, between 1998 and 2009. Yorke formed a prolific strike partnership with Andy Cole at Manchester United, where he won numerous honours including several Premier League titles and the Treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League in 1999. Yorke scored 123 goals in the Premier League, a record for a non-European which was not broken until Sergio Agüero in 2017.[3]

Dwight Yorke
Yorke in 2012
Personal information
Full nameDwight Eversley Yorke[1]
Date of birth (1971-11-03) 3 November 1971 (age 52)[1]
Place of birthCanaan,[1] Trinidad and Tobago
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Position(s)Forward, winger
Youth career
1988–1989Signal Hill Comprehensive School
1989–1990Aston Villa
Senior career*
1990–1998Aston Villa231(73)
1998–2002Manchester United96(48)
2002–2004Blackburn Rovers60(12)
2004–2005Birmingham City13(2)
2005–2006Sydney FC22(7)
International career
1989–2009Trinidad and Tobago72(19)
Managerial career
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

At international level, Yorke represented Trinidad and Tobago on 74 occasions between 1989 and 2009, scoring 19 goals. He helped his nation reach the semi-finals of the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and later qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in its history, representing his country in the 2006 tournament. After retiring from playing in 2009, Yorke became assistant manager of the Trinidad and Tobago national team, a position he held until the completion of the qualifying matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Club career edit

Aston Villa edit

Yorke was first discovered by Graham Taylor, at the time the Aston Villa manager, on a tour of the West Indies in 1989. Yorke, aged 17, appeared in a team that played a friendly against Aston Villa. Taylor was impressed and offered Yorke a trial at Villa. Yorke was subsequently given a permanent contract and played for the Villa Reserve and Youth sides for the majority of the 1989–90 season, making his First Division debut for Aston Villa against Crystal Palace on 24 March 1990: Crystal Palace won the game 1–0. During his time with Aston Villa, from 1989 to 1998, Yorke played initially as a right winger until the 1995–96 season, he then switched to centre forward and established himself as one of the Premier League's top strikers.[citation needed]

Yorke was an integral member of the Villa team that reached the League Cup Final in 1996. Villa won 3–0 against Leeds United with Yorke getting on the scoresheet. On 30 September 1996 he scored a hat-trick against Newcastle United in a 4–3 defeat. Yorke appeared for Aston Villa on 284 occasions, scoring 97 times.[citation needed]

The circumstances of his departure from Aston Villa were controversial. John Gregory, Aston Villa's manager at that time, made it known that the club did not want to sell Yorke to Manchester United unless they were prepared to exchange striker Andy Cole. Yorke played for Villa on the opening day of the season at Everton on 15 August 1998, however it appeared he made little effort during the match as he was unhappy at not being allowed to leave the club. Villa were left with no option but to sell the player and he was transferred to Manchester United for £12.6 million on 20 August 1998.[4]

Manchester United edit

In his first season Yorke was a key player in guiding his club to a unique treble of the Premier League title, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League, and forming a legendary partnership with Andy Cole.[5] Yorke finished the season as the top league goalscorer with 18 goals and contributed goals against Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Inter Milan,[6] and Juventus in the Champions League, and he won the Premier League Player of the Season. Yorke was also a regular member of United's 1999–2000 title winning team, contributing 23 goals in all competitions.[citation needed]

Despite a less successful third season, Yorke scored his 100th Premier League goal in a 3-0 victory over Derby County on 24 November 2000[7] and also netted a hat-trick in the top of the table clash with Arsenal.[8] In January 2002 a move to Middlesbrough fell through.[9] He played his last game for United that month, and was not issued a squad number for the 2002–03 season.[10] Altogether he scored 65 goals for Manchester United in 152 appearances.[citation needed]

Blackburn Rovers edit

In July 2002, Yorke moved to Blackburn Rovers for an initial £2 million, potentially rising to £2.6 million; United had wanted a fee of £6 million.[10] He was signed to cover the long absence of Matt Jansen from a traffic accident, and was reunited with his former United strike partner Andy Cole.[10]

Yorke scored 13 goals in all competitions in his first season at Ewood Park, including the winner on 26 October 2002 as Rovers won 2–1 at reigning champions Arsenal.[11] The following 4 January on his return to Villa Park, he scored twice in a 4–1 win in the FA Cup third round.[12] On 11 May, in the last game of the season, he opened a 4–0 win at Tottenham Hotspur as Blackburn beat Everton to sixth place and UEFA Cup qualification.[13]

Birmingham City edit

On 31 August 2004, transfer deadline day, Yorke moved to Birmingham City on a one-year deal with the option of a second. Instead of a loan to Celtic, he chose to join Birmingham for a "substantial but undisclosed fee".[14] It was later reported as £250,000.[15]

Yorke scored on his home debut for Birmingham in a 1–1 draw against Charlton Athletic, with the equaliser seven minutes after replacing Clinton Morrison.[16] He scored again against Graeme Souness's Newcastle on 3 October.[17] However, Yorke fell out of favour at St Andrew's and was released by mutual consent in April 2005.[15]

Sydney FC edit

Yorke with Sydney FC in 2006

Yorke immediately signed for Sydney FC,[18] with a salary of $1 million a season. He scored the first goal for Sydney FC in its first A-League regular season match, a diving header against the Melbourne Victory. Yorke came to Sydney FC with the biggest pedigree of all players in the A-League, having won the treble with Manchester United. Yorke scored 7 goals in the A-League, with three of them being from penalty kicks. Sydney FC coach Pierre Littbarski moved Yorke into a midfield role and gave him the team captaincy.[citation needed]

He played a major role in leading Sydney FC to victory in the inaugural A-League Grand Final on 5 March against regional rivals Central Coast Mariners. He set up the only goal, scored by Steve Corica, in front of a sell out crowd of over 41,000 at the Sydney Football Stadium, and was awarded the Joe Marston Medal as best player in the grand final. Yorke was the marquee player for Sydney FC – meaning that his salary fell outside the salary cap. He was also a star name for the A-League as a whole. Aside from his footballing talents, the drawing power and credibility he brought both locally and internationally proved to be beneficial for the competition in its inaugural season, leading the Football Federation Australia to use his image and name for the promotion of the A-League's second season.[citation needed]

Due to the schedule of football in Australia, Yorke returned to Manchester United for training from March to June 2006, to retain fitness for the World Cup.[19]

Yorke returned to Sydney FC to take part in a friendly against Everton in 2010. The game was considered his 'farewell game' as he never had the chance to say a proper farewell to the fans at Sydney FC. Everton won the match 1–0, and Yorke was substituted midway through the second half.[20]

Sunderland edit

Yorke (left) playing for Sunderland in 2007

On 31 August 2006, Yorke's transfer to Sunderland was announced.[21] The transfer for a fee of £200,000 (A$ $500,000) re-united Yorke with ex-teammate Roy Keane, manager of Sunderland. Yorke made his debut in the home match against Leicester City and received a rapturous standing ovation from home fans when he came on as a substitute in the first half. Yorke was used as a defensive midfielder rather than his usual striker role.[22] He scored his first goal for Sunderland in the 2–1 loss against Stoke.

On 2 January 2008, during Sunderland's 1–0 defeat to Blackburn, Yorke was given a red card by referee Rob Styles. Yorke stated several times he would like to return to the A-League, preferably Sydney FC. However, following Sydney FC's signings at the time it seemed unlikely that Sydney would have been able to fit him under the salary cap. It was reported that Yorke play for rivals Central Coast Mariners, the team bankrolled by the man who brought him to Sydney, Peter Turnbull.[23]

On 11 March 2008, it was announced that the Mariners were in "advanced negotiations" with Yorke to become the marquee for two years.[24] However, on 1 July he signed a new one-year contract to stay with Sunderland for the 2008–09 season.[25] He was named man of the match for his performance[26] against Arsenal on 4 October 2008, with Sunderland drawing 1–1 at home. Following Keane's departure in December 2008, Yorke and Neil Bailey were named as assistants to Ricky Sbragia.[27] Yorke was released at the end of the 2008–09 season.[28]

Post-retirement edit

Yorke has completed his Level B coaching badge, and in 2010 was quoted as being interested in pursuing a career in coaching, ideally with Aston Villa.[29] On 17 April 2011 he completed the London Marathon in a time of 3 hours and 32 minutes.[30] On 14 August 2011, Yorke signed a two-year deal to work for Sky Sports as a pundit.[31]

International career edit

Yorke was capped 72 times for the Trinidad and Tobago national team, scoring 19 goals. Along with his friend Russell Latapy, Yorke was a member of the 1989 'Strike Squad', the national team which narrowly failed to qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup.[32] He retired from international football in 2001 after a disagreement with coach René Simões, who cut Yorke and Russell Latapy from the squad prior to a decisive game of the 2002 World Cup qualification, as both missed practice following a night partying.[33] However he returned to the team for the 2006 World Cup qualification campaign, in which the team qualified for the World Cup finals for the first time in their history after a 2–1 aggregate qualifying victory over Bahrain.[34]

Yorke was captain for all of Trinidad and Tobago's games at the 2006 World Cup and was man of the match in the 0–0 draw against Sweden, pipping his close friend Shaka Hislop to the honour despite the then West Ham goalkeeper making several world-class saves. He was one of six players in the Trinidad squad (the others being Brent Sancho, Dennis Lawrence, Chris Birchall, Carlos Edwards and Stern John) to have played every minute of the campaign. Yorke was rated the best defensive midfielder in the opening stages of the World Cup.[35]

Yorke announced his retirement from international football in March 2007, choosing to focus on his club career at Sunderland.[36] He captained the side in Germany, and up until his retirement. However, he made a guest return appearance for a friendly against England in June 2008 after being invited by FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.[37] On 10 July 2008, the TTFF announced Yorke's return to the national team for the 2010 World Cup qualification campaign.[38]

On 15 October 2008, he scored his first international goal after returning from retirement against the United States in a 2010 World Cup qualification match. The game ended 2–1 for Trinidad and Tobago. His goal was a crucial tie-breaker scored in the 79th minute, which put Trinidad and Tobago in a great situation to advance to the next qualifying stage, needing only a tie against Cuba in their final game. On 11 February 2009, Yorke scored a 26th-minute penalty for his country, but was sent off in the dying seconds of Trinidad and Tobago's opening match of 2010 World Cup qualification against El Salvador (2–2) after exchanging heated remarks with Mexican referee Marco Antonio Rodríguez (the Trini star had voiced his disapproval of the disruptions caused by the home crowd) and was consequently banned for four games due to his use of abusive language. The suspension was later reduced to two matches.[39]

After being released from Sunderland and being unable to find a club before the end of the current transfer window, Yorke retired from football altogether in September 2009, and took up the post of assistant manager with the Trinidad and Tobago national team.[40]

Management career edit

Early career edit

On 21 April 2019, Yorke was interviewed for the vacant role at National League side Sutton United. However, Sutton appointed Matt Gray Instead.[41]

On 12 November 2021, Aston Villa appointed Steven Gerrard as their new manager. Yorke said he was disappointed not to be hired instead.[42]

On 21 April 2022 it was reported that Yorke was being considered for the vacant manager's position at Perth Glory in the Australian A-League Men.[43]

On 25 May 2022, Yorke managed the A-Leagues All Stars in their 3–2 loss against FC Barcelona.[44]

Macarthur FC edit

On 1 July 2022, Yorke became the new manager of A-League Men side Macarthur FC, replacing Ante Milicic to become the club’s second manager.[45] Three months later, he led the club towards its first trophy after winning the 2022 Australia Cup Final.

Yorke left the Bulls in January 2023, the day after a 1–0 loss to Adelaide United.[46]

Personal life edit

Yorke in 2015

Yorke grew up as a Tottenham Hotspur fan and his first jersey was a white Tottenham Hotspur shirt.[47]

Yorke had a brief relationship with former model turned writer Katie Price that produced son Harvey, who was born in May 2002. He is autistic and partially blind, and has the genetic disorder Prader–Willi syndrome.[48] In a 2009 interview, Yorke conceded being unfaithful to Price during their relationship, and subsequently playing no role in the upbringing of their son. He has not claimed paternity.[49]

The Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago, constructed for the 2001 FIFA U-17 World Championship, was named in Yorke's honour. Yorke is a cricket fan. One of Yorke's closest friends is Brian Lara. During the 1999 Cricket World Cup, Yorke made regular appearances bringing on drinks for the West Indies cricket team. Yorke's older brother, Clint Yorke, is a former first-class cricketer who has represented the Trinidad and Tobago national cricket team as an opening batsman.[50]

Yorke featured extensively in an episode of Australia's The Biggest Loser, which aired on 28 February 2006. The episode involved Yorke coaching the "red team" of contestants while they competed against the "blue team" in a game of football. Mark Rudan, Yorke's Sydney FC teammate, was the manager of the "blue team".[citation needed]

As a member of the squad that competed at the 2006 World Cup, Yorke was awarded the Chaconia Medal (Gold Class), the second highest state decoration of Trinidad and Tobago.[51] He was also made a Sports Ambassador for the country.[citation needed]

Yorke released his autobiography, Born to Score, in 2009.[52]

In December 2018, Yorke avoided bankruptcy by paying a £1.5 million debt to HM Revenue and Customs.[53]

Career statistics edit

Club edit

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition[54]
ClubSeasonLeagueNational Cup[a]League Cup[b]ContinentalOtherTotal
Aston Villa1989–90First Division20000020
1990–91First Division182201000212
1991–92First Division321155201[c]14017
1992–93Premier League2764140357
1993–94Premier League122210000143
1994–95Premier League376214100438
1995–96Premier League351752864825
1996–97Premier League371722212[d]04320
1997–98Premier League301222107[d]24016
1998–99Premier League1010
Manchester United1998–99Premier League3218830011[e]85129
1999–2000Premier League32200011[e]24[f]14723
2000–01Premier League229202211[e]11[g]03812
2001–02Premier League10110103[e]01[g]0161
Blackburn Rovers2002–03Premier League33833423[d]04313
2003–04Premier League23410122[d]0276
2004–05Premier League4040
Birmingham City2004–05Premier League1321020162
Sydney FC2005–06A-League2172[h]1238
2007–08Premier League2010010211
2008–09Premier League70100080
Career total48114842203314501393615198
  1. ^ Includes FA Cup
  2. ^ Includes League Cup
  3. ^ Appearance in Full Members' Cup
  4. ^ a b c d Appearances in UEFA Cup
  5. ^ a b c d Appearances in UEFA Champions League
  6. ^ One appearance in FA Charity Shield, one in UEFA Super Cup, two appearances and one goal in FIFA Club World Cup
  7. ^ a b Appearance in FA Charity Shield
  8. ^ Appearances in FIFA Club World Cup

International edit

Appearances and goals by national team and year
National teamYearAppsGoals
Trinidad and Tobago1989102
Scores and results list Trinidad and Tobago's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Yorke goal.[55]
List of international goals scored by Dwight Yorke
19 July 1989Bridgetown, Barbados  Grenada2–11989 Caribbean Cup
321 May 1993Montego Bay, Jamaica  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines4–11993 Caribbean Cup
423 June 1996Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago  Dominican Republic8–01998 FIFA World Cup qualification
515 February 2000Los Angeles, United States  Guatemala4–22000 CONCACAF Gold Cup
67 May 2000Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago  Haiti3–12002 FIFA World Cup qualification
719 May 2000Port-au-Prince, Haiti  Haiti1–12002 FIFA World Cup qualification
88 July 2000Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago  Jamaica2–4Friendly
1016 July 2000Edmonton, Canada  Canada2–02–02002 FIFA World Cup qualification
1116 August 2000Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago  Panama6–02002 FIFA World Cup qualification
1323 June 2001Hamilton, Bermuda  Bermuda5–0Friendly
1428 February 2006London, England  Iceland2–0Friendly
167 October 2006Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines5–0Friendly
1715 October 2008Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago  United States2–12010 FIFA World Cup qualification
1819 November 2008Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago  Cuba3–02010 FIFA World Cup qualification
1911 February 2009San Salvador, El Salvador  El Salvador2–22010 FIFA World Cup qualification

Managerial statistics edit

As of 21 January 2023[56]
Macarthur FC 1 July 202221 January 20231910363719+18052.63

Honours edit

Player edit

Aston Villa

Manchester United

Sydney FC


Trinidad and Tobago


Manager edit

Macarthur FC

References edit

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External links edit