Some players seem to love a scrap at the bottom of the table
West Brom put up a surprisingly long fight against relegation, eventually taking it to the last week. At least they could look to old hands like Ben Foster, who's suffered three previous demotions in his career: was on loan at Wrexham for the second half of 2004/05 when they got relegated from the third tier, at Watford for their doomed 2006/07 top-flight campaign, and had been bought by Birmingham by the time of their 2011 demotion from the Premier League.
But Foster is far from the only player to have suffered multiple relegations during his career. Here we present 10 players who've experienced that sinking feeling more times than most....
David Wetherall: 3 relegations with 1 club
Yorkshireman Wetherall didn't suffer a relegation until a fortnight after his 30th birthday. But in nailing his colours to the mast of Bradford's sinking ship, he played in all four divisions for the Bantams. Following a move from Leeds United in 1999, his first season with Bradford was to be the pinnacle, with Wetherall scoring the winning goal against Liverpool to keep his team in the Premier League.
As joyous as that moment was, it wouldn’t last: City were relegated from the Premier League in 2001 and the second tier in 2004. By the time Colin Todd was sacked in February 2007 the club were destined to drop into the basement – and player-manager Wetherall was unable to stop them.
Paul Dougherty: 3 relegations with 1 club
Dougherty was relegated three times in successive seasons as Wolves plummeted through the divisions between 1984 and 1987, with the teenage Dougherty playing a bit part before moving across the Atlantic to play in the US – where, a cynic might note, many leagues eschew automatic relegation.
He played for 16 teams Stateside in a 20-year career that encompassed both indoor and outdoor soccer, representing the likes of Montreal Impact, Chicago Fire and the Colorado Rapids before moving into coaching with the San Diego Flash and the University of California.
Paul Garner and Tony Kenworthy: 3 relegations (each) with 1 club
Back in the day, clubs used to yo-yo up and down the divisions. In the 1960s, Northampton Town went from the Fourth Division to the First and back again inside nine seasons; Swansea did the same around the turn of the 1980s; and in between, Sheffield United almost did the reverse, falling from the top tier to Division Four and back up to Division Two between 1976 and 1984.
Garner and Kenworthy remained with the club throughout this period and Kenworthy went closest to registering a complete set of three promotions and three relegations with the 1985/86 push to (re-)reach the top flight. However United fell from being second at the end of November to seventh.
Fabio da Silva: 3 relegations with 3 clubs
Considering they're identical twins, the Da Silvas have had very different careers. True, they've both been capped by Brazil, bought by Manchester United and won the 2010/11 Premier League title, but the CV similarities ended shortly after their 22nd birthday.
Fabio was loaned for 2012/13 to QPR, who were then relegated, before being sold in January 2014 to Cardiff City, who were then relegated. In summer 2016 he moved to Middlesbrough, who were then relegated. Meanwhile Rafael added the 2012/13 Premier League title (he'd also played enough games for a winner's medal in 2009) before moving in 2015 to French side Lyon, where he has enjoyed European football every season.
Roger Johnson: 4 relegations with 3 clubs
Roger Johnson had a great career up to about 2010. Coming up the hard way via lower-league Wycombe and second-tier Cardiff, he was so impressive for top-flight Birmingham that he was tipped as a possible squad member for England's World Cup in South Africa. He dodged that bullet but Blues were relegated in summer 2011; he stayed in the Premier League with Wolves, who were promptly demoted not just once but twice in successive seasons, meaning Johnson had acquired an unwanted hat-trick of three consecutive relegations.
In summer 2013 new Wolves gaffer Kenny Jackett ostracised a number of players including Johnson. His stop-start career since has included short spells at Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham, Pune City and Charlton – with whom, in 2016, he suffered his fourth relegation.
Rob Green: 4 relegations with 3 clubs
Rob Green has been relegated on four occasions with three of the sides he’s played for. His first fall from grace came with Norwich in 2004/05, before he suffered a similar fate at West Ham in 2010/11 and twice at QPR in 2012/13 and 2014/15, the latter coming after just one season back in the top flight and being confirmed by a 6-0 defeat to Manchester City.
Green is back in the Premier League with Huddersfield Town this season following a year with Leeds United in the Championship. The Terriers will be hoping Green doesn’t make it five career relegations come the end of the campaign, but after a bright start the club are just three points outside the relegation zone with an inferior goal difference to many around them.
Curtis Davies: 4 relegations with 3 clubs
Curtis Eugene Davies hasn't had a dull career. Released by Wimbledon at 15, he caught the eye at Luton and moved to top-flight West Brom for £3m in August 2005. They were relegated in 2006 but Davies, at barely 20 years old, had become their second-youngest captain ever. After an unhappy spell at Aston Villa he switched to Birmingham City in January 2011, just in time to be cup-tied for their League Cup Final but present for their relegation.
Picked up by freshly-promoted Hull City in 2013, he scored against Arsenal to put Hull 2-0 up in the 2014 FA Cup Final but they lost, were relegated in 2015, promoted in 2016 and relegated again in 2017. Well, it's better than a boring life.
Marcus Bent: 4 relegations with 4 clubs
The very definition of a journeyman footballer, Bent played for no fewer than 16 teams in his football career, suffering relegation from the Premier League on four occasions – twice alongside Hermann Hreidarsson at Crystal Palace and Ipswich before going on to face the disappointment of demotion with Leicester and Charlton.
In his heyday a useful centre-forward for top-flight clubs of a certain stature, Bent was last seen playing for non-league Wick after a spell in Indonesia with Mitra Kutai.
Nathan Blake: 5 relegations with 4 clubs
Nobody has been relegated from the Premier League more than Nathan Blake. The Cardiff-born striker was first relegated with Sheffield United in 1993/94, then twice at Bolton in 1996 and 1998, at Blackburn the following season and again at Wolves in 2004.
Since retiring from the game in 2006 following spells with Leicester City, Leeds United and Newport County, Blake has become a successful property developer and was named Best Supporting Actor at Film Fest Cymru 2014 for his role in The Homing Bird, portraying a football coach. Perhaps he told his fictional charges not to get relegated.
Hermann Hreidarsson: 5 relegations with 5 clubs
Capped 89 times by the Icelandic national side, Hreidarsson was a mainstay in the Premier League in the late 90s and early 2000s. Well, kind of His relegation from the top division with Portsmouth in 2010 meant that Hreidarsson had been relegated with each of the five Premier League clubs he represented in his career in England, with Pompey joining Crystal Palace, Wimbledon, Ipswich and Charlton as the clubs that dropped into English football's second tier while Hreidarsson was on their books.
The former centre-back is now assistant coach at Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters, working under former Pompey team-mate David James.
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