Buxton have managed to impress fans by signing an ex-Derby, Nott’m Forest, Sheff Utd player as the club’s new season begins.
Following a perfect pre-season campaign, the Bucks included seven new signings in their squad for the league opener against Bamber Bridge on Saturday.
The Northern Premier League Premier Division outfit surprised their supporters on Friday night with the recruitment of former Northern Ireland International Jamie Ward.
Ward’s a Buck! ⚽️
We’re excited to announce the signing of former Sheffield United, Derby County and Northern Ireland forward Jamie Ward 🖊
— Buxton Football Club (@Buxton_FC) August 13, 2021
He was placed on the bench with Buxton getting off to a strong start to the season with a 3-0 victory through goals from Clarke, De Girolamo and a debut late strike for Ben Milnes.
Jamie Ward then came onto the pitch to replace Ash Chambers on the 78th minute, getting a feel of what he was set to be up against at this level of football.
Buxton’s win in front of 400 fans sees them go top of the table, level on points with South Shields, Stafford Rangers, Ashton United, Warrington Town, Nantwich Town, Grantham Town, Atherton Collieries and Whitby Town who also picked up wins at the weekend in the league opener.
This Tuesday, they will travel on the road with a trip to Grantham Town, then next Saturday Buxton are also on the road with a visit to FC United of Manchester.
MORE ON JAMIE WARD:
Ward began his career as a trainee with Aston Villa and played in their 2004 FA Youth Cup Final, which they lost against Middlesbrough. He turned pro in July 2005 after recovering from injuries received in a car crash in 2004.
Although Ward was named as captain of Aston Villa’s reserve team, he didn’t make a first team appearance and in March 2006 he joined Stockport County on loan until the end of the season, making his league debut in a 1–0 win away to Bury on the 7th of March. He made nine appearances, scoring once in a 3–1 home victory against Shrewsbury Town.
At the end of the 2005–06 campaign, Ward was released by Villa and in July 2006 he signed a three-year contract with Ian Atkins’ Torquay, despite interest from Stockport and Wrexham. However, with a change of ownership and manager at Torquay, Ward asked for a transfer in December 2006.
Ward joined Chesterfield, managed by ex-Torquay manager Roy McFarland, on the 31st of January 2007 on a two-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee.
He started the 2007–08 season rather brightly, though in only his second game, against Sheffield United, he again pulled his hamstring and fought back to match fitness, scoring twelve goals for the Spireites that season.
He began the 2008–09 season as a first choice, with his form attracting attention from higher-level clubs such as Derby County and Sheffield United.
He turned down the offer of a new contract with Chesterfield in December 2008, with his existing contract set to expire at the end of the season. In January 2009, Championship side Barnsley made a bid for Ward for £400,000 which had been accepted. However, the move was called off after he failed to agree personal terms with the club.
Having rejected the Tykes, Ward then agreed a three and a half-year deal with Sheffield United in January 2009 with the clubs agreeing a fee of around £330,000.
Ward scored his first goal for the Blades in only his second appearance, a 2–1 victory at Southampton in February of the same year. Sheffield United conceded an injury time equaliser before Ward regained the lead in the 93rd minute. He then played regularly for the remainder of the season, scoring a further goal in the process. His season finished on a low note however as he was sent off for two handballs in the 2009 playoff final against Burnley at Wembley.
Having been suspended for the first two games of the following season Ward returned in fine form, finding the net four times in seven games, including the opener in the Bramall Lane leg of that season’s Steel City derby against Sheffield Wednesday. Unfortunately he was stretchered off the field later in that game following a suspected hamstring tear. On returning to the team in November, Ward played regularly without regaining his early form before again succumbing to an injury in April which sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
Returning to fitness, Ward started the 2010–2011 season as a regular first team player but an early suspension following a red card in the local derby against Leeds, added with further injury problems and a loss of form meant that he could not hold down a regular spot in the first team.
As the Blades struggled, and with new manager Micky Adams wanting to re-build the team, Ward was loaned to fellow relegation-threatened Championship side Derby in mid-February for three months, with a view to a permanent deal. He made his debut on the 19th of February, starting in a 0–0 draw with Scunthorpe. He started the next game, a 1–0 defeat to Hull, but missed the third, a 1–0 win at his parent club Sheffield United, as he was ineligible under the terms of his loan.
He started all of the next 10 games, helping them to two wins and four draws. His first goal for the club was a penalty in a 2–1 defeat against Middlesbrough on the 8th of March and scored again on the 19th of March, a stunning 35-yard strike in a 2–2 draw against Crystal Palace. For his efforts, he was performance in the Championship’s “Team of the Week”. He then won two penalties in two games, the first for a late consolation in a 4–1 defeat to Cardiff on in April, and the second for Derby’s equaliser in a 2–2 draw with Coventry a few days later on the 9th of April.
He scored again in the following game, a 2–1 win against Leeds on the 12th of April. His fourth goal for the club was a 20-yard strike in the 30th minute against Burnley on the 23rd of April to put the Rams 2–1 up. In the 61st minute, he conceded a penalty, was shown a straight red card for fouling Tyrone Mears in the 18-yard box. Burnley won the match 4–2 and Ward was suspended for the next 2 games before returning for the final match of the season, against Reading on the 7th of May. He equalised with a superb 25-yard goal but Derby went on to lose the game 2–1. Derby successfully avoided relegation to League One, something his parent club failed to manage. With his loan spell adjudged a success, two days after the end of Derby’s season, Ward signed a permanent 2-year contract with the option of a year extension, for an undisclosed fee.
Some of Jamie Ward’s memorable moments as a Ram… 🥳🐏 pic.twitter.com/y1jk9OWGTt
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) May 12, 2020
On the 17th of September 2011, Ward scored his first goal as a full Derby player with the equaliser against Nottingham Forest, as Derby won 2-1. The goal won the club’s Goal of the Season award. Ward started all of Derby’s (32 games, four goals) league games (bar the League Cup game against Shrewsbury Town when he was on international duty). Ward’s run of starts ended after the game against Leicester when Ward picked up a thigh injury whilst on international duty in February. Ward was out of action for five weeks, before making his first team return in a goalless draw against Ipswich on the 7th of April 2012. In the game against Cardiff 10 days later, Ward was substituted early in the second half after picking up a dead leg. Ward was fit enough to start the following game at Portsmouth.
Despite his contract still a year left, Derby coach John Metgod stated that the club were in contract talks with Ward during April 2012. Ward signed a new two-year contract on the 19th of April 2012, with an option for a further year which will extend his stay at Derby until at least the summer of 2014. Nigel Clough stated in a July 2012 interview that Ward could feature more as a striker in the 2012–13 season.
Ward started the first four league games of the season as a striker, got an assist in the 2–2 home draw against Sheffield Wednesday and providing two assists and scoring Derby’s fifth goal in the 5–1 home win against Watford.
Ward scored his first brace for the club in a 3–2 win against Charlton, a 25-yard volley and a penalty and scored again four days later opening the scoring in a 2–1 loss against Burnley. In October 2012, Ward picked up a Grade One tear of his hamstring during the East Midlands derby game at Nottingham Forest. Two months later, on the 6th of December, Clough stated he was unsure when Ward would return to the squad and stated his frustration at the injury. However, a day before Derby’s game at Charlton on the 29th of December, Clough stated that Ward was set to return to the matchday squad as a substitute after a three-month absence. Ward featured as a 68th-minute sub and scored the equalising penalty in the 72nd minute in the 1–1 draw against Charlton. However, he picked up another injury in the match and was replaced in the 83rd minute.Ward missed the following game due to the injury.
Ward scored six times in January and February 2013, which took his tally to eleven goals. Ward picked up a new hamstring injury in March, during Derby’s 1–0 defeat to Crystal Palace. He wasn’t in the team until the 16th of March, when he played 63 minutes in Derby’s 2–1 win at home to Leicester. On the 29th of March he scored his 12th goal of the season in Derby’s 3–0 over Bristol City. Ward also missed a spot kick after three minutes of the match. He missed the next game, a 2–1 win against Leeds, but played the final five games of the season, missing another penalty against Ipswich. Ward finished 3rd in the voting for Derby’s player of the season despite missing significant portions of the season through injury and was also named the 87th best player in the 2012–13 Championship by the Actim Index.
Ward played in all of Derby’s first 16 league games, starting 14 of them for the 2013/14 season. He scored his first goal on the 1st of October in a 4–4 draw against Ipswich. He scored a brace against Watford in a 3–2 away win on the 19th of October and another in the following game, a 1–1 draw with Birmingham on the 26th of October.
He scored the only goal of the game on the 23rd of November as Derby beat Bournemouth 1–0, powering home a Craig Forsyth cross past former Derby keeper Lee Camp. He was subbed in the 79th minute after injuring his knee and after precautionary scans, he was ruled out for a fortnight. However, he only missed one match and returned ahead of schedule, in the club’s 2–1 win against Middlesbrough on the 4th of December. He scored his sixth goal of the season, a 25-yard free kick, in a 2–0 win at Charlton on the 14th of December.
In July 2015, Ward signed for Nottingham Forest on a four-year deal, after his contract with the Rams had expired at the end of the season. This was a shock transfer, given that Ward had often played a controversial and provocative role in recent games between the two sides.
Ward acknowledged this in an interview with BBC East Midlands Today, but stressed that his focus was now on Forest: “I think quite a few people will be surprised but I am delighted to be here and Nottingham Forest is the only thing that counts now… [the controversy] was to spice up the local rivalry and it got me a bit more stick than I wanted. I enjoyed it at the time but hopefully the fans can see past that and get behind me.”
Ward scored his first goal for the club in an FA Cup tie against QPR in January 2016. This was followed up a week later by his first league goal, and two assists, in a MOTM performance against Bolton. His good form continued with Ward scoring to secure Forest an away victory against Middlesbrough, who were at the top of the table prior to this fixture.
Between 2015 and 2019, he was loaned out to Burton Albion, Charlton Athletic and Cardiff City, before leaving Forest in 2019 and signed for Scunthorpe, with that spell lasting a year, and then went to Solihull Moors.
🏆 Jamie Ward’s strike against Aston Villa has been voted for #BurtonAlbion’s December goal of the month.
— Burton Albion FC (@burtonalbionfc) January 5, 2017
Jamie Ward, born in Birmingham, qualified for Northern Ireland through his grandfather. He made two appearances for the Northern Ireland under-18 team and a further seven for the under-21 team. After a promising start to his career at Sheffield United, Ward was called into the senior team in March 2009 ahead of two World Cup qualifiers against Poland and Slovenia. Ward was an unused sub for the two games in which Northern Ireland won back-to-back games and enhanced their chance of reaching the World Cup in South Africa.
Ward won his first full cap for Northern Ireland in a Euro 2012 qualifier against the Faroe Islands in August 2011, with his first start coming in a 2–0 defeat away to Russia in their first 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier. On the 6th of September 2013, Ward scored his first goal in a 2–4 home defeat against Portugal. On 28 May 2016, Jamie Ward was named in Michael O’Neill’s squad for Euro 2016. He hasn’t made an international appearance since 26 March 2017.
WARD’S CAREER STATS:
2005–2006 – Aston Villa
2006 → Stockport County (loan) – 9 games (1 goal)
2006–2007 – Torquay United – 25 games (9 goals)
2007–2009 – Chesterfield – 67 games (29 goals)
2009–2011 – Sheffield United – 63 games (9 goals)
2011 → Derby County (loan) – 13 games (5 goals)
2011–2015 – Derby County – 125 games (29 goals)
2015–2019 – Nottingham Forest – 57 games (3 goals)
2016–2017 → Burton Albion (loan) – 18 games (4 goals)
2018 → Cardiff City (loan) – 4 games (0 goals)
2018 → Charlton Athletic (loan) – 9 games (1 goal)
2019–2020 – Scunthorpe United – 6 games (2 goals)
2020– Solihull Moors – 19 games (3 goals)
Northern Ireland U18
2006–2008 – Northern Ireland U21 – 7 games (2 goals)
2011– Northern Ireland – 35 games (4 goals)
As mentioned, Buxton impress fans by signing the ex-Derby, Nott’m Forest, Sheff Utd player…
@DCFC_CMH: Cold up there Jamie, need a jumper at least, good luck matey, wonderful set up there 🙌🙌🙌⚽️
@Coops_011287: All the best Jamie. Loved watching you in a Derby shirt so I’m sure you’ll be an invaluable asset to the bucks
@_Lalkovic11: What is going on *confused fangirl screams*
@Richardwhitwor7: Great signing, welcome to the club Jamie
@j_palmer1992: Congrats Wardy.. still think you could do a job for Derby though.
@SteveCrossley80: Cracking signing
@lewiscfcgtfc: All the best Jamie love it
@MarkHowsham: this is becoming the ex blades outfit
@derbyshaun: Brilliant player. Good luck Jamie.
@champagneuzi: What a signing
@SamBot2k17: Good luck Jamie Up The Bucks
@lukeash10: What a signing 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
@trigger1969_: Great signing for the Bucks gave his all at Derby
@bensmyth18: How does he still look 14?
@METwedds: What a signing that is 👏