Jamie Cureton is a former England Youth international with a
remarkable eye for goal. He scored 82 times in 90 Youth team matches
and had a similarly impressive rate for the Reserves. However
he has not always impressed the occupants of the Carrow Road managerial
seats and was never a first team regular whether under John
Deehan, Martin O'Neill , Gary Megson or Mike Walker. Prior
to joining Norwich, Jamie had a week long trial aged 14 at Manchester
United. Sir Alex Ferguson called to offer him a contract. “When my Dad took the call from Sir Alex, I just said no. I was a United fan as well so I’m not sure why – maybe loyalty to Norwich, where I already was, or perhaps I thought I would not get the same chance to break through at United,. I’d been up to Old Trafford at Easter and in the summer holidays and the others were all there – David Beckham’s only a few months older than me. The one thing that group did not have was a prolific centre-forward, which I was, so you wonder what might have been. But you can’t dwell on it too much. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my career and I still love it.”
He made his debut in a goalless draw against Everton on 5th November
1994 and scored his first senior goal just thirteen seconds after
coming on as substitute against Chelsea on December 10th 1994.
At the start of the 1996-1997 season, Jamie had made 29 league
appearances for the Canaries scoring six times. Of these, the
most striking was the April 1996 derby with Ipswich in which Jamie
sported a remarkable green hairstyle. A spell on loan to Bournemouth
produced another 5 appearances. The return of Mike Walker as Norwich
manager did not provide any further opportunities for Jamie to
play for the first team. A successful loan spell at Bristol Rovers
where he scored with frightening regularity was followed by a
permanent move to this his hometown side.
Norwich fans wished Jamie all the best especially as there was
a sell-on clause in the transfer deal. In the 1998 close season,
Bristol Rovers made all their squad available for transfer in
order to generate funds to keep top scorer Barry Hayles at the
club. Jamie's 13 goals made him a potential target. Since Hayles
joined Fulham in mid November 1998 for £2million, a greater
reliance was placed on Jamie to score the goals for Rovers. Jamie
lived up to this on Saturday 16th January 1999 when he scored
four goals for Rovers in their 6-0 away win against Reading. The
unlucky Royals keeper was Scott Howie. Jamie's form for Bristol Rovers earned him the
attention of both Birmingham City and Norwich. He ended the 1998/99
season as the Second Division's leading scorer with 29 goals.
According to Yahoo's
Teamtalk service, Burnley made enquiries about taking Jamie
to Turf Moor for the new season.
Jamie's impressive form continued into the 1999/2000 season and
Sport First reported on 7th November that Tottenham had
made initial enquiries although they had also been linked with
Wimbledon's Carl Cort, Man United's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Celtic's
Marc Viduka. If Tottenham opted for Jamie's services, they would
face competition from Fulham, Bolton and Wolves, according to
the 28th November edition of Sport First. They predict
a £1.5million move before the New Year. In January 2000, Sport
First speculated that Jamie would be joining Leicester for
£2million despite interest from Spurs and Aston Villa. On 30th
January 2000, the Sunday People reported that West Bromwich
Albion were looking to spend the £4million received from Juventus
for Enzo Maresca on a new forward. Jamie was mentioned along with
Fulham's Barry Hayles although Teamtalk added Iwan
Roberts to this shortlist. The West Brom link resurfaced on
14th May 2000 in The Sunday Mirror whilst other sources
strongly linked Jamie with a move to First Division Stockport
County with Jamie supposedly disillusioned at Rovers' failure
to gain promotion.
In July 2000, both Jamie and his striking partner Jason Roberts
requested transfers and were placed on the transfer list. Scottish
side Hibs stepped in with a transfer bid on 23rd July 2000 rumoured
to be either £350,000 or £500,000. Rovers dismissed the bid as
being too small though Jamie expressed an interest in joining
a big club like Hibs. Despite the hopes of Norwich fans that Jamie
would re-sign for the Canaries to replace Craig
Bellamy, Jamie instead signed for Reading on 21st August 2000
for a fee of £250,000. Jamie's goals were instrumental in taking
Reading to a place in the Division Two play-off finals but despite
scoring the opening goal in the final at the Millennium Stadium,
Reading lost 3-2 to Walsall and so will remain in Division 2 for
another season. Reading's failure to gain promotion provoked comments
from Cureton as to the future of his own career. These in turn
sparked speculation from the likes of Teamtalk
who suggested that ambitious/wealthy Cardiff would be keen to
sign him. West Bromwich Albion were also linked with the possibility
of renewing Jamie's striking partnership with ex-Rovers forward
Jason Roberts. This move became more likely following the Baggies'
sale of Lee Hughes to Coventry for £5million in August 2001 although
any such move would take place after Jamie returned from the injuries
that prevented him making the start of the 2001/02 season.
In January 2002, Jamie was linked with a move to QPR as he had
not been a regular in the Reading side. However he stayed in Berkshire
and scored the equaliser in the 20th April clash with Brentford
that gave Reading second place in Division Two and promotion.
Speculation linked Jamie with a £400k return to Norwich
in December 2002 as he was not playing in Reading's starting eleven.
Jamie had hinted earlier in the season that he would not rule
out a return to Carrow Road when his contract expires at the end
of the 2002/03 season. The media also speculated that Charlton
boss Alan Curbishley might make a move for Cureton during the
January 2003 transfer window whilst Bolton were also said to be
At the end of the season, he was linked with a move to QPR where
he would team again with manager Ian Holloway who had been at
Rovers with him. Bristol Rovers are also said to be keen to re-sign
Jamie whilst Bolton boss Sam Allardyce is said to be a big fan.
Jamie revealed that he also had interest from clubs in Korea and
the USA, and he embarked on a trial with DC United - with whom
Paul Dalglish had trialled the previous
year. Bristol City were the next club said to show an interest
in Cureton's services - possibly as part of a deal that would
take one of City's starlets (Murray or Doherty) to Reading.
Whilst Jamie hoped for contact from Norwich City, whom he described
as a "special club, this was not forthcoming. Therefore he
opted to sign for his old manager Ian Porterfield who was managing
South Korean side Pusan Icons (also Busan Icons). Jamie signed
in early July for the Icons an eighteen month contract that will
see him through to November 2004. Jamie said that of the offers
from English sides there was "nothing to match what has
been offered to me in Korea". He described the facilities
as Premiership in style and the standard of the game as comparable
to the English Division One. Prior to his move, Jamie had scored
139 goals in 365 matches in English competitive football.
Jamie didn't settle in Korea and was released from his contract
in November 2003. Whilst QPR were the favourities to sign him,
Bristol City were also been linked as have Brighton. In the first
week of January 2004, Jamie joined Sunderland on trial. Bristol
City manager Danny Wilson also revealed that he had been in close
contact with Jamie's agent. BBC Ceefax linked Jamie with a move
to Peterborough on Thursday 29th January 2004. This was reported
as a done deal in many other media sources but Jamie surprisingly
signed for QPR, on 2nd February 2003, whose manager Ian Holloway
he knew from his time with Bristol Rovers. His first few months
at Loftus Road finished with QPR promoted into Division One.
In March 2005, speculation linked Cureton with a move to Rangers'
West London neighbours Brentford but this was dismissed by Bees'
manager Martin Allen. In May 2005, QPR announced that they wouldnot
renew Jamie's contract. Cureton and colleague Tony Thorpe were
linked with a move to Swindon on May 23d 2005. This materialised
on 1st July 2005 with Thorpe signing a one year deal with Swindon
and Cureton signing for two years. They replaced Ipswich-bound
Sam Parkin. Jamie was unable to make an impact in the Swindon
first team and on 21st October, was loaned to Colchester initially
for a month, making his debut the following day as substitute
against Tranmere. In the end, Jamie stayed at Colchester until
the beginning of January 2005. He scored seven goals in nine starts
for the U's as they went on a uccessful streak of losing just
once in fourteen games. Colchester are hoping that Swindon will
loan Cureton to them again later in the season. This didn't happen
but following Swindon's relegation to League Two, a clause in
Cureton's contract suggested that he would be free to leave the
County Ground. Colchester were then linked with a swoop for him
on 28th May 2006 in The News of the World. This came true
on 5th June 2006 with Cureton indeed invoking a clause in his
contract to ensure a free transfer following Swindon's relegation
Cureton had an impressive first season at Layer Road with his
24 goals winning him the Championship's Golden Boot award. On
5th June 2007, he handed in a transfer request stating that he
is concerned the club's ambitions do not match his. The 31-year-old
had one year to run on his current contract and it is understood
the club have been negotiating an extension with him. Former club
Norwich admitted that they were keen to sign him and Cureton expressed
a desire to return to Norwich. Hull City also made a bid of £250,000
but Colchester replied saying they wanted three times that figure.
Jamie returned to Norwich on 29th June 2007 for an undisclosed
fee. He made his second debut for Norwich in the 5-2 defeat of
Barnet in the first round of the Carling Cup on 14th August 2007
with Jamie scoring twice - the first coming just over two minutes
into the match.
Cureton scored his first senior hat-trick for the Canaries in
the 5-1 win over his former club Colchester United on 22nd March
2008.This took him to a career total of 199 goals.He finished
his first season back with the Canaries scoring 14 goals.
Out of favour at Norwich during the autumn of 2008, Cureton asked
to go out on loan to get some first team fitness. On 27th November
2008, he was loaned to Barnsley for three months, although Norwich
can recall him within 24hrs after 28days. He made his debut in
the 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest on 29th November 2008. Akthough
ineligible for Barnsley's match at Carrow Road on 17th January
2009, Norwich recalled Cureton on 14th January 2009 shortly after
the sacking of Glenn Roeder.
Falling out of manager Paul Lambert's
plans in the autumn / winter 2009, speculation was rife that Cureton
would be off-loaded in the January 2010 transfer window and on
4th January, Cheltenham manager Mark Yates was rumoured to have
Cureton on his wish-list whilst Gillingham were also linked. Instead
Jamie signed for Shrewsbury on 17th February 2010 on loan until
the end of the 2009/10 season. He returned on 6th May 2010 having
played 12 games for the Shrews but without scoring.
On 14th May 2010, Norwich announced that they would not be renewing
Jamie's contract that was due to expire at the end of the 2009/10
season. He had made 8 appearances, scoring twice during 2009/10
At the end of May 2010, Jamie was linked with a move to Walsall.
Jamie said: Id be interested, definitely. They
are a good club and Ive always enjoyed playing there. Its
the area I want to get to, because its close to Bristol
and my family are there. It appeals me and Im waiting for
the phone to ring. Ive always enjoyed playing there, they
play a good brand of football and I know Darren Byfield as well.
Cureton then joined Exeter on trial in July 2010, saying "It
would definitely interest me if I was offered something at Exeter.
It's been good down there so far. Training has been enjoyable,
the lads are a good bunch and I have been really impressed with
the training ground, so I have enjoyed every minute I have been
down there so far.'
After singing on non-contract terms and playing in the Grecians'
first two league games of the 2010/11 season as substitute, he
was offered and signed a permanent contract with Exeter on 26th
August 2010. After scoring 10 goals for Exeter, he signed an extended
contract until the end of the 2010/11 season
In June 2011, Cureton was linked with a return to Bristol Rovers
following his 20 goals for Exeter (which earned him the player
of the year award), with Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale admitting
he's unlikely to be able to hang on to the striker. Cureton told
the Pink Un that he was looking to move on again as his
family are still based in Essex. Cureton said: We spoke
about a contract but I felt I wanted to see what options were
out there. I had to live away from my missus, who was in Essex,
all last season so the plan for the summer was to see what other
options there were and it looks as if I can make a decision next
Jamie signed for Leyton Orient on a one year contract at the
beginning of July 2011. The fact Leyton Orient did well
last year was a big factor in me wanting to come here, said
Cureton. I was impressed with the way they played, they
had a good set-up and only just missed out on the play-offs. The
manager is very enthusiastic and wanted to bring me to the club.He
spoke very well about what his plans were and that impressed me.
Its a club that wants to give it a really good go.
I dont want to be somewhere thats just happy to sit
around Orient look like they are moving in the right direction
and there is no reason why we cant do very well in the league
Jamie returned to Exeter on 2nd March 2012 on loan until the
end of the season. In a first for Exeter one of the club's sponsors,
solicitors firm Follett Stock, will fund Cureton's wages. "Jamie's
not featuring in their team at present and a few things seemed
to fit in place," manager Paul Tisdale said. "We
agreed it today with Leyton Orient and we're very pleased that
he's going to spend the remainder of the season with us."
However his arrival was not enough to prevent Exeter being relegated
to League Two on 28th April 2012.
He left Orient in May 2012 when his contract expired and was
quickly linked with a return to Bristol Rovers after scorign a
hat-rtick for a Rovers' Legends side.
On 31st July 2012, Jamie signed for Exeter along with Matt Oakley
although the Grecians refused to say how long their contract were
for. It was later revealed in an article with FourFourTwo
that it was a one year contract
Despite being 37, Jamie was named in FourFourTwo magazine's
Top 50 Football League players (in 50th position) as he was the
second leading scorer in League Two at the time of publication.
Despite scoring 21 goals in 42 appearances during 2012/13, Exeter
announced on 3rd May 2013 that they would not be renewing his
contract when it expired at the end of June 2013 as the Grecians
had a reduced playing budget for 2013/14. He then entered talks
with Cheltenham Town He eventually signed a one year cottract
with Cheltenham on 17th June 2013. "I was quite settled
at Exeter but they weren't able to offer me a contract,"
Cureton told BBC Gloucestershire. "I've seen the progress
the club [Cheltenham] has made after playing against them and
I was impressed."
Cureton scored his 250th career goal in Cheltenham's clash with
Dagenham on 12th October 2013.
Cureton was released by Cheltenham at the end of the 2013/14
season (7th May 2014) despite scoring 11 goals in 36 appearances.
He was then linked with Conference new boys Torquay and Bristol
Rovers as well as Dagenham and a return to Cheltenham. He eventually
signed a one year contract with Dagenham on 24th July 2014. Dagenham
are the 14th club of his playing career. His 19 goals in the 2014/15
season saw him finish as second highest scorer in the division.
Nine goals in 43 appearances could not prevent Dagenham & Redbridge being relegated from League Two on April 16th 2016. Cureton left the Daggers and sought a League Two club to play for in 2016/17.
In July 2016, Cureton trained with former club Colchester United to keep fit but played against them for Maldon & Tiptree in a pre-season friendly
In August 2016, he signed a short term contract with Southern League side Farnborough whilst still hoping for a contract with a league side. He switched to Conference side Eastleigh on 22nd September 2016.
On 1st December 2016, Cureton left Eastleigh following the departure of manager Ronnie Moore and the arrival of Martin Allen. He signed for St Albans City on 8th December 2016. Saints manager, Ian Allinson, said: “Jamie has always been a goalscorer and when he became available I had no doubt in my mind that I wanted to bring him to Clarence Park and strengthen the squad as we go into a busy period. We have had to beat of competition from a number of different clubs to secure Jamie’s signature, I would like to thank the owners for backing me with this deal.”
In June 2017, Cureton was part of the England team that won the Veterans World Cup in Thailand. Cureton was the star performer in the tournament as he scored in every game to secure England victory, netting in their opening 7-0 win over the USA, scoring a brace in a 2-1 win over New Zealand before also getting on the scoresheet twice in a 6-1 semi-final rout of Australia. England faced Iran in the final, with Cureton and Lee Trundle scoring to earn a 2-0 win that saw the side retain the trophy.
On 13th September 2016, it was reported that Jamie had joined Arsenal's academy as a coach working with the Under-15s and Under-16s whilst continuing his playing career with Farnborough.He also had dual registration with St Albans City. In January 2018, he moved to Bishops Stortford, making his debut on New Years Day against Royston Town. The move was funded by Bishop Stortford's fans. Farnborough were unable to continue paying his travelling expenses
During the early part of the 2018/19 season, Cureton became joint interim manager along with Steve Smith following the departure of Adam Flint. He then became the sole player-manager during the 2018/19 campaign.
He set a record in October 2019 when he became the first player to ever score in the top nine tiers of English football, when he scored in the Essex Senior League for Enfield - at the equivalent level to Wroxham and Norwich United. he had signed dual registration forms with Enfield who ground-share with Bishops Stortford
On 4th February 2020, he left Bishops Stortford afte rthey could not provide him with assurances as to his future as player and/or manager at the club. He then signed for Hornchurch of the Isthmian League, his 20th club. He scored his first goal for Hornchurch in his third appearances for them, despite being 44 years old.
On 29th June 2020 he signed for his 21st club joining Enfield FC of the Essex Senior League as a player-coach. He took over as player-manager in September 2020.