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Joe Lewis

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Norwich Career: 2001-2008
Current Club: Aberdeen (Scotland)
Date of Birth: 06/10/1987 (Broome) 
Nationality: English

Biography

Goalkeeper Joe Lewis, from Broome, progressed through Norwich's schoolboy setup and was over 6ft 4inches tall at the age of 15 ! He was called up into the England Goalkeeping Development Programme at Lilleshall in the autumn of 2001. He won his first international cap in the Under-16 clash with Northern Ireland at Ballymena on October 18th 2002, keeping a clean sheet in a 2-0 win for England. He was then called up over Easter 2003 for the Tournai de Montaigu to be played in Nantes. A further international call-up, this time for the England Under-17s, came in June 2003 for a tournament in which England faced Portugal, the USA and Brazil.

On 6th August 2003, he signed an agreement to join Norwich's academy as a scholar in July 2004 after he leaves school. On 13th September 2003, he was called up for cover for Norwich's first team clash with Burnley as it was feared that Norwich keeper Robert Green might not have been fit. Awarded squad number 28, he is the youngest player (at 15) to ever be given a Norwich City squad number. Injury to Paul Crichton saw Joe sit on the bench for the Canaries' Division One clashes with Crystal Palace, Reading and Wigan. Nigel Worthington admitted that he saw Joe as City's third-choice keeper ahead of his older Academy teammates Shane Herbert and Aaron Osborne. On 12th November, Joe played for England Under-17s in their 1-1 draw with Switzerland, Joe being beaten by a peanlty.

As expected, Joe was called up to the England Squad for the UEFA Under-17 Championship qualifying group to be played in South Yorkshire from 24th - 28th March 2004. In the tournament England will face Armenia, Iceland and Norway in games to be played in Sheffield and Doncaster.

Joe joined Norwich's Academy as a full-time scholar in July 2004. Academy Director Ricky Martin said "Joe's been in the Academy set-up from the under-nines and has already reached international level . Plus he's also trained with the first team on a regular basis and even sat on the bench for seven first team games last season when Paul Crichton was injured, so hopefully the confidence and experience he's gained from that will stand him in good stead. He's not a new face to either the building or the first-team staff, so Joe should settle in very quickly."

Towards the end of October 2004, Joe signed his first professional contract with the Canaries.

In October 2005, Joe was seleced for the England Under-19s and played in their 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic, whose deflected goals he was powerless to prevent. He was also called up in February 2006 after Sunderland's Ben Alnwick had to pull out with a leg injury sustained in a reserve game. Joe went on to have a good 45 minute run out at Northampton in a 3-0 win against Slovakia Under-19's and drew praise from England coach Martin Hunter

In June 2006, Nigel Worthington indicted that he would be willing to loan Lewis out during the 2005/6 season so that he could get match experience. Peter Grant was happy to follow this and Joe was due to join Shrewsbury on loan at the end of October 2006 only for Grant to cancel it. "I think they had an injury problem but I wasn't going to allow him to go because I read the script and I thought it was maybe just for one game until their keeper came back. If Joe goes anywhere he is going to go to be playing because I need to see him play.”

Joe was finally loaned out on 22nd March 2007, this time to Stockport County until the end of the 2006/7 season. He made his debut on 10th March 2007, keeping a clean sheet as County defeated Chester 2-0.

On 23rd July 2007, Paul Gallacher and Lewis were linked with a loan move to Brighton following Paul Crichton's appointment as a coach with the Seagulls. On 8th august 2007, Joe joined Football League newboys Morecambe on loan until the end of December 2007. In his first game, the season opneer against Barnet, Joe kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw. His next game was the historic Carling Cup victory over Preston which Morecambe won 2-1 on 14th August 2007. His form saw him put on stand-by for the England Under-21 clash on 21st August 2007 against Romania

Returning to Norwich at the end of December 2007 having made 22 appearances for Morecambe, Joe was then the subject of a £400,000 bid from ambitious, big-spending League Two side Peterborough. If accepted, it would make him their club record signing. Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson has defended the size of the fee, viewing it as an investment:

"To get the calibre of player I'm after you sometimes need to spend big money, It's a big fee, but I believe it's a fair one because we would be getting one of the best young goalkeepers in the country. That would make it an investment for the future, but it also sends a message out to our fans and to other clubs how serious we all are in taking this club forward.

I just hope that Joe will sign. He didn't know anything about the move until late on Wednesday night so it's been a bit of a whirlwind for him. He has asked for the weekend to talk things over with his family which is fair enough.

Joe has a huge presence and I like that in a goalkeeper. If we have a slight Achilles heel in our side it's the lack of height at the back and Joe's presence would ensure that.

He's also agile, has good hands and he kicks well. He has the whole package and he would be a quality capture."

The transfer to London Road was competed on 8th January 2008 for a fee of £400,000 plus sell-on clause. There was considerable debate on the Norwich City message boards as to whether this was a good deal or not. Lewis made his Peterborough debut on 12th January 2008 in a 1-0 defeat to Macclesfield.

Joe was called up to the England Under-21 squad for the European Championship qualifier against Republic of Ireland on 5th February 2008. Joe made his debut for the England Under-21 squad on 15th May 2008 in a friendly agains Wales. He replaced Joe Hart at half time and carried through a clean sheet, in a game which saw England win 2-0.

On 25th May, new England manager Fabio Capello surprisingly called Lewis up to the full England Squad ahead of the friendlies against the United States and Trinidad & Tobago due to fitness concerns over Chris Kirkland and David James. Lewis said “I am over the moon and thrilled with the call-up - it came out of the blue and I am enjoying every minute of it. I trained with the squad on Saturday morning and it was superb to be involved with the best players in the country. There's a second training session at 5pm on Saturday and it is a fantastic experience for me. I managed to make a couple of good saves, which was a great feeling, especially from Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard. It is a great end to a fantastic season.” Lewis is joined in the squad by another goalkeepr to have emerged from Norwich's academy - Robert Green

Lewis was instrumental in Peterborough's promotion from League One to the Championship in 2008/9 This earned City another £100,000 in transfer clauses. Lewis has been linked with a move to Portsmouth

Joe and Peterborough were relegated at the end of the 2009/10 season after a traumatic season that saw the Posh use three different managers.

In January 2011, Lewis handed in a transfer request. He said that he wanted to play higher level football: "“I’m not desperate to leave Peterborough – that wasn’t my reason for handing in a request. My reason is to better myself at the highest level I feel I can play. I’m massively grateful for everything Peterborough have done for me. I spoke to the chairman and Barry and they were good enough to accept my request. I gave my reasons. I feel I have given three good years of service at the club and I just want the club to know that while I appreciate everything they have done if the opportunity arises to better myself and my career then they would allow me to do that. I sat down with them and they completely understood. They were fantastic about it and I appreciated their co-operation.” Aston Villa reportedly made a bid but for less than the money Peterborough had paid for Lewis. Two other Premier League sides then made bids for him.

Lewis was injured when Peterborough beat Lee Clark's Huddersfield 3-0 in the League One Play-off Final on 29th May 2011 to secure promotion back to the Championship

Lewis left Peterborough at the end of the 2011/12 season when his contract expired. He had made 167 league appearances for Peterborough.

On 18th May 2012, he was strongly linked with a move to Cardiff. although Ipswich were also linked with him. He signed a three year contract with Cardiff on 25th May 2012.

On 5th August 2014, Lewis joined Blackpool on a season-long loan. The deal for the 26-year-old, who made three first-team appearances for the Bluebirds last season, could become permanent in due course. He made his Seasiders debut on 9th August in the 2-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest. Unfortunately Blackpool were relegaed to League One on 6th April 2015.

Lewis joined Fulham on 24th August 2015 on a season long loan from Cardiff. Lewis will provide cover for Marcus Bettinelli, who damaged knee ligaments in Fulham's 2-1 defeat at Hull. Lewis said "There's real potential here. Fulham were recently in the Premier League and you just feel that the club is ready to be back there. I'm delighted. It all happened quite quickly. Obviously Marcus got injured and the club saw that it was a bad one and acted to get some cover." Joe made nine appearances for the Cottagers.

He was released by Cardiff on 23rd May 2016 - he had played just five games for Cardiff. He joined Scottish side Aberdeen on 16th June 2016, signing a two year contract. The Dons also signed fellow goalkeeper Neil Alexander on the same day from Hearts.


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