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James Vaughan

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Norwich Career: 2011-13  (6 appearances)
Current Club: Everton (Head of Academy Recruitment and Player Pathways)
Date of Birth: 14.07.1988 (Birmingham) 
Nationality: English


Everton striker James Vaughan became Norwich's first signing after clinching promotion to the Premiership at the end of the 2010/11 season. The 22 year old striker signed a three year contract for a fee reported to be £1.5million.

The England Under-21 international spent much of the previous 2010/11 season on loan at Championship club Crystal Palace, scoring nine goals in 30 games

"I've got no worries. I think he'll do great. He was a handful for Palace and more than helped them stay up," said Norwich boss Paul Lambert. "He's a terrific lad. He's been in the Premier League before and scored goals at that level. Sometimes, when kids burst on the scene, pretty early it can take a bit of time before that newness goes away. He just needs a fresh start I think and Norwich can provide that for him.

Vaughan became the youngest Premier League goalscorer when he scored on his Everton debut, at the age of 16 years and 271 days, in the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace at Goodison Park in April 2005. But his time with the Toffees was disrupted by injury and he struggled to establish a first team place, heading off on loan spells at Derby, Leicester and eventually Palace

At the time of signing, he has 4 England Under-21 caps and has also been capped at Under-17 and Under-19 levels.

Injured during pre-season, Vaughan made his Norwich debut on 11th September 2011 in the televised home clash with West Brom that City lost 1-0. He received a face wound aftr being elbowed in the face by Baggies' defender Gabrial Tamas, and needed hospital treatment.

Vaughan was injured in his third appearance for City, against Sunderland, damaging his knee and requiring surgery that kept him out of action for three to four months. He ended up only making 6 appearances all season.

All summer long speculation linked Vaughan with loan moves to Huddersfield, Derby, Blackburn or Birmingham. Despite good pre-season form, he was allowed to join Huddersfield on a season long loan on 24th August 2012. He finished as the Championship side’s top scorer and player of the season. He scored 14 goals in 37 appearances.

Although Huddersfield were heavily linked with a permanent move for Vaughan, Midlands reports ath the beginning of June 2013 suggested Leicester City and Sheffield Wednesday are also interested.

On 3rd July 2013, Vaughan returned to Huddersfield signing a three year deal for an undisclosed fee. Terriers’ chief Mark Robins told his club’s official site on Wednesday evening Vaughan’s permanent return is a signal of intent. “James’ arrival is a significant signing for the club. One that I know our supporters will be very pleased with after his excellent debut season in a Huddersfield Town shirt. Equally, I’m delighted that we have secured his services.”

At the end of November 2013, James was linked with a £6million switch to Celtic

On 26th November 2015, Vaughan was loaned to Birmingham City until 2nd January 2016. Vaughan had scored 33 goals in 95 games for Huddersfield but lost his place at struggling Huddersfield at the start of the 2015/16 season, having so far made just four substitute appearances. In January 2016, he extended his loan from Huddersfield to Birmingham until the end of the season, with a permanent offer at St Andrews being offered in the summer

He was released by Huddersfield on 10th May 2016. He had scored 19 goals in 58 appearances for the Terriers. He then signed for Birmingham. He left Birmingham by mutual consent on 24th August 2016 after making just one appearance and signed a two year deal with Bury. He scored on his debut - a 3-3 draw away at Walsall on 27th August 2016.

After scoring 24 goals for Bury in 2016/17, he was snapped up by Sunderland on 13th July 2017 signing a two year contract with the Black Cats reportedly paying Bury £900,000 for his services. after playing 25 games for the Black Cats, scoring twice, Vaughan moved to League One leaders Wigan on 12th January 2018 for an undisclosed fee, signing an eighteen month contract. Manager Paul Cook said "James brings added experience and firepower. This time last year, James was amongst the leading goal-scorers in this division and I think it speaks volumes of the club that we have been able to bring him here."

On 31st January 2019, Vaughan signed for League One side Portsmouth on loan until the end of the 2018/19 season. He had scored three goals in 20 games for Wigan in 2018/19. Vaughan was released by Wigan on 23rd May 2019.

On 25th June 2019, Vaughan joined Bradford City on a three year contract. "A three-year deal is a big commitment for the club and myself" said Vaughan "I know I'm joining a big, ambitious project - which is only moving forward. The manager wants me to be a bit of a leader on the pitch."

On 29th January 2020, Vaughan was loaned to Tranmere Rovers for the remainder of the season; which was surprising as he was Bradford's leading scorer with 11 goals that season. He scored three goals in eight games before the season was ended early due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

On 11th August 2020 Vaughan signed a two year contract with Tranmere after his contract with Bradford was ended. Bradford boss Stuart McCall told his club's website: "I was always keen to keep James and had explained to him how much I wanted him to be a key component in what we want to build this season. But, as time progressed and we got nearer to returning to training, I sensed negativity from him. Once we did come back, it was clear to see that no part of him wanted to be involved with us. After spending time at Tranmere Rovers last season, it became apparent to James that he would rather have more time to spend with his young family, with more convenient travel arrangements." Vaughan himself said "When I signed on loan at the beginning of the year, the bigger picture was to join on a permanent contract. Since lockdown, we have been working really hard to make it happen."

On 27th May 2021 he announced his retirement at the age of 32. He said "I think you get to a point when mentally and physically you know it's time, I've been thinking about it for a few months now and after the recent injuries, it just feels like now is the right time to move onto the next chapter of my life.It was a really difficult decision to make. Coming to Tranmere was perfect for me at this stage of my career and I've loved every minute of it.The club, the fans and everyone around the place has treated me incredibly. The hardest part about retiring was knowing I wouldn't be playing for Tranmere next season."

On 15th February 2022 he returned to Tranmere as Sporting Director. He was studying a Master's course in sporting directorship and his main focus at Prenton Park will be on recruitment. Vaughan had been involved in building the current Rovers squad, so this is regarded as a natural next step by the club.

He returned to Everton in September 2022 as their first Loan Pathways Manager. He said “In my role, I will be monitoring the lads who are out on loan and giving them any support they need. Further from that, it will be concentrating on the next players who need to go out on loan, making sure we get the right loans for them and giving them the best opportunity to be successful.”

In March 2024 he was promoted to the role of Head of Academy Recruitment and Player Pathways. In his new role, Vaughan will work “closely with several football departments at Academy and men’s senior level” and “aim to identify and recruit the best young talent locally and nationally.” Director of Football Kevin Thelwell said: "We are delighted James is stepping up to become Head of Academy Recruitment & Player Pathways, a new role within our football structure. Having been part of the Club since the age of six and progressing through the playing ranks, from pre-Academy to the Men's Senior Team, we believe James will offer a unique perspective. With his personal experience, outstanding football knowledge and determined character, we are confident he will succeed in what is a very important position as we build for the future.”

Everton's former Academy Recruitment Manager Ian Lavery died in July 2023 after a short illness.

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