Ryan, a 6’3” defender born in Buckley in Flintshire, had two seasons as a professional with Manchester United without making a Premier League appearance, although he did play in the League Cup.
He had loan spells at Royal Antwerp and Stoke City, the latter signing him permanently during 2007-08. In that first season with the Potters he scored seven goals in 41 Championship matches as his team finished second to claim an automatic promotion spot in the Premier League.
He was also picked twice for England’s Under-21s, making his debut against Poland in a friendly at Molineux in March 2008 and being retained for the fixture with Wales two months later. England kept clean sheets in both internationals.
He became a solid performer for Tony Pulis’s side in the Premier League, scoring three goals in 30 appearances in their first season back in the top flight, and subsequently earned his first call-up to the England senior squad for the Egypt friendly in March 2010.