Current club: West Ham United
Matthew is a solid 6’1” central defender, very good in the air, who was born in Suffolk and began with Luton Town. He had only appeared once for the Hatters’ first team, against Rotherham United in August 1996, when Arsenal stepped in to sign him in a £2m deal at the end of that season.
He was 18 then and found it difficult to break into the first team with Tony Adams and Steve Bould an established pairing in central defence. He did make 14 Premier League appearances in 2001-02, the Gunners’ ‘Double’ season, before moving to Birmingham City in the following January.
Within four months Sven-Goran Eriksson had given him his England senior debut as a substitute for Rio Ferdinand in a friendly against South Africa in Durban on 22 May 2003.
Matthew won his eighth cap as a starter in Fabio Capello’s first game in charge and had an extended run in the team in 2008-09, featuring in six consecutive internationals.
He also netted his first England goal in the 2-1 friendly win against Germany in Berlin. He had switched to West Ham United on the last day of the January window in 2007 and then had the misfortune to be injured 30 minutes into his Hammers debut.