The Ormskirk born left-back worked his way through the ranks at Liverpool before finally making his first team debut in 2004 in the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League. Not a bad place to start your career and quite a solid career he had too.
Moving to Blackburn Rovers in 2007, Warnock truly started to establish himself as a Premier League quality left-back, playing 88 times and scoring 5 goals, a decent return for a left-back at that time. Impressing enough to earn his first England cap under Fabio Capello in 2008. The impressive form earned him a move to Aston Villa. Not the Aston Villa we know now though, the Martin O’Neill Villa who were challenging for European places playing great football. He did so well that he actually went to South Africa as part of the 23 man England Squad for the 2010 World Cup... as 3rd choice left back behind Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines. Whatever, still an honour, even if you don’t play.
From here, things started to, for lack of a better word, downgrade for Warnock. A string of management changes at Villa eventually resulted in Stephen being loaned to Bolton Wanderers for the first half of our first season in the Championship for 11 years. Providing serious competition for the ever-improving Marcos Alonso, Warnock played 15 games for the Whites before returning to Villa, with new manager Dougie Freedman deciding not to renew his loan for the latter half with Alonso impressing over the Christmas period. A real shame as Warnock’s consistent performances and
A spell at Leeds followed on a 2 and a half year deal, becoming Leeds captain in the process. An injury forced him out of the team and eventually, his subsequent move tomorrows opponents, Derby County. Playing 27 times for the Rams seemingly doing a good job whenever he played, if his time wasn’t blighted by injury or the form of younger full-backs, he may still be with them now.
However, with his career now winding down at 36, he plies his trade in League One with Bradford City on loan from Burton Albion, both being teams we could face next season if we don’t improve our current form. Hopefully, starting tomorrow.