A latecomer to international football, striker Jonathan Walters journeyed through the lower divisions of the English Football League before announcing himself on the Premier League stage with Stoke City FC in 2010/11 − and being rewarded with his first caps for the Republic of Ireland.
• Born on Merseyside, he started out with Blackburn Rovers FC at youth level before switching to Lancashire rivals Bolton Wanderers FC; made four substitute appearances for the latter in the 2002/03 Premier League before embarking on loan spells at Hull City AFC, Crewe Alexandra FC and Barnsley FC.
• Joined Hull on a permanent basis in 2004 but did not complete the season there, having a brief loan spell at Scunthorpe United FC before moving to Wrexham FC in 2005/06.
• Left Wrexham after one season for local rivals Chester City FC and scored nine goals in 26 League Two matches, attracting the interest of Ipswich Town FC, who bought him in January 2007 following a close FA Cup tie between the clubs.
• A big hit in his first full season for the Suffolk club, scoring 13 goals in the Championship and winning the player of the year vote from his team-mates, he became a cult hero with the Portman Road crowd; in 2010 he was sold to Premier League club Stoke.
• Marked his first season at Stoke by scoring six league goals and five in the FA Cup, including a double in the 5-0 demolition of Bolton Wanderers FC in the Wembley semi-final; also found the net on his European debut − a UEFA Europa League qualifier against HNK Hajduk Split − and enjoyed an excellent autumn 2011 domestically and in Europe.
• Eligible to play for Ireland through his mother, he received his first senior cap as a half-time substitute in a November 2010 friendly against Norway; scored his maiden international goal on his first competitive start, in the opening leg of the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying play-off versus Estonia (4-0).
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