Roy Eric Carroll (born 30 September 1977) is a Northern Irish professional footballer
who plays as a goalkeeper
for NIFL Premiership
side Dungannon Swifts
. He is best known for his spells at Wigan Athletic
, Manchester United
(where he won a Premier League winners medal and the 2004 FA Cup
) and Olympiacos
(where he won the Greek Superleague
three times and the Greek Cup
twice). He has also represented Northern Ireland
45 times at full international level, gaining his first cap in 1997, aged 19.
Carroll has also had a one-game managerial career, leading Barnet
to a 2–1 victory in the 2011 Herts Senior Cup
final against Stevenage
. Therefore, Carroll holds the unusual honour of having won a trophy in his only game as a manager.
["Barnet 2 Stevenage 1"](_blank)
Barnet Mad, 13 April 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
Early career and personal life
Carroll was brought up in Tamlaght, County Fermanagh
, and began his career with local sides Fivemiletown United
and Ballinamallard United
In November 2001, Carroll received a Red Cross Humanitarian Award for his kindness to a child with leukemia
[Roy Carroll profile]
, www.uefa.com. Retrieved 18 June 2007.
In November 2006, he entered rehabilitation for alcohol-related addiction. 'Stress' was cited by the Carroll family.
Carroll joined Hull City
in September 1995 as a trainee and went on to make 50 appearances for the club in all competitions
[Soccerbase: Roy Carroll]
, Racing Post. Retrieved 18 June 2007.
but he was sold two seasons later to pay off Hull's mounting debts.
Carroll signed for Wigan Athletic
in April 1997 for a then club-record £
350,000. Despite this, he would have to wait seven months to make his first appearance in November 1997 when he replaced Lee Butler
in a 2–1 defeat of Watford. He made 170 appearances in all competitions in four years.
He played a key role in Wigan's unbeaten run of 26 league games in 1999–2000 and was voted the best goalkeeper in the second division by his fellow professionals,
a feat made all the more remarkable by the fact he missed the last seven games of the season having had to undergo an emergency appendix
Despite speculation of a move to a Premier League club, Carroll remained at Wigan for the 2000–01 season, during which he went on to keep 13 clean sheets in 34 first-team games to help his team reach the play-offs for a second consecutive season. In the play-off semi final second leg against Reading
the aggregate score was 1-1 as the game entered the final minute. Reading were awarded a penalty which Carroll saved from Jamie Cureton
, but Nicky Forster
scored from the rebound to send Reading through.
He was signed by defending Premier League
champions Manchester United
in July 2001 for an undisclosed fee believed to be £2.5 million. He made his debut in a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa
on 26 August 2001. Carroll faced stiff competition against Fabien Barthez
at United but won a Premier League
winners' medal in the 2002–03 season
Carroll received yet more competition for the 2003–04 season
, when Manchester United signed American goalkeeper Tim Howard
after Barthez left to join Marseille
. He won an FA Cup
winners' medal in May 2004 when he came on as substitute for Howard in the 84th minute.
["Man Utd win FA Cup"](_blank)
BBC Sport, 22 May 2004. Retrieved 4 July 2007.
On 19 February 2005, in an FA Cup match against Everton
, Carroll was struck on the back of the head by any of various projectiles including coins and mobile phone
s, in a match high on security for teammate and Everton returnee Wayne Rooney
which Manchester United won 2–0.
Carroll gained his greatest infamy for the "goal that never was" against Tottenham Hotspur
in January 2005; a speculative shot from the half-way line by Pedro Mendes
that Carroll dropped well behind his goal-line then scooped back into play. The referee and his linesmen were unable to verify that the ball had gone over the line and the goal was not given. Though Carroll got away with that particular gaffe, his error led to him being dropped for a few matches. He made a second blunder in a 1–0 defeat by Milan
, where he spilled a shot into the path of Hernán Crespo
, who then scored. He was released by Manchester United on 27 May 2005 after his contract expired; he refused to sign a new deal after the club failed to assure him that he would be first choice for the next season.
West Ham United
Three weeks after leaving Old Trafford
, Carroll signed for West Ham. Carroll enjoyed a successful start to his West Ham career, making 19 appearances. However, a back injury sustained in a game against Fulham
on 23 January 2006 left him needing surgery, and he was sidelined for the remainder of the 2005–06
season, including the FA Cup Final against Liverpool. Shaka Hislop
was his replacement. He made just 17 appearances in the 2006–07 season, due to personal problems relating to alcohol and gambling and the arrival of Robert Green
. His final game for the Hammers took place on 3 February 2007 against Aston Villa
. On 25 May 2007, West Ham stated that he had been released after asking for a transfer to achieve regular first team football.
Carroll signed for Rangers on a one-year contract on 7 July 2007,
initially as cover for Allan McGregor
but also to challenge for a starting place. He made his only appearance for Rangers
against East Fife
in a League Cup
match on 26 September 2007.
On 9 January 2008, it was revealed that Carroll was in line for a move to Premier League
side Derby County
Carroll was allowed permission to talk with Derby and personal terms were agreed, but the deal hinged on Rangers signing a replacement goalkeeper. After over a week with little progress, Derby County called off the move,
but when Carroll offered to pay the loan fee so Rangers could sign Sunderland keeper Darren Ward
, the deal was revived. Carroll hoped to join Derby on loan for the rest of the 2007–08 season
but the move was again held up by Rangers as they refused to release his registration until they found another keeper. After Rangers signed Neil Alexander
from Ipswich Town
, Carroll was free to sign for Derby, and a deal was completed on deadline day.
He signed a three-year contract with the club on 21 January 2008,
and made his debut in a Premier League match against Birmingham City on 2 February 2008. Carroll could not help the club avoid relegation to the Championship after just one season.
Carroll started the 2008–09 season as the club's first choice goalkeeper, but after getting sent off in a 2–1 victory at Norwich City
he lost his place and was restricted to making appearances in cup competitions. He was part of the Derby side that reached the 2008–09 Football League Cup
semi-final, where they lost 4–3 on aggregate to his former side Manchester United. After Paul Jewell resigned in December 2008, he was replaced by Nigel Clough
. Clough made it clear Carroll was not in his plans and, a week into the 2009–10 season, it was announced that Carroll's contract with The Rams would be cancelled to allow him to move to Danish
side Odense BK
Carroll signed a three-year contract with Danish Superliga
side Odense BK
on 17 August 2009. His debut was granted on the very same day and only hours after he had signed the deal, when he managed to keep a clean sheet in the 1–0 win against FC Midtjylland
. Having played just 14 Superliga games, he was named 2009 Superliga Goalkeeper of the Year
in December 2009, in a vote amongst the league goalkeepers.
In November 2010, Carroll announced his decision to leave Odense BK in order to return to Britain to be closer to his family. The club soon signed Stefan Wessels
as his replacement. Carroll's contract was mutually terminated on 31 January 2011 and he left Odense BK as a free agent, in search of a new club.
2011 trial spells
Carroll was on trial at Sheffield United
in March 2011. However, he conceded two goals within ten minutes and was sent off, which led to a penalty during a reserve match against Barnsley
. As a result of his poor performance whilst on trial, he was not offered a contract with the Blades. Later that same month, Carroll joined League Two strugglers Barnet
on a trial with a view to a role as player-coach. After the departure of Martin Allen
as manager in April 2011, and with caretaker manager Giuliano Grazioli
on a scouting mission, Carroll was appointed as manager for the Herts Senior Cup
final against Stevenage
, which Barnet won 2–1. Thus, Carroll won a trophy in his only game as a football manager. He reportedly left the club in protest in April 2011, as his former Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez
was set to take a managerial role in the club. In July 2011, Carroll joined Preston North End
on trial and played in a 7–1 friendly victory at Kendal Town
. However, despite a deal for Preston to sign Carroll being close, the club opted to sign Iain Turner
In August 2011 Carroll signed a two-year contract with Greek Superleague side OFI Crete
. Despite struggling for fitness and form in pre-season,
Carroll appeared 16 times for the club, putting in some impressive performances, which made him highly regarded in Greece.
He was ranked third in shots saved statistics amid speculation that bigger clubs in Greece were interested in Carroll.
In January 2012 Carroll signed a contract with Greek Superleague
for a reported transfer fee of . His first appearance was against Rubin Kazan
in Moscow in the first match for the round of 32, in the Europa League
, coming on as a late substitute after Balázs Megyeri
conceded a penalty and was given a red card. Carroll saved the penalty with the first touch of his Olympiacos career and his team went on to win 0–1. In the return leg, Carroll put in a performance considered legendary by the fans, after producing a string of saves in whilst carrying a visible hamstring injury.
Carroll became the first choice goalkeeper at the club in 2012–13 and featured in his first Champions League game since February 2005, when he played in a 2–1 win at Montpellier
on 24 October 2012, after displacing Megyeri who started the opening two European games. In Olympiacos' first ten league games, Carroll played a part in a team which conceded only five goals and kept six clean sheets as they won the opening nine games, drawing the other. In an interview with British press, Carroll said that he was happy with his life in Greece and hopeful on extending his contract at Olympiacos. In his first twenty games for Olympiacos in all competitions, he was part of the winning side in eighteen games, drawing the other two, conceded ten goals and kept twelve clean sheets, losing in his twenty-first appearance against Schalke 04
0–1 on 21 November 2012. Carroll lost his place in the side to Megyeri in January, being relegated to cup appearances as Olympiacos won the double for a second consecutive season.
Following his departure from Greek Superleague champions, Olympiacos, Carroll signed a one-year contract with Football League One
side Notts County
on 4 August 2014. Carroll resigned for the 2015–16 season, he was released at the end of the season. On 15 November 2014, less than 24 hours after playing an international for Northern Ireland in Bucharest
, Romania, Carroll kept a clean sheet as Notts County won 1–0 away at Coventry City
Carroll joined Linfield
in 2016. After suffering a serious knee injury in January 2019, he left the club in May 2019 but planned to continue his playing career.
After a brief period playing for Mid-Ulster Football League
junior side FC Mindwell, Carroll returned to the Irish League to sign for Dungannon Swifts
in January 2021.
Carroll gained his first full international cap
on 21 May 1997 in a game against Thailand
For many years, Carroll fought a losing battle to be Northern Ireland
's first-choice keeper to the experienced Maik Taylor
. Despite this, Carroll had still amassed 19 caps up to September 2006.
The last of these 19 caps came in a Euro 2008
qualifying match against Spain
at Windsor Park
Northern Ireland pulled off a memorable 3–2 win, but Carroll had to be substituted after only 12 minutes due to a groin injury.
After a six-year absence from the international team, Carroll was named in the friendly squad to face the Netherlands
on 2 June 2012. He came on as a substitute for the second half, conceding two goals as Northern Ireland lost 6–0. He made his competitive return to the Northern Ireland team on 7 September 2012, when he started in Northern Ireland's 2–0 defeat away to Russia
in their opening qualifier for the 2014 FIFA World Cup
. In May 2013, Carroll was named the Northern Ireland International Personality of the Year.
:A. The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Football League Trophy
, Football League play-offs
and FA Community Shield
As a player
*Football League Trophy
*FA Community Shield
*Super League Greece
*Greek Football Cup
*County Antrim Shield
*PFA Team of the Year
: 1999–2000 Second Division
*Danish Goalkeeper of the Year
*Northern Ireland International Personality of the Year: 2013
As a manager
*Herts Senior Cup
Category:People from Enniskillen
Category:People educated at Devenish College
Category:British expatriates in Greece
Category:British expatriates in Denmark
Category:Association footballers from Northern Ireland
Category:Northern Ireland under-21 international footballers
Category:Northern Ireland international footballers
Category:Expatriate association footballers from Northern Ireland
Category:Expatriate footballers in Denmark
Category:Expatriate footballers in Greece
Category:Association football goalkeepers
Category:Hull City A.F.C. players
Category:Wigan Athletic F.C. players
Category:Manchester United F.C. players
Category:West Ham United F.C. players
Category:Rangers F.C. players
Category:Derby County F.C. players
Category:Odense Boldklub players
Category:OFI Crete F.C. players
Category:Olympiacos F.C. players
Category:Dungannon Swifts F.C. players
Category:Notts County F.C. players
Category:Premier League players
Category:English Football League players
Category:Danish Superliga players
Category:Super League Greece players
Category:Barnet F.C. non-playing staff
Category:UEFA Euro 2016 players