Dwight Yorke is a professional footballer, who was born on November 3, 1971 in Canaan, Trinidad and Tobago. He has been nicknamed “The Smiling Assassin” in the football circuit and plays as a striker, who can also take the role of a midfielder.
Dwight Yorke was selected for the Trinidad and Tobago national team in 1989. He was a member in its promotion to the 2006 World Cup after defeating Bahrain in the qualifiers. Dwight Yorke was made captain of the team, when it played in Germany and has earned 59 official caps scoring 26 goals as of August 2008.
Dwight Yorke kicked off his football career at the youth clubs of the Signal Hill Comprehensive School in 1988. His talents were spotted by Aston Villa manager, Graham Taylor, who offered him trials with the club. Eventually he signed professional deals with Aston Villa in 1989 and made his debut in March 1990 against Crystal Palace. He was a part of the team that clinched the Football League Cup in 1994 and 1996. In the match against Newcastle United in September 1996, Dwight Yorke gave an impressive performance and secured a hat-trick. During his 9 year tenure with the Villa, he made 231 appearances and scored 97 goals. He played a crucial role as a striker for Aston Villa and emerged as the club’s top-scorer (1994-95, 1995-96, and 1996-97). He also won the Player of the Year award for the 1996-97 season.
Dwight Yorke switched to Manchester United for a fee of £12.6 million in August 1998. He was a part of the club that won the Football Association (FA) Premier League for the 1998-99 and the next two consecutive seasons. He played a pivotal role for Manchester with his goal scoring ability and emerged as the top league goal scorer for the 1998-1999 season. Dwight Yorke was a member of the team that lifted the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League, the FA Cup, the Intercontinental Cup and the UEFA Super Cup runner-up title in 1999. His great performances fetched him the English Premier League winner's medal for the 1998-99, 1999-00 and 2000-01 seasons.
Dwight Yorke moved onto Blackburn Rovers in 2002 for a fee of £2 million and was the top-scorer for the season. He switched to Birmingham City in 2004 and scored on his debut, which made him a favorite among the club’s fans. He made 13 appearances for the club and signed with the Sydney football club for two years in 2005. Dwight Yorke secured his maiden goal for the team in its first A-League regular season match and was made captain by the team’s manager, Pierre Littbarski. He led the team to victory in the inaugural A-League Grand Final match versus Central Coast Mariners in March 2006. For his brilliant performance, he was named as the best players in the grand final and was awarded the Joe Marston Medal. Dwight Yorke was the leading light for Sydney FC and his image and name were used by the Football Federations Australia (FFA) to promote the A-League's second season. He made his presence felt during his tenure with the club, for which he made 22 appearances.
In August 2006, Dwight Yorke signed for Sunderland for £200,000. He was welcomed by a standing ovation by the fans on his debut against Leicester City, in which he came on as a substitute. His first score for the club came against Stoke City and was a part of the club that lifted the Football League Championship for the 2006-07 season. Dwight Yorke extended his contract with Sunderland for a year in July 2008 and has played in 52 games netting 6 goals as of April 2008.
Dwight Yorke has many awards and recognitions to his credit including, the Trinidad & Tobago Footballer of the Year (2005, 2006), the Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary's Award (2005), the Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Committee Sports Personality of the Year (1998) and Humming Bird Medal Silver (1993). He also won the English Premier League Golden Boot Award for scoring 18 goals in the 1998-99 season.
The Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago, was named in his honour, and he was made a Sports Ambassador for his country owing to his great display in the 2006 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup. Apart from playing football, Dwight Yorke has a great passion for cricket.