Experienced central midfielder Smallwood was signed in August 2020 and was immediately handed the captain’s armband by manager Grant McCann ahead of the 2020/21 League One campaign. His grafting style at the base of midfield, coupled with some sweet passing, quickly made Richie an integral part of City’s rise to the top of the League One table in the early months of the season. He suffered an injury early in 2021 that kept him out of the side for nearly three months, and he returned to play a supporting role as City secured promotion and lifted the League One title in successive Saturdays. He began the 2021/22 Championship season restored to the heart of the City midfield and scored his first Tigers on the opening day of the season, a 4-1 win at Preston. As the season progressed Richie enhanced his value to the team, benefiting from the switch to a 3-5-2 formation and turning in man of the match performances at the base of the midfield.
Richard Smallwood was born in Redcar on the North East coast and was a product of Middlesbrough’s academy system, becoming reserve team captain in his late teens. He signed his first professional contract in 2009 and made his Boro debut in October 2010. In May 2011 he scored the first of three goals for Middlesbrough in a League match against Cardiff. Always on the fringes of the first team at Boro, Smallwood made a dozen or more appearances for four consecutive seasons following his debut but in January 2014 he was loaned to Rotherham United.
In May 2014 Smallwood scored the final winning penalty at Wembley that saw Rotherham United win promotion to the Championship via the play-offs. He signed a permanent contract at Rotherham at the start of the 2014/15 season and was a near ever-present for two seasons with the Millers. At the start of the 2016/17 Richie was loaned to Scunthorpe United but he returned in January 2017 and was reintroduced as a regular in the Millers’ first team. In the 2017 close season he rejected a further contract offer from Rotherham and joined League One side Blackburn Rovers. He was an ever-present at Ewood Park as Blackburn won promotion to the Championship in 2017/18 and played regularly at Championship level in 2018/19. However he spent 2019/20 marooned in the reserves, making only two League Cup appearances all season, before signing for Hull City in August 2020.
Richie won a single England under-18 cap against Austria in April 2008.
Date/Place of Birth: 29 December 1990, Redcar
Hull City First Game: 5 September 2020, Sunderland A (League Cup First Round), 29 years, 251 days old
Hull City Final Game: [current player]
Middlesbrough (2009-2014), Rotherham United (2014, loan), Rotherham United (2014-2017), Scunthorpe United (2016-2017, loan), Blackburn Rovers (2017-2020), Hull City (2020-current)
Hull City Record
Career: 56 apps, 1 goalsRichie Smallwood
|2020/21||23 (4)||0||1 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0|
|2021/22||22 (2)||1||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|