Experienced central midfielder Richie Smallwood was signed by the Tigers 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. He contributed greatly to the Tigers’ Championship survival under the tutelage of new manager Shota Arveladze, but in May 2022 the option to his extend his contract at City was not taken up and he left the club.
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, taking his tally to 4 goals in 72 appearances.
In January 2014 Smallwood was loaned to Rotherham United, a move that was made permanent a week later. In May 2014 he scored the Play-Off Final winning penalty at Wembley that saw Rotherham United win promotion to the Championship, and he remained a near ever-present for the Millers during the next two seasons. At the start of the 2016/17 season Richie was loaned to Scunthorpe United, where he scored once in 19 appearances, but returned in January 2017 and was reintroduced as a regular in the Millers’ first team. Having scored three goals in 113 senior appearances for Rotherham, Smallwood rejected a further contract offer and joined League One side Blackburn Rovers in June 2017.
Smallwood was an ever-present at Ewood Park as Blackburn won promotion to the Championship in the 2017/18 season and played regularly at Championship level the following season. However he spent the 2019/20 season marooned in the Blackburn reserves, making only two League Cup appearances all season. He amassed a total of three goals in 87 senior appearances for Blackburn Rovers before signing for Hull City in August 2020.
In June 2022 Smallwood signed two year deal for League Two side Bradford City.
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: 7 May 2022, Nottingham Forest (Championship), 31 years, 129 days old
Middlesbrough (2009-2014), Rotherham United (2014, loan), Rotherham United (2014-2017), Scunthorpe United (2016-2017, loan), Blackburn Rovers (2017-2020), Hull City (2020-2022), Bradford City (2022-current)
Hull City Record
Career: 74 apps, 2 goalsRichie Smallwood
|2020/21||23 (4)||0||1 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0|
|2021/22||40 (2)||2||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-||-||-|