787 David Brightwell

Biography

Tall left sided centre back David Brightwell was Hull City manager Brian Little’s first signing in June 2000. Brightwell was not blessed with pace but was a commanding presence at the back and took a powerful free kick. He was quickly introduced to the first team ahead of Jamaican centre back Ian Goodison and remained in the first team until the end of January 2001, wearing the captain’s arm band after he found his first team feet. He scored two goals for the Tigers, a September 2000 equaliser at Mansfield and a December 2000 winner at local rivals Scunthorpe United, driven home from a free kick awarded on the edge of the penalty box. In early February 2001 the club’s financial situation hit rock bottom with players left unpaid, and the choice of terminating contracts was offered to the entire squad. While many stayed and piloted the Tigers into the play-offs, Brightwell was one several players to cut his losses and move on.

David John Brightwell was born in Lutterworth in Leicestershire to two famous middle distance running parents – Anne Packer, who won a gold medal at 800 metres in the 1964 Olympics and Robbie Brightwell, a 400 metre runner who won a relay silver at the same Olympics in Tokyo. Brightwell came through the footballing ranks at Manchester City alongside his older brother Ian Brightwell, while Ian stayed with the Sky Blues for 12 years and made over 350 appearances for the club David was a more peripheral figure at Maine Road. He made his debut for Manchester City in February 1992 when introduced as substitute in a First Division match against Wimbledon, by which time he had already had a spell on loan at Chester City. David’s most productive season at Manchester City came in 1993/94 when he made 23 first team appearances and scored his only League goal for the club in April 1994 against Newcastle United. By 1995 he had drifted out of the first team scene an had loan spells at Lincoln City, Stoke City and Bradford City before signing permanently for Bradford in December 1995 – he left Manchester City having made 53 appearances in seven years and scored two goals (the second goal came in an FA Cup tie in January 1995 against Notts County).

The Bantams won the 1996 League Division 2 play-offs, Brightwell made 23 appearances during the regular season then played in both play-off semi-finals but missed the Final at Wembley where Bradford beat Notts County 2-0. He was used sparingly in League Division 1 during early part of the 1996/97 season and had a loan spell at Blackpool before switching to Northampton Town in the 1997 close season. Brightwell made 45 appearances for the Cobblers in the 1997/98 season before joining Carlisle United in July 1998. He made 88 appearances for the Cumbrians in two seasons, scoring a long distance equalising free kick against Plymouth in May 1999 that set up goalkeeper Jimmy Glass’s famous winner during injury time that secured Carlisle’s Football League survival.

Brightwell joined Darlington in February 2001 and in a season and a half he played in 42 matches before retiring at the end of the 2001/02 season. After hanging up his boots Brightwell had a second career in the Cheshire Fire Service.

Details

Nationality: England
Date/Place of Birth: 7 January 1971, Lutterworth
Hull City First Game: 19 August 2000, Plymouth Argyle H (League Division 3), 29 years, 225 days old
Hull City Final Game: 10 February 2001, Leyton Orient H (League Division 3), 30 years, 34 days old

Clubs

Manchester City (1988-1995), Chester City (1991, loan), Lincoln City (1995, loan), Stoke City (1995, loan), Bradford City (1995, loan), Bradford City (1995-1997), Blackpool (1996-1997, loan), Northampton Town (1997-1998), Carlisle United (1998-2000), Hull City (2000-2001), Darlington (2001-2002)

Hull City Record

Career: 32 apps, 2 goals

David Brightwell
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2000/0124 (3)22 (0)02 (0)0--1 (0)0

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