Happy Birthday Chris Smalling: Lesser-Known Things to Know About the England Defender
Chris Smalling (Photo Credits : Getty Images)

Chris Smalling will celebrate his 30th birthday on Friday (November 22). The center-back is best known for his time in England with the thirteen-time premier league champions Manchester United. Chris signed for Manchester United in July 2010 at the age of 21 and then later in August made his competitive debut for the Red Devils in an FA Community Shield victory over rivals Chelsea. This was his first-ever trophy. Since his debut, Chris went on to make over 300 appearances for the Manchester side and has won countless titles, which includes two premier leagues, one FA Cup, one League cup and a Europa League title. The defender played for England under-20s and under-21s before making his senior debut in September 2011. Chris has played in the 2014 World Cup as well as the UEFA Euro 2016. AS the England defender celebrates his birthday, we take a look at some lesser-known facts about him. Cristiano Ronaldo Transfer to Manchester United News: CR7 Eyeing Man United Amidst Rift With Juventus Boss Maurizio Sarri.

As a youngster, Chris played for Walderslade Boys and Lordswood, after a short spell at Millwall's academy, a 16-year old Smalling joined Maidstone United’s youth system. After rising through their reserve team set-up under the guidance of coaches Peter Nott and Tony Cornwell, Smalling made his senior debut for the club on April 11, 2007, in a Kent Super Cup loss to Tonbridge Angels. He made his league debut for the club in December 2007 against Harlow Town. Smalling made himself an undisputed starter in the team and in 2008 the young defender signed for Middlesbrough. However, within a month of signing, his contract was canceled after raising concerns over homesickness. Soon after, he signed for premier league club Fulham in 2008 and made his professional debut for them in May 2009 and helped then reach the 2010 Europa League Final the following season. Zlatan Ibrahimović Transfer News Latest Update: Manchester United In Talks With Swedish Striker For Return in January Transfer Window.

Lesser-Known Things to Know About Chris Smalling

  • During his teenage years, Chris worked in a restaurant as a waiter.
  • At Maidstone, Chris’s physical attributes of 6ft 4inch height and an afro gave him the nickname ‘Shaft’.
  • Chris had the most number of 'Man of the Match' awards in his English lower league (Ryman League).
  • Chris Smalling married his girlfriend Sam Cooke in 2017.
  • In February 2019, Chris became a patron of an education Charity known as Football Beyond Borders (FBB).

Smalling is currently enjoying his football in Italy at AS Roma, where he is on loan from Manchester United. The defender decided to make a move to the Italian side in the summer of 2019 after struggling with injuries and falling down the pecking order at the Manchester club. Chris has made a total of 8 appearances for Roma this season in Serie A and has scored a solitary goal against Udinese.