Elliott Leslie Ward (born 19 January 1985) is an English footballer who plays as a defender for Notts County.
He has previously played in the Premier League for West Ham United and Norwich City.
Ward came through the youth system of West Ham United, making his debut for the Under-17 side before joining the first team in August 2003. In 2004, Ward went out for two loan spells, at Peterborough United and Bristol Rovers in July and December 2004 respectively.
Ward made an impact on the West Ham first team during the second half of the 2004–05 season, while the club were in the Football League Championship. Primarily due to injuries to more established defenders such as Christian Dailly and Malky Mackay, he found himself with the opportunity of partnering Anton Ferdinand in the centre of defence.
When Ward was brought into the first team, for the 1–3 loss against Reading on 12 March 2005, the club were lying outside the playoff places and looked unlikely to make it back to the Premiership. The pairing of Ward and Ferdinand enabled the team to remain unbeaten for the rest of the season. This unbeaten run included the three playoff games, thus ensuring their return to the Premiership for the following season.
At the beginning of the 2005–06 season, to prepare for the upcoming Premiership campaign, West Ham signed a number of players, including central defenders Danny Gabbidon and James Collins from Cardiff City. Gabbidon became the preferred choice to partner Ferdinand, and this resulted in chances being few and far between for Ward. He played two League Cup games, but made only one substitute Premiership appearance (against Bolton on 27 August 2005) before being loaned out to Plymouth Argyle in November. The month-by-month loan deal lasted three months, and after playing 16 games and scoring once against Wolves, Ward returned to The Hammers in February 2006 playing three further games towards the end of the 2005–06 season.
Ward left West Ham in the summer of 2006, joining Coventry City for £1m. Manager Micky Adams said of him: "In Elliott we have a young, talented and confident defender who I'm sure will bring a real presence to our back line. He is just the sort of player we are looking for to help the club progress."
Ward made his debut for Coventry on 6 August 2006 in a 2–1 home win against Sunderland with his first goal coming on 12 September 2006 in a 2–1 away defeat to Ipswich Town. The next three seasons saw him play 39, 37 and 32 league games for Coventry scoring 14 league goals but by season 2009–10 he was reduced to only eight games for the season. Having fallen down the pecking order at Coventry, in February 2010 he joined Doncaster Rovers on a one-month emergency loan after Rovers suffered injuries to several first team defenders. He made an instant impact at Doncaster, scoring an overhead kick goal on his debut against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. He played only six league games for Doncaster before being signed by Preston North End manager Darren Ferguson, on loan until the end of the season, in March 2010. He made only four league appearances for Preston before returning to Coventry City.
On 26 May 2010, Ward signed a two-year deal with Norwich City on a free transfer. His Norwich debut came on 6 August in the opening game of the 2010–11 season, a 2–3 home defeat to Watford. Ward picked up an injury in the 2–1 away win over Coventry City on 18 December, sidelining him until the end of January. He made his return to the team in the 2–1 win over Millwall on 1 February 2011, scoring his first goal for the club to equalise.
Ward played 39 of a possible 46 league games in Norwich City's side which won promotion to the Premier League in 2010–11 season but in July 2011, during a pre-season tour of Germany, Ward picked up a knee injury which kept him out of action until January 2012.
In October 2012 Ward joined Nottingham Forest on loan until 29 December 2012, with a view to a permanent transfer. Ward returned to Norwich at the end of his loan spell and was named as a substitute for their FA Cup game away at Peterborough United. However, in January 2013, after just over a week with Norwich, he returned on loan with Nottingham Forest. His first Forest goal came in his first game of his second loan spell, on 12 January 2013. His headed goal in the 83rd minute from a Radosław Majewski cross saw Forest 2–1 winners against Peterborough United giving manager Alex McLeish his first win as Forest manager.
On 18 June 2013 Ward signed an initial one-year deal with Bournemouth following their promotion to the Championship. He made two league appearances during Bournemouth's 2014/15 season after which they were promoted to the Premier League. His contract with Bournemouth was cancelled in January 2016 by mutual consent.
Huddersfield Town (loan)
On 9 September 2015, Ward signed on loan for Championship club Huddersfield Town for an initial period of a month. He made his Town début in the 2–0 loss against Cardiff City on 12 September. He played five games, before returning to Bournemouth, due to a knee injury. Following recovery from the injury, Ward rejoined the Terriers on 7 December for a second loan spell until 28 December. However, he returned to the South Coast on the conclusion of this loan without being included in a match-day squad in his second spell.
He is the brother of Scott Ward and Yeovil Town defender Darren Ward, who turned down the opportunity of joining West Ham and the Premiership, at the start of the 2005–06 season, instead opting for Championship side Crystal Palace, claiming he did not want to keep his brother out of the team.
Former Youth Teams
Former Senior Teams