Marcus Nathan Bent (born 19 May 1978) is an English former footballer who played as a striker. An England under-21 international, the journeyman striker played 574 games and scored 113 goals for fourteen different clubs. His numerous transfer fees totalled over £10 million.
Bent playing for Charlton Athletic, April 2006.
|Full name||Marcus Nathan Bent|
|Date of birth||19 May 1978|
|Place of birth||Hammersmith, London, England|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|2003–2004||→ Leicester City (loan)||33||(9)|
|2007–2008||→ Wigan Athletic (loan)||31||(7)|
|2009–2010||→ Middlesbrough (loan)||7||(0)|
|2010||→ Queens Park Rangers (loan)||3||(0)|
|2010–2011||→ Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan)||3||(0)|
|2011||→ Sheffield United (loan)||11||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He began his career at Brentford in 1995, before he signed with Crystal Palace in 1998. The next year he joined Sheffield United via Port Vale. In 2000, he transferred to Blackburn Rovers, where he got his first taste of Premier League football, before he moved on to Ipswich Town in 2001. He spent 2003–04 on loan at Leicester City, before he transferred to Everton in 2004. Two years later he was sold on to Charlton Athletic. He spent the 2007–08 season on loan at Wigan Athletic, before he moved on to Birmingham City in 2008. He spent three years with Birmingham, during which he spent time on loan at Middlesbrough, Queens Park Rangers, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Sheffield United. After leaving the club he spent six months in Indonesia with Mitra Kukar.
Bent was born in Hammersmith, London, to parents of Jamaican origin. He graduated through the Brentford youth ranks, usually playing as a forward. He broke into the first team at Griffin Park in 1995–96 under manager David Webb, helping the "Bees" to a 15th-place finish in the Second Division. Bent was almost ever-present in a successful season that saw Brentford reach the play-offs in 1996–97 with a fourth-place finish. He played at Wembley in the play-off Final defeat to Crewe Alexandra, and was substituted after 70 minutes for Scott Canham. Bent then scored five goals in 29 games in 1997–98, as the "Bees" struggled in vain to avoid relegation under Eddie May and then his replacement Micky Adams.
Though not a prolific striker for Brentford, his potential was spotted by Crystal Palace manager Steve Coppell, who brought Bent to Selhurst Park for £300,000 in January 1998. The "Eagles" were relegated out of the Premier League in last place in 1997–98, though Bent had shown his ability with five goals in 16 games, including strikes at Stamford Bridge and Anfield. However, he remained goalless in 15 appearances in 1998–99, as Palace struggled under new boss Terry Venables. With the club heading for administration, he was sold on to First Division rivals Port Vale for £300,000 in January 1999, as one of long-term manager John Rudge's last purchases.
Rudge was unable to make the most of his new player, as chairman Bill Bell controversially sacked Rudge and hired Brian Horton. Played out of position on the left-wing, Bent went 15 games without a goal for the "Valiants" in 1998–99. He played nine games in 1999–2000, scoring once against Grimsby Town in a 3–1 win at Vale Park. In October 1999, he was sold on to league rivals Sheffield United for £375,000, with Bell eager to cash in on the £75,000 profit.
He became the "Blades" top scorer in 1999–2000 with 15 league goals in 32 appearances, including a hat-trick past West Bromwich Albion in a 6–0 thrashing at Bramall Lane on 19 February. The club had struggled under Adrian Heath, before finding an upturn in results after Neil Warnock stepped into the hot-seat in December. He began the 2000–01 campaign in fine form, hitting a hat-trick past Lincoln City in a 6–1 win in the League Cup. He was then sold on to promotion chasing Blackburn Rovers for £2 million in November 2000; the transfer was seen as good business for both clubs.
He scored his first goal for Rovers against bitter East Lancashire rivals Burnley in a 2–0 win at Turf Moor on 17 December 2000. He went on to hit 11 goals in 34 appearances in 2000–01, justifying Graeme Souness's fee, as the Ewood Park club won promotion back to the Premier League. He made ten goalless appearances in 2001–02, before he was sold on to Ipswich Town for £3 million in November 2001, which was Town's fourth biggest transfer fee behind teammates Matteo Sereni, Hermann Hreiðarsson and Finidi George.
His goalscoring form has proved the £3m fee for Bent from Blackburn is money very well spent. It's no coincidence that Ipswich's change in form has followed him signing for them. His speed, pace and eye for goal have tormented some of the Premiership's best defences.
Despite Bent scoring nine times in 22 league starts, the "Blues" were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2001–02 season. He stayed at Portman Road for the 2002–03 campaign, hitting 12 goals in 38 games, as the "Tractor Boys" missed out on the play-offs by one place and four points. However Ipswich entered administration, and were forced to sell talent such as Marcus Stewart, Titus Bramble and Darren Ambrose; a relegation battle was only avoided after manager George Burley was replaced by Joe Royle. Ipswich then found another striking talent, Darren Bent (no relation), and Bent joined newly promoted Premier League side Leicester City on loan for the 2003–04 campaign, in a move that reunited him with manager Micky Adams. Bent scored ten goals in 35 games, though the First Division beckoned for the "Foxes", as the Walkers Stadium outfit finished six points behind 17th place Everton.
Unable to afford his £17,000-per-week contract, in June 2004, Ipswich sold Bent to Everton for a fee of £450,000; "Toffees" manager David Moyes said that "he's got athleticism, he's quick, good in the air". He became a regular starter at Goodison Park in the lone centre forward role (supported by Tim Cahill), but only managed seven goals in 2004–05, which were key in securing draws away to Southampton and at home to Aston Villa, as well as decisive goals against Middlesbrough and Manchester City. Despite having helped the club to secure a place in the Champions League, Bent became a more peripheral figure in 2005–06, having lost his first team place to James Beattie.
In January 2006, it was announced that Bent had signed for Charlton Athletic in a deal worth £2.3 million. He scored on his debut as a substitute against Premier League champions Chelsea in a 1–1 draw. Bent hit only two goals in 35 games in 2006–07, 13 fewer than strike partner Darren Bent, who had signed with Charlton from Ipswich. The club had collapsed following the departure of manager Alan Curbishley after his fifteen-year reign, and First Division football returned to The Valley despite the best efforts of Iain Dowie, Les Reed and Alan Pardew.
Loan to Wigan AthleticEdit
Bent joined Wigan Athletic on "deadline day" (31 August 2007) on a season long loan move, one of nine summer signings by boss Chris Hutchings. However, after a poor start to the campaign, Hutchings was replaced by Steve Bruce. Bent scored a hat-trick, his first in the Premier League, against former club Blackburn Rovers in a 5–3 win, on 15 December; Roque Santa Cruz also scored a hat-trick in the game, the first time in the Premier League that two opposing players scored hat-tricks in the same match. Despite only hitting seven goals in 32 games, he still became the "Latics" top scorer in 2007–08. At the end of the season, Wigan manager Steve Bruce chose not to make the deal permanent, feeling Bent was too similar in style to Emile Heskey; Bent subsequently returned to cash-strapped Charlton, where he was placed on the transfer list.
Bent signed a three-year deal for Birmingham City in July 2008 for a fee in excess of £1 million, after rejecting the opportunity to join Cardiff City. He scored three goals from 16 starts and 17 substitute appearances as Alex McLeish got the club promoted to the Premier League with a second-place finish in 2008–09. He did not feature at the higher level for the "Blues". Instead, he became Gordon Strachan's first signing for Middlesbrough when he joined on a two-month loan deal on 30 October 2009, later extended to 16 January 2010. He spent the final three months of the 2009–10 season on loan at a second Championship club, Queens Park Rangers, whom he joined in February 2010. Both clubs finished in mid-table, and Bent failed to find the net at either the Riverside Stadium or Loftus Road.
Still out of the first team plans at St Andrew's, he again moved on loan in August 2010, as he joined Mick McCarthy's Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers until 4 January 2011. He made five appearances without scoring, before joining Sheffield United on loan until the end of the 2010–11 season, teaming up with Micky Adams at a third different club. With the Blades in free-fall Bent made ten appearances, mainly from the bench, before returning early to Birmingham in mid-April having failed to score a goal. Birmingham decided against taking up the option of another season, and Bent was released when his contract expired at the end of the 2010–11 season.
Bent signed a one-year contract with Indonesia Super League club Mitra Kukar on 3 November 2011. In doing so he rejected interest from clubs in England, choosing the Far East as he "didn’t want to be based up north". He was released on 17 April 2012, with the club in mid-table.
Bent has a younger brother, Elliott, who is ten years his junior and is also a footballer. Elliott was a youth team player at Fulham, until injury saw him released in 2007. He dropped into non-league football and has played for Dorchester Town, Welling United and Hampton & Richmond Borough.
Bent had been engaged to Kelly Clark, with whom he has a daughter, but their relationship broke down and they split up. He has since been involved with model Danielle Lloyd and actress Gemma Atkinson, to whom he was briefly engaged. After his playing career ended, Bent entered the oil business.
He was charged with affray and possession of a Class A drug in September 2015 after police used a taser whilst arresting him at his home in Esher. He had called 999 after believing intruders were in his house, but was tasered by police responding to the call. In February 2016 he admitted to one charge of affray and possession of cocaine; he was given a suspended 12-month prison sentence, a two-month curfew and 200 hours of compulsory unpaid work. Four months later he was fined £385 with £85 costs after being found with cocaine at Chessington World of Adventures. He was declared bankrupt in January 2019.
|Club||Season||Division||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Crystal Palace||1997–98||Premier League||16||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||16||5|
|Port Vale||1998–99||First Division||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||15||0|
|Sheffield United||1999–2000||First Division||32||15||3||1||0||0||0||0||35||16|
|Blackburn Rovers||2000–01||First Division||28||8||6||3||0||0||0||0||34||11|
|Ipswich Town||2001–02||Premier League||25||9||2||1||0||0||0||0||27||10|
|Leicester City (loan)||2003–04||Premier League||33||9||2||1||0||0||0||0||35||10|
|Charlton Athletic||2005–06||Premier League||13||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||13||2|
|Wigan Athletic (loan)||2007–08||Premier League||31||7||1||0||0||0||0||0||32||7|
|Queens Park Rangers (loan)||2009–10||Championship||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||0|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan)||2010–11||Premier League||3||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||5||0|
|Sheffield United (loan)||2010–11||Championship||11||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||11||0|
|Mitra Kukar||2011–12||Super League||11||4||–||–||–||–||0||0||11||4|
- "Marcus Bent". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
- Hugman, Barry J, ed. (2005). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2005/2006. Queen Anne Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-85291-662-6.
- "Player Profile: Marcus Bent". Premier League. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- Roach, Stuart (24 September 2007). "Bent targets revival at Wigan". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
- "Business: The Company File Palace on the rocks". BBC News. 3 March 1999. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- Staniforth, Tommy (5 September 1999). "Vale's Foyle spoils brave comeback by Grimsby". The Independent. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
- "Bent completes Rovers switch". BBC Sport. 24 November 2000. Retrieved 15 March 2008.
- "Burnley 0–2 Blackburn". BBC Sport. 17 December 2000. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- "Bent completes Ipswich move". BBC Sport. 23 November 2003. Retrieved 15 March 2008.
- "Strachan scoops award". BBC Sport. 8 February 2002. Retrieved 17 October 2008.
- "Profile". wolves.co.uk. Archived from the original on 6 January 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- "Everton clinch Bent signing". BBC Sport. 23 June 2004. Retrieved 15 March 2008.
- "Charlton complete Bent transfer". BBC Sport. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 15 March 2008.
- "Marcus Bent joins Wigan on loan". BBC Sport. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2008.
- "Striker Bent returns to Charlton". BBC Sport. 13 June 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
- "Bent becomes a blue". Birmingham City FC. 16 July 2008. Archived from the original on 22 December 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
- "Cardiff Bent double". Sky Sports. 14 July 2008. Retrieved 14 July 2008.
- "Marcus Bent signs for Bluebirds". Wales Online. 12 July 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2008.
- "Middlesbrough complete Bent loan". BBC Sport. 30 October 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
- "Striker Marcus Bent joins QPR on loan from Birmingham". BBC Sport. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
- "Wolves sign striker Marcus Bent on loan from Birmingham". BBC Sport. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
- "Bent makes Blades move". Birmingham City F.C. 18 January 2011. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Loan duo return". Sheffield United F.C. 16 April 2011. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- Tattum, Colin (25 May 2011). "Colin Doyle to stay on at Blues for another year". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- "Marcus Bent Resmi Gabung Mitra Kukar" [Marcus Bent joins Mitra Kukar] (in Indonesian). Mitra Kukar FC. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- Back, Adrian (25 November 2011). "From Ipswich to Indonesia: Marcus Bent Dispels the Myth of an Englishman Abroad". sportsvibe.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- "Mitra Kukar Resmi Lepas Marcus Bent" (in Indonesian). antaranews.com. 16 April 2012. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- Mason, Lewis (13 September 2017). "Former Crystal Palace, Everton, Sheffield United and Charlton striker signs for Wick". Littlehampton Gazette. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
- "Marcus Bent". The Football Association. Retrieved 18 January 2011.[dead link]
- "Player Profile". dorchestertownfc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- "Danielle Lloyd splits from Marcus Bent". Now Magazine. 29 June 2007. Retrieved 29 February 2008.
- "Gemma Atkinson splits from Marcus Bent". Now Magazine. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
- Street, Tim (19 October 2012). "Brother of ex-Everton and Birmingham striker opens his heart". Get West London. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
- "Former striker Marcus Bent tasered by police and charged with affray and drug possession". The Sentinel. 15 September 2015. Archived from the original on 17 September 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
- "Suspended sentence for former Port Vale player who admitted affray". The Sentinel. 12 February 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2016.[permanent dead link]
- "Ex-footballer Marcus Bent sentenced for affray". BBC News. 12 February 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- Baggaley, Mike (21 June 2016). "Former Valiants striker Marcus Bent fined for possessing cocaine". The Sentinel. Retrieved 21 June 2016.[permanent dead link]
- Johnson, Ian; Rodger, James (14 January 2019). "Ex-Birmingham star bankrupt after cocaine-fuelled fall from grace". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 1996/1997". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 1997/1998". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 1998/1999". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 1999/2000". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 2000/2001". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Games played by Marcus Bent in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "Marcus Bent: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 28 September 2018.