Pugh playing for AFC Bournemouth in 2015
|Full name||Marc Anthony Pugh|
|Date of birth||2 April 1987|
|Place of birth||Bacup, England|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Playing position||Midfielder / Winger|
|2005||→ Kidderminster Harriers (loan)||5||(1)|
|2006||→ Kidderminster Harriers (loan)||2||(0)|
|2008||→ Luton Town (loan)||4||(0)|
|2009||→ Hereford United (loan)||9||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:57, 31 October 2018 (UTC)|
Pugh started his career with Burnley, where he progressed through the youth system. He was released by the club having made his first team while on loan at Kidderminster Harriers and signed a short-term contract with Bury in 2006. Pugh later signed a professional contract at the club and after rejecting an extended contract in 2007 he signed for Shrewsbury Town. He was loaned out to Luton Town and Hereford United, joining the latter permanently in 2009.
Pugh left Hereford after one season to sign for Bournemouth in 2010, where he was top scorer in his first two seasons. He has since made over 300 appearances for the club, helping them win promotion to the Championship in 2013 and the Premier League two years later. As a result, Pugh has played and scored in all five of England's nationwide football divisions.
Pugh was born in Bacup, Lancashire to Tony and Denise. He grew up in Stacksteads and attended All Saints' Catholic High School, Rawtenstall. He is married to Laura, with whom he has two daughters. Pugh is a devout Christian.
Pugh started his career with First Division club Burnley where, at a young age, he started as a Centre of Excellence player, and gradually worked his way up through the ranks to become an apprentice in 2003. As a first year apprentice he played for the youth and reserve teams and due to his great goalscoring record, which led to him being named on the bench for two first-team matches in the League Cup, they decided to keep him on for a third year. As a third year apprentice he scored 15 goals for the club's reserve and youth team. This led to him to being loaned out to Kidderminster Harriers of the Conference National in November 2005 to play first team football. He made his debut for Kidderminster after coming on as an 86th-minute substitute in a 3–1 defeat to Stevenage Borough. He converted a Simon Heslop cross during a match against Dagenham & Redbridge to score his first career goal, which helped Kidderminster to a 3–1 victory. Also, during a match he displayed a smart piece of skill which involved flicking the ball over an opponents head with his heel, then crossing the ball in for a teammate to score; this move was featured on Soccer AM's showboating section.
He returned to Burnley on 13 December 2005 after picking up a groin injury, but returned to Kidderminster for a second loan spell on 7 January 2006. This spell ended on 26 January 2006 so Pugh could concentrate on his career at Burnley, having made 10 appearances and scored 1 goal while at Kidderminster. He learned that he would not receive a professional contract at Burnley in February 2006, which was partly because both Chris McCann and Kyle Lafferty had both already received professional contracts and they were only second year apprentices.
Having just been released from Burnley, Pugh signed for League Two club Bury on a short-term contract on 23 March 2006, following a three-week trial. Bury were entangled in a relegation battle, and Pugh made his debut two days later after coming on as an 80th-minute substitute for Lewis Gobern in a 2–1 home win over Rochdale. He marked his first start for Bury with a goal from 10 yards in a 1–1 away draw with Lincoln City on 15 April 2006, after which manager Chris Casper commented "Mark's a good player and he's got a bright future if he keeps his feet on the ground". He finished the 2005–06 season by playing six matches and scoring one goal for the club. As a result of his good performances, and helped by the fact that Bury had survived relegation in 19th place, Bury manager Chris Casper offered him a new one-year contract at Gigg Lane; his first professional contract.
Pugh was a regular first-team player in 2006–07, playing particularly well in the first half of the season, and was offered an extended contract at the club in January 2007. Pugh rejected this in February 2007, saying he "wanted to keep his options open". Casper revealed his disappointment at this and Pugh later said financial reasons were his motivation to reject a new contract. He was offered renewed contracts throughout the season but still took none of them, which Casper blamed on his agent. Pugh finished 2006–07 with 41 appearances and 4 goals for Bury; they finished in 21st place in League Two.
With many clubs interested in his services, Pugh signed for fellow League Two club Shrewsbury Town on 29 May 2007 for a compensation fee. Shrewsbury manager Gary Peters revealed that he had already attempted to sign him earlier in the season as part of a swap deal when striker Glynn Hurst moved to Bury. He made his debut in a 4–0 away win over Lincoln City, setting up Andy Cooke for the third goal with a cross. He suffered an injury in November 2007 and underwent a scan, which was believed to be a cartilage problem. Days after discovering the results of the scan, which revealed he was suffering from acute tendinitis, he returned to training. He scored his first goal for Shrewsbury on his return in a 4–0 home victory over Dagenham & Redbridge, turning in a Marc Tierney cross in the 78th minute before assisting Tierney for Shrewsbury's final goal. He scored a further two goals that season following the arrival of Paul Simpson as manager, and finished 2007–08 with 38 appearances and 4 goals, for a Shrewsbury team that ranked 18th place in League Two.
After struggling to feature in the team at the start of 2008–09, Pugh joined fellow League Two club Luton Town on a one-month loan on 12 September 2008. His debut came in a 3–1 home win over Aldershot Town a day later, after which manager Mick Harford said "He is an out and out winger, and he put in some good crosses. But he hasn't played a lot of football this season and he maybe faded a bit". He returned to Shrewsbury after playing in four matches for Luton. He was loaned out to League One team Hereford United on 26 March 2009, and made his debut two days later in a 1–0 home loss to Huddersfield Town. Pugh scored his first goal for Hereford with an equaliser against Hartlepool United on 4 April 2009, to make the score 2–2, although Hereford eventually lost 4–2. He finished the loan spell with nine appearances and one goal, as Hereford were relegated after finishing bottom of League Two. He was released by Shrewsbury after having the remaining year of his contract cancelled on 26 June 2009.
Pugh re-joined Hereford on a permanent basis following their relegation into League Two, signing a one-year contract on 30 June 2009. Upon this move, he realised that he "needed to knuckle down and get on the football ladder now, because this could be my last opportunity". He scored twice on his second debut for Hereford, the first from a long-range shot in the 39th minute and the second a 90th-minute equaliser, as they drew 2–2 away to Morecambe on 8 August 2009. Pugh finished 2009–10 as Hereford's top scorer with 13 goals in 46 appearances. His goals were cred with helping stabilise Hereford, as they finished in 16th place in League Two. He left Hereford at the end of the season after rejecting a new two-year contract.
On 4 June 2010, Pugh signed for newly promoted League One club AFC Bournemouth on a three-year contract, for a compensation fee. The fee of £100,000, which was decided by a tribunal, was described as "quite excessive" by Bournemouth vice-chairman Jeff Mostyn. Pugh made his debut on 7 August 2010 in a 1–0 away defeat to Charlton Athletic, and his first goal of 2010–11 came after heading in a Liam Feeney cross in a 5–1 home win over Peterborough United on 14 August. He was praised for a "virtuoso performance" by the Bournemouth Daily Echo. Pugh had a strong start to his Bournemouth career, and was leading the club's goalscoring charts with six goals by mid-October 2010. Bournemouth qualified for the League One play-offs with a sixth-place finish, and Pugh played in both legs of their semi-final with Huddersfield. They were eliminated after a 4–2 defeat on penalties, having drawn 4–4 on aggregate over the two legs. Pugh was Bournemouth's top scorer in 2010–11, with 13 goals from 47 appearances.
Pugh was one of Bournemouth's most consistent players as they made an indifferent start to 2011–12, having scored 4 goals from 11 appearances by mid-September 2011. Bournemouth opened contract talks with him in December 2011, and he opted to bide his time over the offer of a new three-and-a-half-year deal to concentrate on his playing performances. Pugh finished 2011–12 as Bournemouth's top scorer for the second season running, with 12 goals from 49 appearances, while they finished in 11th place in League One. He was voted the Bournemouth Daily Echo Supporters' Player of the Year; this newspaper described him as "a rare shining light during an up-and-down campaign". He decided not to sign a new contract with Bournemouth in July 2012, and the club was willing to listen to offers for him.
Pugh remained with Bournemouth for 2012–13, with the club not receiving any offers for him over the summer of 2012. He started the season in indifferent form, much like the rest of the team, and had a brief spell on the bench during September 2012. He described Eddie Howe as a manager who "expects and demands the best" upon his re-appointment at Bournemouth; Pugh scored in the returning manager's first match in charge, a 2–0 home win over Leyton Orient on 13 October 2012. Pugh signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract with the club in November 2012, tying him to the club until the summer of 2016. He cited the return of Howe and Bournemouth's promotion credentials as his reasons for signing a new contract. He established himself as an important player for Bournemouth in 2012–13, as they pushed for promotion. They finished the season with promotion into the Championship as League One runners-up, Pugh having contributed with 8 goals from 46 appearances.
He formed an effective partnership with fellow winger Ryan Fraser as Bournemouth enjoyed their best start to a season in the second tier in 2013–14. In mid-November 2013 Pugh stated his belief that Bournemouth had made a "decent start" to the season; by this point he had scored 4 goals from 16 appearances. He believed his playing intelligence improved by playing against more attack-minded full backs in the Championship, saying that "They are still quick to react and you have got to use your brain a little bit more than in League One. It's developed me as a player because you need to learn how to perform in different situations against different players". Pugh made 45 appearances and scored 5 goals in 2013–14 as Bournemouth finished in 10th place in the Championship, which at the time was the highest league ranking in the club's history.
In Bournemouth's first match of 2014–15, a 4–0 away win over Huddersfield on 9 August 2014, Pugh opened the scoring after only 26 seconds with a composed finish from Matt Ritchie's cross. On 25 October 2014, Pugh played as Bournemouth beat Birmingham City 8–0 away to set a club record win, in which he scored the first hat-trick of his career in the second half. Pugh and full-back Charlie Daniels formed a partnership on the left-hand side of the pitch during 2014–15, the duo starting all matches but one of a 14-match unbeaten run for Bournemouth. He scored the first goal in a 3–0 win over Bolton Wanderers on 27 April 2015 with a left-footed shot into the top corner; this result all but sealed Bournemouth's promotion into the Premier League. He played in a 3–0 away win against Charlton on 2 May 2015, which confirmed promotion and, thanks to Watford drawing their last match, the Championship title. This was the first time Bournemouth had been promoted into the top flight in the club's 125-year history. Pugh was one of Bournemouth's most consistent players in 2014–15, and contributed with 9 goals from 44 matches.
Pugh scored his first Premier League goal in Bournemouth's 4–3 away win over West Ham United on 22 August 2015, with a curling shot past Darren Randolph in the 66th minute. This goal meant he had scored in each of the top five divisions of the English football league system. In November 2015, Pugh signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract with Bournemouth, tying him to the club until the summer of 2018.
Pugh primarily plays as a winger but can also play as an attacking midfielder. He has been noted for his dribbling skills and his ability to get past opposition players, and in February 2015 was praised by manager Eddie Howe for adding "real intelligence with his movement".
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Kidderminster Harriers (loan)||2005–06||Conference National||7||1||—||—||3[a]||0||10||1|
|Shrewsbury Town||2007–08||League Two||37||4||1||0||0||0||0||0||38||4|
|Luton Town (loan)||2008–09||League Two||4||0||—||—||—||4||0|
|Hereford United (loan)||2008–09||League One||9||1||—||—||—||9||1|
|Hereford United||2009–10||League Two||40||13||2||0||1||0||3[b]||0||46||13|
|AFC Bournemouth||2010–11||League One||41||12||2||1||1||0||3[c]||0||47||13|
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