Ryan James Shawcross /ˈʃɔːkrɒs/ (born 4 October 1987) is an English professional footballer who plays as a centre-back and is captain of Premier League club Stoke City.
Shawcross began his career with Manchester United and made his debut for the club against Crewe Alexandra in the League Cup; he then spent time on loan at Belgian feeder club Royal Antwerp. He joined Stoke City on loan in August 2007 and made an instant impact scoring on his debut against Cardiff City. His good form prompted Stoke to pay Manchester United £1 million in January 2008 to keep him at the Britannia Stadium. He formed a good defensive partnership with Leon Cort as Stoke gained promotion to the Premier League for the first time, ending 23 years away from the top flight.
Despite making a bad start to Premier League football, Shawcross established himself as first-choice centre-back along with Abdoulaye Faye. Stoke comfortably stayed up, and after another mid-table finish in 2009–10, Shawcross was handed the Captain's armband by manager Tony Pulis ahead of the 2010–11 season. With Faye drifting out of the side, Robert Huth became Shawcross's defensive partner and the team reached the 2011 FA Cup Final, finishing runners-up to Manchester City. The run to the final also meant that Stoke entered the UEFA Europa League in 2011–12, and they reached the round of 32 losing to Spanish side Valencia. Shawcross continued to be a regular under Pulis in 2012–13 and then under Mark Hughes in 2013–14 which saw him win the player of the year award.Close