James Beattie was born in 1978 in Lancaster, Lancashire England. He started his career in Blackburn school where he was a swimmer. A talented member of the pool team as he was, he later dropped swimming for football after damaging his shoulder tissues.
After impressing some nearby scouts, Beattie signed for Blackburn as a professional In 1995 during the clubs glory years. What with Rovers’ famous front pair of Shearer and Sutton, the tall powerful striker wouldn’t make his first appearance until a year later. .
He endured a disappointing time under Kenny Dalglish, making no more than eight appearances for two seasons. He thereafter transferred to Southampton for the 1998 season as part of the £7m deal that saw Kevin Davies move the opposite way. Despite initially struggling with numerous injuries, Beattie finally got into his goal scoring stride with the Hampshire side.
He became a dependable team player from November 2000 where he scored ten goals in 10 appearances ensuring that Southampton was not relegated.
Despite the early glut, the striker’s goal scoring form was erratic, spending extended periods of time without scoring and then going on impressive scoring runs.
In the 2002-2003 season, he enjoyed the most fruitful spell of his career, ending the season with 23 goals, making him the third most deadliest striker in the league. He even helped his team reach the 2003 FA Cup final where they eventually lost to Arsenal.
Thereafter Beattie left Southampton for Everton for two seasons in a big money £6m move, the career decision proved iffy at best as he struggled for form, soon falling on the wrong side of favour with David Moyes.
Beattie would later make the move to Championship side Sheffield United where he made 62 appearances, banging in an impressive 34 goals in the process. The spell soon came to an end with the Yorkshire side unable to keep up with the strikers wage demands.
Seeing him as the physical type of forward suitable for his famed style of play , Stoke’s Tony Pulis signed him up for a reported £3.5m.
Stoke and beyond
Beattie hardly pulled up any trees playing for the newly promoted Premier League side, netting 10 goals in his sole season. The happenings behind his exit however were reportedly box office viewing.
Incensed at his managers decision to cancel the clubs Christmas party due to poor recent form, an altercation occurred post a 2-0 2009 defeat to Arsenal with Tony Pulis.
It’s reported that the no nonsense manager head butted the striker whilst only wearing a towel, an incident not entirely denied by current player Ryan Shawcross.
He left Stoke to join Rangers (7 apps) with a loan to Blackpool (9 apps), Sheffield United (18 apps) and finally Accrington Stanley making 25 apps. He thereafter hang his boots and become Accrington Stanley manager, a job that lasted for 16 months.
It was heavily suggested that Beattie May in fact be one of the infamous ‘Secret Footballers‘, an online blogging platform where anonymous persons publish soccer articles.
The former burly forward served as a pundit for BT Sport in the 2014-2015 season. He was also appointed a first team coach at Swansea, but the role was short lived as Gary Monk the manager was fired for a string of poor results. He is currently enrolled for the UEFA Pro License 2016-2017.