Carl Magnay.

What happened to the winner of 'Football Icon 2' - who earned a Chelsea contract in 2007

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What a show 'Football Icon' was.

In 2005, Sky One decided to run a programme in which gave youngsters between the ages of 16 - 18 the chance to fulfill their dreams of becoming a professional footballer.

The reward for winning the series? A contract with none other than Chelsea Football Club.

After the success of the first season, which was eventually won by Sam Hurrell, 'Football Icon' would run again the following year. 

Carl Magnay would emerge victorious and become the second winner of the Sky One show, signing professional forms with Chelsea in 2007.

But, where is he now?


A towering defender who drew comparisons with then Chelsea captain John Terry, Magnay cruised through the competition and earned a professional contract with the Londoners.

After signing his first professional contract, Magnay's career looked to be on an upward trend as he progressed through the youth teams at Chelsea.

The Gateshead born defender's initial contract was for just six months, but after impressing in his first few games in the youth team, that was quickly extended by a further few years.

Things were going so well for Magnay, that he was made captain of the reserves and was partaking in training sessions with Chelsea's first team; testing himself against the likes of Didier Drogba. 


"I was made captain of the reserves and I was pushing like hell to get into the first team," Magnay said when reflecting on his Chelsea career. "I trained with them the odd time. In my first session I had to mark Didier Drogba."

"That gave me a sense of the difference, not just technically but physically. He is an absolute athlete. I hit the gym after that."


Proceedings were going well for Magnay, who had impressed so much that he had even made an International appearance for Northern Ireland's under 21's.

However, he then went through an injury nightmare.

After an unsuccessful loan spell with MK Dons in League One, in 2009 Magnay was then loaned to Northampton Town, also in England's third tier.

But after just a couple of games, Magnay fractured two bones in his lumbar spine, keeping him out for five months. 

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After returning to Chelsea, he soon found himself in the treatment room again, where he suffered a severe knee injury in a reserve game against Charlton Athletic in March 2010.

Speaking about the injury in 2013, he said: "I did my cruciate ligament in a reserve friendly against Charlton. There was no-one near me. I went up for a header, landed on one leg and it went.

"That was the defining moment of my career, basically. It took 13 months to recover."


In all Magnay spent five years at Chelsea, but after a promising start, injuries curtailed his progress and he was eventually let go in 2012.

But the Northern Irishman has battled back since, and has forged a career for himself in the lower leagues.

Hartlepool United v Doncaster Rovers - Sky Bet League Two

After leaving Chelsea in 2012, he quickly signed for local side Gateshead, who were competing in the Conference Premier.

A successful spell with Grimsby Town followed, and his reward was a move back to the Football league with Hartlepool Town in 2015.

There was more heartbreak for him when he suffered another cruciate injury in the 2016/2017 season, meaning he could do little as his side were relegated out of the Football League.

But like he has done before, he battled back from that setback, and is now club captain at the cash-stricken club.

So Magnay has had a number of ups-and-downs in his career, but he has still managed to forge a successful career in professional football.

But who knows where he would have been had he not endured such an injury nightmare in his early days at Chelsea...

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Didier Drogba
John Terry

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