view Heywood's match-by-match record

Andy King signed Heywood from Burnley on a free transfer early in 2001, and he went straight into the starting line-up, making his debut in a 3-0 win over Bury on January 27th. The tall defender fitted in immediately, making 21 league appearances before the season was out, and helping the Town avoid relegation.

The following season was a great success for Heywood - despite the presence of Ruddock, Reeves and Willis in the squad, Heywood was almost ever-present, missing just two league games. He obviously endeared himself to the fans - making a clean sweep of all the end of season player awards, despite his obvious lack of pace, and King having a tendency to throw him upfront to add some height to the attack.

After a dip in form at the beginning of the 2002/03 season, Heywood's relationship with the Town fans became strained after he was involved in an argument between players and fans during a match with Cheltenham in September. Along with Andy Gurney, Heywood made a public apology, and he continued at the heart of the defence - becoming the Town's only ever-present player that season. He renewed his contract at the end of the campaign, signing a two year extension.

Heywood was again a vital member of the first team during 2003/04, only an ankle injury picked up in December preventing him from being ever-present for the second successive season, missing just four league games. He formed a solid partnership with Sean O'Hanlon after the latter's arrival from Everton, though his form never quite matched the performances of his early Town career - his distibution and pace often being called into question.

After the permanent signing of Jerel Ifil in the 2004/05 pre-season, Heywood was widely tipped to make way for him in the centre of the Town's defence. Heywood did miss the start of the season, though this was down to a persistent knee injury - keyhole surgery performed in early August keeping him out for six weeks. On his return, he spent nine matches on the bench, returning to the starting line-up for an LDV Vans Trophy win at Exeter in early November. He kept his place for the remainder of the season, firstly slotting into an experimental back three with both Ifil and O'Hanlon, then when Ifil was suspended and eventually dropped, Heywood remained in the back four, keeping Ifil out of the side during February and March. At the end of the season though, Heywood refused the offer of a new contract, citing the club's financial problems as a major reason - and he went on to sign a three year contract at local rivals Bristol City, having made over 200 appearances for the Town.


Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls Played Gls
'04/'05 28 (+4) 1 3 - (+1) - 3 - 34 (+5) 1
'03/'04 41 (+1) 1 1 - 2 - - - 44 (+1) 1
'02/'03 46 1 2 - 1 - 2 1 51 2
'01/'02 42 (+2) 3 3 1 2 - 1 - 48 (+2) 4
'00/'01 21 2 - - - - 2 - 23 2
TOTAL 178 (+7) 8 9 1 5 (+1) - 8 1 200 (+8) 10


22 JAN 2001 IN Burnley
Free transfer
30 JUN 2005 OUT Bristol City
(Bosman free transfer)

full name

Matthew Stephen Heywood


date of birth
26 August 1979


usual positions
central defence

youth career

senior career
Bristol City
Brentford (loan)
Grimsby Town