Premier League Career: Aston Villa (1993-1994), Sheffield Wednesday (1994-1998)
Guy Whittingham played as a forward in his career for 17 seasons. He played for no fewer than 11 different clubs and this included an unproductive spell in the Premier League with Aston Villa and a slightly more rewarding spell with Sheffield Wednesday. Throughout his career, Whittingham appeared no fewer than 450 times.
Born in Evesham, Whittingham spent time in the army before making his mark as a footballer. His initial breakthrough came with non-league outfit Waterlooville, finishing as the club’s top goalscorer during the 1987-1988 season. After a season at Yeovil Town, he was signed by Portsmouth in the summer of 1989 which turned out to be the best period of his career. He scored 99 times in just 173 appearances including a staggering 42 league strikes in 1992-1993. Portsmouth only narrowly missed out on promotion to the top-flight on goals scored. His knack of finding the net earned him the nickname “Corporal Punishment” on the south coast.
In 1993, he signed for Aston Villa, joining intense competition already on the books at Villa Park. Up against Dean Saunders, Dalian Atkinson and Dwight Yorke, Guy struggled to recapture his Pompey form in the Midlands. Nevertheless, he did score two winning goals to defeat Everton and Sheffield United and also struck in a fantastic 2-1 away win at Highbury against Arsenal. In February 1994, Ron Atkinson allowed him to move on-loan to Wolverhampton Wanderers, which meant he missed out on Villa’s League Cup final triumph over Manchester United.
After scoring twice in eight appearances for Villa in 1994-1995, he was moved on by Brian Little, joining Sheffield Wednesday in December 1994 with Ian Taylor going in the opposite direction. Whittingham hit the ground running, scoring four goals in two matches against Everton and Coventry City during the 1994 Christmas period. Wednesday won 9-2 on aggregate in these games. In fact, December seemed to be his favourite time of the year. A year later, Guy scored in three successive league matches for the only time in his Premier League career. He netted in a 4-3 win over Coventry, a creditable 2-2 draw at Old Trafford and a 6-2 thumping of Yorkshire rivals Leeds United.
He was very popular at Hillsborough but despite being a fans’ favourite, he was never a guaranteed starter. He has some loan time back at Wolves, as well as at Watford and Portsmouth. Whittingham’s final Premier League appearance came as a late substitute in defeat to Coventry City in October 1998. He finished his Premier League career with 138 appearances, scoring 27 times before rejoining Portsmouth permanently in 1999.
Guy’s last season as a professional was in 2000-2001 and he actually scored goals for three different clubs in the Football League, notching for Peterborough United, Oxford United and Wycombe Wanderers. He also featured in Wycombe’s fairytale run to the FA Cup semi-finals before they were edged out at Villa Park by Liverpool FC.
He went into coaching after his playing retirement, becoming player-manager of Newport but left them in May 2005 when the club ran into financial trouble. He then took up a coaching role at Eastleigh in 2006 before joining the Portsmouth coaching staff in January 2009. He then guided the club through a couple of caretaker spells when financial peril hit Pompey and even enjoyed a seven-month stint as permanent boss in 2013. He is now a coach educator for the FA, a role he has held for the past four years.