Simon Moore (CC BY-SA 2.0) by joncandy

DID YOU KNOW THESE PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLERS CAME FROM THE ISLE OF WIGHT?

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The Isle of Wight may not be the first place you think of when it comes to producing professional footballers, but there are more players from places on the island than you realise. All of these names were born on the Isle of Wight.

James Hayter

Sandown-born forward James Hayter scored the fastest hat-trick in Football League history during a decade with Bournemouth. That feat played a part in him winning the Isle of Wight Footballer of the Year award in 2004.

Hayter earned three promotions to the Championships via successes with clubs in the third tier via the play-offs. After helping the Cherries get out of that division in 2003, he scored the winner in the 2008 League One play-off final as Doncaster Rovers upset Leeds United.

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A surprise promotion for Hayter also happened at Yeovil Town in 2013 with the Glovers upsetting Brentford at Wembley to get into the Championship. He scored over 150 Football League goals between 1998 and 2015.

Lewis Buxton

Lewis Buxton (CC BY-SA 2.0) by joncandy

Keeping up the theme of promotions with footballers from the Isle of Wight is defender Lewis Buxton. A product of the Portsmouth academy, the Newport native was very much on the fringes when Harry Redknapp steered the Fratton Park side into the Premier League in 2003. This was after being loaned out to fourth tier clubs Exeter City and Bournemouth, where he marked Hayter in training.

Buxton had a similar story at Stoke City as Tony Pulis took the Potters up from the Championship five years later. Was he destined to always look on at teammates from the stands? Thankfully not.

Later in his playing career, Buxton was in the Sheffield Wednesday team that finished runners-up in League One in 2012. He then repeated that feat with cash-strapped Bolton Wanderers in 2016-17 before hanging up his boots.

Simon Moore

Sheffield United goalkeeper Simon Moore is from Sandown and even played for Brading Town on the Isle of Wight. He caught the eye of Brentford after his non-league performances for Farnborough and played against Hayter in the 2013 League One play-off final.

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Cardiff City decided to take a punt on him after getting promoted to the Premier League, but Moore never played a game for the Bluebirds in the top-flight. Via a loan spell at Bristol City, he has been in and around the Blades setup under Chris Wilder that went up two divisions.

Although Moore lost his place to Dean Henderson, that rival has now returned to Manchester United. Sheffield United are 4/1 in the Premier League betting with bet365 to repeat their top 10 finish of last season. But Wilder has also signed Aaron Ramsdale from Bournemouth and Wes Foderingham from Rangers to provide competition between the posts. Wilder has managed Ramsdale before where Foderingham is a fierce player intent on being one to beat.

Aaron Martin

Another Newport-born defender, Aaron Martin was recommended to Southampton in 2009 while playing for sixth tier club Eastleigh. The club was languishing in League One at the time, but the appointment of Nigel Adkins as manager revived their fortunes.

By 2012, the Saints were back in the Premier League where they have been ever since. Martin was in and out of the team but earned consecutive promotions only to miss out on getting a top-flight game.

He has since had spells with Crystal Palace, Coventry City (twice), Birmingham City, Yeovil Town, and Oxford United. Martin spent the last two seasons with Exeter City.

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