Marlon King isn’t exactly what you’d describe as a ‘fans favourite’. King has convictions for 14 offences, including driving bans, theft, criminal damage, drink driving and most recently, assault of women and a hit-and-run. In late 2008, King was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a young 20-year-old female student, leaving her with a broken nose and hospital treatment. Earlier this year, he was also arrested in connection with a hit-and-run which left a victim badly injured. Therefore, it might be self-explanatory to why he has now played for 11 clubs throughout the English Leagues.
His footballing talent became most apparent during a loan spell at Watford from Nottingham Forest. He scored 12 goals in just 21 appearances, leaving the Hornets with no choice but to sign the Dulwich-born striker for £500,000 in the 2005 January transfer window. Marlon King scored 36 goals in 81 appearances for Watford yet made a move to Wigan Athletic following Watford’s relegation from the Premier League. After his unsuccessful move to Wigan, scoring just the one goal, he quickly became a man of many clubs; having played for 5 different clubs in 5 years.
Birmingham City offered King a 3-year contract following his successful season at Coventry City, the club’s top scorer with 13 goals. He got off to a bright start, scoring in his first start for the Blues during a Europa League match, making it also his first European goal. In 2012, he had a run of 9 goals in as many games for the side from the Midlands. However, his season ended in March 2013 with a long-term knee injury reoccurring. Due to the lack of minutes on the pitch in the 2012/2013 season, as well as the chairman’s desire to reduce the club’s wages, King’s contract at Birmingham City was terminated this summer.
Marlon King has now been snapped up by David Weir’s struggling League One side, Sheffield United. With just one win this season on the opening weekend, it cannot be argued that a striker of King’s quality and experience is badly needed at Bramall Lane. His goal presence, as well as assists and knowledge of the game, can only help the South Yorkshire side in what can only be described as a disastrous beginning to the season. His international career with Jamaica is his only playing time this season yet Weir stated on sufc.co.uk that he would be quick to introduce him to first team football;
“Marlon has recently played international football so although he hasn’t played at club level this season we will be looking to introduce him as quickly as possible.”
I’m sure Marlon has plenty of experience of retaining his fitness after his recent spells in prison.
Whilst King’s footballing career looks good on paper, it is difficult not to forget his personal life. As a Sheffield United fan, it will be hard to overlook his past in order to support his new 1-year contract. After the Ched Evans case, the South Yorkshire side were quick to separate themselves with the conjunction of a criminal player, terminating his contract when the prison sentence was finalised. However, with the signing of Marlon King, the Blades have again associated themselves with what can only be described as a habitual criminal.
|2005||→ Leeds United (loan)||9||0|
|2005||→ Watford (loan)||21||12|
|2008–2009||→ Hull City (loan)||20||5|
|2009||→ Middlesbrough (loan)||13||2|