James Knowles
Personal information
Full nameJames Knowles[1]
Date of birth (1993-04-06) 6 April 1993 (age 24)
Place of birthNorthern Ireland
Playing positionCentral midfielder
Club information
Current clubBlackburn Rovers
Youth career
2006–2009Lisburn Youth
2009–2010Blackburn Rovers
Senior career*
2010–2011Blackburn Rovers Reserves10(1)
2010-2011Blackburn Rovers0(0)
National team
2008Northern Ireland U-160(0)
2009Northern Ireland U-17
2010Northern Ireland U-19
2011Northern Ireland U-21
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:47, 9 August 2011 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 9 August 2011

James Knowles (born 6 April 1993) is a Northern Irish footballer who plays as an attacking central midfielder for Blackburn Rovers.[2] Following a breakthrough senior friendly match appearance and effective U-19 performances, he was called-up to the Northern Ireland Under-21 side.[3] Knowles spent his junior career in Northern Ireland with Lisburn Youth.[4] His performances as a goalscoring playmaker attracted the attention of English clubs and Knowles went on trial at Arsenal.[5] In 2008, he joined Blackburn Rovers youth academy. Knowles progressed from the academy to play for Blackburn Rovers’ reserve side. In 2011, at the age 18 years, Knowles made a senior pre-season friendly game start for Blackburn Rovers.[6]

Club career

Early career

Knowles made his name as a junior player playing for Lisburn Youth, based in Lisburn, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland.[7] His performances earned him a call-up to Northern Ireland’s U-16 team. The Northern Irishman then represented his country in the annual schoolboy tournament, the Victory Shield competition, competed for between the U-16 teams of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The team only picked up a point (against Scotland) but Knowles was cited by the Northern Irish FA as one of the prime performers.[8] In 2009, the midfielder helped his school, Fort Hill College, to a 2-1 victory in the prestigious schools football Senior Cup Final against St Malachy’s College.[9] Knowles’ performances as a goal-scoring playmaker attracted the attentions of English Premier League side Arsenal, who reportedly took him on trial.

Blackburn Rovers and Northern Ireland

In 2008, Knowles signed for Blackburn Rovers youth academy. His youth international appearances continued as a member of the Northern Ireland U-17 squad that competed in a number of challenge internationals in Greece. The following year, in the 2010-11 season, Knowles was promoted to the Blackburn Rovers reserve side. The young midfielder helped Blackburn win the Lancashire FA Senior Final against Preston North End. The game was clinched in a successful penalty shoot-out, in which Knowles scored the first penalty.[10]

Preparation for season 2011-12 saw Knowles selected to start for Blackburn Rovers senior team in a friendly pre-season game against Accrington Stanley, which Rovers won 2-1. The midfielder also featured for Northern Ireland’s U-19 side in the Milk Cup competition, his side losing in the final to Denmark.[11] In August 2011, 18 year old Knowles was called up for the first time to the Northern Ireland U-21 squad for a UEFA U-21 qualifier against the Faroe Islands.

Career statistics

As of 17:20, 14 May 2011


  1. List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/04/2010 and 30/04/2010 (PDF). The Football Association (August 2010). Retrieved on 9 August 2011.
  2. James Knowles. (9 August 2011). Retrieved on 9 August 2011.
  3. "Knowles gets U21 call-up". 6 August 2011.,,10303~2412613,00.html. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  4. "Lisburn Youth website". 16 July 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  5. "NI U16 midfielder Knowles interests Arsenal". 22 November 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  6. "Knowles’ senior debut". 16 July 2011.,,10303~2394210,00.html. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  7. "Knowles grabs 'golden goal' for Lisburn". 3 January 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  8. "Northern Ireland lose against Wales". NI FA. 17 March 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  9. "Fort Hill College win Senior Cup Final". 17 March 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  10. "Rovers win Lancashire FA Senior Final". Lancashire FA. 25 July 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  11. "NI lose Milk Cup Final". BBC News. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 

External links

Blackburn Rovers F.C. – current squad
it:James Knowles
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