Former Premier League star Greg Halford claims 90% of top-flight teams tried to sign him early on in his career.

The defender, now 38 and still playing for Hashtag United, made waves breaking through into a Colchester United side which he helped gain promotion to the Championship with as a teenager. His promise earned him four caps for England's Under-20s side.

And it also attracted plenty of transfer attention. Halford ultimately joined Reading in the 2007 January transfer window before quickly moving onto Sunderland that summer.

READ MORE: 'I played for both Arsenal and Man City – but there's one team I'd prefer to win Prem'

READ MORE: Join the Daily Star's WhatsApp for the sexiest headlines, showbiz gossip and lots more

This article contains affiliate links, we will receive a commission on any sales we generate from it. Learn more
Watch the Champions League here
Catch every minute of the Champions League 2023/2024

TNT is the only place you can watch all the action from the Champions League this year. You can see every game from the group stage right through to the final as Manchester City look to defend their crown as the newest kings of the World's biggest and best football tournament.

£29.99 a month

TNT Sports

Explaining how it all came about, Halford said on Undr The Cosh: "It was the season where Sunderland were really struggling first half of the season, we ended up playing them away in December and got a draw.

"At that time they did a home and away man of the match. Me and Grant Leadbitter were held in this room and Quinny [Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn] comes in. He was like ‘what you doing in January, we’d like to sign you’.

"At that time I had literally 90% of the Premier League wanting to sign me. I was like they’re struggling in the Championship, I don’t really want to go because I knew I’m going straight to the Prem in January.

Which player did you think would make it big but never did? Let us know in the comments section.

Greg Halford of Colchester United
Halford got a Premier League move after helping Colchester to the Championship

"So I just said 'look, I’m flattered, but I think things are going to happening differently in January', knowing that I was going to the Premier League."

Expanding on his 90% comment, he went on to add: "I think it was only Chelsea and Spurs that didn’t put an offer in."

Halford failed to establish himself at then-Prem side Reading and newly-promoted Sunderland finally got their man. But it didn't work out for him with the Black Cats either, having spells on loan at Charlton and Sheffield United before joining Wolves permanently.

Greg Halford with Cesc Fabregas
The defender - seen here with Cesc Fabregas - is still playing for Hashtag United

Join the Daily Star's WhatsApp for the sexiest headlines, showbiz gossip and lots more

A man laughing at his phone, a sassy womanm the whatsapp logo and an alien in a suit.

The Daily Star is now on WhatsApp and we want you to join us!

Through the app, we'll send you the sassiest showbiz stories, some naught headline and a seismic smattering of aliens...along with the latest breaking news of course.

To join our community, all you have to do to join is click on this link, select 'Join Chat' and you're in!

No one will be able to see who has sign up and no one can send messages except for the Daily Star team. We also treat our community members to competitions, special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners.

If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like. To leave our community click on the name at the top of your screen and choose Exit group. If you’re curious, you can read our Privacy Notice.


Explaining why he turned down the top clubs, Halford said: "I thought at that time I didn’t want to go too big, too quickly.

"I thought it would be harder for me to get into the team, whereas Reading kind of mirrored Colchester to a certain point, where it was a family club, a smaller club in the Premier League.

"I thought I’d be able to fit well into how they played and having spoken to [manager Steve] Coppell, I just felt it would be best for me and my career going to next level after that."