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Wednesday 10 July 2013

On this day in 1998: James Beattie bolsters Southampton's strikeforce

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall the young forward beginning his Saints adventure

  • James Beattie scored 68 Premier League goals during his time at Southampton

  • Beattie scored 23 times in the 2002/03 campaign, including a hat-trick against Fulham

  • He also netted in the first Premier League derby between Saints and Portsmouth

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day 10 July 1998 - James Beattie joins Southampton

Southampton secured the services of 20-year-old Blackburn Rovers striker James Beattie, who would go on to enjoy a memorable seven-year spell on the South Coast.

Beattie had made just four Barclays Premier League appearances at Blackburn, but Saints manager Dave Jones gave him an opportunity to show his talents  with 35 appearances in his first season on the South Coast as Southampton secured safety by five points.

Southampton had been architects of numerous successful late battles against relegation until the 1998/99 season, but Beattie and Latvia forward Marian Pahars formed a strikeforce that helped Saints achieve mid-table finishes in the following three campaigns.

In the 2002/03, Beattie scored 23 League goals as Southampton finished eighth, their highest finish in the competition. Under the guidance of Gordon Strachan, the club also reached the 2003 FA Cup Final, before narrowly losing to Arsenal.

Beattie scored a further 14 goals in the 2003/04 season, including a strike in a derby victory over Portsmouth, before he moved on to Everton in January 2005. The England international helped the Toffees finish fourth in his first season on Merseyside, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League as a result.

The striker also enjoyed spells at Stoke City and Blackpool in the top flight. He scored 91 goals in 329 appearances overall. He is now manager of League Two side Accrington Stanley.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when 20-year-old James Beattie joined Southampton from Blackburn Rovers