Full Name: Ben Gordon
Position: Full Back
Birth Place: England
Killie Debut: Aug 14th 2010, in a 2-1 SPL Loss to Rangers
Ben Gordon is an English professional footballer who plays as a defender. As a youth, he began his career at Leeds United before sealing a move to Chelsea in 2007. He failed to break into the first-team at Chelsea, and instead was sent out on loan to Football League clubs Tranmere Rovers, Scunthorpe United, Peterborough United and Birmingham City, as well as enjoying two loan spells with Kilmarnock in 2010 and 2011/12. He rejoined the Ayrshire side in February 2016 as Lee Clark's second signing.
First Spell with Killie
Scottish Premier League side Kilmarnock signed Gordon on a short-term loan deal on 5 August 2010, and made his debut for the club on the opening day of the season on 14 August as Killie fell to a 2–1 away defeat to Rangers. Manager Mixu Paatelainen was encouraged by his debutants performances in the game despite the defeat. He scored his first professional goal on 10 November 2010 as Kilmarnock earned a third consecutive Premier League win against Hamilton Academical. Gordon opened the scoring with a curling shot into the top corner mid-way through the first half. He was instrumental in a 2–1 victory over Hibernian on 18 December, laying on two goals for Liam Kelly. His impressive form for Killie saw him and other in-form players linked with moves away from the club prior to the January transfer window.
Gordon's loan spell with Kilmarnock was ended prematurely by his parent club on 3 January 2011, having been a key member of Paatelainen's team that held fourth position in the Scottish Premier League. The club cited that they would prefer Gordon to play the second half of the 2010–11 season on loan in England. He had hoped to extend his stay with Kille prior to his recall. He left the Ayrshire club on the back of a ten-game run which included seven wins and two draws, and made a total of 18 league appearances, scoring once, in addition to three Scottish League Cup games.
Second Spell at Killie
Gordon returned to Kilmarnock for a second loan spell on 11 January 2012. He revealed how Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas persuaded him to return to Scotland in an attempt to force his way into the Blues' first team on the completion of the loan. He made his second debut for the club in a 0–0 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie on 14 January.
Gordon helped the club to their first ever Scottish League Cup win as they defeated Celtic 1–0 in the 2012 Scottish League Cup Final at Hampden Park on 18 March, earning his first silverware as a player. In the summer of 2012, Gordon returned to Chelsea having made 20 further appearances for Killie.
May 9th 2012 on his Future...“It’s been another good six months. Winning the League Cup was great and it’s been another excellent experience. Now I’m not too sure what is going to happen with me. My agent has a meeting with Chelsea this week to more or less see what the future holds. I’ve got one more year left on my contract and it’ll be to see whether they want me to go on loan again or whether I have to go and get a permanent deal. I’m 21 now and want to be playing regular first-team games. I now think to myself that it’s not going to happen there and they have a lot of good players too. I’ve come to the conclusion I need to play first-team football and it’s not likely down there. When I first signed there at 16, I knew from the very first day it would be tough to get into the team.
“But when I was there, it was an ambition to play even just one minute. It’s tough having been there so long but I’ve reached the conclusion that I’m at the age where you have to move on. Now I just need to find out the future. I haven’t considered anything yet because I have not been told I can leave Chelsea, so it’s down to what they say. If they say I’ve to leave, my agent will get on and see what is available. I’d consider anything to play first-team games but I know this club really well now and I don’t see why that would not be an option for me.”
Feb 9th on the Team's Inconsistent Form..."It's just (about) sticking the ball away but I think it is a matter of time really. Hopefully one day everything will go right for us and we will get all the luck. People think because we are seventh, we are not doing well this year but we have a game in hand and hopefully we can push on and get some big wins on the board. I've got 18 months left at Chelsea and I will be 22 by the time my contract finishes, I know it's tough to break into that side when there is real quality about and they can spend willy-nilly. It is frustrating. There are even a few boys ahead of me who have been on loan to Premiership teams. It is frustrating for me but even more for them when they are even closer to the first team and Chelsea still bring in quality. So I think it is frustrating all the way down the line really. But I will wait and see. I hope to do well as I can here and this is a chance to be in the shop window as well, more than anything. At my age you want to play games. I was at Peterborough for two months but didn't really get into the team. It took me a few games to get back to the pace of the game but I am enjoying it back here. I've got my match fitness now and hopefully I can help Kilmarnock push on."
Jan 22nd on the Pars Defeat... “That was a disappointing return. The first goal killed us before half-time and we tried to go direct second-half so it wasn’t too good. I can play against Ayr. I’m registered and the boys are already talking about it. There’s a massive rivalry and everyone knows what it means, none of the boys want to lose out. We weren’t good enough but, hopefully, the better pitch at Hampden lets us get the ball down and play our normal way. The pitch is the same for both sides but Dunfermline’s first goal came after the ball bobbled over Mo Sissoko’s foot and that’s crucial.”
On Re-Joining Killie... “I was at Peterborough at the start of the season but I wasn’t really featuring. When the transfer window reopened and Killie were interested, I flew straight up to sign. It’s about getting games.”
Jan 20th on Rejoining Killie..."Kenny had a big input last year (as assistant manager) and the sort of things Mixu was doing Kenny has carried them on. I did quite well last time. I just want to get back to playing games and hopefully I can hit the heights I did last time as well. We're hoping for a good performance tomorrow and to take it forward into the Ayr game. Everyone knows they (Dunfermline) are not on a good run, but we can't think about next weekend yet. We've got to make sure we take it one game at a time and get the three points and take it into the Ayr game."
Jan 14th 2012... Kenny Shiels is excited at the prospect of Chelsea loan ace Ben Gordon finishing what he started at Rugby Park..... “Chelsea have agreed to let Ben come up and play for us again on loan. He left at this time last year and got a fantastic send-off from our fans away at St Mirren. He had a great first half of last season with us – now I hope he can do the same in the second part of this one. When he went back, Chelsea put him out on loan to Scunthorpe but there was a problem there after the manager changed. They played a different style of football from us. Ben likes it if you can build something up as it gives him the chance to get forward. He’s an attacking full-back but if you play back to front like Scunthorpe did he can’t get involved in the game.”
Jan 4th 2011....Ben Gordon believes Kilmarnock can win a European spot this season even though he will not be there to help them.
In his last appearance for the Ayrshire club before returning to Chelsea following his loan spell at Rugby Park, the 19-year-old left back heard his name chanted by the travelling fans as Killie cemented fourth place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League with a 2-0 win at St Mirren.
Gordon said.... "If they carry on like this I don't see why they can't get a European spot, Mixu has come in and changed everything and if they can carry on and keep their main players, then definitely."
On the crowd's reaction, he added: "I could hear the fans and it meant a lot to me. It's the first time fans have chanted my name. I am sorry to be leaving. I wanted to stay until the end of the season, but it is up to Chelsea and they wanted me to go back nearer to them and unfortunately that's the way it is. I have to go back to training at Chelsea for three or four days and then they will decide where I go next."
Killie boss Paatelainen admitted he was sorry to lose Gordon. He said: "Ben has been a very positive signing for us. I think he still has a little bit to go to challenge for Chelsea's first team, but he has been absolutely first class with us. We wish him all the best.
"We can't go and buy expensive players so getting a young prospect like Ben was great. I put it to Chelsea that it would be good for him to stay here, but there are quite a few clubs who want him down south, so they want to see him loaned out in England."
Dec 31st 2010.... Gordon has been an integral part of Kilmarnock's impressive form this season, which has seen them rise to fourth in the SPL, after arriving in the summer.