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Born: 8 Feb 1984
Joined Wycombe: December 2003 - Free transfer from Ipswich Town
Wycombe Debut: Wycombe 0 Rushden 2 - Div 2 - 28 Dec 2003
First Wycombe goal: Wycombe 2 QPR 2 - Div 2 - 20 Mar 2004
Final Wycombe goal: Derby 1 Wycombe 1 - Champ'ship - 28 Nov 2020
Final Wycombe game: Exeter 0 Wycombe 0 - Lge Cup 1R - 10 Aug 2021
Retired from playing: 2nd February 2022
Career summary at Wycombe
558 appearances - 42 goals
Signed his first professional contract at the beginning of season 2001/02 but made just one senior appearance for Town when he appeared in the Carling Cup defeat to Notts County earlier in the 2003/4 season.
Signed an extension to his contract in September 2006 that ran until 30th June 2008. Suffered a cruciate knee injury in March 2008 and was sidelined until late 2008 when he made a gradual return to First Team action. During his time out injured the Club honoured a contract extension that was eventually agree at June 2010. Suffered another injury hit season in 2009/10 but impressed Manager Gary Waddock enough towards the end of the campaign to be offered a further one year extension to his contract which was agreed in May 2010 and ran until June 2011. A further one year extension was agreed in May 2011 following Wanderers promotion to 'League One', while the same deal was agreed at the end of the next two seasons, with the extension at the end of the 2012/13 season coming after another injury hit season where he made just three appearances.
Returned from injury during the 2013/14 season, eventually going on to make his 300 competitive appearance for the Wanderers at a similar time he celebrated ten years with the Club. His testimonial year culminated with a game against Chelsea at Adams Park on Wednesday 16th July 2014.
He signed a new two year with the Club in the summer of 2014 that ran until June 2016. Commenting on the deal, he said "Itís been a privilege to play for Wycombe Wanderers since the first day I walked through the door and thatís never changed, so Iím delighted to be able to pull on the shirt for another two years. I really feel Iím coming into the best years of my career and have so much to offer on and off the pitch. Iím really looking forward to getting stuck into the new season and giving everything Iíve got once again. Even after all these years, the club still ticks all the right boxes for me Ė I have so much respect for the manager, I have a great rapport with the fans and itís such a special place for me to play my football.Ē
Proved to be a consistent player again during the following two years and was rewarded on 24th April 2018 with a further two year extension to his contract. Commenting on the new deal, Manager Gareth Ainsworth said: "Heís had yet another excellent season for us and proved Ė like many others in the squad Ė that age is just a number and heís got plenty of football left in him. Securing him for another two years gives both the club and Matt the opportunity to keep one eye on his future in a possible coaching role, but for now weíre all fully focused on what he can deliver for us on the pitch and Iím delighted to have captured his signature on this new contract."
Bloomfield added: "Iíve always said that when I came here in 2003 I never expected to stay for more than a couple of years, but now I canít imagine playing my football anywhere else. I love being part of this squad and this season has been one of the most enjoyable times of my career. Iím excited to be part of this clubís progress and feel I still have plenty to offer on the pitch. Iíve played more games this season than in any season in the last 11 years; I feel as fit as ever, I really enjoy the role I play in the team and am proud to pull on the shirt each week alongside the fantastic professionals we have in our changing room. I want to keep playing for as long as possible but itís great for me to know in the back of my mind that there could be plans to move into coaching or other roles within the club in the future."
The following weekend (Saturday 28th April 2018), Bloomfield was part of the Wycombe team that secured promotion back to 'League One' following a dramatic 2-1 victory at Chesterfield. That was Bloomfield's third promotion with the Wanderers and his playing record at the end of the 2017/18 saw him top of the all time appearance makers in the Football League for the Club.
On Saturday 2nd March 2019 he made his 500th professional appearance when he stepped out for Wanderers in the away game at Peterborough United, marking the occasion with a goal but on the wrong end of a 4-2 defeat. With all but one of those appearances being for Wanderers, his next appearance for Wycombe took him into the 500 Club at Adams Park.
The 2019/20 season marked Bloomfield's 16th full season with the Club. The campaign (curtailed by COVID-19) culminated in a historic play-off final victory over Oxford United at Wembley Stadium on 13th July 2020 - this taking then then 36-year-old into the Championship for the first time in his career. Speaking after the victory at Wembley, Bloomfield said: "We lost here in the final against Southend, I missed a penalty, it was the worse day of my career. 5 years later and it's the best day of my career.. it's beyond my wildest dreams."
Although Wycombe's season in the Championship ultimately ended with relegation, Bloomfield still managed to keep up his impressive record of scoring a competitive goal in every season since joining the Wanderers in December 2003 - his crucial stat smashing goal coming in the 1-1 draw at Derby County in November 2020. But as with previous season's his playtime was restricted due to injury and began taking on more coaching duties with the Club.
Having played just under a hour of a League Cup tie at Exeter on 10th August 2021, Bloomfield was substitued following another knock to the head. He would later reveal this was the main reason for his retirement from the playing side, announced on 2nd February 2022, saying: "I have sought the opinion of medical experts who have advised me that I can no longer play the game that I love. I was desperate to keep playing, and Iím still not sure I have come to terms with it. However, I know that I have so much to be thankful for."
Reflecting on his long playing career at Adams Park, he said: ďI lived out a boyhood dream to represent Ipswich Town in my first professional appearance. I then lived out my other boyhood dream to captain a team to victory at Wembley Stadium . I couldnít have dreamt that the team I captained there would be the team that has become my club." He added: ďI have shared some really special memories at Adams Park with our fans, and I would like you all to know that your support over the world has meant the world to me. You have made my playing career such a special experience and I thank you all for that. I know that I can retire content knowing that I definitely gave it everything I had.Ē
Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth headed the tributes to the player by saying: "Itís a sad day, but also a proud one, to celebrate the playing career of one of the best, if not the best, professionals I have had the pleasure of working with throughout my time in football. Matt was my room-mate in my playing days, my captain in my management career, and now Iím honoured to have him by my side on the coaching staff for the next chapter. We could not have achieved everything that we have done without him, and above that, I wouldnít have wanted to have gone on this journey without him. He has been such an inspiration to everyone at Wycombe Wanderers, on and off the pitch, and he has shown tremendous courage to take this step for him and his family. Wycombe Wanderers have been truly blessed with an extraordinary individual that has gone far far beyond what he signed up to do. Matt Bloomfield is a Wycombe Wanderers legend, a guy you can rely on with anything, a guy who will be there for you through everything, and someone who has the respect of every other footballer in the game. To have seem him develop into the man he has become goes deeper than just football, and above all this he is, and always will be, one of my closest friends."
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