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|Birthday||December 11, 1984|
Leighton John Baines is an English footballer who plays for Everton and the England national football team. He started his career with Wigan Athletic, with whom he won the Second Division in the 2002–03 season and was a runner-up in the 2004–05 Championship and the 2006 Football League Cup Final.
He joined Everton in 2007, helping them reach the 2009 FA Cup Final. He has played for England at under-21 and senior levels.
In July 2007 Baines rejected a move to Sunderland, after their bid of a reported £6 million was accepted by Wigan. In the following month he signed for Everton for an initial fee of £5 million, with another £1 million in add-ons, dependant on Baines’ appearances for Everton.
He did not play regularly in his first season, making just 29 appearances in all competitions, due to an injury and the good form of Phil Jagielka and Joseph Yobo at centre back which kept Joleon Lescott at left back. His second season at Everton saw an increase in Baines’s playing time. Due to an injury to Yobo, Lescott moved to the centre of defence and Baines played at left back.
He was voted Player of the Month at Everton two months in a row in the 2008–09 season. Baines scored his first ever Everton goal against Portsmouth on 21 March, at Fratton Park, after 57 games (in all competitions) without scoring. On 30 August 2009, he scored a last minute penalty in a 2–1 win over his former team Wigan. A month later, he captained Everton for the first time in a UEFA Europa League match against AEK Athens.
In the 2010–11 campaign Baines played every minute of Everton’s Premier League games, as well as scoring seven goals in all competitions. His contribution was rewarded with the club’s Player of the Season, Players’ Player of the Season, and Goal of the Season awards. Two of those goals were free kicks against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea. The goal against Chelsea was voted Everton Goal of the Season.
The other goals came against Manchester City, Scunthorpe United, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Athletic. He also contributed 11 assists throughout the season and was 5th overall in the League and was the league’s highest assisting defender.
Baines scored five times during the 2011–12 season, and reached 99 consecutive league games before ending his season early due to injury. His performance at left back was deemed impressive enough to be named in the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year in 2012, the first Everton player to do so for 22 years since Neville Southall was named in the 1989–90 Team of the Year.