Stewart Downing is another international star who was snapped up by Kenny Dalglish in the 2011 close season. A traditional wide man, who can play either on the left or right, he was spotted by home-town Middlesbrough as a schoolboy and made his first-team debut for the club on April 24, 2002, in a Premier League match at Ipswich Town. He went on to make 206 appearances for his home-town club and played a major part in helping them reach the UEFA Cup final in May 2006, which Steve McClaren’s side eventually lost 4-0 to Sevilla. He made his England debut on March 9, 2005, as a second half substitute in a friendly against Holland at Villa Park. In the summer of 2008 he was strongly linked with a move to Anfield but manager Rafael Benitez instead signed Albert Riera. A year later Downing was transferred to Aston Villa, where he had a two-year spell in which he made 75 appearances and scored eight goals. In the 2010-2011 season he claimed nine Barclays Premier League assists for Villa, more than any Liverpool player. Downing has been involved in several charitable and community projects. He supports the nationwide ‘No Messin’ campaign, warning youngsters against playing on the railway lines, and in February, 2008, he held a charity dinner with special guest boxer Ricky Hatton to raise funds for the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, which had cared for Vicky, Stewart’s sister, who died of leukaemia in 1993 at the age of four.