Weight 12 8lbs
Born in Widnes on 22 April 1971, Steve enjoyed success in local league football and soon found himself playing for non-league outfit Leek Town (1995 to 1998). He made his mark as an attacking midfielder, scoring over 70 goals for Leek, and was one of the most popular players in the squad. He had all but given up on the dream of breaking into professional football when, at the age of 27, he found out that Portsmouth manager Alan Ball had taken an interest.
Leek immediately ensured they had Steve under contract and awaited developments. Ball finally bagged his man for a fee of £50,000 in July 1998 and Steve found himself running out on Fratton Park to the tune of the Pompey Chimes.
It was a large and strong squad at Portsmouth and Steve struggled to make an impact, making only 12 appearances for Portsmouth (11 of those as substitute) and was eventually loaned out to Macclesfield in the March of 1999. Carlisle manager Martin Wilkinson was in the market to strengthen his midfield and contacted Ball to enquire on Steve's availability. A loan deal was agreed and Soley joined United for a month on the 6 August 1999. He enjoyed it so much he stayed.
Steve made 41 appearances in total that season, and was one of the few highlights in an otherwise desperate season which witnessed United claw their way to safety, only just surviving at the expense of Chester.
Click Here to read in detail about Steve's 1999/00 season.
The 2000/01 season got off with a bang for Steve, scoring both goals in a 2-2 home draw with Halifax but, unfortunately, it was not a sign of things to come. A constant battle against injury restricted Steve to just 5 goals in his 29 appearances as he fought to get himself fully fit and firing on all cylinders. His late runs into the box had become the main feature of his play and were often sorely missed as United battled their way to safety.
Season 2001/02 started badly for Steve when he was injured in the first game, against Luton Town and had to sit out the next ten league games. Back on the subs bench for the home game against Bristol Rovers he came on at half time for Whitehead and as his fitness returned his box to box play and a hundred per cent commitment made him and indispensable member of the team.. Steve's sending off came away at Plymouth on the 24th of November, a heated encounter, to read about it in his own words Click here . Steve's first goal of the campaign came in the fist round replay of the FA Cup at home to Barnet on the 27th of November. It was the day Roddy Collins had been informed that there would be no money for new players, results had been going badly and a battling performance was needed. Soley produced just that and capped it with the only goal of the match, headed in from a good cross from McGill. The next goal came at home to Scunthorpe on the 1st of December. This was an impressive 3-0 win with Soley starting the move that got the first goal when he passed to Hadland on the right. Stevens flicked the ball on to Soley who had continued his run and scored. His next goal came in the 6-1 home demolition of Leyton Orient on the 12th of January. Ian Stevens had already scored the first of his hat trick when he turned provider putting in a low cross for Soley to volley home. Luton Town proved to be stiff opposition for the Cumbrians when they travelled down to Kenilworth Road on 19th of January but the new found confidence and determination in the side saw a credible 1-1 draw. Steve scored a headed goal after a Stuart Green corner wasn't cleared, this after he had already had what appeared to be a perfectly good goal disallowed when Stevens was adjudged to be offside although he wasn't interfering with play. The last goal of the season came at home to Exeter on the 16th of February. On a poor pitch, chances to play passing football were limited and it wasn't until the 71st minute that Carlisle made the breakthrough for the 1-0 win. Peter Murphy took a free kick and sent it to Foran on the far post, the ball broke loose and in the resulting scramble Steve reacted quickly to head the ball home. The last game of the season for Steve was the home game against Swansea on the 9th of March. He and Lee Andrews both went for the same ball and in the tangle Steve sustained an injury that turned out to be a broken toe which left him to sit out the rest of the season, despite his best efforts to continue. However Steve put his enforced lay off to good use. After Roddy Collins was sacked youth team manager Billy Barr took over as temporary first team manager and Steve guided the youth team through their final matches. He also guided the Cumberland Cup team through the semi final and final win. His reward for his efforts was to be be released at the end of the season!
|18||2||4+1 FA Cup||5||1|
Steve has signed for conference side Southport for the 2002/03 season, linking up with former team mate Mark Winstanley. If the long awaited take over goes through and Roddy Collins is reinstated he has a release clause in his contract that will see him back at Carlisle United. Where ever Steve plays his football he will give 100%, we can only wish him him all the best and say thanks.
Click Here to read an interview with Steve and to find out how he feels about Carlisle United and Here for Steve's regular articles about last season.
Back to Player archive