Jamie "The Master" Stuart, started his career as a trainee rising through the youth ranks of Charlton Athletic and made over 50 first team starts for The Addicks, netting three-goals. However Jamie's time at Charlton was abruptly ended when he failed a random drug test in mid-November 1997. Stuart tested positive for cocaine and marijuana, which he denied taking knowingly. He was released by Charlton and dropped from the England Under-18 squad. |
Stuart had represented England at Under-21 level, playing in a competition in Toulon, France, where they faced the likes of Brazil, France, Italy and Nigeria.
After his lengthy six-month ban, Wigan boss, John Deehan, gave Jamie an opportunity to revive his career with the Latics after a few reserve team appearances at the end of the 1997/98 season. However, the former England Under-21 international, opted to sign for Millwall at the start of the following season.
The left-back spent over two seasons at The Den, making over 50 appearances for The Lions before a move north to Bury on a free transfer in October 2001. Prior to signing for Bury, Jamie also had unsuccessful trials at Northampton Town and Cambridge United.
Whilst at The Shakers, Stuart managed to gain a total of 4 red cards and a handful of yellows in just 18-months. This disciplinary record was on par with then Leeds United star Alan Smith and former Man Utd favorite Roy Keane.
Jamie's most controversial sending-off came in the Division Three Play-Off Semi-Final at Gigg Lane, between Bury and Bournemouth in May 2003. Two minutes into stoppage time of the first half, Wade Elliott was alleged to have elbowed Stuart, the former Dean Court trialist, in the face breaking his nose.
"Their player caught me in the face with an elbow and broke my nose. I reacted by grabbing his shirt and asked him why he'd done it but the referee came straight up to me and showed me the red card. He only booked the Bournemouth player.” Stuart protested. "I've been sent off a few times but I wouldn't like to think my reputation went before me on Saturday."
Stuart then returned to the south-east joining Bury's Third Divison rivals Southend United at the start of the 2003/04 season. It was reported that the defender’s move was due to domestic commitments as Jamie and his wife, with their young daughter, wanted to be closer to their respective families.
After his sending off in the Play-Off’s, Jamie missed the first few matches of the new 2003/04 season through suspension. The left-back made over 30 appearances for The Shrimpers in one season. In November 2003, Steve Wignall was sacked from Southend United, and the clubs new manager, Steve Tilson, did not see Stuart in his future plans and so he was released at the end of the season.
Following his release from Roots Hall, Jamie then dropped down to the newly formed Conference South and joined now defunct, Hornchurch FC, along with former Southend team-mate Damon Searle. This is where Stuart was moved from full-back into the middle of defence.
Due to Hornchurch’s financial problems, Jamie was one of five players to move from then leaders of the Conference South, to league rivals Grays Athletic in November 2004, along with Ashley Bayes, John Martin, Lee Matthews and Steve West. Four of the ‘Hornchuch Five’ made their debut for Grays in the Senior Cup 3rd round against Harlow. Grays triumphed 4-1 but we’re later expelled from the tournament because the recent Hornchurch signings were illegible to play.
Jamie played a key role for Grays over the last few seasons, winning the Conference South and the FA Trophy twice. Stuart was also handed the captains armband for the first couple of months of the 2006/07 season, whilst Stuart Thurgood was recovering from injury. He was also caretaker manager for one game in the Essex Senior Cup, where the club beat Concord Rangers 1-0 at The New Rec.
At the end of the 2004/05 season, Jamie Stuart was voted Supporters Player of The Year.
The club announced on the 28th April 08, that Jamie had agreed a one-year-deal for the 2008/09 season. He went on to win the Player of the Season award again.
In June 2009, he joined up with ex-Grays boss, Justin Edinburgh at Rushden & Diamonds after failing to agree new terms with Grays due to the massive drop in budget. Edinburgh described the experienced defender as "a great leader" and handed him the captaincy for the upcoming 2009/10 campaign.
Details correct as of 30 June 2009
Pictures © Grays Athletic 1982 Ltd.