10 years ago, Bluebirds from all over the country made the trip to Wembley, dreaming that Dave Jones would finally lead the Bluebirds back to the top flight. We all know what happened that day, even if we all do our best to suppress the memory, but what happened to that exciting Bluebirds squad that couldn’t quite get over the line?
David Marshall – In his first year with the Bluebirds, David Marshall had a huge impact, including his heroics in the penalty shootout against Leicester City. Dave The Save finally made the Premier League with the Bluebirds under Malky Mackay and became arguably the best goalkeeper we’ve had in many years. A move to Hull in 2016 didn’t quite work out how Scotland’s number one would have liked and he is now first choice at Championship strugglers Wigan Athletic.
Kevin McNaughton – One of the most popular players in Cardiff City history arguably had his best spell in a Bluebirds shirt under Dave Jones, but failed to shine on the day and was subbed for Anthony Gerrard midway through the second half. Super Kev, like many others in this team, went onto gain promotion with The Bluebirds, but had a frustrating spell under Mackay and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before leaving the club and moving back to Scotland, seeing out his playing days with Inverness. Kev is now studying his coaching badges back home.
Mark Hudson – Another player in his first season with the club, Hudson took the armband off Joe Ledley at the start of the season and led the club out on the day. Hudson became one of the most successful captains in the club’s history, leading them out for a League Cup final and also lifting the trophy as Cardiff City were promoted to the Premier League as Championship winners under Mackay. After leaving the club following relegation, Mark went on to captain Huddersfield and lead them to promotion in his final season as a player. He is still at Huddersfield as a well-regarded first-team coach.
Darcy Blake –Darcy Blake offered so much promise and memorably marked an inform Wayne Rooney out of the game when Wales faced England, but his career faded into nothing and he quit football before reaching his prime. After leaving the club under Malky Mackay, Blake spent time at Crystal Palace and Newport, before quitting the game.
Mark Kennedy – Former Republic of Ireland full-back Kennedy was always a solid player during his time at the club. This game proved to be his last in a Cardiff shirt, as he left the club to sign for Roy Keane’s Ipswich Town during the summer. After two years with Ipswich, Kennedy hung up his boots and is now the head coach at League Two Macclesfield Town.
Peter Whittingham – A true legend at Cardiff City. What a season Whitts had during 2009/10, scoring 25 goals. He went on to share the golden boot that season and spent another seven years with the club before leaving to go to Blackburn. Sadly Peter passed away in March 2020 after a fall in Barry. His loss is still felt by everyone at the club.
Steve McPhail – One of the most underrated players in this team. The former Leeds United midfielder controlled the Cardiff midfield that season with his fantastic range of passing. After overcoming cancer in 2010, Steve was diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome in 2011 that impacted the remainder of his career, which saw spells at Sheffield Wednesday and his hometown team Shamrock Rovers, where he remains as Director of Football.
Joe Ledley – Scorer of Cardiff’s second goal and one of the best players on the pitch, Ledley saw his popularity with the club damaged after a controversial move on a free transfer to the SPL. Following the heartbreak of this defeat at Wembley, Joe left the club and moved to Scottish giants Celtic, where he won three SPL titles and a Scottish Cup. After leaving Glasgow, he had a three and half year spell at Crystal Palace before signing for Derby County. Known for his heroics in a Welsh shirt during Euro 2016, Ledley was most recently playing for A-League side Newcastle Jets under Carl Robinson.
Chris Burke – The popular winger scored 16 goals in 118 games for the club and contributed nine goals this campaign. Burke left the club at the end of his contract and despite claiming he wanted to move “back home,” he signed for fellow Championship side Birmingham City on a three-year deal. After leaving Birmingham, he played for Nottingham Forest and Rotherham before finally making it back to Scotland playing for Ross County and his current club Kilmarnock.
Michael Chopra – Chopra opened the scoring with a calm finish and up to that point had an incredible season scoring 21 goals including 18 in the league. Chopra left the club in the summer of 2011 and signed for Ipswich Town, where he never really hit the heights he did in a Cardiff shirt. Chops went onto play for Blackpool, before two spells in India with Kerala Blasters and two seasons in Scotland for Alloa Athletic. He hung up his boots in 2016 and in 2017 he started taking his coaching badges out in India.
Jay Bothroyd – What would have happened if Jay didn’t go off injured after 15 minutes? Why didn’t Dave Jones bring on Ross McCormack? – These were the biggest talking points in the days following this trip to Wembley, but the defeat seemingly only spurred Bothroyd onto better things. The following season, Bothroyd was so impressive for Cardiff that he earned himself an England call up, becoming the first player to ever represent England while under contract with the Bluebirds.
After failing to agree a new contract with the club, Bothroyd signed for QPR on a free transfer, but that move didn’t work out and he left the club at the end of his contract. Jay went out to Asia to continue his career and is now playing for Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo in Japan’s J League at the age of 38.
Kelvin Etuhu – After a disappointing loan spell at Cardiff, Etuhu returned to Manchester City where he was released following his jailing for assault in 2011. After his release, he went on the play for Portsmouth, Barnsley, Bury and was released by Carlisle United after the early conclusion of the League 2 season.
Ross McCormack – A man that should have played at a higher level, but like several other players on this list, was hampered by off the field issues. The talented striker left the Bluebirds in 2010 to sign for Leeds United where he became a fan favourite. After a very successful spell in Yorkshire, McCormack went on to sign for Fulham in an £11m deal. Once again, McCormack had a very successful spell in front of goal and moved to Aston Villa for £12m. This is where things went off the rails for Ross and disciplinary issues saw him shipped out on loan for the majority of his time at the club. Now without a club at the age of 33, it appears that his playing days could be over.
Anthony Gerrard – Remembered by Cardiff fans for his miss in the League Cup final penalty shoot-out, Gerrard left the club just before Cardiff got promoted to the Premier League. Gerrard never really found a club that suited him and had disappointing spells at Huddersfield Town, Shrewsbury, Oldham, Carlisle and most recently Chesterfield.