Versatile players can sometimes be under-appreciated and pay for their flexibility by struggling to occupy a permanent position in the team.
David Edgar may have been one of those players who suffered at times in his Turf Moor career from able to deputise in several different roles.
Edgar’s father, Eddie, was a Geordie who was on Newcastle United’s books as a goalkeeper in the 1970s.
However, David was born and brought up in Canada, where as a youth he excelled at athletics and ice hockey (at which he was considered good enough for a professional career) as well as football.
He moved back to England aged 14 and followed his dad into St. James’ Park. A good start in the Newcastle side saw him score against Manchester United on his home debut but opportunities were relatively rare and in 2009, shortly after Burnley’s first promotion to the Premier League, Owen Coyle brought him to Turf Moor.
Coyle had gone by the time Edgar made his first top-flight appearance as a Claret, in a 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford in January 2010 which was Brian Laws’ first game as manager.
With other players ahead of him in the defensive pecking order, though, Edgar spent the last months of that season on loan to Swansea.
By far his best season with Burnley was 2011/12 when he was near ever-present and scored his first two goals for the club within six minutes of each other in a 3-2 win at Hull City.
Mainly used as a defender under Eddie Howe’s management, he was employed more often in central midfield after Sean Dyche took over. Although not a regular, he did appear in almost of half of the League games in the Clarets’ promotion season of 2013/14, his last as a Burnley player.
After spells with Birmingham City, Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United, Edgar returned to Canada in 2016, joining Vancouver Whitecaps.
He was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident in December of that year, but recovered to resume his playing career, which apart from a brief spell at Hartlepool United, continued in Canada and the USA up to his retirement at the end of 2020, by which time he had won 42 full caps for Canada, including 23 during his time at Turf Moor.