Christopher Edmund "Chris" Kirkland is an English footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Sheffield Wednesday. Kirkland started his career at Coventry City, where he was regarded as one of the country's most promising young goalkeepers. As a teenager, Kirkland trained with Coventry City and Leicester City. After an unsuccessful trial with Blackburn Rovers, he accepted a contract offer from Coventry in 1998. Kirkland made his debut for Coventry in the League Cup against Tranmere Rovers on 22 September 1999. His performances were rewarded at the end of the season when he made his debut for the England under-21's, and was voted Coventry's Young Player of the Year by the club's supporters. He was bought by Liverpool for £6m on the last day of the transfer window at the start of the 2001–02 season. Kirkland made his debut for Liverpool in October 2001. He played 14 consecutive matches, during which he kept six clean sheets, but sustained an ankle injury in January 2003, which ruled him out for the rest of the season. He featured in four of Liverpool's six group games in the Champions League as Liverpool went on to win the trophy.
In the summer of 2005 Kirkland agreed to go on a season-long loan to West Bromwich Albion in order to kick-start his career again. In July 2006, Kirkland joined Wigan Athletic on a six-month loan spell. Kirkland won the club's Players' Player of the Year and Media Player of the Year awards for 2007–08. On 25 November, Kirkland joined his hometown Leicester City on loan until January. Kirkland was going to join Cardiff City on emergency loan, in February 2011. On 12 October 2011, Kirkland joined Championship Doncaster Rovers on loan until January after attracting interest from new manager Dean Saunders. On 23 May 2012, it was announced that Kirkland was to join Championship side Sheffield Wednesday. He won eight caps in his profile while playing with the England under-21 team and was regularly selected for the senior squad from 2003 onwards.