Dean Whitehead is an English footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Stoke City. Whitehead started his career with Abingdon Town's youth team, before joining the youth scheme of his local league club, Oxford United. He progressed through the ranks there making his professional debut in a 2–0 win over Luton Town in the Football League Trophy. He scored his first goal in the Football League against Rushden & Diamonds in August 2001. In June 2004 he signed for Sunderland on a free transfer. Whitehead quickly became a key member of the first team as Sunderland won the Championship in 2004–05, and was chosen as Players' Player of the Year by his team-mates at the end of the season. Sunderland finished first in the Championship in 2006–07 thus gaining an instant return to the Premier League. Whitehead had a good season and was included in the PFA Team of the Year. He also came second in the club's player of the year vote. Whitehead signed a four-year deal for Stoke City on 24 July 2009 for £5 million. He made his Stoke City debut on 15 August 2009 in a 2–0 win over Burnley. Whitehead made his 100th appearance for Stoke on 3 November 2011 in a UEFA Europa League match against Maccabi Tev Aviv. He scored a rare goal in a 1–0 win over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on 1 December 2012.