Matlock Town is pleased to announce the signing of thirty-three-year-old striker Craig Westcarr on dual-registration from Boston United.
Westcarr played for Nottingham Forest as a youth, and became the youngest player to ever play for the club, aged 16, when he came on for David Johnson 83 minutes into a 1–0 win over Burnley at the City Ground on 13 October 2001 He made a further seven First Division appearances in the 2001–02.
Westcarr won caps for the England under-15, under-16, under-17, under-18 and under-21s. He played in the 2001 UEFA European Under-16 Championship, where England finished fourth.
He played 13 games in the 2002–03 campaign, scoring his first goal in senior football on 4 May, in a 2–2 draw with Rotherham United at Millmoor. However, he made only four appearances in the 2003–04 campaign and dropped out of the first team picture under new manager Joe Kinnear.
He joined League Two club Lincoln City on loan in December 2004. He scored on his debut for Keith Alexander’s “Imps” on 1 January, the only goal of the game with Bury at Sincil Bank. He played five further games before returning to Nottingham at the end of the month. He spent April 2005 on loan at Danny Wilson’s Milton Keynes Dons, failing to score in four substitute appearances during his time at Stadium MK. He was one of 12 players released by Forest in May 2005 after the club were relegated out of the Championship under Gary Megson.
Westcarr joined Conference National club Cambridge United on a short-term contract in September 2005 after impressing during a trial period. He scored eight goals in 34 matches in the 2005–06 season as Rob Newman’s “U’s” posted a 12th-place finish. He chose to leave the Abbey Stadium in May 2006 after rejecting the offer of a permanent contract.
Westcarr signed with Conference North club Kettering Town in May 2006. The “Poppies” finished the 2006–07 campaign in second place but were denied promotion after losing to Farsley Celtic in the play-off semi-finals.
He was moved out to the wing by manager Mark Cooper for the 2007–08 season and helped the club to win promotion as divisional champions.
Westcarr scored twice in the FA Cup Fourth Round against Premier League side Fulham as Kettering twice pulled level before losing 4–2. He was named as the Conference North’s Player of the Month for March 2008. He ended the 2008–09 season with eight goals in 45 games but was released by Kettering in May 2009.
Westcarr joined Ian McParland’s League Two side Notts County in May 2009. On the pitch, Westcarr remained a mainstay as the club won promotion as league champions. He scored 11 goals in 50 games, including a hat-trick against Hereford United in a 5–0 win at Meadow Lane on 27 February. He signed a new two-year deal with the “Magpies” in June 2010.
He continued to be a key player for the club under three more different manager – Craig Short, Paul Ince and Martin Allen – in the 2010–11 season, scoring 12 goals in 41 League One game for County. On 8 January 2011, he scored the opening goal past Premier League side Sunderland in an FA Cup giant-killing victory at the Stadium of Light.
Westcarr signed a two-year contract with John Sheridan’s Chesterfield in August 2011 after moving for an undisclosed fee. He hit 11 goals in 43 appearances for the “Spireties” in the 2011–12 season as the club were relegated out of League One. Despite suffering in the league, the club found success in the Football League Trophy by beating Swindon Town 2–0 at Wembley Stadium; Westcarr replaced Jack Lester after 37 minutes and scored the second goal of the game deep into injury-time.
He was transfer-listed by new manager Paul Cook in November 2012. He scored three goals in 18 appearances in the first half of the 2012–13 season before he left the Proact Stadium after his contract was cancelled by mutual agreement in January 2013.
Westcarr joined League One club Walsall on a temporary loan deal in November 2012. He signed a permanent deal with Walsall in January after he was released by Chesterfield. He scored his first goal for the “Saddlers” at the Bescot Stadium in a 3–1 win against nearby Shrewsbury Town on 2 March. He then continued his fine form by scoring a 30-yard thunderbolt against fellow play-off hopefuls Tranmere Rovers 10 days later, which won the club’s Goal of the Season award. He signed a new one-year contract in July 2013.
Westcarr started the 2013–14 season well in another game against Tranmere, bagging a brace and creating a goal in a 3–1 home victory over the Merseyside club. He finished the season as the club’s top-scorer with 17 goals in 48 appearances. However, he was released by manager Dean Smith in May 2014.
On 17 June 2014 Westcarr signed a two-year deal with League Two side Portsmouth. Westcarr scored his first goal for Portsmouth on 19 August 2014 in a 2–0 league victory over Northampton at Fratton Park. He would have a short stay with Pompey only lasting a season before moving to Mansfield Town for a season that included a loan with Southport FC.
Westcarr would move to Alfreton Town in 2016 and has come up against the Gladiators numerous times during his two-year stay with the reds, playing a total of sixty-three times and scoring twenty-five goals, he left Alfreton at the end of the 17/18 season following a change in management.
Westcarr joined Boston United in the summer of 2018 and has now become a part of manager Dave Hoole’s squad and goes straight into the team tonight.