Born: Swansea, Wales, 29 November 1968
Position: Centre back
International caps: 65
International goals: 3
Signed: 2 June 1999, from Sunderland (free transfer)
Fulham debut: Birmingham City 2-2 Fulham, 7 January 1999.
Fulham appearances: 193
International goals: 4
Honours: Division One champions (2000-01), InterToto Cup winners (2002).
Sold: 17 January 2004 to West Ham (player-exchange).
Andy Melville initially struggled for acceptance amongst the Craven Cottage faithful, perhaps because he had replaced a club cult hero in Simon Morgan. The experienced centre back was not as much of extrovert as one of his predecessors as Fulham captain – few would be, in fairness – but he became a crucial figure in Fulham’s history in his own right.
Melville, who played alongside the man who brought him to SW6 – Paul Bracewell – at Sunderland – brought experience and calmness to the heart of a Fulham defence that was miserly if unspectacular and flourished once Jean Tigana encouraged the Welsh international to do more with the ball himself. He stepped up to become a capable captain after Chris Coleman’s dreadful car crash and helped the Whites both win promotion to the top flight and establish themselves in the Premier League.
A steadying influence amongst the back four, Melville was part of a team that did far more in its early years amongst English football’s elite than many had expected. Tigana’s side progressed to the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 2002 and then won the InterToto Cup before reaching the third round of the UEFA Cup. The emergence of Zat Knight limited Melville’s first-team opportunities once Coleman took over from Tigana and he joined West Ham in a swap deal for Ian Pearce in January 2004. He remains in football as a highly-regarded coach and fitness trainer.