Joe Widdowson has joined Leyton Orient on a two-year contract after rejecting a contract extension with local National League rivals Dagenham & Redbridge. The 28-year-old left-back becomes the O’s second new arrival of the summer.
[textmarker color=”E00202″ type=”background color”]Joe Widdowson[/textmarker]
Born: Forest Gate, England
Height: 1.83 m (6 ft)
Career Apps: 327
Career Goals: 1
Joe began his career with West Ham, progressing through the youth system. He was included in the Hammers’ pre-season trip to the USA in 2008 and he played a full 90 minutes in the MLS All-Stars game. In the season that followed, Widdowson had a short loan spell with Rotherham.
In January 2009, Joe moved on loan to League Two side Grimsby Town. Widdowson scored his first senior goal in a 3-0 win over Rotherham and went on to make 20 appearances for the Mariners. At the end of the season, Grimsby boss Mike Newell made Widdowson’s move permanent and the left-back left West Ham without having made a senior appearance. He made another 41 appearances for the Mariners during the 2009/10 season.
In June 2010 Widdowson made the switch to Rochdale, who had been newly promoted to League One. He went on to make over 70 appearances for the Dale during his two seasons at Spotland. He was released by the club in May 2012.
In the summer of 2012, Joe returned to League Two football, signing with Northampton Town on a two-year deal. Widdowson featured regularly at left back during his first season with the Cobblers, making 47 appearances in all competitions. However, in his second season, his playing time was restricted to 28 games as Northampton narrowly avoided relegation.
Following his release from Northampton at the end of the 2013/14 season, Widdowson had a trial with Bury and he managed to secure a short-term contract with the League Two side. However, Joe would make just one substitute appearance for the Shakers.
Soon after, Widdowson was loaned out to Morecambe, for whom he made eight appearances during a two-month spell.
He then joined Dagenham & Redbridge, initially on loan, but he later agreed a permanent transfer to Victoria Road. In his first full season with the club in 2015/16, Widdowson played 34 games, as the Daggers were relegated from League Two.
Last term, Widdowson featured regularly at left-back for Dagenham, playing 51 games as the Daggers secured a place in the play-offs with a 4th place finish. Joe also featured in both legs of the play-off semi-finals, which Forest Green won 3-1 on aggregate.
Daggers boss John Still offered Widdowson a new contract to keep him at Victoria Road, but Joe has opted to join the O’s for the 2017/18 campaign and beyond.