Mark Ridgers is a professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Scottish Championship club Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Mark Ridgers (born 9 August 1990) is a professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Scottish Championship club Inverness Caledonian Thistle. He has previously played for Heart of Midlothian, Ross County, St Mirren, Partick Thistle and Orlando City B in the United Soccer League, as well as Airdrie United, East Fife and Kilmarnock on loan. He has also represented Scotland at under-21 level.
Born in Inverness, Ridgers started his career as a youth player with Ross County. On 16 December 2006, at age 15, he made his senior debut, coming on as a half time substitute in a Scottish League Cup match against Stranraer, replacing Craig Samson in a 1–0 loss.
In May 2007, he transferred to Heart of Midlothian for a £40,000 fee. Whilst playing for Hearts under 19 squad Ridgers impressed manager Csaba Laszlo and was promoted to the first team signing a new contract keeping him at the club until 2012. In November 2009, he was sent on loan to East Fife on a monthlong loan deal to give him first team experience. Despite subsequent loans to Airdrie United and a return to East Fife he was yet to make a first team appearance for Hearts, although had been named on the bench.On his return from loan at East Fife, he was named on the bench again as a substitute against Auchinleck Talbot in the Scottish Cup. On 30 January 2012, he was rewarded with a new two-year contract extending his stay at the club until 2014. On 24 March 2012, he made his senior debut for the club, coming on as a half time substitute in a Scottish Premier League match against St Johnstone, replacing Jamie MacDonald in a 2–1 loss. He went on to make his first start on 5 May, against St Johnstone. He was on the bench when Hearts won the 2012 Scottish Cup Final.
On 6 November 2009, Ridgers joined East Fife on a one-month emergency loan deal, making his debut the following day against Peterhead. In all he made five competitive appearances for them.
Due to lack of first team chances with him being Hearts fourth first team keeper Hearts looked to send Ridgers out on loan again, joining Airdrie United on a six-month loan deal. He made his debut on 24 July 2010 in the Challenge Cup against Ayr United. His loan was later extended until the end of the season. In all he made 38 appearances in all competitions for Airdrie. At the end of the season manager Jimmy Boyle expressed his desire for Ridgers to stay with them for another season although this never materialised.
Ridgers joined East Fife for a second spell during pre-season for the 2011–12 season as a trialist. Appearing against his parent club Hearts in a friendly on 5 July 2011. A loan agreement was later confirmed by Hearts sending him on loan until January 2012. He made his competitive debut against Montrose in the Challenge Cup on 23 July, followed by his Second Division debut on 6 August against Stirling Albion. A notable moment came on 20 September at Pittodrie Stadium when Ridgers saved three penalties in their League Cup win over Aberdeen. Ridgers won the Irn-Bru Young Player of the month award for September for his performance at East Fife.In all Ridgers made 17 appearances for them with his last appearance coming on 2 January 2012 against Cowdenbeath.
On 6 June 2014, Ridgers signed a two-year deal with Scottish Premiership side St Mirren. After spending the early part of the season as second choice behind Marián Kello, he made his debut for the club on 22 November 2014, against Hamilton Academical. Ridgers left St Mirren by mutual consent in January 2016.
On 22 September 2015, Kilmarnock confirmed that they had signed Ridgers on an emergency loan deal until January 2016. This followed an injury to their regular goalkeeper, Jamie MacDonald, leaving the club without a goalkeeper for cup matches.
On 29 January 2016, Ridgers signed with United Soccer League side Orlando City B, the USL affiliate side of Major League Soccer's Orlando City SC. He was released by the club at the end of their 2016 season.
On 3 January 2017, Ridgers joined Scottish Premiership side Partick Thistle on a contract until the end of the 2016–17 season. He was given the number 35 shirt for thistle. Ridgers made his Partick Thistle debut coming on as a substitute at half time in a 5–0 defeat against Celtic. He left the club in May 2017, at the end of his contract.
Ridgers signed for Inverness Caledonian Thistle in July 2017.
Ridgers has been called up to be part of the Scotland under-19 and Scotland under-21 squads. Ridgers was first called up to an under 21 training camp in 2009 and the full squad in 2010 but was behind Grant Adam in terms of selection for the under-21 team, but was promoted in November 2011 when Adam was withdrawn from the squad due to an alleged sectarian offence. He made his under-21 international debut in a 2–1 victory against the Netherlands. Ridgers was at fault for the Netherlands goal, although there was some doubt as to whether the ball had crossed the goalline. He continued in goal for their next qualifier against the Netherlands on 29 February, keeping a clean sheet.
Ridgers was born in Inverness. He is the brother of fellow footballers Ally and William Ridgers.
As of 21 March 2019
Heart of Midlothian
Scottish Cup: 2011–12Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Scottish Challenge Cup: 2017–18, 2019–20
Mark Ridgers at Soccerbase