Caleb Colman Folan (born 26 October 1982 in Leeds, England) is an English-born footballer of Irish heritage currently playing for Hull City.
He qualifies for the Republic of Ireland national football team through his grandfather, who was from Inis Mór, and his grandmother, from Galway.
Folan started his professional career at hometown club Leeds United, spending brief spells on loan at Rushden & Diamonds and Hull City before making a permanent move to Chesterfield.
In April 2006 he underwent a cartilage operation on a recurring knee injury. In October 2006 he scored the winner against West Ham United in Chesterfield's League Cup victory and also signed a one-year contract extension.
After a series of impressive performances for Chesterfield, Folan was linked with a January transfer to Premiership side Wigan Athletic, and on 26 January 2007 he completed a £500,000 transfer, signing a three-and-a-half year deal. Wigan manager Paul Jewell stated: "He's strong, he's aggressive, he's got a finisher's instinct and I think he will add competition in an area where the squad needs bolstering."
Folan played his first Premiership match for Wigan against Reading on 30 January 2007, and on 21 February, scored his first goal for the club, an equaliser against Watford. On 3 March he scored the winner away against Manchester City.
Hull City revealed their interest in Folan in August 2007. However, Wigan manager Chris Hutchings said he was not looking to sell. On 31 August 2007 Folan eventually did return to Hull City for a fee of £1 million, a record fee for the club .Speaking on Hull City's official website, he insisted he was not going to let the price tag pile pressure onto him and that he had arrived at the club to score goals.
On his debut for Hull against Blackpool in September, Folan was taken to hospital after being stretchered off the pitch wearing a neck brace. He was kept overnight at Victoria Hospital in Blackpool.An ankle injury caused him to miss several more matches,and in March 2008 he incurred a three match ban after being sent off in a game against Burnley.He returned however to score several goals from the bench during Hull City's successful run-in. On the first day of the FA Premier League season, Hull City played their first ever game in that league against Fulham, Folan came on as a substitute and scored the winner as it ended in a 2–1 victory for Hull City.
In March 2007, manager Steve Staunton called on the 'granny rule' to bring Caleb Folan into his squad for the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, after a passport was issued at the 11th hour. The decision attracted comment for overlooking other in-form strikers playing outside the Premier League and with closer ties to the Republic of Ireland.
However, Folan was forced to pull out of the squad due to injury.
A hamstring tear also forced Folan out of the Republic's squad for games against Ecuador and Bolivia in May 2007.
In October 2008, under new manager Giovanni Trapattoni, Folan was one of several uncapped players selected to play for Republic of Ireland XI in a challenge match against Nottingham Forest, scoring the first goal in a 2–0 win. He was added to the squad for the subsequent World Cup qualifier against Cyprus and appeared as an injury-time substitute.