Saturday, 22 May 2010

14 Chris Pearce

Position : Goalkeeper

Played : 1980-81 (on loan from Blackburn Rovers) , 1982-3

Appearances : 41

Goals : 0

With Chris's arrival on a free transfer from Blackburn Rovers we're into the 1982-3 season although he had played 5 games on loan for us in 1980-1. Up to us signing him those were his only League appearances.

A six foot Welshman he started well , looking brave and agile. As the season wore on his deficiencies were exposed especially his weakness on crosses. Mind you he is best remembered for an incident in a home game (maybe someone can remind me which one ?) when the ball had come back to him before the referee brought play back for a free kick near the touchline. Chris threw the ball back with interest and it hit the head of an old bloke leaning over the wall where the Willbutts Lane Stand now is. Commendably the referee summoned the physio on to treat him and Chris went over at half time to apologise. When Jimmy Greenhoff took over he didn't fancy Chris at all and recalled the less than wonderful Graham Crawford who was seeing out his contract in the reserves. Both were freed at the end of the season.

He was rescued by Port Vale who signed him as understudy to Barry Siddall. Chris appeared in the last 7 games when Siddall made a sudden loan move to Blackpool. The following season he was first choice keeper making 36 appearances but again eventually lost his place. He signed for Wrexham for the 1986-7 season making 25 appearances before returning to Lancashire and signing for Burnley the following season. That proved his best move as he was their regular keeper and a great crowd favourite for their remaining 5 -let's say that again, 5 - seasons in the bottom division. When they finally did go up in 1992 he wasn't retained and moved on to Bradford making 9 appearances before having to retire from the professional game through injury. He played non-league football for Chorley, Fleetwood and Accrington.

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