Friday, 28 May 2010

26 Gerry McElhinney

Position : Centre half

Played : 1982-3 (on loan from Bolton Wanderers )

Appearances : 20

Goals : 1

The third Bolton – connected player to arrive in December 1982 was the Northern Irish defender who was still at the club. He made a late start to his League career having made his name in Gaelic football in the 70s. He had signed for Bolton from Distillery and had some first team experience.

The 26-year old started off quite poorly, looking particularly vulnerable in a 2-0 home defeat to Wimbledon but once he found his feet he was terrific, forming a great partnership with Bill Williams at the back and becoming our star player. His loan period kept getting extended until an injury to future Dale player Paul Jones saw him recalled to Burnden Park in March. By this time Brian Taylor had recovered enough to come back in but even at his best he wasn’t half as good as Gerry. Gerry kept his place in the Bolton side thereafter and started getting Northern Ireland caps so there was no chance of us signing him permanently.

In 1985 he moved to Plymouth for £30,000 and captained them to promotion from the Third Division. He later moved to Peterborough for £10,000 playing for another three years until injuries pushed him into a coaching role. He later became player-manager of Corby Town.

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