Friday, 14 May 2010

8. Dave Thompson

Position : Winger

Played : 1981-2 to 1985-6, 1994-5 to 1996-7

Appearances : (first spell ) 155 (second spell) 111

Goals : (first spell) 13 (second spell) 11

Dave is the first homegrown player we've come to and was of special interest to me bacause he was the star player at Bishop Henshaws School when I was there. He had just broken into the first team when I started supporting Dale though he would be a part time player for some time while studying Human Movement at college in Leeds.

In that first game I saw he went on a brilliant run beating three men before laying it off for Warriner to score. Obviously he couldn't do that every game (though he did against York in December 1982, Peter Farrell being the beneficiary) but he continued to develop in a struggling side. He wasn't overly skilful but had a great change of pace that could take him past players so he was always a threat if he was on his game. In 1984-5 he won the Sunday Mirror's Fourth Division Player of the Year ahead of Joe Cooke in third place an absolute travesty of justice if you'd seen Dale regularly. At the beginning of the next season Ron Atkinson took him on loan at Manchester United but he didn't make a first team appearance and returned disappointed to Spotland. Having said that they marked him very tightly when we played them in the FA Cup later that season. His heart didn't seem to be in it that season (apart from the game at home to Torquay when he scored two in a monsoon-affected second half) and it was no surprise when he moved on in the summer.

He went to Notts County for £15,000 plus Alan Young (more about him later). He made 55 appearances for them before returning to the North West to play for Wigan, Preston and Chester. He returned to Rochdale at the age of 32 in a £15, 000 deal after they'd signed the younger and more prolific Andy Milner on a free transfer from us. A brilliant piece of business by Dave Sutton and the main reason why I turned against him.

To be fair Dave was still pretty fit and immediately endeared himself to the fans by scoring the winner at Gigg Lane in his first game back. However the faults in his game particularly his abysmal crossing were still there and he got a bit of stick as the team slipped back under Mick Docherty. In his last season he was mainly used as a substitute by Graham Barrow occasionally to some effect. He moved on to Southport where he had two good seasons before retiring including an appearance at Wembley in the FA Trophy Final (hence the picture above).

Dave is the link between my first game and the current team because in his last season with us he played in the same team as Keith Hill. He also played alongside Dave Flitcroft at Preston and Chester.

No comments:

Post a Comment