Tuesday, 29 June 2010

66 John Seasman

Position : Midfield (also played at centre half and right back)

Played : 1984-5 (on loan from Cardiff); 1985-6 to 1987-88

Appearances : (first spell) 8 (second spell ) 87

Goals : (first spell) 0 (second spell) 4

Our next loanee was somewhat more experienced. John had started out as a striker with Tranmere then somewhat surprisingly moved to First Division Luton for £5,000 before he'd scored any goals. Although he scored on his debut he never managed to really break into the side and moved on to Millwall for £10,000. There he was a regular for five seasons although in his last (1979-80) he moved into a midfield role only scoring once.
In 1980 he moved on to Rotherham where he played alongside Halom in what was probably their best ever side. By 1983-4 he had fallen out of favour and only played 8 games. He started the next season with Cardiff and played 12 games scoring twice but by December they were looking to loan him out and he came to Spotland.

We played him in midfield and he made a favourable impression immediately with his instant control and accurate passing and it was a big disappointment when he chose to join champions-elect Chesterfield when the loan period ended. However when we played them in the last game of the season he was nowhere to be seen and was free to re-join us in the close season.

Everyone was pleased by this and he scored a great goal in the 4-1 thumping of Stockport on the August Bank Holiday 1985. However his shine wore off soon afterwards. His passing was very conservative for someone who used to be a striker. He often drifted out of matches particularly when things weren't going well and seemed a bit soft ; I recall a teacher from my school screaming at him to get up away at Swindon , clearly thinking he was angling to be withdrawn from a tough game. He also had a habit of getting injured in November and recovering in February which seemed a bit suspicious.

At the end of 1985-6 with Tommy Cannon demanding big cuts in the salaries budget John was put on the transfer list at nil value but no one was interested. He started the season in the reserves but Halom had to recall him when his laughable replacement Ray McHale proved hopeless. He duly picked up an injury in October but because Halom had forgotten that the use of an additional substitute was being pioneered in the FA Cup that season he was named for the tie at Nuneaton even though he sat in the stand with his leg in plaster !

By the time he had recovered Eddie Gray had taken over as manager and his return did help in the fight for League survival. As a reward he was offered a new contract for 1987-8 at a considerably reduced rate which he accepted. That season he was often used to fill holes at the back which he did surprisingly well although his use as a sweeper in the 2-1 defeat at home to Carlisle who were below us was baffling ,even more so when they were reduced to 9 men. He narrowly avoided being run over at Turf Moor when a car being offered as a lottery prize was driving round the edge of the pitch at half time and just missed him as the players came out of the tunnel.

Gray offered him a new contract for 1988-89 which he probably deserved but the Board publicly vetoed it and sent John on his way. Shortly afterwards Gray resigned ( to become manager of Hull City) which was probably the real motive behind the action but it did seem a bit callous towards a player who, on balance, had been an asset. John played on in non-league with Northwich and Hyde United. He is now a football agent.

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