Monday, 26 July 2010

100 Simon Holden

Position : Midfield (also played as a winger)

Played : 1986-7 to 1987-88

Appearances: 49

Goals: 4

Simon was another product of Rochdale’s Sunday League playing for The Wheatsheaf. His association with Dale actually began in 1984 when he made an appearance in the Manx Cup at Wigan. Simon had soft features and long hair and I remember one fan asking nearby Les Lawrence “What’s she called ? “ during the warm-up. Simon wasn’t taken on then but in November 1986, just before his departure Vic Halom announced that Simon was training with the club and he reappeared as a substitute for Brian Taylor’s first game in the FA Cup at home to Wrexham. He made his League debut a fortnight later under Eddie Gray.

Simon was an aggravating player. You could see why Halom and his successors had taken an interest in him. He could read the game and provide some good link-up play but all too often he’d fail to get the basics right and misplace a simple pass or take his eye off the ball. Nor did he offer anything defensively. His performances in 1986-7 were good enough to get a contract for the following season but he was largely ignored until the financial crisis meant a recall by default. He was often played wide on the right and in that position had one very good game at home to Hereford where he was the key figure in our 3-1 win scoring one and making at least one of the others (you might also remember this game for Phil Stant throwing his shirt off when substituted). His fate was sealed when Stuart Mellish got ahead of him in the pecking order and he was released in the summer.

Keith Hicks signed him up for Mossley (Neil Brown’s Football Transfers website is wrong to say he went directly to Fleetwood) but was sacked 6 games into the season and Simon only made 3 appearances for his successor. By 1991 he was playing for Castleton Gabriels and played against Dale in a pre-season friendly.

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