Friday, 16 July 2010

90 Alan Young

Position : Centre forward

Played : 1986-7 to 1987-88 (no League appearances in latter season)

Appearances : 28

Goals : 2

As we’re already feeling rather ill-disposed towards Notts County it’s worth remembering this nasty bit of business from nearly 25 years ago. They wanted Dave Thompson on the cheap so they threw in this former Oldham centre forward to reduce the cost to £15,000. And Vic Halom went for it, pretty much signing his own death warrant.

Scotch Alan started out at Oldham where he effectively replaced Halom as the big target man. After scoring a hat-trick against Leicester in February 1979 he was signed by them for £165,000 and won a Second Division Championship medal in 1979-80 when he was ever-present. He scored 7 goals in 38 First Division appearances as Leicester went straight back down. After one more season at Filbert Street he was shunted out by new manager Gordon Milne and went to Third Division Sheffield United for £160,000. After one disappointing season at Bramall Lane he moved to Brighton where he scored an impressive 12 in 26 appearances but moved on to County in Sept 1984. He scored 8 in 24 appearances as County were relegated. The following season he scored 4 early on but was dropped after 19 appearances and they clearly wanted rid.

Although he got off to a decent start with a goal on his debut it soon became clear that, while still only 30, he was not remotely fit; a challenge at Stockport left him lying on the floor and gasping for breath with Dale fans screaming abuse at him. At Lincoln he was taken off after an abysmal performance and stormed off to the dressing room only to find it locked so he had to sit on a chair by the pitch being taunted by the Dale fans ,“Youngie Youngie give us a wave “etc. Then he got himself sent off at Peterborough. Those with behind-the-scenes access at the time have suggested that Young could still play but wouldn’t because Halom offered a number of inducements to sign such as a club job for his wife which he couldn’t deliver. Against that view is his last season at County and the fact that when Eddie Gray came in he motivated Alan to lose a lot of weight but he still wasn’t any good. Gray, to his lasting credit, realised that the key to our survival lay in winning the bank of postponed home games in March and April so he kept Derek Parlane fresh for them by playing Alan in the away games. He couldn’t do much on the pitch but at least stayed fit and out of trouble to allow the strategy to work. I should also add to Alan’s credit that he once took out a small boy in the Sandy Lane with a wayward shot during the warm-up and came into the stand to comfort him and get him back on his feet.

Alan was contracted for the next season but after a competent first half in the first Manx Cup game at Preston he wasn’t seen again apart from loitering around the tunnel in his civvies on match days. Halfway through the season he took up an offer to become player-manager of Shepshed Charterhouse. He later worked for Chesterfield.

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