Wednesday, 29 September 2010

150 Vince Chapman

Vince  is  the  guy  on  the  right. That's  his  wife  Julie  next  to  him.

Position : Left  back  (also  played centre  half)

Played : 1989-90  to 1990-91 ; retained  for  1991-92  but  didn't  kick  a  ball

Appearances : 24

Goals : 1

This  is  a  rather  sad  chapter. Vince  accompanied  Peter  Ward  to  Spotland  after  being  released  by  Huddersfield. They  signed  him  from  Tow  Law  Town  and  he  played  6  games  in  their  disastrous  1987-88  campaign. The  following  season  he  didn't  feature  at  all, going  to  York  on  loan  and  they  didn't  give  him  a  game  either.

His  first  season  with  us  didn't  go  much  better. He  got  4  games  as  a  stopgap  centre  half  (for  which  role   his  slender 5'9  build  didn't  seem  to  equip  him)  and  either  went  off  injured  or  scored  an  own  goal (spectacularly  flicking  the  ball  over  his  own  shoulder  at  Wrexham).He  had  become  the  forgotten  man  of  Spotland  when  Dave  Sutton  brought  him  back  into the  side  at  left  back  to  cover  an  injury  to  Jimmy  Graham  in  1991.

No  one  was  expecting  much  but  from  his  first  game  Vince  was  a  revelation  raiding  down  the  left  flank  in  a  manner  we  didn't  see  from  a  full  back  again  until  Scott  Wiseman  except  that  Vince  was  even  faster. In  the  latter  part  of  a  season  which  had  gone  sour  Vince  was  the  bright  spot  and  thrilled  everyone  - except  one.  My  mate, let's  call  him  Mr  P,   is  a  good  guy  but  when  he  latches  on  to  a  player  he  really  falls  in  love  with  them. One  of   his  heroes  at  the  time  was  Jimmy  Graham (who we'll  discuss  shortly)   and  as  soon  as  it  became  clear  that  Vince  had  displaced  Jimmy  he  went  bananas. Everything  that  went  wrong  on  the  pitch  after  that  was  Vince's  fault  even  if  it  happened  on  the  opposite  flank  and  his  runs  were  reckless  indiscipline  not  an  exciting  extra  dimension  to our  play.

Vince  scored  his  goal  after  another  great  run  in a  thinly- attended  last  home  game  against  Hereford  where  he  picked  up  a  knock  to  his  knee. No  one  expected  it  to  be  serious  and  Jimmy Graham was  offered  for  sale  at  the  end  of  the  season. However  the  operation  buggered  up  Vince's  cruciate  ligaments  and  he  had  to  stagger  in  on  crutches  for  the  team  photo  in  the  summer. A  year  later  Sutton  called  time  on  his  career  and  he  never  played  football  again.

Vince  settled  in  Yorkshire  and  returned  to  football  in  2001 when  his  daughter  started  playing .He  was  roped  in  to  becoming  Football  Development  Officer  for  her  club,  Tingley  Athletic  FC near  Leeds  and  both  he  and  his  wife  are  on  the  committee  of  the  West  Riding  Girls  League.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

A Word Of Thanks

Thanks  are  due  to  "Oxford " Dave  James  who  has  supplied  me  with  a  lot  of  the  pictures  I  was  missing. Blogspot's  server  didn't  like  a  couple  of  them  but  the  photographic  record  is  now  much  more  complete.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

149 Robbie Whellans

Position : Forward

Played : 1989-90

Played : 11

Goals : 1

Robbie  was  signed  on  a  free  from  Bradford  but  his  only  League  experience  was  with  Hartlepool  on  loan  where  he  made  11  appearances  in  1987-88  scoring  one  goal  which  was  actually  against  Dale  in  a  2-0  win.

The  diminutive  striker  couldn't  get  ahead  of  Walling  and  Stonehouse  and  never  really  looked  the  part  in  his  mainly  substitute  appearances. It  was  a  different  story  when  he  moved  into  non-league  football  in  Yorkshire  regularly  notching  20+  goals  a  season  for  Farsley  Celtic  and  Harrogate  Town.
He  was  still  playing  as  recently  as   2005  for  Harrogate  Railway  Athletic.

148 Kevin Stonehouse

Position : Forward

Played : 1989-90

Appearances : 14

Goals : 2

Kevin  was  signed  on  a  free  transfer  from  just-relegated  Darlington. The  ginger  Geordie's  career  began  with  non-league  Shildon  from  whom  Blackburn  signed  him  in  1980. He  was  a  steady  scorer  there  with  27  goals  in  75  appearances  but  had  to  be  sold  to  Huddersfield  for  £30,000  in  1983  to  appease  creditors. He  spent  a  year  at  Leeds  Road  notching  4  in  22  appearances  before  moving  to  Blackpool. He  scored  19  in  55  appearances  before  a  serious  injury  meant  he  missed  the  whole  of  1986-7  and  was  released. He  went  to  Darlington  who  played  him  in  a  wider  role  and  he  scored  20  in  72  appearances  though  he  fell  out  of  favour  towards  the  end  of  his  second  season  and  was  loaned  out  to  Carlisle.

Dolan  restored  him  to  a  centre  forward  position  and  and  alongside  Dean  Walling  he  constituted  what  must  surely  have  been  the  most  impotent  strike  force  we  ever  fielded. Injury  had  robbed  Kevin  of  any  pace  he  might  have  had  and  he  didn't  have  any  guile  to  compensate. His  most  memorable  contribution  was  the  goal  against  Marine  that  set  up  our  FA  Cup  run   and  that  was   a  lunge  rather  than  a  clean  finish. As  Dolan  brought  in  more  strikers  Kevin  faded  from  view  and  didn't  appear  at  all  in   the  new  year.

His  departure  from  the  club  was  very  low  key. He  wasn't  on  the  released  list  but  at  the  start  of  the  new  season  he  wasn't  in  the  squad  photo. I  got  a  mention  in  the  programme  for  being  apparently  the  only  person  to  spot  this  and  it  was  revealed  that  he'd  gone  to  Bishop  Auckland  FC. Kevin  is  now  the  Football  In  The  Community  Officer  at  Darlington. 

Friday, 24 September 2010

147 Peter Ward

Position :   Midfield  (also  played  as  forward)

Played : 1989-90  to  1990-91

Appearances : 84

Goals : 10

Peter  was  signed  on  a  free  transfer  from  Huddersfield. When  he  first  appeared  in  their  side  in  1987  I  assumed  he  was  the  former  Brighton  and  Forest  striker  of  the  same  name  but  this  guy  was  signed  from  Chester-le-Street. Rather  oddly  Peter  made  33  of  his  37  appearances  for  them  in  the  Second  Division  and  only  4  after  they'd  been  relegated.

Peter  was  one  of  Dolan's  best  signings  in  fact  one  of  the  best  by  any  manager. He  was  a  tall  well-built  lad (a  female  Dale  fan  assures  me  that  Peter  was  the  top  "hottie"  she's  seen  at  the  Dale) who  played  on  the  left  side  of  midfield  though  he  could  do  a  job  at  centre  forward  when required. He  was  a  combative  player  who  used  his  strength  well  and  had  a  great  left  foot  often  able  to  beat  several  players  with  his  close  control. He  just  lacked  that  yard  of  pace  that  would  have  made  him  a  top  division  player. Peter  always  gave  100 %  and  was  a  nice  guy  too  expressing  his  surprise  at  winning  the Supporters  Club  Player  of  the  Year  in  1991  because  he  didn't  feel  he'd  been  consistent  enough. Everybody's  favourite  goal  was  his  header  that  proved  to  be  the  winner  at  Turf  Moor  in  January  1990  after  we'd  held  them  off  with  nine  men. Unfortunately  Peter  is  also  remembered  for  not  putting  away  a  decent  chance  to  level  the  game  at  Crystal  Palace  in  the  FA Cup  although  in  truth  it  was  a  good  save  by  NIgel  Martyn  rather  than  a  bad  miss  by  Peter.

Unfortunately  for  us  Danny  Bergara  came  calling  in  the  summer  of  1991  and  lured  him  away  to  Stockport  for  £30,000  plus  Mark  Payne. He  had  four  good  years  at  Stockport  playing  (and  losing)  at  Wembley  four  times   before  Wrexham  signed  him for  £50,000   in  1995. They  got  another  four  seasons  out  of  him  with  14  goals  in  120  appearances. On  his  release  he  applied  for  the  manager's  job  here  with  a  recommendation  from  Brian  Flynn  but  lost  out  to  Steve  Parkin. He  then  went  to  Morecambe  but  decided  to  retire  after  one  game. In  recent  years  he  has  been  assistant  manager  to  Jim  Gannon  at  Stockport  and  Motherwell  and  is  now  back  at  Stockport  as  assistant  to  Paul  Simpson  which  makes  wishing  him  further  success  problematic.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

146 Micky Holmes

Position : Midfield

Played : 1989-90 to 1990-91

Appearances : 55

Goals : 7

Micky  was  signed  on  a  free  transfer  from  Cambridge  United. He  began  his  career  with  Bradford  City  but  moved  on  to  Wolves  in  November  1985  after  only  five  appearances. He  was  a  regular  in  their  Fourth  Division  side  and  in  1987  scored  in  seven  successive  games. He  played  20  games  in  their  Fourth  Duvision  title-winning  season  and  his  last  game  for  the  club  was  the  1988  Sherpa  Van  Trophy  Final  where  they  beat  Burnley  (oh  what  a  shame). Given  a  free  transfer  he  signed  for  Huddersfield  but  only  played  7  games  before  moving  on  to  Cambridge  for  whom  he  made  11  appearances  before  being  released.

Micky  was  one  of  the  most  frustrating  players  I've  seen  at  Dale. If  he  could have  found  an  extra yard  of  pace  he  would  have  been  terrific. He  was  very  nimble-footed , could  hit  an  accurate  long  pass  and  had  a  good  shot  but  was  so  one-paced  he  was  easy  to  neutralise. Often  you'd  see  him  spinning  round  near  the  halfway  line  trying  to  wriggle  free  from  his  marker. He  kept  his  place  in  his  first  season  despite  only  scoring  twice. In  1990-91  his  goal  tally  improved  but  things  went  wrong  for  him  after  skying  a  penalty  in  the  FA  Cup  at  Scunthorpe in  November  1990 (the  disappointment  being  mitigated  for  me  by  Thatcher's  failure  to  see  off  Michael  Heseltine  that  same  evening ) . Dolan  made  the  unnecessary  public  comment  that  "Holmes  will  not  be  taking  another  penalty"  and  shortly  afterwards  dropped  him  after  signing  Steve  Doyle  to  the  outrage  of  fans  who  thought  Chris  Lee  should  have  been  the  one  to  make  way.

Micky  didn't  stick  around  after  that  and  a  transfer  to  Torquay  was  arranged. He  stayed  there  for  a  year  making  40  appearances   and  scoring  3  then  moved  on  to  Carlisle  where  he  scored  4  in  34  appearances. In  1993  he  moved  on  to  Northampton  but  had  to  retire  at  29  following  a  back  injury  in  a  car  crash  after  just  6  appearances. He  was  able  to  play  again  with  Wisbech  Town.
Micky  currently leads  a  busy  life  coaching  at  Leicester  College,  helping  his  wife  run  a  sandwich  shop  and  co-managing  Oadby  Town.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

145 Alan Ainscow

Believe  it  or  not  the  first  picture  I  used  had  to  be  removed  for  copyright  reasons. I'm  sure  the  owner  makes  a  vast  living  from  pictures  of  1970s  Birmingham City  players.

Position : Midfield (also played at right back)

Played : 1989-90

Appearances : 20

Goals : 0

Alan was signed on a free transfer from Blackburn Rovers. He began his career with Blackpool where he played in the 1971 Anglo-Italian Cup Final picking up the first of an unusual medal double before he'd made his league debut. He made nearly 200 appearances for Blackpool making himself very popular with a hat-trick against Preston in 1972. He left Blackpool after their shock relegation to the Third Division in 1978 and moved to Birmingham for £40,000. After 108 appearances he moved to Everton for £250,000 in 1981 but never became a regular at Goodison and was loaned out to Barnsley in his second season. After leaving Everton he went to play in Hong Kong for a year but returned to England with Wolves the following year. After suffering two relegations he left to join Blackburn in 1986 where he collected his second winner's medal in the Full Member's Cup in 1987.

After the experience of Jimmy Greenhoff and Ray McHale I don't think anyone was excited by another 36-year old signing and the signs weren't good when he went off injured after about 10 minutes of the first pre-season game at Farsley Celtic. He had recovered a week later to play at Preston in the Lancashire Cup where he caught them napping with a quickly taken free kick. In the League though it was the same old story; the game passed him by and he was dropped after a few games. For most of the season he picked up his money in the reserves but towards the end he was recalled to play right back due to injuries. We feared the worst but he was terrific and didn't put a foot wrong. He was released at the end of the season but at least he'd given us something to cheer.

He went on to play for a while at Horwich RMI then dropped out of football before being coaxed back to coach at his local side Burscough United in 2005

Here is a link to a great goal from Alan's time at Birmingham

Monday, 20 September 2010

144 Tony Brown

Tony is the guy with the 'tache fifth from the left in the back row

Position : Centre half

Played : 1989-90 to 1992-93

Appearances : 114

Goals : 0

Tony was the other player I wanted us to sign , an experienced centre half released by Scunthorpe United. Tony was a latecomer to professional football being signed by Leeds at 24 from Thackley in 1982 after they had to sell off their big earners following relegation. He made 24 first team appearances but by 1985 was surplus to requirements and went on loan to Doncaster. They were impressed enough to sign him permanently and he made 87 appearances for them in total. He moved on to Scunthorpe in 1987 making 54 appearances in two seasons there.

As the oldest head at the back Tony was quickly made captain. He was a reliable defender who could tackle cleanly and play the ball out of trouble without taking unnecessary risks. He was the only one of Dolan's five man defence to survive Dave Sutton's clear out and played alongside Alan Reeves and Alex Jones the following season keeping his place ahead of the latter when Sutton changed the formation. Unfortunately Tony will be remembered for a bad mistake away at Mansfield in a crucial game for our play-off hopes, when he headed the ball back into the danger area and Mansfield scored. At 33 he probably should have been released at the end of that season but he got another year. Injuries however restricted him to just five more games. He moved on to Bradford Park Avenue but has been spotted in the WMG Stand from time to time.

143 Dave Cole

Position : Centre half (also played as a forward)

Played : 1989-90 to 1990-91

Appearances : 84

Goals : 7

The next two signings really chuffed me because when the released list came out in summer 1989 I picked them out as people we should sign. Terry Dolan (not on my advice I reluctantly admit) did just that. Dave was originally spotted playing on the Isle of Man by Sunderland but left them for Swansea without making an appearance. After 8 appearances he was let go by John Bond (always a good recommendation) and signed for Swindon. There he won a Fourth Division Championship medal in 1986 but was dropped after five appearances the following season. He signed for Torquay making an impressive debut in the memorable 3-3 draw at Spotland in November 1986. Despite making 110 appearances in less than three years at Plainmoor he was released in May 1989.

Dave was the ultimate no-nonsense centre half who marked the big man, won his headers and got a few goals from corners. There wasn't much else to his game but he was an effective part of the five-man defence. He only missed three games due to a sending-off at Scarborough for abusing a linesman who'd missed an obvious handball in the lead up to a goal. This continued as Dave was leaving the pitch and the referee came running over to which Dave said "What you going to do , send me off again ?". Dave bought a house in Walsden and drank in Littleborough proving a good source of dressing room gossip particularly concerning a young lady who was around the club at the time (I daren't say any more). The following season was frustrating for Dave as he was dropped to the bench to accomodate Steve O Shaughnessy who had had to vacate his midfield spot to Chris Lee. When Dave Sutton took over he started playing Dave up front to predictably little effect.

On his release he joined O Shaughnessy in moving to Exeter but only made two appearances before moving on to Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Cinderford Town.. In an unhappy postscript, in 2007 Dave received a C.S.O. for having some pictures of under-18s amidst his porn collection thus falling foul of the absurd law relating to 16-17 year olds that you can touch but not look.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

142 Willie Burns

Willie is the second from the left on the back row

Position : Centre half (also played at right back)

Played : 1989-90 to 1990-91

Appearances : 71

Goals : 2

Willie was a Scottish lad (no kidding) signed from Manchester City reserves.

One thing that linked a number of Dolan's signings that summer was a lack of pace (later in the season he'd make up for it by signing Dale's fastest ever player) and in Willie's case it was a serious handicap since he had skill to burn and could have got to the top of the game otherwise.

As it was, Willie's best position was as sweeper in a five man defence and he became very popular for his skill and robust tackling. He scored a brilliant goal against Bolton in the League Cup ; it was just a shame we were 5-0 down at the time. In his second season different formations were tried out and he looked more vulnerable so it wasn't a great surprise when Dave Sutton decided to release him.

Willie moved north to East Fife and found his level there making 121 appearances over four years and scoring 9 goals. Sadly his career was cut short by serious injury and after a brief four game comeback with Cowdenbeath in 1997 he was forced to retire.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

141 Jonathan Hill

Position : Midfield (but mainly played left back)

Played : 1989-90 to 1990-91

Appearances : 36

Goals : 1

Jonathan was an untried youngster from Crewe who was signed as a midfielder but was quickly pressed into service to fill a gap at left back. That he did well as part of a very mean five-man defence is a great tribute to him. In his second season , Terry Dolan changed tactics and Jimmy Graham became the left back, banishing Jonathan to the reserves but he came back into the side when Dave Sutton took over, the new caretaker boss saying he felt Jonathan (and Willie Burns) had been neglected.

The dick (as mentioned in previous posts) maintained that Jonathan was the best of the new signings (and toe-curlingly told him so in the Ratcliffe Arms) probably to make us think he had some special expertise in football matters when Jonathan moved on to better things. Unfortunately for him, when Sutton released Jonathan in May 1991 he signed for Witton Albion and vanished into obscurity.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

140 Wayne Goodison

Position : Right back (also played at centre half)

Played : 1989-90 to 1990-91

Appearances : 79

Goals : 4

And so we come to the 1989-90 season. Terry Dolan isn't that well thought of by Dale fans who remember Jeff and Chris Lee and the manner of his departure but there's plenty on the plus side of the ledger to consider. This was the first season since relegation in 1974 that Dale finished in the top half of the table, something we'd achieve more often than not for the rest of our stay in the basement. It also contained a record run in the FA Cup and a then-record number of away wins, one of which no Dale fan will EVER forget.

And remarkably Terry achieved this from virtually a zero base. Following the releases and Bergara's smash and grab raid he had a first team squad of five, Welchy, Walling, the reprieved O' Shaughnessy and the unwanted Edmunds and Taylor (who was discarded before the season kicked off). So here come a host of new players.....

Wayne was signed on a free transfer from Crewe. He had started out at Barnsley but, after 36 appearances over four years there, he went to Gresty Road for more regular football in 1986 and made 94 appearances.

Wayne was good or awful depending on whose half he was in. Few wingers got past him and he was a sound stand-in at centre half and even in goal (at Hereford when Keith Welch was sent off making some good saves which drew applause from his opposite number George Wood). On the other hand I can think of few other players whose distribution was so consistently terrible, every attempted cross leading to an opposition throw-in on the other side of the pitch or a goal-kick. I think it was that factor that persuaded Dave Sutton he could find someone better and so Wayne was released after two seasons.

He went to Hyde United and also played for Accrington Stanley before a long association with Buxton ending up as their manager. He has also managed Salford City.

Monday, 13 September 2010

139 Chris Lucketti

Position: Centre half

Played : 1988-89

Appearances : 1

Goals : 0

We round off 1988-89 with The One That Got Away. Chris was, like me, a Catholic lad who came from Littleborough and went to Bishop Henshaw's (my mate's kid brother knew him). He was one of our YTS players and got a game towards the end of the season. He did well but was then released while we persevered with Zac Hughes. Oh dear !
Chris followed half the squad to Bergara's Stockport but left a year later without having played for them to join Halifax. There he became a regular but suffered relegation to the Vauxhall Conference with them in 1993. However Bury came to his rescue and he was a mainstay of the side that won back to back promotions in the mid-90s. In 1999 he joined Huddersfield Town and was very popular there; he was sold to Preston for £750,000 in August 2001 just before we played them in the League Cup and witnessed the protests outside the ground. He played another 187 games for Preston before moving to Sheffield United in 2006. Chris was signed as defensive cover but eventually made his Premiership debut at the age of 35. After 14 appearances for the Blades plus four on loan at Southampton he was re-signed by Huddersfield on a two-year deal in 2008 and made captain by his old Bury boss Stan Ternent. However when Ternent was sacked Chris was dropped and invited to find a new club after 13 appearances. After turning down a move to Brighton there were strong rumours that Chris (who lives a stone's throw from Spotland) would be returning to steer us to and through the play-offs. If he had come back it would have smashed all sorts of records for the gap between his first and second appearance for Dale but it never happened. Chris saw out his contract in the reserves at Huddersfield. He has not confirmed his retirement as a player but is currently looking for work as a coach.

138 Ashley Fothergill

Position : Right back

Played : 1988-89

Appearances : 9

Goals : 0

Ashley was a former Middlesbrough trainee who turned up unheralded towards the end of the season and got a few games. He is one of the most forgettable players in this survey doing nothing worthy of further comment. He moved on to Bishop Auckland.

Friday, 10 September 2010

137 Paul Jones

Position : Centre half

Played : 1988-89

Appearances : 14

Goals : 2

The replacement for Dave Sutton when he was forced to retire was ironically his 35- year old former defensive partner at Huddersfield. Paul began his career at Bolton to whom he was a magnificent servant playing 445 games ( scoring a decent 38 goals) and making the England squad in 1977 though he didn’t actually win a cap. When Bolton went down to the Third Division in 1983 he transferred to newly-promoted Huddersfield and played there for two and a bit seasons before transferring to Oldham in 1986. After a year or so at Boundary Park he moved on to Blackpool. He was released in the summer of 1988 and had been playing in Ireland when he got the call from Bergara.

His signing was announced to me by the Stockport-supporting colleague at work with the words “you’re really scraping the barrel now” but he actually went to the game where Paul made his debut (at home to Tranmere) and said afterwards “Well I thought your new signing put “Lead-Boots” (Tranmere’s cumbersome striker Jim Steel) in his pocket !”. He was right; it was an excellent debut. Paul was understandably short of pace but read the game beautifully and didn’t put a foot wrong. He won us another game at home to Scarborough single-handedly with two headed goals from corners as my mate cruelly observed “with different bald patches”.

Paul was another to join the exodus of players to Bergara’s Stockport mainly as a coach but he did play another 25 League games for them before moving on to Hinckley Athletic. Paul still works in football scouting for various teams and coaching in China.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

136 Malcolm Brown

Position : Right back

Played : 1988-89 ; 1991-92

Appearances : (first spell) 11 (second spell) 18

Goals : (first spell) 0 (second spell) 1

Malcolm was signed from Huddersfield in February 1989 and made his debut at home to Hereford. He started at Bury but never established himself there and moved on to Leeds Road in 1977 after 11 appearances. There he became a hero with his raids from right back and deadly crossing and hardly missed a game for them putting in a run of four consecutive ever-present seasons from 1979-80 to 1982-3 which included two promotions. That earned him a £100,000 move to Newcastle but ironically he snapped his Achilles in pre-season and didn’t make his debut for them until the following season. After 39 appearances in the old First Division under Jack Charlton the new manager discarded him and he returned to Huddersfield. He made another 96 appearances for them but gradually fell out of favour after playing in their infamous 10-1 defeat at Manchester City. We signed him on a free, aged 32 .

Malcolm was tall for a full back, good going forward but not so sound defensively. In any case he’d hardly got his feet under the table before Bergara whisked him away to Stockport. He went up with them in 1990-91 and my Stockport-supporting colleague at work reckoned he was the key man. However, Bergara didn’t think he could cut it in a higher league at 34 and , in what became a familiar story, Dave Sutton obligingly took him off their hands. Malcolm was clearly reluctant to return and when he played he seemed to be in a bit of a sulk , gesturing at fans at Scarborough who were fairly criticising him for failing to beat a man half his size in the air. There were flashes of his old form like the cross for Andy Flounders’ winner at home to Scunthorpe and his goal, away at Maidstone, was a free-kick rocket but generally he was poor. He signed off with a disastrously bad performance in the crucial end of season game at home to Burnley which we needed to win for a play off place. Instead we lost 4-1 and Malcolm was at fault for at least two of them. (I should add that as a result of us losing that game I made a decision which ultimately led to me meeting my wife so I can perhaps forgive Malcolm for that one).

Malcolm retired after that game and is now a driving instructor in Walkden.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

135 Joe McIntyre

No picture of Joe

Position : Midfield

Played : 1988-89

Appearances : 4

Goals : 0

Joe was transferred to our YTS scheme from Port Vale’s. The record books say he made 4 appearances for us but I can only recall one of them, in a rain-lashed 2-2 draw at home to Hereford. He ran around a lot and that’s all I can say about him really. Neil Brown’s site says he retired after leaving Dale so presumably there was an injury involved.

134 Billy Roberts

Position : Forward

Played : 1988-89

Appearances : 1

Goals : 0

Billy was a striker taken on trial from Farsley Celtic near the beginning of the season. After scoring a shedload for the reserves he was given a first team chance away at Stockport in February 1989. In a terrible team performance (we lost 3-0, the M.E.N. commenting that we were lucky to get 0) Billy still looked a fish out of water and hardly touched the ball. He returned to Farsley forthwith.

Monday, 6 September 2010

133 Dave Windridge

Position : Midfield

Played : 1988-89

Appearances : 5

Goals : 0

Dave was an attacking midfielder trying to resurrect his League career after a bad injury had brought his time at Blackpool to a premature close. He started out at Sheffield United but made his League debut for Chesterfield in 1981. In the summer of 1983 he signed for Blackpool and made an instant impression by scoring after 11 seconds against Manchester City in a League Cup tie. In 1985 he suffered a bad injury which ultimately led to a free transfer in the summer of 1987. After a nomadic season playing for Northwich , Ankaragucu and Cork City he had a trial with Bury but they only gave him one gameand so he moved on to us.

I thought he looked alright in a side that was beginning to struggle. He had a good touch and was able to make space for himself so I was disappointed we didn't give him longer to make an impression. He moved on to Colne Dynamoes and became a key man in their ascent of the non-league Pyramid.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

132 Carl Alford

Position : Forward

Played : 1988-89

Appearances : 4

Goals : 0

Carl was a big bustling centre forward from the YTS scheme. His Dale career consisted of a handful of forgettable substitute appearances but that wasn't the end of the story.

After being released by Dale he had unsuccessful trials with Burnley and Stockport before he dropped down to Witton Albion where he started scoring. That earned him a move to Macclesfield for £1,700 in 1993 and his value had increased to £25, 000 a year later when he moved to Kettering. After scoring 54 goals in 94 appearances he moved to Rushden & Diamonds for £85, 000 a record fee between non-league clubs (I'm not sure whether this still stands) . Despite scoring 22 in 52 games he fell out of favour at Nene Park and went to Stevenage on a free in 1998. A phenomenal return of 42 goals in 39 games there boosted his value back to £50,000 when he moved to Doncaster in 2000 but the goal touch deserted him there scoring only once in 17 games. He moved on to Yeovil and scored in their FA Trophy win in 2002 but fell out of favour in their promotion-winning season of 2002-03 and so missed out on a League comeback. He played out his career with Gainsborough Trinity, Leigh RMI, Woodley Sports, Nuneaton and New Mills