Friday, 26 November 2010
202 Dave Lancaster
Position : Forward
Played : 1993-94 ; 1995-6 to 1996-97
Appearances : (first spell) 40 ; (second spell) 20
Goals : (first spell) 14 ; (second spell) 2
Dave was a £7,500 summer signing from Chesterfield. Dave was a latecomer to professional football having been rescued from the wreckage of Colne Dynamoes by Blackpool in the summer of 1990 when he was almost 29. He didn't last long there (his second game was against us and he looked better suited to giving kiddies rides on the beach) playing 8 games and scoring just once. He spent the last 3 months of the season on loan at Chesterfield where he did rather better scoring 4 goals in 12 appearances. That prompted them to sign him permanently for £70,000 and he scored 16 goals in 69 appearances for them. The highlight of his career came in his second season there when he scored twice at Anfield in a 4-4 draw in a League Cup tie in 1992. Dave's subsequent comment, "We thought there'd be eight goals in it - but we didn't think we'd get four of them " is still widely remembered. The returning manager John Duncan didn't rate him and after bizarrely trying him out as a centre half sold him to us for peanuts.
Remembering the Blackpool game I thought he was a bad signing but he was much better than expected. At 6'3 he was always going to be good in the air but despite a sometimes wayward first touch he was much more skilful on the ground than I anticipated and a bit faster too. Dave finished the season as joint leading scorer with Steve Whitehall and scored a hat trick on New Years Day in a 6-2 thumping of Northampton. However after scoring twice against Torquay at the end of January Dave didn't score again until the final game and the perception that he was running out of steam led Sutton to make the diastrous signing of Paul Williams. With Williams getting a 2.5 year deal , Dave had to be released and joined Alex Jones and Andy Flounders at Halifax.
In March 1995 Dave made a surprise return to League football when Bury signed him on a one year deal and he scored once in 10 appearances , the majority of them as sub.The following March Mick Docherty re-signed him for us. It was a bizarre move; at 34 Dave was returning to replace Williams who had originally been signed because he was thought to be past it. Even stranger, Dave was given a deal which ran to March 1997 even though Williams's contract finally ran out in the summer. Dave gave it a go in his first handful of games back but soon looked well off the pace and was dropped to the bench. When we played Chester away he was warming up when their centre half Peter Jackson was sent off in an incident provoked by Jamie Taylor. Chester boss Kevin Ratcliffe totally lost it and tried to attack Docherty, Dave pulled him away and was then arrested by a policeman who completely misread the situation and hauled him down the tunnel.
The incoming Graham Barrow didn't want him but used him as a sub in the early part of 1996-7 and started him in a League Cup tie at Barnsley. Once Robbie Painter was signed he was completely surplus to requirements and went on loan to Bamber Bridge from December until his contract expired in March. Dave then signed for them. He still lives in that area and apparently still plays 5-a-side.