Thursday, 9 December 2010
214 Stuart Rimmer
Position : Forward
Played : 1994-95
Appearances : 3 (on loan from Chester City)
Goals : 0
Stuart was signed on loan from Chester in September to boost our firepower. He began his career at Everton making 3 appearances before going on loan to Chester in 1985. He scored the perfect hat-trick (left foot, right foot, header) on his debut and they soon signed him up, finishing the season with 14 in 24 games. The following season he set off like a bomb and would have creamed Steve Taylor for the Golden Boot had he not picked up a serious knee injury scoring his sixteenth goal in 18 games in November 1985. He didn't play again until October and apart from penalties didn't start finding the net until February finishing on 13 goals. The following season he was back to his best scoring 24 in 34 games signing off with a flourish as he scored a hat-trick in the last 10 minutes in his last game before a £210,000 move (with Everton getting half the fee) to First Division strugglers Watfordin March 1988 . Stuart scored once in 9 games and the Hornets were relegated. After playing just one more game he was signed for £200,000 by Notts County in November 1988. Manager John Barnwell left for Walsall shortly afterwards and Stuart was in the cold after scoring twice in 4 games. However Barnwell came back for him paying £150,000. Stuart scored steadily for Walsall (31 in 88 games) despite suffering two relegations with them. In March 1991 he moved back up the League ladder with another £150,000 move to Barnsley but failed badly there scoring once in 15 games. In the summer Chester broke their transfer record to re- sign him for £94,000. Chester were struggling to stay in Division Three and Stuart scored 33 in 87 games over the next couple of seasons becoming their record goalscorer. He started to struggle in their promotion campaign under Graham Barrow in 1993-94 scoring just 8 in 35 games and losing his place to loanee Graham Lancashire towards the end of the season. Barrow's successor Mel Pejic thought he was finished and loaned him out to us.
It was hard to disagree with Pejic's verdict ; Stuart was subbed in two of his trio of appearances for us and looked a pale shadow of the player he had been despite being not yet 30.
He then went on loan to Preston who gave him just two run-outs as a sub. He returned to Chester and got a reprieve when Pejic was sacked in January but still only scored twice in 25 appearances. His continued career there may have owed something to the manager being his ex-Everton team-mate Kevin Ratcliffe. He scored 13 in 41 appearances in 1995-96 , just 3 the following season and 8 in 1997-98 (including 2 against us in a 4-0 defeat at the Deva, one of the most abject Dale performances I've ever seen; at 0-4 down my fiance innocently asked "Shouldn't Rochdale be coming this way ?" ) . Despite him scoring in each of the last 3 home games Ratcliffe decided his time was up and released him in May 1998.
Stuart had a short spell with Marine and now works as a milkman in Southport.