Thursday, 31 March 2011
318 Chris Beech
Position : Midfield
Played : 2002-03 to 2003-04
Appearances : 32
Goals : 1
Chris was Paul Simpson's first signing on a free from Huddersfield. His career began in 1993 with his hometown club Blackpool for whom he made 82 appearances scoring 4 goals. He was released in 1996 and joined Hartlepool. They used him in a more attacking role and reaped 23 goals in 94 appearances which earned him a move to Huddersfield for £65,000 in November 1998. He made his name in the 1999/2000 season scoring 9 goals in 35 appearances as Huddersfield just missed out on the First Division play-offs. Over-eagerness to start the next season caused an Achilles injury which was to dog him for the rest of his career and required special boots to play. He only made 19 appearances over the next two seasons causing Lou Macari to cut his losses and release him in the summer of 2002.
This isn't a post I've been looking forward to having had heated arguments over this player with one of my match mates in the dark days of autumn 2003 and I've no desire to re-open old wounds. Let's start by saying that, like Graham Lancashire before him, Chris was a player that would never have signed for us were there not an injury doubt hanging over him and might have had a crack at the Premiership instead. His signing was a gamble which didn't pay off.
Chris looked quite good when he played in his first season looking to get into the box at every opportunity but he collected a succession of fresh injuries and never made more than a handful of consecutive appearances. He was injured when he scored his only goal at home to Exeter in October when he met the ball at the far post with his face. He also managed to break his arm in the final game at Macclesfield.
He actually managed to steer clear of new injuries in his second season but by then his mobility was clearly restricted and Alan Buckley initially preferred trialists and loanees to him. He did manage to get into the side towards the end of Buckley's time and I thought was playing quite well with his quick balls forward down the channels but my mate favoured the pretty patterns of Sean McClare and said Chris was just hitting and hoping. He started the first couple of games when Parkin returned but was taken off early away at Yeovil and although this was tactical (we'd just conceded an early goal and needed another forward on ) he was never seen again even on the bench. As can be discerned from his reports on the official website Chris is a particularly bright and articulate bloke with his own views on football and one suspects that that didn't endear him to Mr Parkin.
Inevitably Chris was released at the end of the season and although he signed for Lancaster City both Doncaster and Carlisle gave him chances to resume his League career the following season and he made two appearances for each but it didn't work out. After a brief spell with Fleetwood Town he hung up his boots and joined Bury as youth coach. Keith Hill and Dave Flitcroft were quick to poach him for us in the same role overcoming any resistance the Board may have felt about putting him back on the payroll and there is a feeling that he may well end up as our next manager.