Saturday, 2 April 2011
321 Ian Bishop
Position : Midfield
Played : 2002-03
Appearances : 8
Goals : 0
Ian was signed at the end of August. He was a free agent having just played a few games for Barry Town. One of the biggest names to sign for Dale in recent years "Bish" started out at Everton but only made one appearance before a £15,000 transfer to Carlisle in 1984. He was one of the two players sent off when they infamously beat us with 9 men in 1987. After 132 appearances and 14 goals he moved to Bournemouth for £35,000 in 1988 but after just one season he was signed by Manchester City for £465,000. He played and scored in the 5-1 defeat of United. He became embroiled in controversy when team-mate Trevor Morley was stabbed by his wife and a rumour (later attributed by Morley to his wife) arose that she had found the two players in bed together. Shortly afterwards new manager Howard Kendall exchanged both players for Mark Ward from West Ham. The Hammers got the better end of the deal as Ian alone made 255 appearances (12 goals) and won a reputation as one of the best uncapped players in the top flight. In March 1998 Ian, now 32, returned to City on a free but couldn't prevent their relegation to the First Division. He then helped them to back-to- back promotions but like Richard Jobson was thought to be too old for the Premiership and after a handful of games moved to the USA with Miami Fusion in March 2001. That ended in tears a year later when Miami released him and Ian sued them and lost amid bitter recriminations. He returned to the UK.
Ian almost made the most spectacular debut of all time when he came on at home to Southend.
We had just won a corner and Ian was ambling towards the box when it was taken. It was headed out to him and he hit a thirty yard first time volley which flashed just wide of the post.
The following game away at Carlisle he started and was applauded by both sets of fans when he went off. Other than that his short stay was a bit disappointing; there were moments of class but it was doubtful whether at 37 he was still capable of a full 90 minutes. Simpson only offered him non-contract terms and he walked to take up a player-coach role at Burscough.
That failed to materialise and he was soon playing for Radcliffe Borough before another chance in America came along and he signed for New Orleans Shell Shockers. He retired in 2004 and now runs a soccer academy in Florida.