Monday, 4 April 2011
324 Rory Patterson
Position : Forward (also played on the wing)
Played : 2002-03 to 2003-04
Appearances : 15
Goals : 0
Rory was yet another youngster from Northern Ireland who also made his debut at Oxford though he had appeared in the Football League Trophy before that. I'd actually seen Rory in the previous season for the reserves when he had played alongside a convalescing Paul Connor. Connor set up three simple chances for him and he fuffed them all so I never thought I'd see him in the first team.
Rory only started in 5 of his 15 games so he can fairly say he wasn't given enough of a run at Spotland. After his appearance in November he didn't appear again until late February. Rory was frustrating to watch because he had a lot of pace and he generally got his shots on target but they were always straight at the keeper and lacking power. He got his first start away at Hartlepool and played quite well meaning he featured in the last 4 games of the season. He made sporadic appearances the following season but wasn't showing much sign of improvement so it was no surprise when he was released after playing in the final game at Oxford (like Matt Doughty his League career with us started and finished at the Kassam Stadium.
Rory went into non-league and had undistinguished spells at Radcliffe Borough and Mossley in 2004-05. Then fortune smiled on him when he signed for the newly-formed FC United enjoying three successive promotions and scoring 107 goals in 126 appearances. In 2008 he went to Bradford Park Avenue but after some injury problems signed for Droylsden . His spell there was short and he moved to Coleraine where he scored 30 goals in 35 appearances won the Ulster Footballer of the Year award and made his international debut for Northern Ireland. He was due to join Glentoran in the close season but they were gazumped by Plymouth so Rory returned to League football after a 6-year absence and scored his first goal in his second game (only one since at the time of writing). I can't think of anyone else who's made a comeback so long after being released by us. To date he has 5 caps and one international goal.