Thursday, 14 April 2011
336 Ged Brannan
Position : Midfield
Played : 2003-04 (on loan from Wigan)
Appearances : 11
Goals : 1
Ged was brought in on loan to replace the departed Robert Betts in September 2003. The 31 –year old began his career with a long stint at Tranmere Rovers in their hey-day under John King and then John Aldridge. In 1997 he was coming to the end of his contract and had a lucrative Bosman move to France lined up. Tranmere persuaded him to go to Manchester City instead in March and gave him £200,000 of the £750,000 fee (why City didn’t just wait till the summer is a good question). Ged was horrendously unpopular at City bearing the brunt of fans’ displeasure as the club slid towards the Second Division ; one fan told me there were chants of “Off ! Off ! Off !” every time he got booked. When Joe Royle took over in 1998 Ged immediately fell out of favour and went out on loan to Norwich but was recalled in order to be sold to Motherwell for £375,000. Ged spent two and a half years in Scotland during which he was approached by the Cayman Islands FA who thought they had identified a loophole whereby they could feld any uncapped player with a British passport. After Ged played in a friendly against DC United FIFA put an end to the scam and his “international” career was over. Ged returned to England in February 2001 when he signed for Wigan for £175,000. He made 52 appearances but faded from the scene and had played 8 games on loan at Dunfermline the previous season.
Given his reputation at City I was somewhat fearful of what we’d signed but Ged was just poor rather than comically bad. He wasn’t match fit when he first came and once that was rectified he still wasn’t very good, always trying (and inevitably failing) to make a killer pass instead of keeping thing simple. His goal was a re-taken penalty at home to Scunthorpe after Leo Bertos had the first one illegally saved. After two months (which took Ged to the end of his contract at Wigan) Alan Buckley decided to look elsewhere and that’s the silver lining - Ged’s failings paved the way for the return of Gary Jones.
Ged immediately dropped down to the Conference with Accrington. He had a decent spell there scoring 7 goals in 49 appearances but moved on to Radcliffe Borough in 2005. After 11 games he went to Morecambe in November 2005 when manager Jim Harvey had a heart attack just before Ged made his debut (no sick jokes please). Ged stayed with Morecambe, sometimes playing in defence, until they won promotion to the Football League in 2007 which apparently made him the first player to win in a play-off final at both the old and new Wembley. Ged intended that to be his final game but later that year he was persuaded to turn out for Vauxhall Motors and he went on to Burscough the following season as player-coach.