Latics A to Z

Wigan Athletic Football League players – A to Z – (Conor Sammon to Greg Strong)

CONOR SAMMON – GREG STRONG

SAMMON, Conor
DOB: 13th April 1987
Other clubs: UCD, Derry City, Kilmarnock, Derby County
Honours: Republic of Ireland Under 21’s (3 caps)

Conor arrived at the DW Stadium on 31st January 2011, transfer deadline day, from Kilmarnock for a fee of £600,000 from Scottish outfit Kilmarnock.  He made his Premier League debut for the club against Manchester City at Eastlands on 5th March 2011 when he came onto the field of play as a substitute for Mohamed Diame in the 84th minute pf the game.

By the end of the season 2011/12 he had made 9+23 Premier League appearances, scoring once, before leaving the club on 20th August 2012, signing a four year deal with Derby County for a feein the region of £1,500,000

SANTUS, Paul
DOB: 8th September 1983
Other clubs: Northwich Victoria

Paul joined the club as a youngster and it was during his second year as a trainee in season 2001/02 that he made his Latics debut. He replaced Scott Green for the last few minutes of the League game against Cambridge United on 25th September 2001 in a game that resulted in a 2-2 draw. Despite a lack of first team appearances, he signed a one-year professional contract in May 2002.

However, he failed to make the grade as a footballer and is currently (January 2012) a PE teacher.

SAVILLE, Andy
DOB: 12th December 1964
Other clubs: Hull City, Walsall, Barnsley, Hartlepool United, Birmingham City, Burnley, Preston North End, Cardiff City, Scarborough, Goole Town
Honours: Third Division Championship Winner 1996 (Preston North End)
Third Division Championship Winner 1997 (Wigan Athletic)

Andy joined Latics in a surprise £125,000 deal from Preston North End in October 1996. Vice Chairman Duncan Sharpe sanctioned the signing as Chairman Dave Whelan was abroad at the time. He made his Latics League debut on 29th October 1996 against Swansea City at the Vetch Field. The Blues lost the game 2-1. In total he made 18+8 League appearances for Latics during which he scored 4 League goals. Early in season 1997/98 he was transferred to Cardiff City for £75,000. After spells at Hull City and Scarborough he retired from playing full time football and entered the non league circles with Eastern Counties League side, Goole Town.

SCHARNER, Paul
DOB: 11th March 1980
Other clubs: SVG Purgstall, VSE St Polten, Austria Vienna, FC Interwetten, SV Salzburg, Brann Bergen, West Bromwich Albion, SV Hamburg
Honours: Austria Under 21’s (12 caps, 5 goals)
Austria (22 caps)

Paul was signed by Paul Jewell on 22nd December 2005 from Brann Bergen for an undisclosed fee, rumoured to be around the £2.5 million mark. Sources at his former club did confirm that the fee was the largest they had ever received for a player and was strongly rumoured to be around the three 3,750,000 euros mark. The Austrian international was eligible to play for the club from January 1st 2006 following his signing which was completed before the January transfer window opened.

However, international clearance only arrived on 10th January 2006. On that day he became an instant Latics legend when he scored the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Arsenal in a League Cup Semi Final, first leg encounter at the JJB Stadium. He had entered the field of play as a 33rd minute substitute for Lee McCulloch. His Latics League debut was on 15th January 2006 against West Bromwich Albion at the JJB Stadium, a game that the Blues lost 0-1.

He proved to be a real asset to the club throughout the season, being played in a variety of positions. In total he has made 13+2 Premiership appearances for Latics, scoring 2 Premiership goals. He also played in Latics’ first ever major Cup Final, a 0-4 defeat against Manchester United at the Millennium Stadium in the final of the Carling Cup. He also has the distinction of scoring in the last Premiership game ever played at Highbury.

By the end of season 2007/08 he was the holder of the record of the player with the most Latics Premiership appearances with 73+5 Premiership appearances to his name, scoring 10 Premiership goals in the process. He also won the Player Of The Year Award for the Premiership campaign and, after speculation about a move to Aston Villa, he signed a new, improved two-year contract on 1st August 2008 and as at the end of season 2009/10 had made 130+15 Premier League appearances for the club, scoring 14 goals. He left the club in July 2010 as the player with the most top flight appearances (145 including substitute appearances) to his name and signed for West Bromwich Albion on 30th August 2010.

He is currently (August 2012) plying his trade at SV Hamburg.

SCHOFIELD, Mark
DOB: 10th October 1966
Other clubs: Marine, Leigh RMI, Southport, Chorley

Mark, who stated his career as a Springfield Park made his Latics League debut as a substitute Mike Newell against Walsall at Fellows Park on 28th April 1984. The Saddlers hammered Latics 3-0. Mark never broke into the first team and his only other League appearance for the club occurred the following season in a game against Bristol Rovers at Twerton Park on 5th March 1985. Thus having an unenviable record of never playing a League game at home and never winning one either! Mark who is a community police officer, was given a testimonial game by Leigh RMI during the pre season of 1999/2000 and Latics provided the opposition by playing two separate teams, (one for each half) in a friendly game that produced the club’s second highest attendance ever recorded at Hilton Park. On 15th March 2002 Mark left Chorley and also retired from playing due to achilles problems that were affecting his job.

SCOTLAND, Jason
DOB, 18 March 1979
Previous clubs, San Juan Jabloteh, Defence Force, Dundee United, St Johnstone, Swansea City, Ipswich Town
Honours, Trinidad and Tobago (41 caps, 8 goals)

Jason was signed from Swansea City on 10th July 2009 following both his manager, Roberto Martinez and team mate, Jordi Gomez to the DW Stadium. He signed a three year deal and Latics paid the Swans two million pounds for his services. Following a goal scoring debut in a pre season frirendly against Preston North End at Deepdale he made his Latics Premier League debit on the opening day of season 2009/10 The game played against Aston Villa at Villa Park on 15th August 2009, resulted in a 2-0 win for the Blues. By the end of the season (2009/10) he had played 14+18 Premier League games for the club, netting just once in a truly disapointing campaign for both himself and the team.

After failing to make an appearance during the first two games of the following 2010/11 season he departed for Ipswich Town, signing a one-year deal on 23rd August 2010.

SEBA, Jesus
DOB: 11th April 1954
Other clubs: Real Zaragoza B, Real Zaragoza, Chaves, Belenenses, Orihuela, Palecia, Andorra, CD Oliver
Honours: Spain Under 21’s (3 caps, 1 goal), Aragon (2 caps)

Jesus was one of the legendary ‘Three Amigo’s’ when he signed for Latics along with Isidro Diaz and Roberto Martinez in the summer of 1995. However, unlike his Spanish colleagues he was signed from Real Zaragozza as opposed to CF Balaguer. He made his Latics League debut on the opening day of the 1995/96 season, 12th August 1995 against Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium in a game that resulted in a 1-2 defeat for the Blues. Unlike ‘Issy’ and ‘Bob’ he struggled to hold down a first team spot and he was released in October 1996. He then spent a three month spell at Burnley.

Clarets manager, Adrian Heath, had high hopes for him but Seba only ever played for the Turf Moor reserve team before his move to Portugal, signing for Belenenses. In total he made 8+12 League appearances and scored 3 League goals.

A bit of Jesus Seba trivia – did you know that Jesus appeared for both Spain (Under 21’s) and Aragon at international level?

SEDDON, Ian
DOB: 11th October 1950
Other clubs: Bolton Wanderers, Chester City, Stockport County, Chesterfield, Cambridge United, Rochdale
Honours: Fourth Division Championship winner 1977 (Cambridge United)

Ian arrived at Springfield Park on a free transfer from Rochdale. Ian McNeill signed him because of his huge Football League experience as the bulk of his side was made up of the previous Northern Premier League team from the previous season. He made his Latics League debut on 2nd September 1978 against Newport County at Springfield Park.

The game was Latics’ second at home as a Football League club and the Blues were beaten 2-3. He was released at the end of the season after making this solitary appearance.

SENIOR, Steve
DOB: 15th May 1963
Other clubs: York City, Darlington, Northampton Town, Preston North End, Witton Albion, Bamber Bridge
Honours: Fourth Division Championship winner 1984 (York City), UniBond League Championship winner 1996 (Bamber Bridge)

Steve was a Ray Mathias signing from Northampton Town in October 1988 following Stuart Storer’s move to Bolton Wanderers. He made his Latics League debut against Rotherham United at Springfield Park on 31st October 1987 and the Blues ran out 3-0 winners. After a month’s absence because of injury, after 9 consecutive League games, he became an almost ever present member of the first team up until his transfer to Preston North End for the start of season 1990/91. He cited a wish for a higher grade of football as the main reason for leaving. In total he made 107+2 League appearances for the Blues and scored 3 League goals in the process.

SHARP, Kevin
DOB: 19th September 1974
Other clubs: Auxerre, Leeds United, Wrexham, Huddersfield Town, Scunthorpe United, Shrewsbury Town, Guisely Town,
Hamilton Academicals, Northwich Victoria (player/coach),
Harrogate Town FC (asst/manager)
Honours: Third Division Championship winner 1997 (Wigan Athletic), Auto Windscreens Shield winner 1999 (Wigan Athletic)

Kevin arrived at Springfield Park on 30th November 1995 in a deal worth £100,000, which at the time was a record fee for the club. He made his Latics League debut against Plymouth Argyle at Home Park on 9th December 1995 and he finished on the losing side as Latics were convincingly beaten 3-1. He became a crowd favourite but he never really saw eye to eye with the club’s hierarchy and he played most of the 1998/99 season on a week to week contract after refusing to sign a new contract offered to him. His first season at the JJB Stadium was hampered by injuries and suspensions although his contract dispute with Ray Mathias was sorted out after he signed a new three-year deal for John Benson.

During the season he was sent off twice, one of those occasions being the play-off Final at Wembley against Gillingham. In fact he goes down in history as the last ever player to be sent off under the Twin Towers in a competitive fixture.

In season 2001/2002 he made just 2 League appearances and played once in the Worthington Cup and the LDV Vans Trophy. In fact his last game was in the LDV Vans first round game against Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground on 16th October 2001. Just nine days later he had his contract terminated by mutual consent along with Alan McLoughlin. Kevin’s dismissal meant that there were just five players left at the club who had also played for the Blues at Springfield Park. (Andy Liddell, Ian Kilford, Pat McGibbon, Scott Green, and Simon Haworth).

In total he made 157+22 League appearances for the Blues, scoring 10 League goals. He wasn’t out of the game for long and on 1st November 2001 he signed for Second Division rivals Wrexham on a non contract basis. He later returned to the club for a spell as the Under 14’s coach for the Latics Centre of Excellence and his last known job in football was as the assistant manager of Harrogate Town.

SHARRATT, Chris
DOB: 13 August, 1970
Other clubs: Stalybridge Celtic, Southport, Caernarfon Town, Macclesfield Town, Altrincham, Bangor City, Rhyl Athletic

Chris was signed by Bryan Hamilton from Stalybridge Celtic in December 1991 and made his Latics League debut as a substitute on 28th December 1991 against Shrewsbury Town at Springfield Town at Springfield Park. The game resulted in a 1-1 draw and Chris was to make just 4 League appearances as a substitute without scoring that season. The following season was a little better for him and he made a further 11+9 League appearances, scoring 3 League goals before joining Altrincham on a free transfer for the start of season 1993/94.

He later scored the winning goal for Altrincham against Latics in a FA Cup, Second Round game on 3rd December 1994. The 1-0 win meant that ‘Alty’ went on to play Tottenham Hotspur in the next round. He is currently (January 2012) plying his trade as a plasterer.

SHAW, Mark
DOB: 15th October 1964
Other clubs: –

Mark was a Springfield Park apprentice who made his League debut against Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium on 27th November 1982 in a game that resulted in a 2-0 victory for the Blues.

He only made 3 League appearances for Latics without scoring before being released at the end of that League campaign.

 


SHEARER, David

DOB: 16th October 1958
Other clubs: Clachnacuddin, Inverness, Middlesbrough, Grimsby Town, Gillingham, Bournemouth, Scunthorpe United, Darlington, Billingham Synthonia

Dave arrived at Springfield Park on loan from Middlesbrough on 16th March 1980. He made his Latics League debut on 19th March at the Shay in a game against Halifax Town. The game resulted in a 0-0 draw and the following game against Tranmere Rovers at home saw Latics draw a blank again in another 0-0 bore draw. However, his third game for the club against Port Vale at Springfield Park saw him slam in a hat trick (Latics’ second in the Football League against the same team who conceded Latics’ first ever hat trick in League Football) and from that moment on he just couldn’t stop scoring!

He made 11 League appearances and scored 9 League goals at the end of a very exciting second season in the League. He later became a labourer in Fort William but he suffers from an arthritic hip and is currently (January 2012) a house husband.

A bit of David Shearer trivia – did you know that his brother is former Scotland striker Duncan Shearer.

SHELDON, Kevin
DOB: 14th June 1956
Other clubs: Stoke City, Port Vale, Crewe Alexandra, Trowbridge Town, Burton Albion, Leek Town, Telford United

Kevin was a player who Latics took a gamble on. He had suffered a nightmare period of injury at Stoke City from whom he was signed by Larry Lloyd at the start of season 1981/82. He made his Latics League debut on the opening day of the season, 29th August 1981, against Bradford City at Valley Parade in a pulsating game that resulted in a 3-3 draw. At the start of the following season he was loaned to Port Vale returning to Springfield Park in September 1982 having played five games for the Valiants without scoring.

Just when Kevin thought his injury nightmare was behind him the jinx struck again in December 1982 and he missed the rest of the season, which incidentally, resulted in Latics’ first ever promotion in the Football League. The following season saw Kevin in and out of the side due to his injury and he was released at the end of the season. In total he made 29+0 League appearances for the Blues and scored 1 League goal.

SHERIDAN, Darren
DOB: 8th December 1967
Other clubs: Leeds United, Mossley, Curzon Ashton, Winsford United, Barnsley, Oldham Athletic, Clyde, St Johnstone, Barrow
Honours: Conference North play off winner 2008 (Barrow)
FA Trophy winner 2010 (Barrow)

Darren was signed by John Benson on 2nd July 1999 from Barnsley on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling. He made his Latics League debut on the opening day of the 1999/2000 season (the first League game ever played at the JJB Stadium), 7th August 1999 against Scunthorpe United which resulted in a 3-0 win for the Blues. In total he made 50+8 League appearances for Latics, scoring 3 League goals before becoming a victim of manager Steve Bruce’s notorious clear out at the end of season 2000/01.

Darren did have an amazing spell whilst a non-league player when, in the summer of 1992, he signed up for Winsford United and that 1992-93 season went down in Winsford folklore as Mike McKenzie’s men won an astonishing five trophies – the NPL Challenge Cup, NPL President’s Cup, the Cheshire Senior Cup, the Mid-Cheshire Senior Cup and NPL Runners Up Cup. Winsford also finished second to Southport and their points total is a record for the most points accrued without winning the title. Darren was influential in all that success. Also in the team was future Latic Jon Whitney. To date (January 2012) he is the manager of Barrow.

SHYNE, Chris
DOB: 10th December 1950
Other clubs: Dyers Arms, Rochdale

Goalkeeper Chris was signed on loan from Rochdale at the start of the 1979/80 season as cover for the injured John Brown.. He made his Latics League debut on the opening day of the season, 18th August 1979 against Darlington at the Feethams. The game resulted in a 2-2 draw and Chris made 10 consecutive League appearances before John Brown was fit enough to return for first team duty on 9th October 1979.

Chris became something of a legend in the local amateur football scene in Rochdale after giving up professional game and sadly he passed away in February 2004. Rochdale and District Sunday League teams still compete today for the Chris Shyne Memorial Trophy.

SIBIERSKI, Antoine
DOB: 5th August 1974
Other clubs: Lille, Nantes, Auxerre, Lens, Manchester City, Newcastle United, Norwich City
Honours: French Cup winner 1999, 2000 (Nantes),
French Super Cup winner 1999 (Nantes)
Intertoto Cup Winner 2006 (Newcastle United)

Antoine arrived at the JJB Stadium on a free transfer from Newcastle United, just hours after new Latics manager, Chris Hutchings, had made his former Magpies team mate, Titus Bramble his first ever signing. He signed a two-year contract after Latics beat off stiff competition from local rivals, Bolton Wanderers, for his signature.

He made his first start for Latics in a pre season fixture against Leeds United at Elland Road on 4th August 2007, a game Latics won 2-1. He made a goal scoring Premiership debut on the opening day of the 2007/08 season, 11th August 2007, against Everton at Goodison Park, He entered the field of play in the 66th minute, replacing Caleb Folan. He scored fourteen minutes later but couldn’t prevent Latics from losing 2-1.

His next Latics outing was the following game against Middlesbrough at the JJB Stadium on 15th August 2007. He scored the winning goal in a 1-0 victory for the Blues and in doing so became only the third player to score on both his home and away Football League debut, and the first player to do so in Premiership fixtures. By the end of season 2007/08 he had made 11+18 Premiership appearances for the Blues, netting four times.

On transfer deadline day, 1st September 2008, after making just one substitute’s appearance in the Premiership, he was loaned to Championship outfit Norwich City for four months. He returned to the JJB Stadium injured on 12th January 2009 having played 13+2 league games at Carrow Road, netting twice.

He played just twice more for the Blues following his return to the JJB Stadium before being released at the end of the campaign. In total he played 10+23 Premier League games for Latics, netting four times. He is currently (January 2012) a football agent.

SINCLAIR, Scott
DOB, 25th Marrch 1989
Previous clubs, Bristol Rovers, Chelsea, Plymouth Argyle, Queens Park Rangers, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Birmingham City, Swansea City, Manchester City
Honours, England Under 17’s (5 caps, 3 goals)
England Under 18;s (4 caps, 3 goals)
England Under 19’s (5 caps, 2 goals)
England Under 20’s (1 cap)

Scott was signed by Roberto Martinez on 7th August 2009. He joined the club on a season long loan from Chelsea and he made his Premiership debut for Latics on 15th August 2009 against Aston Villa at Villa Park on the opening day of season 2009/10. The game resulted in a 2-0 win for the Blues. He played 1+17 Premier League games for the club, scoring once before returning to Chelsea in July 2010.

He is currently (September 2012) plying his trade at Manchester City after two seasons with Swansea City, for whom he was signed from Chelsea.

SKIPPER, Peter
DOB: 11th April 1958
Other clubs: Schultz YC, Hull City, Scunthorpe United, Darlington, Oldham Athletic, Walsall, Wrexham, Stafford Rangers

Peter arrived at Springfield Park on a non contract basis from Wrexham in February 1992 and he made his debut as a substitute on 15th February 1992 in a game against Stoke City at Springfield Park which resulted in a 1-0 victory. He stayed at the club until the end of the season and he made15 League appearances and he scored 3 League goals before joining Stafford Rangers at the start of the following season.

However, that was not the last that the Latics faithful saw of Peter because in November 1992 he returned to Springfield Park to make a second Latics League debut on the 3rd November 1992 in a game against Bradford City at Springfield Park that resulted in a 1-2 defeat for the Blues. He was to stay for another nineteen months before leaving Springfield Park, in total he made 88+3 League appearances for Latics, scoring 4 League goals

SKOKO, Josip
DOB: 10th December 1975
Other clubs: North Geelong, Hajduk Split, KRC Genk, Genclerbiligi, Stoke City, Hajduk Split, Melbourne Heart
Honours: Australia (51 caps, 9 goals),
Belgian First Division championship winner 2002 (Genk)

Josip was born in Mount Gambier, Australia on 10th December 1975. He rose through the ranks at North Geelong in the Victorian Premier League and has played and captained teams in Croatia (Hajduk Split), Belgium (KRC Genk) and Turkey, (Genclerbirligi). A full Australian International he made his debut against Macedonia in March 1997. He has also represented Australia in the 2000 Olympic Games. Earlier he had played for the Young Socceroos in the Under 20’s Youth Cup Finals in Qatar It was from Genclerbirligi that he signed for Latics. Although he had two years left on his contract he was allowed to leave on a free transfer as Genclerbiligi wanted to save on his wages so that they could buy some more players. Josip was in the top twenty earners in Turkish football and had almost signed for Manchester City in the pre season of 2005/06, but Stuart Pearce pulled out of signing him at the last moment.

His work permit finally arrived on Thursday 19th August 2005 after he had been provisionally signed a week earlier. At the time of his signing his was training with Australia, aiming to please new manager Gus Hiddink in order to add to his international tally of 40 games and 6 goals. Josip went down in Latics history as the first player they had ever signed who required a work permit! He made his Latics League debut on 10th September 2005 as a used substitute against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns in a game Latics won 2-1. He made his full debut in a Carling Cup second round game against Bournemouth at the JJB Stadium on 20th September 2005, a game which Latics won 1-0. On 16th November 2005 he was in the Australian team that beat Uruguay 4-2 on penalties to clinch a place in the World Cup Finals in Germany. This no doubt made up for his lack of input into the first team up until then.

On 7th February 2006 he signed for Stoke City until the end of the season. Within a couple of weeks he had made his 44th International appearance as skipper of the Australian side who played their first ever game against Bahrain in the Asian Cup competition. He scored the Socceroos’ second goal in a 3-1 victory. He made 9 League appearances, scoring twice for the Potters before returning to the JJB Stadium in May 2006. As at the end of season 2005/06 his Latics career consisted of 3+2 Premiership appearances and no goals scored and prior to setting off to Germany to play in the World Cup he had played 46 games for Australia, scoring 8 goals. However, things improved as he became established in the following season’s team and by the end of the campaign he had notched up 27+6 Premiership appearances withou

t hitting the target. His last game for the Socceroos was on 10th September 2007 in a 0-1 defeat against Argentina in a friendly game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, after he decided to concentrate on club football for the rest of his career.

He was released at the end of season 2007/08 and his Latics Premiership career total was 42+10 appearances with no goals scored. He is currently (Januay 2012) back in his homeland managing the North Geelong Warriors youth team after a spell playing for Melbourne Heart.

A bit of Josip Skoko trivia – did you know that Josip is the only Australian to ever score a hat trick in the Champions League?

SMART, Kevin
DOB: 17th October 1958
Other clubs: Plymouth Argyle, Macclesfield Town

Kevin was signed by Ian McNeill for the start of Latics’ first season in the Football League after he was released by new Plymouth Argyle manager Malcolm Allison. He made his Latics League debut on 26th August 1978 against Reading at Elm Park. It was Latics’ third Football League game and they returned North on the end of a 2-0 defeat. Once selected for first team duty he became almost ever present but in September of the following season he picked up and injury that was to end his Football League career.

He left Springfield Park at the end of season 1979/80 having made 48+1 League appearances and scoring once in a League game against Stockport County at Springfield Park.

SMEETS, Jorg
DOB: 5th November 1970
Other clubs: Volendam, Utrecht, Heracles, Chester City, Maritimo, Helmond Sport

Jorg, the smallest player to ever play League football for the club, (he had to get his boots specially made for him on account of his exceptionally small feet), was signed by John Deehan from Dutch outfit Heracles for £100,000 on 1st October 1997. He made his Latics League debut three days later against Grimsby Town at Blundell Park. The Mariners ran out 2-1 victors. Jorg was to stay at the club for almost two seasons during which time he seemed to always be on the subs bench. On 25th March 1999 he was loaned to Chester City for whom he made 1+2 League games before finally leaving Springfield Park on 31st May 1999. He made 17+26 League appearances for the Blues and scored 6 League goals during that time.

He was last known of playing for Dutch outfit Helmond Sport in 2001.

SMITH, Barry
DOB: 21st September 1969
Other clubs: –

Barry was an apprentice at the club and failed to make the grade at Springfield Park. He only made 1 League appearance for Latics and that was against Northampton Town at Springfield Park on 19th December 1987. He was a used substitute during the game which resulted in a 2-2 draw. Another young apprentice, Andy Wilson also made his only League appearance for the club during the game as well, although he played from the start.

SMITH, Jeremy
DOB: 20th July 1971
Other clubs: Colne Dynamoes, Collingham, Goole Town, Derry City

Jeremy served his apprenticeship at Leeds United but with a couple of months left of his YTS period he was released. He was spotted playing at Goole Town by Latics coach Mick Lyons and Latics decided to take the plunge and sign him for the start of the 1991/92 season. He made his Latics League debut as a substitute against Stockport County at Springfield Park on 3rd September 1991 in a game which Latics lost 1-3. He never started a game for Latics, making 6 League substitute in total before being released

SMYTH, John
DOB: 28th April 1970
Other clubs: Dundalk, Liverpool, Burnley, Limerick

John was signed at the beginning of season 1991/92 by Bryan Hamilton from Burnley. He made his Latics League debut on as a substitute for Neill Rimmer against Darlington in a home encounter on 28th September 1991, a game which the Blues lost 1-2. In fact, John was never to make a full appearance for the club although he had made 0+6 League appearances before being released at the end of that season.

He returned to his homeland the following season and played for Limerick before retiring from the game.

STAM, Ronnie
DOB: 18th June 1984
Other clubs: NAC Breda, Twente,

Ronnie was signed by Roberto Martinez from Twente on 30th July 2010 with the Dutchman putting pen to paper on a three year contract. The fee involved was £2,000,000.  He made his Premier League debut on 14th August 2010 against Blackpool at the DW Stadium. The game was the Tangerines’ first game in the Premier League and they ran out convincing 4-0 winners with Stam one of the few players emerging from the game with any credit.

He failed to establish himself in the strung eleven, but he was a reliable stand in when the occasion demanded it.  At the end of the seaosn he had amassed 17+8 Premier League appearances during which he netted once.

His second season at the club also saw his appearances restricted and by the end of season 2011/12 he had made 30+15 Premier League appearances, scoring once.

STATHAM, Mark
DOB: 11th November 1975
Other clubs: – Nottingham Forest

Although a regular reserve team goalkeeper who was signed Nottingham Forest, Mark never really established himself at Springfield Park and was only used as an emergency. One such emergency occurred on 22nd April 1995 when Simon Farnworth was injured during a League game against Walsall at Fellows Park. Mark took Simon’s place between the sticks to make his Latics League debut and the Blues lost the game 0-2. He was to make just 1 more appearance for the club and this was in the very next game against Rochdale at Spotland and Latics lost tha

t game as well!

STEEL, Jim
DOB: 4th December 1959
Other clubs: Grayston Rovers, Oldham Athletic, Wrexham, Port Vale, Real Coruna, Tranmere Rovers
Honours: Welsh Cup winner 1986 (Wrexham) Leyland Daf Trophy winner 1990 (Tranmere Rovers) Third Division play offs winner 1991 (Tranmere Rovers)

Jim, who is currently (January 2012), a police constable on Merseyside, arrived at Springfield Park on loan from Oldham Athletic and was to play just 2 League games for the Blues. He made his Latics League debut on 13th November 1982 against Millwall at Springfield Park and the game resulted in a 3-1 victory for the Blues. His only other game was against Sheffield United at Springfield Park on 4th December 1982. The game was televised and highlights were shown the following day. and Jim must have enjoyed the show as he scored twice in a 3-2 win for the Blues. So Jim played 2 League games and scored 2 League goals. Not a bad return at all, unfortunately Latics couldn’t afford to sign him on a permanent deal and he returned to Boundary Park a week later.

STEWART, Billy
DOB: 1st January 1965
Other clubs: Liverpool, Chester City, Northampton Town, Chesterfield, Southport, Hednesford Town, Bamber Bridge, Rhyl Athletic, Colwyn Bay, Marine
Honours: England Semi-Professional XI (1 cap),
Third Division Play-Off Final winner 1995 (Chesterfield)

Goalkeeper Billy arrived from Liverpool at the start of season 1984/85 as understudy to Roy Tunks. He made his Latics League debut on 9th February 1985 against Millwall at Springfield Park, a game which the Lions won 1-0. He never really made the grade at Springfield Park and by the start of season 1986/87 Ray Mathias had allowed Billy to join Chester City following his capture of Nigel Adkins from Tranmere Rovers.

In total Billy made 14 League appearances for the Blues before coming back to haunt us with some absolutely brilliant displays against us for Northampton Town and Chesterfield! The Spireites were in fact his final league club but he went on to play for quite a few non league clubs before becoming a youth academy goalkeeping coach for Liverpool. He is currently (January 2012) the goalkeeping coach for the Liverpool Academy side.

STILLIE, Derek
DOB: 3rd December 1973
Other clubs: Notts County, Aberdeen, Dunfermline, Dundee United, Gillingham
Honours; Scotland Under 21’s (14 caps)
Scottish League Cup winner 1996 (Aberdeen)

Derek arrived at the JJB Stadium on 1st July 1999 initially on a two week trial. During the pre season friendlies he impressed John Benson and was given a two-year contract. He made his Latics League debut on 14th August 1999 in a 3-3 draw against Millwall at the New Den. Towards the end of the campaign regular shot stopper Roy Carroll was forced out of the side for the last four games of the season after requiring an operation for appendicitis.

He performed so well in those games that Roy didn’t take part in the play-offs either. His reward for his efforts during that League campaign was a two-year extension to his current contract on 12th July 2000 by new manager Bruce Rioch. In season 2000/01 he was called on to deputise for the brilliant Roy Carroll on several occasions and he never let the side down although he was always unlikely to make the number one jersey his own.

During the pre season of 2001/02 he was linked with a move to Norwich City but nothing ever came of the Canaries’ interest. Then, the departure of Roy Carroll to Manchester United finally opened the first team door for him. However, Latics’ new manager Paul Jewell decided to sign Stewart Kerr from Celtic as competition for Derek and when he was left out of the team against Bristol City at home on 25th August 2001, in favour of Kerr, he handed in a written transfer request. By the end of season 2001/02 he had made 42+2 League appearances and was released. On Thursday 23rd May 2002 he joined Scottish Premier League outfit Dunfermline in a two-year deal after impressing during a trial with the Pars.

He studied English Law after winding his playing career up at Gillingham and is now working as a lawyer.

STORER, Stuart
DOB: 16th January 1967
Other clubs: Mansfield Town, VS Rugby, Birmingham City, Everton, Bolton Wanderers, Exeter City, Brighton and Hove Albion, Atherstone United, Kettering Town, Chesham United, Hinckley United
Honours: Sherpa Vans Trophy winner 1989 (Bolton Wanderers)
Southern League Midland West Division winner 2001 (Hinckley United)

Stuart arrived at Springfield Park on loan from Everton on 23rd July 1987 and was to stay at Springfield Park until Christmas Eve 1987 when Everton sold him to Bolton Wanderers for £25,000. He made his Latics League debut on the opening day of season 1987/88, 15th August 1987, against Notts County at Meadow Lane, a storming game that resulted in a 4-4 draw. In total he made 9+3 League appearances for the Blues without scoring. He eventually left Everton permanently to play for local rivals Bolton Wanderers and he is currently (January 2012) a PE teacher in Coventry.

STOJKOVIC, Vladimir
DOB: 29th July 1983
Other clubs: FK Loznika, Red Star, FK Leotar, FK Zemun, Red Star Belgrade, Nantes, Vitesse, Sporting Lisbon, Getate, FK Partizan
Honours: Serbia (38 caps)

Vladimir was signed on loan from Sporting Lisbon on 7th January 2010. He was needed as cover for Richard Kingson who had been called up to play for his country, Ghana, in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. His loan agreement was to run until the end of the season and he made his debut for the club on 23rd January 2010. The game was a FA Cup fourth round game at Meadow Lane where the Blues drew 2-2 against Notts County. Due to an injury to Chris Kirkland he made his Premier League debut on 27th January 2010 against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, a game that ended in a 2-1 defeat. He made just 4 Premier League appearances for the club before setting off to South Africa to play for Serbia in

the 2010 World Cup tournament.

He never returned to the DW Stadium and is currently (May 2011) playing for FK Partizan

STRONG, Greg
DOB: 5th September 1975
Other clubs: Bolton Wanderers, Blackpool, Stoke City, Motherwell, Hull City, Cheltenham Town, Scunthorpe United, Bury, Boston United, Macclesfield Town, Livingston, Dundee, Halifax Town, Northwich Victoria, Droylesden, Rhyl
Honours: Welsh Premier League winner 2009 (Rhyl)

Greg started his career as a trainee at Springfield Park and signed his first professional contract on 1st October 1992. He had to wait for almost a year for his Latics League debut and this came on the opening day of the 1993.94 season, 14th August 1993, when Kenny Swain gave him his big chance in the side that lost 0-2 against Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.

His place in the team was taken by Mick Kennedy by the end of October 1993 and he had to wait until 19th Match 1994 to get his place back, but once he did he became a permanent fixture in the team until the end of the League campaign. Greg was to spend just two season’s at Springfield Park before being surprisingly signed by Bolton Wanderers on 10th August 1995. In total Greg made 28+7 League appearances for the Blues and scored 3 League goals.

He is currently (January 2012) the player manager of Rhyl.



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