50 NOT OUT

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Next month brings the start of my 50th season as a Laticsmon – let me indulge myself and select a team of my favourite players – not the best players, but ones that have stuck in my Latics subconcious all these years. First, I’ll just twang my braces and put my toes in my cosiest pair of slippers !

GK – John Brown – the bravest keeper we have ever had, John played for Latics in League and non-league and must have been the recipient of Kenny Banks’s magic sponge about three times per match. These were proper injuries, diving at forwards feet, none of this stiff neck in the warm-up rubbish ! Most Memerable Moment – away to league leaders Barnsley during our early weeks as a Football League club in front of over 10,000 screaming Yorkies. They hammered us for 90 minutes but we came away with a 0-0 thanks to John’s heroics.

LB – Leighton Baines- the first player to come through our ranks and establish himselve as a Premier League (and, surely, future England) player. MMM- free-kick goal against Man U.

CB – De Zeeuw (Captain) – a PL player for us in Division Two, I don’t think anyone begrudged him his move to Pompey – and then he was a PL player in PL for us ! Arguably Latics best ever player. MMM – his cameo performance at Bramall Lane.

CB – Colin Methven – we’ve had loads of decent centre-backs, Derek Houghton, Alf Craig, Larry Lloyd, Peter Atherton, Stan McEwan, Colin Greenall et al through to Titus, Boycey and the enigmatic Austrian but I’ve got to go with Methven. Thin as a rake but as hard as nails this ex-miner was a rock in the Latics defence for seven years. MMM – FA Cup goal at mighty Blackpool.
RB – Tommy Gore – played for Latics in NL and FL and one summer for Dallas Tornadoes, where he acquired a signed shirt from Pele – which he displayed behind the bar when he ran the snooker club outside Central Park. MMM – the FA Cup winner against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

LM – Peter Houghton – another NL/FL player Peter had electric pace, strength, skill and finishing ability and played a starring role in the Port Vale 5-3 game. MMM Opening goal at Springy in the League Cup tie against soon to be European champions Villa.

CM – Jimmy Bullard – epitomised all that was good about the Jewell era and was Latics best ever fishermon! MMM – Jimmy’s magnificent goal in the 2-3 against Arsenal must still give Sol Campbell nightmares. 

CM – Bobby Martinez – Latics best ever technical player, maybe just a lack of pace kept him from playing at the highest level, but now he’s there as a manager. MMM – the best is yet to come, but the 7-1 against Scarborough will do for now.

RM – David Lowe – three times a Laticsmon, I remember Lowey taking the field in a League cup tie at Maine Road when he looked no older than a schoolboy. Later became our leading FL goalscorer. MMM – bicycle kick goal at Wembley.

FWD – (Sir) Andrew Liddell – a PL player for us in Div 1 and 2, what a pity we didn’t make the PL when he was still here. MMM – those dummies when he took penalties – did he ever miss one?

FWD – (HRH) – Harry Lyon – it’s only non-league but I like it! All credit to this site for keeping this fella’s name alive. I mean, 66 goals in one season – pity we couldn’t have a dabble on first goalscorer at Springy back in the 60’s – half a crown on Lyon, please!

Manager – Ray Mathias – took us to FA Cup quarter- finals and Div 3 play-offs in 86/7 and then returned in 98/9 to take us to AW at Wembley and Div 2 play-offs – only to be robbed by the Hand of Goat. Then got sacked 24 hours later – a bit harsh, Dave?

Reet, now where’s that bluddy nurse with me Horlicks !

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