23rd May – Stephen Glass

Stephen Glass is one of those players that if it wasn’t for injuries could have become one of the most exciting wingers in the early 2000s.

The Scottish international showed a lot of talent in his early years, starting his career at Aberdeen and was regarded as one of Scotland’s hottest prospects. He was an instant success in a difficult season for Aberdeen during the 1994-95 campaign, scoring important goals in their final league fixture and also in both legs of their relegation playoff which helped secure their place in the top flight. He was also influential in the League Cup final against Dundee setting up both goals in a 2-0 win and earning himself the Man of the Match award.

In 1998, for a fee of £650,000, Glass signed for Newcastle United and despite making 29 appearances in his first season his injuries started to hamper his progress. His second season was blighted with injuries and new manager Bobby Robson saw him as a solid squad player. In the following two campaigns he only made six starts but his best moment came in December 2000 when he scored an equaliser against Manchester United.

Glass Newcastle

After his contract expired, he joined Watford and was seen to be a key player in Gianluca Vialli’s side. Unfortunately, the club had financial issues and, despite the club being keen to keep the midfielder, he was released after just two seasons.

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He returned to Scotland and joined Hibernian on a three year deal. After a promising start, once again, injuries took their toll and during the first campaign he missed the final of the 2004 League Cup. During the 2004-05 season Glass would only miss two league games and this would be one of his most successful as he helped the club finish third and qualifying for the UEFA Cup.

Glass Hibs

The 2006-07 season was a difficult one as he found himself playing out of position and after Tony Mowbray left the club, he was further down the pecking order under new manager John Collins. After just two starts in the following season, Glass joined Dunfermline in January on loan until the end of the season and in the summer he was given a permanent deal.

He showed his influence on the younger players in the squad and would go on to be named club captain but injuries struck and after an early knee injury he was released at the end of the 2009-10 season. After an unsuccessful trial at St Mirren, North American Soccer League side Carolina Seahawks offered him a deal but a hip injury limited him to just seven appearances and would soon announce his retirement.

The final word can go to former Newcastle great, Bob Moncur. “What I really like about him is that he goes either side to take on his full-back. And he doesn’t drift across the park. He goes straight at his man. He gets the ball in early too, which is going to benefit Alan Shearer so much.”

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22nd August – Heidar Helguson

Heidar Helguson was not one of the tallest strikers to play in England but he certainly scored a lot of headers during his career and was always a threat from crosses.

The striker made a career of out jumping much taller defenders and powering home headers but he was also very good when the ball was on the floor and could bring his teammates into play. A lot of people would argue that he never got a fair chance in the top flight with various different clubs but he always a threat and had a very good goalscoring record throughout his career.

Helguson started his career at hometown club UMFS Dalvik in Iceland and was given his first team debut at the age of just 15. He hit the ground running with five goals in 11 games and this earned him a move to Prottur in 1994. He stayed at the club for three seasons and after scoring 31 goals in 54 league appearances he was being linked with moves to several European clubs. He eventually moved to Norwegian side Lillestrom in the autumn of 1998 and strangely wore the number one shirt. In his first full season he was one of the surprises of the season as he hit 16 league goals and had his own fan club named after him, ‘The Helgusonsons’.

Midway through the 1999-2000 season Helguson transferred to the Premier League and joined Watford for £1.5 million. Despite scoring six goals, he could not prevent Watford getting relegated and was then part of the team that went 15 games undefeated at the start of the next season. However, both he and the club went into decline and with Helguson being played out of position by new manager Gianluca Vialli, he struggled to make a positive impact.
Helguson Watford
After Ray Lewington took charge Helguson rediscovered his form and ended the 2002-03 season as the club’s top goalscorer with 13 goals, however an injury kept him out of the first half of the next season but still managed eight goals in 22 league games. His final season at the club was injury free and he ended it with 20 goals in all competitions and was linked with moves to the Premier League.

Fulham signed the striker on the 27th June 2005 but he had to wait to become a starter and was largely used as a substitute to begin with. When he did eventually break into the first team he showed his quality and scored some memorable goals and finished with 10 in all competitions. The next season was more frustrating as he only managed three goals and joined Bolton Wanderers in the following summer. He stayed at the club for two seasons but only played eight times because of injuries and left the club for QPR.
Helguson Fulham
Initially he joined on loan and after scoring five times in his first 10 game he joined the club permanently. However, after failing to add to his goal tally and falling out of favour he rejoined Watford on loan. He spent most of the season there scoring 11 times in 29 games. Afterwards he regained his place in the QPR starting 11 and helped get them promoted to the Premier League by scoring 13 goals and while in the top flight he was their top scorer in their successful relegation battle. Despite missing the second half he still managed to score eight goals in 16 games.
Helguson QPR
On the 2nd August 2012 Helguson signed for Cardiff City. Although he scored eight goals and helped them get promoted to the Premier League, he left the club when his contract expired at the end of the season.

The final word can go to his Cardiff manager Malky Mackay. “He’s the man that really stepped up to the plate and was that battering ram for us. He’s absolutely the type of guy I’d fill a club with. I’ve got great admiration for him and what he’s done in his career.”