2nd July – Marc-Antoine Fortune

Marc-Antoine Fortune is currently stuck on 98 professional career goals and will be hoping that one more team gives him a chance to reach 100..

The forward started his career at French lower league side Angouleme where he broke into the side during the 1999-00 season, scoring three times in 10 appearances. He helped the club reach the third tier of French football and he was linked with moves to Ligue 1 sides. In 2002, Lille took a chance on Fortune.

While at the club he found himself playing out of position on the left wing and struggled with injuries to make a real impact. After just one season, Fortune joined Ligue 2 side Rouen on loan. He ended the season with 10 goals and for a third summer in a row he was on the move.

Stade Brest had a decent season with Fortune scoring 10 goals in 33 games and finishing 9th in Ligue 2. It looked as though he had settled, however when Eredivisie side Utrecht showed interest, Fortune could not turn down the opportunity. While in Holland, Fortune struggled to settle and the death of David Di Tommaso meant he could not show his talent.

Before his teammate died he had been looking quite impressive but after 13 goals in 56 appearances, he felt he needed to return to France. In January 2007, Nancy signed the striker and began really well, scoring six goals in 17 league games. After this he was largely used as an impact substitute and began to feel frustrated so in January 2009 he joined West Brom.

MAF Nancy

He became a fan favourite and scored on his debut in a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough and despite only playing half a season he was named the Supporters Player of the Year. He finished his loan spell with five goals and convinced Celtic to buy him.

MAF WB

After a good start with goals against St Johnstone and Rapid Vienna in the Europa League it turned sour, especially after Tony Mowbray was replaced by Neil Lennon so at the start of the 2010-11 season he returned to West Brom. He spent a further three seasons at West Brom, scoring nine goals as the club battled to stay in the Premier League. During this time, he also had a loan spell at Doncaster Rovers.

MAF WA

His next move was to Wigan Athletic and he featured heavily during their Europa League campaign and ended the season with 49 appearances. He lasted one more season and signed a one year deal for Coventry City. After four goals in 25 games he was on the move again to Southend United following a successful trial. Last season he scored four goals.

The final word can go to former Celtic and West Brom manager Tony Mowbray. “Marc is a quality player and he was a privilege to work with. Some of his play in the second half of the season was phenomenal, you can see the impact he made. He is a team player.”

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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.”

26th April – Chris Perry

Usually centre backs are big strong six foot plus players but every so often one comes along and breaks the mould and is just as consistent despite not having these characteristics.

Chris Perry is 41 today and started his career at boyhood club Wimbledon going on to be one of their most consistent performers and helped them stay in the Premier League for a number of years. And at one point he was in such good form that he was being talked about to break into the England squad. His manager at Wimbledon Joe Kinnear said: “Perry and Blackwell remind me of the finest defensive formation England have had since Roy McFarland and Colin Todd. It takes my breath away just watching them. If Glenn (Hoddle) wants I’ll send a car to pick him up for our next game.” Unfortunately for Perry he never earned a call up to the England squad.
Perry Dons
In July 1999 he made a £4 million move to Tottenham Hotspur and at the time was the clubs record signing and he became an automatic pick after Sol Campbell left for Arsenal. He stayed in the team and played most games until an injury in January 2003 meant he lost his place in the team. When younger players were selected ahead of him Perry signed for Charlton Athletic on loan. After impressing Alan Curbishley during the loan spell the transfer was made permanent and for the majority of the time Curbishley was in charge Perry was in the team. However new manager Iain Dowie released him in the summer of 2006.
Perry Spurs
His next move was to West Brom and Tony Mowbray thought that although he did not make enough appearances to trigger a clause in his contract he still performed well for the club. He said: “I thought Chris did fine. He is a decent footballer and a good defender.” He played his part in helping the team reach the playoff finals where they were beaten by Derby County.

After a season long spell at Luton Town he made his final career move and joined Southampton initially on loan and then permanently. In his short loan spell he was named in the Championship Team of the Week after his performance against Bristol City on 5th April 2008. He continued playing for the club until the start of the 2010-11 season when he was released but he did win a trophy just before he left as Southampton won the Football League Trophy in 2010.
Perry Soton
The final word can go to his former teammate at West Brom Darren Carter who said: “We’ve got Chris Perry in at the back, he’s got bags of experience and every time I’ve seen him play he wins everything despite not being a six footer. He’s a good player and knows the game inside out.”