20th October – Matt Jansen

Everyone knows that injuries play a huge part in football and some players get really unlucky and have their careers ruined by them, Matt Jansen definitely falls into this category.

In 2002 the striker was involved in a motorcycle accident and almost lost his life while on holiday and after six days in a coma it is understandable that he could never reach the level that he had previously been at. The saddest part of his story is the fact that he was on the fringes of the England team at the time and some people thought he was unfortunate to miss out on a place in the 2002 World Cup team.

The 37 year old started his career at Carlisle United and made his debut during the 1996-97 season and helped the club gain promotion from the Third Division. He also won his first piece of silverware at the club after they won the Football League Trophy against Colchester United after coming on as a substitute in extra time. Jansen made a quick start to the following season and found the back of the net nine times in 23 games before being linked with moves away from the club.
Jansen CU
He first rejected Manchester United as he wanted to be somewhere that could guarantee him games and signed for Crystal Palace in 1998 for £1 million. Although they were relegated from the Premier League Jansen proved his quality and scored three times in eight games before getting off to a positive start in Division One with seven goals in 18 games. This convinced Blackburn Rovers to sign him for £4.1 million and he would justify his transfer fee by scoring on his debut against Tottenham Hotspur in January 1999.

Once again, his club failed in their attempt to avoid relegation and he had to prove his ability in Division One. After a slow 1999-00 season he found his feet and was a very important part of Blackburn’s promotion to the Premier League in the following season, scoring 23 goals. Jansen was then helped the club stay in the Premier League with 10 league goals and also scored six goals in five games in the League Cup, including the first in the 2-1 final win over Tottenham.
Jansen BR
However, in the summer he had his accident and struggled to get back into the Blackburn team and joined Coventry City on loan in 2003 where he scored twice in nine games. At the start of the 2004-05 season he did get back into the Blackburn team and after two goals in eight games it seemed like he was beginning to rediscover his form, however a lot of people felt that he hadn’t recovered mentally from his accident and was struggling with the pressure of Premier League football and therefore decided that he should take a break from the game.

In May 2005 he signed a new deal with Blackburn suggesting that he was going to be given another chance but this didn’t happen and he was released on 11th January 2006. Two days he later he signed for Bolton Wanderers but after just seven appearances he was released.

Jansen did not return to football until March 2009 when he signed for Wrexham and he scored once against Northwich Victoria before leaving the club. Since he has played for Leigh and Chorley as his former teammate Garry Flitcroft was manager at the clubs and persuaded his friend to play for him. Jansen is now player-coach at Chorley.
Jansen Chorley
The final word can go to Dean Saunders, who coached him at Blackburn and signed him for Wrexham. “He’s not doing it for the money; he’s not earning a lot. He wants to come and get back to enjoying playing football again. Matt has done it to help me. Matt is a class player but I am not expecting miracles. He will hopefully show the bits of quality I know he has got in him.”

Advertisements

14th October – Clarke Carlisle

Clarke Carlisle is known as the smartest footballer in Britain and he has lived up to this reputation by appearing on Question Time and Countdown but has also shown another side when working as a commentator on ITV.

Although the 35 year old has added knowledge to the matches he commentates on, he has occasionally made mistakes, including one that was picked up at the World Cup when he didn’t understand why Colombian striker Jackson Martinez couldn’t get into the Ecuador team. It was an honest mistake but it was still funny especially considering the reputation he has.

Focusing on his playing career, he started at Blackpool and made his debut in a 4-3 win over Wrexham on the 2nd September 1997. In the following match he scored his first goal to give his side a 2-1 win over Carlisle United. In his 93rd and final appearance for the club he scored in a 1-1 draw with Oldham Athletic and despite not being able to keep them in Division Two, his performances had attracted the attention of other clubs.
Carlisle Blackpool
On the 25th May 2000 Carlisle signed for QPR. He made 32 appearances for the club but his season was cut short on the 31st January 2001. After missing the entire 2001-02 season he returned on the 7th September 2002 in a 4-0 win over Mansfield Town. He returned to good form and helped the team reach the playoffs but they lost in the final. His career once again took a turn for the worse as he developed an alcohol addiction and missed a month of the season to have treatment. He returned to action in October 2003 and was in fantastic form winning the Division Two Player of the Month in November. Carlisle scored one goal in 39 games as QPR were promoted to the Championship. But after rejecting a new contract he joined Leeds United.
Carlisle QPR
During the early months of the season he was a regular starter but an injury on the 29th November 2004 kept him out of action and he found it difficult to break back into the first team. After just one season and 38 games he left for Watford. He was a key player in Watford’s promotion, but missed the playoffs and the injury forced him to miss eight months of the Premier League season. To gain fitness he joined Luton Town on loan on the 2nd March 2007 and played five games for the club.

He finally made his Premier League debut on the 9th April in a 4-2 victory over Portsmouth but could not stop them getting relegated. In the summer he joined Burnley and had a solid season but ended it with two red cards in the final four games. In the 2008-09 campaign he had a lot more success and in the Playoff final win over Sheffield United he picked up the Man of the Match award. Unfortunately they, like Watford, only spent one season in the top flight.

He was regular in the side during the 2010-11 season but when Eddie Howe was appointed he decided to send him out on loan to Preston for the entire 2011-12 season. He played 27 times for the club before the deal was terminated by mutual consent and on the same day he signed for Northampton Town on loan. He was appointed captain and played 18 times for the club.
Carlisle NT
When his contract at Burnley expired he joined York City on a short term deal, playing 14 times before rejoining Northampton Town. He helped the club reach the League Two playoffs but they were beaten 3-0 by Bradford City and on the 23rd May 2013 Carlisle announced his retirement.

The final word can go to Aidy Boothroyd. “I’ve known Clarke a long time. He’s a leader in every sense. I’m hoping he will be someone to lay down a lot of foundations off the pitch as regards to culture.”

10th October – Lee Trundle

Lee Trundle is a legend at Swansea City, enjoying a very successful spell at the club and delighting their fans with his goals and his skills.

Although he was a striker, it was not just his goals that impressed the fans, it was his all round play and the way that he easily got passed players with skill. He is back at Swansea now after being appointed their Club Ambassador and Youth Coach on the 25th June 2013 which shows how important he is to the club and how highly they still think of him.
The 38 year old did not have the easiest starts to his football career and was a late comer to the professional game and had to have spells at non league sides Burscough, Stalybridge Celtic, Southport, Bamber Bridge and Chorley before moving to Welsh side Rhyl.

He only spent six months at the Welsh Premier League side and after scoring 15 goals in just 18 games, he caught the attention of Wrexham manager Brian Flynn. Wrexham signed the striker during the 2000-01 season and was an immediate hit, scoring eight times in just 14 games in the Second Division. His first goal was a crucial one for the club as on the 24th February 2001 he scored a bicycle kick against Walsall to kick start a comeback from 2-0 down and Wrexham eventually went on to win the game 3-2.
Trundle Wrexham
Trundle spent just over two years at the club and ended his time there with 30 goals in 78 starts which is a decent record, especially when you consider that they were relegated in his second season. But in the summer of 2003 he moved to another Welsh side in Swansea and teamed up once again with Brian Flynn. On his debut against Bury he became an instant hero by scoring and showed off his extraordinary tricks that began to get him mainstream attention, particularly on the TV show Soccer AM where he was regularly featured.

In four of his five seasons at the club he hit at least 20 goals. He was always linked with moves away from the club but he did stay loyal to Swansea and in October 2005 he became the first player outside of the Premier League to sign an image rights contract which offered a portion of revenues from merchandise featuring his image.
Trundle SC
After 78 goals in 146 appearances he eventually left Swansea on the 30th July 2007 and signed for Bristol City. It was believed that City had put in four bids for the striker before they eventually landed their target. Unfortunately he never really hit the heights at the club and only managed seven goals in 53 league games and had to go out on loan to Leeds United and back to Swansea to get some more game time.
Trundle BC
When his contract expired at Bristol City he wanted to rejoin Swansea permanently but they only offered him a coaching role which Trundle rejected. In July 2010 he joined Welsh side Neath but his time there only lasted two years as the club struggled with financial problems. After leaving the club, the striker went on trial with Preston and earned a one year contract, however a knee injury meant he didn’t get to play much and his contract was terminated on the 8th February. Short spells at Chester and Marine followed but Trundle retired from professional football at the end of the 2012-13 season.

The final word can go to Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins. “Lee was a great player and ambassador for this football club. I know what the club means to him and how much the fans adore him so we are all delighted to welcome him back in this new role.”

14th April – Matt Derbyshire

From Great Harwood Town to Olympiakos to scoring against QPR last weekend this player has had an interesting career.

Matt Derbyshire is 28 today and his career started at Great Harwood Town where he was showing a lot of potential and was scouted by a few clubs including Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers. As a Rovers fan it must have been a dream and when they paid £20,000 (unsurprisingly Great Harwood’s record fee received) it must have been an easy decision to join the club. He knew he was not going to get a place in the team straight away and after a loan spell at Plymouth Argyle, he showed what he could do at Wrexham by scoring 10 goals in 16 games.
Derbyshire Blackburn
When he came back to Blackburn he was in and around the first team squad and January 2007 was a great month for him, scoring his first goal for the club against Wigan Athletic and then the opener in the 4-1 victory over Everton. The next week he started his first game against Arsenal and a week later he was on the score sheet again, this time against Manchester City. He finished this season with 9 goals in all competitions in just 14 starts and 16 substitute appearances.

The next season and a half were quieter for him but he did prove to be someone that was good at coming off the bench becoming known as a super sub. He scored winners against Middlesbrough, Newcastle United and Fulham. Although he was successful at this role he wanted to start more games and he joined Greek side Olympiakos on loan. Ironically his first goal for the club was after coming off the bench and it was not long before he became a club hero for his performances from the bench.
Derbyshire Olympiakos
It was in the Greek Cup final against rivals AEK Athens that he will never be forgotten. With his team 2-0 at half time Derbyshire was brought on and within three minutes he had reduced the score line but this was only the start. Olympiakos made it 2-2 however AEK scored in stoppage time to put them in the lead once again and surely won them the cup. But with the very last touch of the game Derbyshire still nursing a concussion scored a header in the sixth minute of stoppage time. His team went on to win 15-14 on penalties and Derbyshire was awarded the man of the match award.

Unfortunately a change in manager meant Derbyshire was no longer in their plans and made the move to Birmingham City on loan. However he never really settled at the club and could not establish himself in the first team.

Sam Allardyce said about him on his return to England. “He’s a very good goalscorer, we all know that, and that is why we (Blackburn) got an unbelievably good fee. We let him got there on loan and he became a hero at Olympiakos.”

After leaving Birmingham he moved to Nottingham Forest where he struggled initially and went on loan to Oldham Athletic to resurrect his career and he did just that scoring six times for the club. But this season he has returned to form for his parent club and scored a great header against QPR recently.
Derbyshire Forest
The last word can go to the man that brought him back to England Alex McLeish. “Matt has had his journey in Greece and, from speaking to him, he’s keen to get on that Premier League pitch once more. He’s shown he can score a goal and he’s learned new tricks abroad.”

9th April – James Hayter

Imagine scoring the quickest hatrick in English Football League history and then finding out your parents had left the stadium and missed all three goals.

This is exactly what happened to birthday boy James Hayter in 2004. After coming on in the 84th minute against Wrexham for Bournemouth he went on to score three goals in less than 140 seconds and expected to be celebrating in front of his parents and brother. However they had left moments before he made his substitute appearance. Hayter said. “My parents, Mary and Richard, still shake their heads about it. They came to the game, but because I was sub and hadn’t got on they left early, I came on just after they left and they were listening in the car as the goals went in.”

This is a remarkable story and it just adds to the wonderful time he at Bournemouth where he was seen as a fans favourite. He came through their youth team and made his debut in the 1996-97 season. He did not become a first team regular until after a successful loan spell at Salisbury City which was cut short by manager Mel Machin who felt he could offer something to the squad and he repaid his confidence by scoring on his return against Stoke City. Soon after he was trying to break records and came close as he equalled the club record for goals scored in a match when he scored four against Bury. For the next few years he was seen as one of the best strikers outside of the Premier League.
Hayter Bournemouth
He helped them win the Divison Three playoff final in 2003 and continued scoring goals in higher divisions. The striker finished as top scorer with 22 goals in the 2005-06 season which was vital in helping them avoid relegation.

His time was coming to an end at the club and he joined Doncaster Rovers for a club record fee of £200,000 and scored the goal in the playoff final against Leeds United that won them promotion from League 1. Hayter found it tougher in the Championship to score goals but this was largely down to the fact he had to modify his game to allow Billy Sharp to get more chances in front of goal. But in most seasons he did get close to double figures with most of them being headers and they were usually vital.
Hayter Doncatser
When his contract expired he joined Yeovil Town and for the third time in his career he helped his team win the playoffs. He ended the season with 16 goals in 54 games as the club were promoted to the Championship for the first time in their history. Although this season has been a bit of a struggle for the club he is currently on five goals and putting up a good fight to avoid relegation.
Hayter Yeovil
The last word can go to his former manager Sean O’Driscoll who commented on his attitude and determination which a lot of footballers are missing and how when times get tough they struggle and go into their shell. He said after Hayter missed a penalty in a game but went on to score later on: “That’s typical of James. There was no danger of him hiding after missing the penalty.”