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Author Topic: The TEF Top 100 STFC Players - Results  (Read 4201 times)
Shit Bacon

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« on: Thursday, December 24, 2020, 14:45:13 »

The votes are in and counted, and it's time to reveal (some) of the rankings. I’m going to post 20 a day for the next few days (but not Christmas Day as I intend to be too drunk to type) and then 10 each for the last few days, revealing the top 10 on New Year’s Eve.

Thank you  to the following for voting or nominating in some form: Red Frog, Brocklesby Red, Crispy, Bedford Red, Bob1978, JoeMezz, Crackity Jones, RedRag, Peter Venkman, Jayohaitchenn, Normy, Bamboonoshop, CheltRed69, Kirky69, Nomoreheroes, Red Frog, NotHarryAgombar, DV Canio, 4D, FlammableBen, FormerlyDrummerBoy, BoA Vagabond, Jimmy Quinn, Family at War, River Monster, PaulD, Arriba, TheDukeofBanbury, HitchinRed, Quagmire, ScillyRed and Cdakev

And thanks most of all to the excellent Rich Banyard for, the source of almost all I’ve written about any player before the mid-90s.

Notes on the rankings: When lists were submitted in ranking order, 40pts were allocated to the #1, 39 to the #2 and so on until 1pt for #40. Where lists were unranked (as per most in the thread), each named individual was allocated 5pts. In order to qualify for the top 100, the player had to receive nominations from at least two individual voters. The very few ties were broken by the highest single ranking received by a player. Top 100 STFC Players

100: Roy Carter (1977-83)
236 apps, 39 goals

This list has an understandable recency bias, but we start in the 70s with goal scoring right winger Roy Carter, a Town captain under the management of Bobby Smith and John Trollope before leaving the club in the wake of our relegation to Division Four.

99: Nestor Lorenzo (1990-92)
27 apps, 2 goals

One selected for what might have been rather than what was, Lorenzo arrived four months after playing in the World Cup final (imagine that today) and started brightly under Ardiles. When his countryman left, Lorenzo was not part of Glenn Hoddle’s plans and returned to Argentina after a frustrating second season.

98: Jerel Ifil (2003-09)
231 apps, 5 goals

STFC’s top appearance maker of the 2000s, ‘The Beast’ had two loan spells and five full seasons at Swindon with excellent performances, often when man-marking the very best strikers in the division never quite leading to the consistency that would have made him an all time great.

97: Tim Parkin (1986-89)
144 apps, 8 goals

The first of two Parkins on this list (spoilers), Welsh defender Tim was part of our seemingly endless supply of excellent centre-backs in the late 80s and early 90s; many of his contemporaries and successors also feature later.

96: Aden Flint (2011-13)
79 apps, 8 goals

Another centre-back, the towering Flint was signed as a raw prospect from non-league and went on to establish a career as a good Championship player. His relationship with the Town fans soured after a move to Bristol City, but his last minute equaliser against Brentford in the 2013 play-off semi final is fondly remembered.

95: Fitzroy Simpson (1988-92)
130 apps, 10 goals

One of the most successful Town youth products of the last forty years, Simpson’s Town career as young attacking midfielder featured a surprising number of red cards - possibly the influence of Steve Foley - but he thrived under Hoddle and was sold to Manchester City, before going on to play for Jamaica at France ‘98.

94: Ian Woan (2000-01)
25 appearances, 3 goals

Signed at the tail-end of his glittering career, Woan, much like Matt Taylor fifteen years later, showed the class of his left foot was permanent, even if his stamina was not. Unlike Taylor, he left before his second season, but returned as a youth coach later before making the dubious decision to move to work under Paul Hart at Rushden. Now assistant to Sean Dyche, so he must have learned something.

93: Danny Invincibile (2000-03)
144 apps, 27 goals

A player a little out of time who would have thrived in a modern 4-3-3, Invincible is best remembered for that volley at Peterborough to secure our Division Two status. Never quite went on to the career he should have done, but a combination of great moments and a great name give him a place in Town folklore.

92: Jack Smith (2005-09)
153 apps, 9 goals

Almost the polar opposite of Invincibile, full back Smith was a player for whom the word ‘steady’ became a blessing and a curse, often having to fight his way back into the team ahead of flashier full backs like Miguel Comminges. Smith went on to have a good career at Millwall after leaving us, including a spell at centre back.

91: Phil King (1987-89, 97-99)
150 apps, 4 goals

King’s first spell at Swindon saw him excel at left back. Eventually sold to Sheffield Wednesday for a hefty profit, he played for the Owls and Aston Villa in the first division before returning for a short, ill fated spell under Steve McMahon a decade later.

90: Jimmy Allan (1971-85)
436 apps

The first of many players on this list who would be higher but for the understandable unwillingness of many voters to pick from before their Town watching days, Allan succeeded Peter Downsborough as Town’s #1 goalkeeper and made more than 400 appearances before retiring due to a badly broken left arm.

89: Rory Fallon (2003-06)
89 apps, 25 goals

Originally restricted to subsitute appearances as backup to Tommy Mooney and Sam Parkin, Fallon could easily be remembered in Town history for that overhead kick against Bristol City alone. When Parkin departed in 2005, he became Town’s main striker and excelled as part of a very poor side, scoring 14 goals before Fallon’s own sale in January of 2006 all but confirmed Iffy Onoura’s side would be relegated.

88: Jon Paul McGovern (2007-11)
177 apps, 12 goals

Sadly, Chalkie’s Shorts no longer posts here - we sat a few seats apart during the McGovern years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one person so frustrated by a single player. JPM was often criticised for laziness, but threatened the top of the divisional assists chart every season he played for Town: not for him, the traditional lack of end product of the lower league winger.

87: Shay Given (1995)
5 apps

Probably the first name on this list I actively disagree with, Given made two lists despite having played five games for Town. Whilst the career he would go on to have was stellar, it’s hard to imagine what he could have done in those games to merit selection ahead of club stalwarts and indeed short term loanees like Danny Ward and James Milner who missed out on this list.

86: Brian Williams (1978-81)
122 apps, 10 goals

A very rare player with more than 100 appearances in living memory and yet no words recorded against him on Rich Banyard’s site, Brian Williams featured on four lists so clearly had at least some memorable performances. Sadly, all I can tell you about him is that he had an impressive beard.

85: Brian Borrows (1997-99)
83 apps

After a long career at the top level of English football, Borrows was 36 when he signed for Town but gave two seasons of good service all the same at a time when Town’s defence was recovering from the departure of Shaun Taylor.

84: Ross MacLaren (1988-94)
245 apps, 12 goals

Twice part of Wembley final winning sides, MacLaren’s Town career faltered and faded in the Premiership season as he was asked to fill in as Glenn Hoddle at sweeper, a task beyond most. Before that, he excelled in defensive midfield despite injuries and weight gain.

83: Tom Jones (1988-92)
207 apps, 12 goals

A consistent name on Town team sheets for four seasons under Macari and Ardiles, Jones saw the highs of a Wembley win and the lows of demotion from central midfield. Hoddle swapped him for Craig Maskell in 1992 in a rare example of a player exchange deal that worked out well for everyone.

82: Dave Hockaday (1983-90)
308 apps, 11 goals

A long term servant even in an era where players moved less frequently between clubs, Dave Hockaday could play on both sides of the defence, although stronger at right back. His later spell as a co-commentator may be to blame for not being higher up this list, as well as being most well known for his short spell as Leeds Utd manager.

81: Billy Paynter (2007-10)
137 apps, 51 goals

An excellent foil for two of Town’s best strikers of recent years in Cox & Austin, Paynter was a very good player in his own right. Memories include a hat-trick vs Bournemouth, a brace in a battering of Gillingham and a long range thunderbolt in beating Leeds 3-0 away, a goal that netted him a fat three year contract at Elland Road. Paynter played out in the 2010 playoff final, one of several players who were clearly not fully fit as Town were defeated by Millwall.

80-61 to come on Boxing Day...
Shit Bacon

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« Reply #1 on: Thursday, December 24, 2020, 14:45:33 »

80: Steve Finney (1995-98)
90 apps, 22 goals

Steve Finney’s sixteen goals in the 1995/96 Second Division winning season were enough to get him into this list - despite him not making much of an impact in the first division. His time at Town more or less lines up with my first Town games, so there’s certainly a soft spot there, and walking in a Finney wonderland is seasonal as well, so all good. 

79: Stan Harland (1966-71)
294 apps, 8 goals

The first of three consecutive members of the 1969 cup final winning side on this list, Harland was the captain of that side and of many other successful Town sides of the era. His Town career ended unhappily with the arrival of Dave Mackay as a player and a manager, but his historical significance shouldn’t be understated.

78: Peter Noble (1968-73)
256 apps, 80 goals

The central forward of the 1969 side, Noble scored the winner in the semi final replay and played in every round. His legend is perhaps slightly overshadowed by the man to his left in the starting formation, but four consecutive seasons of double figure goal contributions see him to 78th on this list.

77: Frank Burrows (1968-77)
351 apps, 9 goals

A Town player for almost a decade, Burrows played alongside Harland at centre half in the 1969 final and played more than 35 games for eight consecutive seasons before retiring, continuing on Town’s coaching staff before going on to have a good managerial career through the 80s and 90s.

76: Jimmy Davis (2002)
15 apps, 3 goals

One of only three loan players on this list, Davis had a short but outstanding loan spell at Town from Manchester United: Town - and seemingly Davis himself -  would happily have extended the loan, but United wanted him to play at a higher level. He was well on his way to proving himself at that higher level when he died less than a year later in a car crash.

75: Tom Broadbent (2019-present)
30 apps, 2 goals

It’s hard to say, so soon after, how much Tom Broadbent’s substitute striker performance against Oxford will go down in Town folklore, but it’s enough to make him one of only two members of the present squad on this list. Like Steve Robinson twenty years earlier, being the hero against Oxford is a solid way into Town hearts, and I’ll forgive him that his miracle will inevitably lead to calls to throw any big centre back up front when we’re behind for the rest of time.

74: Peter Coyne (1984-89)
137 apps, 41 goals

With a goalscoring record that would put many Town strikers down the years to shame, central midfielder Coyne understandably became a fan favourite as Town secured back to back promotions under Lou Macari. His profile boasts one of the dodgiest haircuts of any player on the site.

73: Howard Pritchard (1981-83)
76 apps, 19 goals

A bright spot in the poor Town seasons of the early 1980s, Pritchard scored five goals as Town reached the dizzy heights of the fourth round of the FA Cup in 1982/83 and ten more in the league that year after a slow first season. Not a spectacular Town career on paper, but he captured enough imaginations to rank on this list. 

72: Iffy Onuora (1998-2000)
80 apps, 25 goals

A star man in the 1998/99 season as Town finished 17th in Division One; Onuora scored 20 goals alongside George Ndah. He left the next year as Town slipped further into the perennial financial difficulties of the period, but returned for a less successful managerial spell in 2005: it was a mark of the respect he was held in from his playing days that the CG ground was still largely supportive of him even as Town were relegated.

71: Lescinel Jean-Francois (2009-11)
65 apps, 1 goal

Something of a cult hero selection, Lescinel was a man of mystery when he first signed: nobody seemed to know which way round his name went, least of all the matchday announcer. Throughout his Town spell, he rarely secured a permanent spot in the first team at left back or centre back, and yet was still often linked to clubs at higher levels - eventually leaving to join Sheffield United.

70: Trevor Anderson (1974-77)
162 apps, 47 goals

Despite being given the twin hospital passes of succeeding Don Rogers as Town’s left winger and George Best as Northern Ireland’s, Anderson had a more than respectable career of his own, although seemingly not quite good enough to merit too many words in his online profile.

69: Louis Thompson (2012-16)
107 apps, 25 goals

Appearing on this list alongside his brother, Thompson formed one third of the best Town midfield of recent years with Luongo and Kasim, providing industry alongside two classy ball players. Injuries have so far prevented him from fulfilling his full potential, which he will hopefully do away from his current loan side.

68: Lee Peacock (2006-10)
138 apps, 21 goals

The kind of whole-hearted performer that always goes down well with supporters, Peacock was signed as a centre forward but played in seemingly every position down the centre of the pitch without complaint during his Town career. Still a popular figure at the County Ground, and not just for his sartorial choices.

67: Mel Nurse (1965-68)
143 apps, 13 goals

A rock at the heart of defence alongside Stan Harland, Nurse left in the 1968 season before that side reached their peak, handing over the captaincy to Harland and his position to Burrows as he moved to Swansea. Went on to become a Swansea legend on and especially off the pitch. 

66: Nathan Thompson (2009-17)
187 apps, 4 goals

The most successful Town youth product of this century, Thompson was initially behind Paul Caddis in the pecking order at right back, and it’s a testament to him that Town barely missed a beat when Caddis was bombed out after a row with Di Canio. Moved into the middle of defence as he matured and saw ups and downs in line with the Town teams of the day, from the Wembley disaster against Preston when he gave away a goal and was stretchered off in the opening minutes, to provoking actual complaints by actual humans to the actual police for celebrating a goal against Bristol City.

65: Phillippe Cuervo (1997-2000)
38 apps

Another what might have been, as Cuervo’s Town career was severely hampered by injury - he never managed more than 16 starts in a single season. He made a good enough impression in limited appearances to appear on this list ahead of Town players with much longer careers though.

64: Kenny Stroud (1970-82)
373 apps, 19 goals

Scorer of one the greatest goals in Town’s history against Everton on a bog of a pitch in 1977, Stroud wasn’t otherwise known for his goalscoring exploits but for his longevity, appearing 373 times for the Town which places him 13th overall and 11th amongst post WW2 Town players.

63: Alex Pritchard (2013-14)
44 apps, 8 goals

The highest ranked player on this list never to be permanently contracted to Town, Pritchard’s loan spell is more or less the gold standard by which later loan signings were judged. Integral to a young team featuring a Spurs-heavy midfield of Luongo and Ryan Mason (with Grant Hall and Nathan Byrne at the back), Pritchard looked the pick of the lot and was nominated for the League One Player of the Year award, scoring eight goals from the wing.

62: Sammy Igoe (2003-05)
90 apps, 9 goals

The Showman was a skillful if physically unimposing player who made Andy King’s Town teams tick from the right wing. Later in his Town career, he would contribute to getting future manager Richie Wellens a red card that would be mentioned more than once during the Mancunian’s spell in charge at the County Ground.

61: Alan McCormack (2011-13)
98 apps, 2 goals

I was surprised to realise that McCormack only played for Town for two seasons, being almost everpresent in both at first in midfield and then in defence when moved back and made captain. Town’s player of the year in the 2010/11 championship season, McCormac’s departure after the following season’s playoff semi final loss to Brentford saw the end of a golden spell for Town.
« Last Edit: Saturday, December 26, 2020, 13:55:01 by Nemo » Logged
Shit Bacon

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« Reply #2 on: Thursday, December 24, 2020, 14:45:52 »

60: Nathan Byrne (2013-15)
107 apps, 11 goals

Another of the Tottenham gang of the early 2010s, the diminutive Byrne played across the park for Town but always looked happiest going forward. I always suspect that if he’d stayed for the 2015/16, in which he’d taken the #10 shirt and scored a hat-trick on the first day of the season, he would have ascended to the proper legends pantheon, but it’s not the modern way.

59: Dave Syrett (1973-77)
135 apps, 39 goals

A contemporary and often teammate of Peter Eastoe, who ranked a few higher on this list, Syrett had a bright start to his Town career which started at the age of 17. Syrett ended up leaving at only 21, having scored six goals in the 1976/77 FA Cup run and attracted the attention of Mansfield, who broke their transfer record to sign him. 

58: Peter Thorne (1995-97)
91 apps, 32 goals

Knowing both the penalty box and the physiotherapist’s table exceptionally well during his time at Town, Thorne scored double figures in three consecutive seasons of the mid 90s, and failed to pass 28 starts in a season during the same period.

57: Roger Smart (1961-73)
410 goals, 59 goals

Inside right Smart wrote his name into Town history books when he scored the opening goal of the 1969 cup final. He played a key part in the many triumphs of the era, making more than 400 appearances, 11th on the all time list.

56: Jimmy Quinn (1981-84, 1986-88, 1998-2000)
154 apps, 61 goals

Quinn’s three spells with Town included one as a 40 year-old player manager during some of Town’s darkest days, but the brightest spot was no doubt his 31 goal 1987/88 season under Lou Macari. In between, he managed to become Reading’s best ever striker in the 1990s and score more than ten goals for no fewer than seven football league sides - there’s a pub quiz question in there somewhere.

55: David Mitchell (1991-93)
80 apps, 24 goals

If the strange manner of Mitchell’s departure from Town - choosing to leave for Turkey after Swindon’s promotion to the Premier League in 1993 - rankled with Town fans, all seems to have been forgiven in time as Aussie-Scot Mitchell makes this list along with strike partner of the era Craig Maskell. Scored three goals in the famous 1-4 down to 6-4 win against Birmingham City.

54: Ray McHale (1976-80)
216 apps, 42 goals

A central midfielder who cracked double figures for goals scored in three of his four seasons with Town, McHale made the PFA Team of the Year in each of his last two before leaving to join Brighton.

53: Ian Miller (1978-81)
161 apps, 14 goals

A right winger admired for his crossing, Miller played in the era before assist stats were common, which means his supply lines to Andys Mayes and Rowland up front are the stuff of legend rather than cold numerical fact.

52: Mark Robinson (1994-2002)
316 apps, 4 goals

Perhaps a controversial inclusion this high up the list, Robinson divides opinions and would no doubt get a few votes in a TEF Bottom 100 (don’t hold your breath for that one next Christmas folks, as much as it might be more in the spirit of the forum). However, the right back played more than 300 times for Town in the era after such large appearance numbers for a single team were commonplace, so it would be a surprise if there weren’t good and bad games amongst the list.

51: Peter Eastoe (1973-76)
108 apps, 51 goals

Another striker to break the 30 goals in a season mark, Eastoe’s 74/75 season in Division Three was exceptional in a Town side which missed out on promotion. With higher clubs circling, it wasn’t much surprise that he left the next season, but being part of the deal that brought Don Rogers back to Town was a notable final service to the club.

50: Scott Leitch (1996-2000)
133 apps, 3 goals

Hard man Leitch’s four seasons at Town overlapped with those of Darren Bullock, and the pair occasionally made up one of the least cultured midfields ever seen in Division One of English football for Steve McMahon’s sides, when one or the other was not suspended. Leitch was by far the better player of the two and deserves this mention in dispatches, even if it does feel a little high.   

49: Stefani Miglioranzi (2002-06)
136 apps, 9 goals

From Swindon’s least cultured midfielder (Bullock, not Leitch) to one of its most, Miglioranzi oozed class in the way a DRS pie oozes unidentified meat goo. Whilst he’s often remembered as being injury prone, his appearance record was actually fairly good at Town for his first two seasons when he managed 45 and 39 appearances, and only really went wrong from 2004 onwards.

48: Dave Bamber (1985-88)
137 apps, 47 goals

Remembered as something of a diver, which by the standards of the 1980s probably meant that he refused to play on with one leg snapped in half, Bamber was a consistent goalscorer in the Town sides of the late 1980s before leaving for Watford in 1988.

47: Jonathan Douglas (2009-11)
95 apps, 1 goal

Douglas was almost ever present for two consecutive seasons, but saw very different campaigns. In 2009/10, Town were brilliant before falling to Millwall at Wembley, and Douglas was one of the stars in central midfield alongside Simon Ferry. The next season, Town were abysmal and Douglas looked like a different player in midfield, despite gaining the captaincy, his partnership with David Prutton proving disastrous. At his best, Douglas added steel to the midfield but was much more than just a ball winning midfielder.

46: Charlie Henry (1980-89)
267 apps, 30 goals

Another youth product from an era where the Town academy could be relied upon to manufacture longstanding fixtures of the first team, Henry’s appearance record at Town is oddly up and down with one season a first team regular and the next seemingly reduced to backup. The 1985/86 Division Four Championship winning season was his best as he was Town’s top scorer from an attacking midfield role, managing more than half his career goals tally in a single league season.

45: Peter Downsborough (1965-74)
320 apps

The fact that there’s a reasonable argument to be made that Downsborough isn’t the best goalkeeper in Town’s history stands only as testament to the quality of options Swindon have had over the years. Downsborough was the hero of the 1969 final, frustrating Arsenal at every turn and keeping Town in the game long enough for the magic to happen at the other end, and whilst this was undoubtedly his highlight, a further 319 Town games over eight seasons speak to his consistent excellence.

44: Chris Ramsey (1984-87)
122 apps, 6 goals

Another of the 85/86 title winning season’s stars, right back Ramsey went on to play in Malta and the US, including coaching the delightfully energetic sounding Charleston Battery. Became a widely respected coach at Tottenham and is now technical director at QPR.

43: Rod Thomas (1964-73)
355 apps, 5 goals

Two right backs in a row as Welsh international Thomas takes his place on this list, third highest of the eight 1969 League Cup finalists ranked. Thomas played for Swindon for almost a decade and racked up 355 appearances for Town and more than 30 for Wales.

42: Paul Rideout (1980-83, 1991)
114 apps, 42 goals

Swindon’s very own wonderkid, debuting and scoring at 16 and 107 days, scoring 41 Town goals before departing for Aston Villa at the age of 19, leaving as the clubs leading scorer for the past two seasons. Rideout returned for a short loan spell in 1991, adding one more goal to his Town tally, before becoming a little more nomadic, playing in such exotic locations as Kansas, Shenzhen and Glasgow. 

41: Martin Ling (1986, 91-96)
190 apps, 22 goals

It’s unusual to see a player have two spells at a club when the first is a miserable failure, but ball playing midfielder Ling found a tactical home under Ossie Ardiles and Glenn Hoddle that unsurprisingly didn’t work out so well under Lou Macari. In the 93/94 season, he was outstanding and whilst he didn’t cut it at the very highest level, he became a firm favourite amongst Town fans.   
« Last Edit: Sunday, December 27, 2020, 11:12:13 by Nemo » Logged
Shit Bacon

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« Reply #3 on: Thursday, December 24, 2020, 14:46:06 »

40: Bobby Barnes (1987-89)
52 apps, 13 goals

An outstanding goalscoring record for a left winger, Barnes is before my time but on paper at least it seems very strange that he wouldn’t have been an established first team regular having scored one in three during the 87/88 season.

39: Steve Foley (1987-92)
190 apps, 29 goals

Another goal scoring central midfielder, a role which always leads to being a fans favourite, Scouser Foley started the 1990 playoff final and was a constant presence the next season, but moved to Stoke as Glenn Hoddle established himself in charge in the 1991/2 season, with Hazard, Simpson and Jones the regular midfield three.

38: Paul Caddis (2010-12, 19-present)
125 apps, 8 goals

The second and last member of the current squad to feature, Caddis is mostly ranked on the strength of his first spell in which he was captain of Di Canio’s League Two winning side and part of a wonderful combination with Matt Ritchie down the right hand side. Caddis was well on his way to becoming a Town legend when the Di Canio Wheel of Exile landed on him and he was banished to Birmingham. His return later in the decade at least meant that his Town story doesn’t end in that way as he became the first player in Swindon history to win League Two twice.

37: Craig Maskell (1992-4)
59 apps, 26 goals

One of the main finishers in the 1992/3 promotion side, Maskell scored 23 of his 26 Town goals in that season including the second at Wembley. Struggled for chances in the Premiership season behind Fjortoft, Mutch and Scott, but is clearly fondly remembered for helping us reach the top flight.

36: Michael Doughty (2016-7, 2018-20)
107 apps, 23 goals

One of the classiest midfielders we’ve seen in recent times and another selection that proves that fans love a goalscoring midfielder, Doughty always felt like he elevated the players around him and made Town tick. His goalscoring record is helped by an excellent penalty record, but 13 goals in the deeply mediocre 18/19 season made him a consensus player of the season that year, and though he scored fewer goals, he played his part in promotion the next season. His sudden retirement on the eve of this season was a huge blow.

35: George Ndah (1997-99)
74 apps, 16 goals

A good player in some fairly average sides in the late 90s, Ndah’s pace made him a threat to any defence, and although he didn’t quite score as many goals as I remember, his partnership with Iffy Onuora kept us in Division One long enough for Rikki Hunt to work his magic and sell him to Wolves. Presumably we got some free WiFi in return.

34: John Trollope (1960-81)
889 games, 28 goals

Astonishingly low at 34 purely on the grounds that many of the voters would never have seen him play, Trollope is behind only two of his peers from the 60s and 70s. His appearance record is truly extraordinary, playing more than 40 games for 16 of his first 18 seasons and more than 50 in ten of them. We will never see another record quite like this one: the well known 770 figure is league games only, he added more than 100 more in cup competitions (helped by the fact that we used to occasionally win cup ties, believe it or not).

33: Yasser Kasim (2013-17)
139 apps, 8 goals

Given the tough task of following Trollope is the ever divisive Kasim: capable of brilliant displays where he - particularly alongside Massimo Luongo - ran the show with all the dexterity of a League One Xavi & Iniesta. Unfortunately, he was also capable of long spells of nothing which lead to him failing to go on to play in the Championship as he surely should have done but instead rocking up for an uninspiring spell at Northampton. His long term legacy may well be a generation of Iraqi Swindon Town fans.

32: David Moss (1969-78, 85-86)
275 apps, 82 goals

A star of the seventies, Moss seemed to get better every season and scored more than 20 goals in each of his final two seasons with Town despite not being an out and out forward. His goal record in cup competitons was particularly outstanding, scoring 22 times in 40 appearances.

31: Jon Gittens (1987-91)
165 apps, 7 goals

When a player from the 80s is described as a “bit rough” by his own team’s history, you know he must have absolutely terrorised opposing attackers. Gittens was a favourite of many voters and a long term partner for Colin Calderwood at centre back: he’d probably be ranked higher and remembered more fondly but for the fact that his immediate successor in that role was one Shaun Taylor. An early pioneer of “Paul Pogba accounting” as we sold him back to Southampton for ten times the price we’d paid them four years earlier.
« Last Edit: Monday, December 28, 2020, 11:06:05 by Nemo » Logged
Shit Bacon

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« Reply #4 on: Thursday, December 24, 2020, 14:46:20 »

30: Alan Mayes (1979-80, 83-85)
184 apps, 83 goals

Another with two spells at the club, Mayes is unusual in that both were similarly successful - scoring 32 goals after his return from Chelsea and 51 in his first spell. The two spells at Swindon were by some distance the most prolific of his career, but he is perhaps unfairly labelled a journeyman by his Wiki article, despite making almost all his league appearances for just three clubs (Watford, Chelsea & Swindon). He’s no Trevor Benjamin, that’s for sure.  

29: Alan McLoughlin (1986-90)
136 apps, 25 goals

McLoughlin was not an instant success at the County Ground, managing only 22 appearances across his first two seasons with several loan spells at Torquay. Ossie Ardiles’ arrival as manager in 1989 kick started Alan Mac’s career, with that season bringing 61 appearances and 17 goals from attacking midfield including the only goal at Wembley in the playoff final. With Town’s fate being decided off the pitch, McLoughlin went to Italia 90 with Ireland, and in December of the same year he was sold to Southampton for £1m.

28: Simon Ferry (2009-13)
173 apps, 9 goals

When people speak about Ferry it’s usually something to do with his outsized personality, and there’s little doubt his legend has only grown since leaving the County Ground in 2013. This shouldn’t overachieve what Ferry managed on the pitch: he was one of the few players ever to change Paolo Di Canio’s mind when told he could leave the club, and his industry and skill in midfield made him a firm fan’s favourite even when he kept his shorts on.

27: Ian Culverhouse (1994-8)
117 apps

There are a few phrases which have come up time and time again in compiling this list: the most common has been “sold due to Town’s financial problems” but probably a close second is “fell out with McMahon”. Culverhouse falls into the latter group, the defender who had been crucial in winning the Second Division in 1995/96 released to non-league Kingstonian at the end of the 1998 season having struggled to get back into the first team.

26: Micky Hazard (1990-93)
143 apps, 18 goals

The Premiership campaign was marked by a number of strange choices, but selling our most creative midfielder for only £50,000 in November of 1993 is right up there, even if he was 33. Hazard was a key figure in the playoff winning season the year before and made more appearances in his three and a bit years at Town than his five at Chelsea or nine at Tottenham.

25: Nicky Summerbee (1987-94, 2005)
135 apps, 10 goals

One of the few Town players to shine in the top flight, Buzzer’s Town career got off to a slow start behind David Kerslake, but when Kerslake was sold to Leeds, Summerbee, along with Paul Bodin on the left, became 1993’s answer to Robertson & Alexander-Arnold and a core part of the side. Missing only four games in the Premiership season and scoring five goals, most of them screamers, Summerbee unsurprisingly attracted admiring glances and was sold to Manchester City for £1.5m, a club record at the time.

24: Eoin Doyle (2019-20)
29 apps, 25 goals

Football’s equivalent of a whirlwind summer holiday romance, all hazy memories and nostalgia, untainted by domestic mundanity, arguments or tough spells, Doyle and Swindon hit the hottest of hot streaks together and then went their separate ways: for Doyle, a comfy last contract at Bolton Wanderers, for Swindon, an unhappy tryst with Brett Pitman. Both still lie in bed at night hoping to wake up once more in that Autumn of 2019, when goals came easily and the Ginger Pele walked amongst us.

23: Gordon Greer (2009-10)
72 apps, 3 goals

Not unlike Doyle, Greer perfectly represents a certain moment in Town history. After a successful loan deal in 2008/9 - he was made captain whilst still on loan - Greer’s signing was the catalyst for the next year’s playoff challenge. A commanding, organised central defender, Greer’s greatest achievement is that we all thought Scott Cuthbert would go on to play at the top level whilst Greer partnered him. Greer’s Town spell ended unhappily - a WWF style Big Boot to Deon Burton in the Charlton playoff semi final was forgotten in the ecstacy of the equaliser and the penalty win, but Greer was hugely missed at Wembley and, when Andrew Fitton sold him to Brighton that summer for a reasonably low fee, it was the beginning of the end for both Fitton and Danny Wilson.

22: Andy Rowland (1978-86)
345 apps, 98 goals

A stalwart of the late 70s and 80s, Rowland’s excellent goalscoring record is somewhat hidden by the fact that he played his last few seasons as a centre-back - in four of his first five seasons hit double figures, including 28 goals in 79/80.

21: Don Rogers (1962-72, 76-77)
490 apps, 180 goals

It’s not a huge surprise to see Rogers outside of the top 20 as the large majority of voters would never have seen him play, but it is still a bit jarring. What I can say is that he finished a long way clear of anyone else from his own era, getting almost double the amount of votes as John Trollope, and ranked in the top three of everyone who voted for him. From this point on, nobody who played before the Ardiles era features. As for Rogers himself, there’s very little that hasn’t been written about his Town career by more talented scribes. Rogers scored more goals than anyone in the post-war era, without being an out and out striker, made the fifth most appearances and literally has the main stand named after him. Not bad for a kid who nearly signed for Bristol City.
« Last Edit: Tuesday, December 29, 2020, 18:53:18 by Nemo » Logged
Shit Bacon

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« Reply #5 on: Thursday, December 24, 2020, 14:46:41 »

20: Chris Kamara (1977-81, 85-88)
298 apps, 32 goals

As a fan from a younger generation, I knew Chris Kamara had played for us in the 80s, but until doing this list I hadn’t realised he’d had an earlier spell at the County Ground at the back end of the 1970s, or that he’d played quite so many games; almost 300 in all competitions. Particularly influential in the 86/87 Division Three winning side, Kamara was part of the Ardiles side’s back to back promotions as a destructive central midfielder, having started as a goal scoring winger under Danny Williams in the 1977/78 season.

19: David Kerslake (1989-93, 96-97, 98-99)
197 apps, 1 goal

A lot of players on this list have managed two spells at Town, but Kerslake’s three is a much rarer feat. His first spell was his longest, replacing Dave Hockaday at right back under Macari in 1989 and staying with Town through the Ardiles era and the start of Hoddle. He reached the Premiership before Town did, signing for Leeds in March of 1993, with Nicky Summerbee taking his spot in the 93/94 playoff side. Later returns to the County Ground were not so successful, but Kerslake’s consistency and threat from right back have been well remembered by the voters.

18: Mark Walters (1996-99)
126 apps, 8 goals

One who feels a little on the high side in this list, Walters was the first player I remember seeing who did things with the ball that I simply couldn’t believe. In a fairly attritional period of Town football, Walters brought a touch of class despite being well into his 30s during his spell at the County Ground. His goalscoring record was pretty good for a winger who never seemed to quite have the trust of his managers.

17: Massimo Luongo (2013-15)
102 apps, 14 goals

The second highest ranked non-UK & Ireland player on this list, Luongo was the best of a good bunch signed from Tottenham Hotspur in the mid-2010s. Costing a king’s ransom by modern-STFC standards of around £400k after a successful loan spell, Luongo more than repaid his fee in some excellent midfield partnerships with Yasser Kasim and Louis Thompson as he became central to all of Town’s play under Mark Cooper. His time at Town and his relationship with the Town fans was complicated by international football: we all enjoyed following him at the 2014 World Cup and particularly at the following year’s Asian Cup. In the latter, he was named player of the tournament, and later featured on the Ballon d’Or long list, but there was always a feeling that post Asia Cup he never quite recovered his club form. Left for QPR in what is almost certainly our record sale, barring some dubious accounting.

16: Steve White (1986-94)
312 apps, 111 goals

A Town star for eight seasons, ‘Chalky’ White played in three playoff final wins - over Gillingham in 87, Sunderland in 90 and Leicester in 93. Described by Rich Banyard’s side as being ‘constantly offside’, which makes him sound like Thomas Dossevi with talent, White nevertheless scored 111 goals which were not disallowed, including double figures in seven consecutive seasons spanning the three playoff campaigns. Stayed with Town for the Premiership season but never really got a look in behind new signings, and left for Hereford at the end of that season.

15: Kevin Horlock (1992-97)
199 apps, 26 goals

Horlock became a Town regular in the Premiership season and rode the 90s Town rollercoaster through relegation from the Premiership, relegation from Division One and the Division Two championship season in which he scored twelve goals from midfield in the league and sixteen in all competitions from a combination of deadly free kicks and skill in open play. He started similarly strongly the next season back in Division One and earned himself a club record transfer to Manchester City - clearly Horlock had a thing for bouncing between divisions.

14: Sam Parkin (2002-5)
142 apps, 73 goals

Not a great deal was expected of Parkin when he signed from Chelsea after an uninspiring loan spell at Northampton. We were wrong, and his three seasons at SN1 delivered 26, 23 and 24 goals, remarkable consistency in three very different sides and with different strike partners every year. Super Sam delivered goals (and Christmas Trees) reliably and the fans loved him for it.

13: Duncan Shearer (1988-92)
199 apps, 98 goals

Another natural goalscorer, Shearer started slowly at Town but still scored 16 in his first season. The next three were to bring 27, 23 and a massive 32 in 1991/2 before being sold to Jack Walker’s Blackburn in March with Town well in the playoff hunt, one of the most controversial sales of a strange period behind the scenes at Town. Shearer was top goalscorer in all four seasons he spent at Town, despite the presence of other good strikers like 16th place White. Town fans of a certain vintage love Shearer even more than they loathe Jack Walker for playing spoiler - and that’s saying something!

12: Wayne Allison (1995-97)
120 apps, 36 goals

I really liked the Chief, but it’s a surprise to see him ahead of Shearer, White and especially (on modernity grounds at least) Parkin on this list. Whilst his goalscoring may not have compared to the others, he offered plenty to the side by being an absolute nuisance of a target man up front, holding up the ball and bringing others into play as we won Division Two and consolidated in the second tier.

11: John Moncur (1992-94)
67 apps, 6 goals

One of the few Town players to shine in the Premiership campaign, Moncur’s injury record previously restricted his appearances to only the last few games and playoff campaign under Hoddle. The next season though, he was all but ever present and, whilst for most his campaign is best remembered for being stamped on by Eric Cantona, for Town fans his performances were memorable enough to carry him to 11th on this list, ahead of many with longer Town careers. Signed for West Ham after Town’s relegation.
« Last Edit: Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 11:02:20 by Nemo » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: Thursday, December 24, 2020, 14:47:18 »

10: Wes Foderingham (2011-15)
191 apps

Tenth on this list and not still the highest ranked goalkeeper, Foderingham set deeply unfair standards for every goalkeeper who followed him - five successive clean sheets to begin his Town career, introducing Town fans to the sweeper keeper role and even finding time to fit in a bit of comedy, being subbed early on by Paolo Di Canio and being described as the “worst professional he’s worked with” by a man who used to play in a West Ham side with Julian Dicks. Like Caddis, he turned Di Canio’s opinion around and was a Town stalwart until the Preston playoff final led to the end of that era of Town’s success.

9: Jan Åge Fjørtoft (1993-5)
87 apps, 38 goals

After a slow start in English football, Fjørtoft burst into Town fan’s hearts in his 23rd match in the red and white with his first goal against Ipswich in the FA Cup. In the remaining 17 games he featured for Town in the Premiership season, he scored another twelve goals, including a hat-trick at home to Coventry. Back in Division One, he scored 25 in 48 despite Town struggling badly, before being sold to Middlesbrough. In both seasons, Fjørtoft’s heroics weren’t enough to keep Town up, but they were enough to be voted Town’s best ever foreign player on this list.

8: Paul Bodin (1988-91, 92-96)
297 apps, 40 goals

What is with every played before 1995 having multiple spells at the club? Bodin’s eight years at the Town included a ten month sojourn to Crystal Palace which Swindon made £225k from, but he was otherwise a regular from 1990 on, playing with ever more attacking verve and taking penalties - leading to twelve goal haul in 92/93 which is just absurd from left back.

7: Simon Cox (2007-9)
88 apps, 48 goals

Only at Town for two seasons, but what seasons they were. Eyebrows were raised amongst the fanbase when their new loanee striker more or less demanded to be picked in a BBC Wiltshire interview, but we all agreed when the partnership of Cox & Paynter scored nine goals in their first five games together. With the technical prowess to score incredible highlight reel goals, including long range efforts against Walsall and (in a pre-season game) Fenerbache, Cox also had the poacher’s instinct to score the simple ones, and ended up with a terrific goals to games ratio well above 1 in 2.

6: Fraser Digby (1986-98)
505 apps

Town’s number 1 for more than a decade, despite occasional challenge from far inferior stoppers (hello Nicky Hammond), Digby played 26 or more (usually far more) games in each of his twelve seasons at Town. Digby was a tremendous goalkeeper and a better club servant, returning to the club in various roles from commercial to goalkeeping coach over the years that followed. He left the club after - stop me if you’ve heard this one before - falling out with McMahon in 1998, having made more than 500 appearances over twelve seasons.

5: Shaun Taylor (1991-6)
259 apps, 33 goals

Ooh! Shaun Taylor! Both my favourite chant and (probably as a result) my favourite player as a young Town fan, Taylor was signed to replace Gittens alongside Colin Calderwood at the heart of the Town defence during a run when we could seemingly only sign all time greats at centre half. Not a great technical player, nor blessed with extraordinary pace, Taylor was all about commitment, a commanding defender who was an absolute menace from set pieces in attack. He was also seemingly unbreakable, playing between 45 and 56 games in his five full seasons at Town despite regularly putting his head in places where other men wouldn’t put their feet. If you were designing a player fans would take to their hearts, you’d end up with a carbon copy of Shaun Taylor.

4: Glenn Hoddle (1991-3)
75 apps, 3 goals

Hoddle was 34 and still one of the best footballers in England when he took the Swindon Town player/manager job in 1991. The modern equivalent would be David Silva becoming player/manager of Rotherham, and what a Netflix documentary that would be. Back in 1991, Hoddle played himself as a sweeper in a 5-3-2, effectively playing as a quarterback spraying passes around the pitch and generally making jobbing Division Two professionals look like Sunday League cloggers. He was so good that even two years later, at the age of 36, Chelsea were willing to sign him to play in the top flight as a player alone.

3: Matt Ritchie (2010-13)
129 apps, 27 goals

Initially signed on loan and restricted to substitute appearances behind Danny Ward on the left wing, Ritchie returned the following season on loan and then signed permanently in January, becoming an increasingly key figure in Town’s side, winning the supporter’s player of the year award in the relegation season that saw the end of Danny Wilson’s spell at Town. The next year, under new boss Paolo Di Canio, Ritchie went to a new level, moved onto the right wing to team up with Paul Caddis. He was the best player in League Two that season by a distance and had a good claim at being the best in League One the following year. Ritchie was Town’s most prominent attacking threat and large seven figure fees were starting to be speculated about - as well as Ritchie leading us to the Championship. Both those hopes were go horribly wrong, but regardless of the bitter ending, Ritchie has a good claim to be our best player of the new millennium.

2: Colin Calderwood (1985-93)
414 apps, 21 goals

Possibly the best £27,500 ever spent by Town, Calderwood spans the glorious eras of Macari, Ardiles and Hoddle and excelled in all of them. Installed as club captain at 21, he rode out the rollercoaster of playoff victory, demotion and playoff victory again in partnership with first Jon Gittens and then Shaun Taylor, but did not lead Town out in the Premiership as Tottenham came calling. With more than 400 appearances over eight years, Calderwood was everything you’d want from a club legend.

1: Charlie Austin (2009-11)
65 apps, 37 goals

And so we come to the top of the list, and by a decent way in the voting. Austin attracted some votes from all but two who submitted a full list, and was in the top ten of more than half. The kind of fairy tale that happens so rarely in modern football, Austin was signed from non-league Poole Town and immediately set about raising expectations for anyone unknown signing for Town in the future. 20 goals in his first season of league football is impressive enough, but when you consider his first league start came at the end of October that year, it’s even better. Just don’t mention that bobble. He was only to grace the Town shirt for six months more, but the impression he made in a short spell was enough to make him a fixture in the voting.

In some ways, a player like Austin probably suits the modern day reality of Swindon Town more than people with longer periods of success like Taylor, Calderwood or Rogers who might be seen as bigger club legends. Swindon have, probably for the last 40 years, been a club that have been great in short bursts either side of calamity, and Austin represents one of those moments where everything came together for a short period and then fell apart again.

Honourable mentions
The following players attracted a single vote in the nominations phase - players required at least two to be ranked.

Alan Connell, Alan McDonald, Anthony Grant, Anthony McNamee, Arthur Horsfield, Billy Tucker, Brian Howard, Brian Kilcline, Chris Hay, Christian Roberts, Colin Bailie, Colin Gordon, Colin Prophett, Danny Ward, Darius Henderson, Darren Bullock, Dave Bennett , Dion Conroy, Frank Talia, Garth Hudson, Gary Nelson, Hal Robson-Kanu, Harry Toffolo, James Collins, Jimmy Bain, Joey Beauchamp, John Smith, Jonathan Swift, Keith East, Keith Morgan, Kenny Allen, Kieran O'Regan, Lawrence Vigouroux, Luc Nijholt, Matt Heywood, Maurice Owen, Michael Timlin, Oliver Risser, Pat Terry, Paul Allen, Paul Benson, Rhys Evans, Roy Wegerle, Rusell Lewis, Scott Enderby, Sean Morrison, Sol Davis, Steve McMahon, Steve Robinson, Tommy Jenkins and Will Dixon.
« Last Edit: Thursday, December 31, 2020, 15:35:04 by Nemo » Logged
Shit Bacon

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« Reply #7 on: Saturday, December 26, 2020, 13:56:10 »

80-61 posted - an unusual mixture of bona fide Town legends of yore, recent favourites, cult heroes and one or two plain odd selections.

You're very much welcome to post in this thread as well as the other one by the way.
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« Reply #8 on: Sunday, December 27, 2020, 10:32:58 »

Wish I had added Owen Dawson in this vote an unsung hero in the 68/69 season and a pro you don't see nowadays as a utility player, he would fill in anywhere. He was John Trollope's replacement while recovering from a broken arm.
Shrivvy Road

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« Reply #9 on: Sunday, December 27, 2020, 10:46:52 »

This is great
Shit Bacon

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« Reply #10 on: Sunday, December 27, 2020, 11:12:45 »

60-41 up, getting to the big names now.
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« Reply #11 on: Monday, December 28, 2020, 11:06:38 »

40-31 up. A few examples of the perils of democracy (and time) there.
Wielder of the BANHAMMER

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« Reply #12 on: Monday, December 28, 2020, 11:58:48 »

Downsborough surely a great shout for the top 10 of a real list. Sadly he retired before I was born and I'm 38!
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« Reply #13 on: Monday, December 28, 2020, 12:29:47 »

Great list this - brings back some memories. Obviously heavily influenced by time but Its thrown up a few names I had forgotten about over my 45 years of watching STFC. The appearance/goals stats are interesting. Some players made a big impact in limited time with us.  The stats on Bobby Barnes for example.  From my hazy memory I remember a handful of appearances; mostly i recall his mercurial  talents being wasted in a Macari side that tended to bypass the midfield entirely.  I was way of the mark on that one.
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Tufty club

« Reply #14 on: Monday, December 28, 2020, 12:31:59 »

This is an absolute pleasure to read through. Many thanks.

Come on outside I'll sing you a lullaby, tell a tale of how goodness prevailed, we ruled the world, we killed and robbed, the fucking lot.....but we don't feel bad, cos it was done beneath the...flag of democracy.....
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