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Thread: Best footballer you have played with or against

  1. #1

    Best footballer you have played with or against

    Something to fill the time.

    I never played for a team as a kid and when I was a teenager watched Cardiff every week so didn't join anyone so have only really played 5 aside.

    I have played a couple of charity games against Steve Jenkins and Nathan Blake.

    Blakes team also included Darren Campbell and Christian Malcolm.

    Anyone else played against ex Pro's?

  2. #2

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    No but there was a lad in our school who signed for Man Utd when he was 16, he was something else when we were playing football at lunch

  3. #3

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    I wrote about this experience in 2006

    I helped promote a charity match and this is what happened next

    March 2006

    "I put up a story on the cardiffcity-mad website to help promote a match between a Cynon Valley Select XI and an Andy Legg Legends XI. All monies raised going to LATCH, the Llandough based Cancer Charity.


    As an afterthought and half jokingly I mailed the Cardiff stadium announcer, Wayne, and said if it'll help bring a few more people in I'll play if there's a space. My thought being that a few of the messageboard users might make the effort to come and have a laugh at my expense. Anyway Wayne contacted the organinser, Nigel, from Heatwise (who sponsored the evening and did a superb job) and he said of course, come along you'll get 5 mins to have a run out.
    Well my confidence soon drained. It was then it dawned on me that this was not a kickabout with a few mates. I'd already named a few names in the promotion story. Andy Legg, Jeff Eckhardt, Roger Gibbins, Stuart Cable and Garin Jenkins. These were serious personalities (to City fans and Welshmen), whereas I'm, well just me.

    It took me all weekend to tell anyone what I was doing. God help if I had to play in a cup final, i'd turn to jelly. Anyway I psyched myself up, it's only 5 or 10 mins. You'll be OK.

    I plugged the event further as matchday approached and told everyone I was playing, or at least being part of the squad. That in itself was something. Then the clock ticked down to Wednesday evening.

    I arrived at the sports centre in Aberdare an hour before kick off. Was directed to a room where Paul Wilkinson, Roger Gibbins, Garin Jenkins and some others were having a cuppa. All the Cynon Valley squad were present. Andy Legg came in and was greeted by all present and brilliantly came up to me, knowing who I was, and shook my hand and treated me as one of his team-mates. The Cynon Valley boys all had their photo taken with Leggy and the sponsor, Nigel, wearing their specially made t shirts that commemorated the event.

    Then it was a walk to the changing rooms under the main stand. The Ynys or the Michael Sobell Stadium is a smaller version of Leckwith, it has a main stand seating some 250 - 300 people and there is a running track around the pitch. A decent crowd was gathering as I entered the changing area with my big bag containing my kit, gloves, shin pads and embarrassingly new boots. I couldn't find my old ones so a few hours before kick off I was in JJB's sorting myself out (I bet that doesn't happen to David Beckham).

    As I adjusted myself to the dressing room I can take in the people in "my" squad. Andy Legg, Mark Walton, Jason Fowler, Roger Gibbins, Paul Wilkinson, Sir Jeff Eckhardt - i've seen all these guys play for City and now at near 40 years of age I'm in the same team as them. Add in Garin Jenkins, former wales rugby international, Stuart Cable, former Stereophonics drummer and a couple of other sporting lads who I can't name I'm sorry and as you can imagine I was a bit overwhelmed.

    It promised to be a tough game when it was revealed that the Cynon Valley squad was about 30 in number. We had 14, and three of them were keepers, myself included.

    The format was set out. We would play three 30 min periods. In goal for period 1 would be former City keeper Mark Walton. Period 2 would see the second keeper, a chap who manages Aberaman FC, in goals for 30 mins. And then I'd get the third period of 30 mins. Er, excuse me, I was cacking it with 5 - 10 mins. Now I get 30 mins.

    My life as a celebrity had stated just before we came out of the dressing room / tunnel. The local kids were allowed to come around the players looking for autographs. Andy sign this, Andy sign that, you can imagine. The guy played a play off final less than 3 years ago. Then bloody hell, a kid wants my autograph. I have arrived. I'm a legend and people want my signature.

    Several programmes signed and the whistle goes to leave the dressing room for the pitch. Out we run into a blustery evening, still light at 7.15, onto a very heavy and wet pitch. I'm trying to focus on being a squad member but the fact that somewhere around 400 or possibly more people have turned up to watch was freaking me out a bit. All the players joined together for a collective photo (i'm sure that will surface somewhere soon) and then it was kick off time.

    This was a proper game. Not a few lads having a lark. We had proper officials and two teams who did not hold back. The Cynon Valley lads went for it in the first 30 mins. Both teams competed well but the cutting edge the younger and fitter lads had meant they battered poor Mark Walton and the first 30 min section ended with the Cynon valley 5 - 0 up.

    Back into the changing room, water, lucozade or tea on offer before taking the field again. During the first two periods I was on the far side opposite the stand (out of earshot of those who wanted to have a pop at me), I watched as the second keeper kept a clean sheet and the middle section ended 0 - 0. By this time the wind had whipped up and the rain had started to fall.

    Then it was my turn. Here I am in goals in a team with Leggy and the names I mentioned earlier on my team. It's the nearest I have got or am ever likley to get to play for a Cardiff City team. After seeing Mark Walton concede 5 my initial aim was to keep them to under 10 during my watch. For the opening 5 mins my team-mates kept the ball far away from me. Then they Cynon Valley team found space on the edge of the box. A shot to the left hand corner, my right, looked to be going wide but I made a dive type movement to see the ball go out for a goal kick. No big effort as I then passed to Roger Gibbins and he cleared up field.

    The battle raged with neither side shirking a challenge. Then a ball over the top saw a Cynon lad racing through, I ran out, dived but missed the ball but was glad to see the linesmans' flag up for offisde. Phew. Goal intact. It didn't take long and they were through again. This time I made contact with the ball as the striker tried to slot it past me. This was on the edge of the box, my save saw the ball go wide left where the winger whacked it high into the air but goalbound. Fortunately I was able to recover and catch the ball at neck height a yard in front of my goal.

    The next attack came down their right. Again it was a dash for me to the edge of the box, this time i got contact with the ball and was able to secure possession at the second attempt. My goal was still intact.

    The adrenaline was rushing at this stage. The next action for me was to face upto a close range shot from the 6 yard line. I got a decent left hand on it and the ball came back off the post to be cleared.

    In between the main attacks I once or twice had a goal kick to take or a punted clearance.

    Then disaster. My clean sheet dream was shattered. The attack had the ball on the edge of the 6 yard box. I was expecting a blast into the roof of the net with me helpless but the striker placed it too close to me and I saved but spilled the ball. Desparingly I dived but his co-striker had a tap in and I was devastated.

    I saw off two more attacks, one of which resulted in a 50/50 on the 6 yard line that saw the ball cannon off me for a corner but left me with a cut and bruise on my thigh and an extremely sore neck (I think I was taken out) but still made the save and then it was all over. We'd lost my period 1 - 0 but I had cause to be proud of my performance and I was buzzing by then. I felt like I could play all day every day. That lasted until I got up on Thursday morning, I ached like hell.

    The game ended with a 6 - 0 Cynon Valley win.

    After the game there was more autographs. I signed a ball, a shirt and several programmes. I shared a shower with Andy Legg, Mark Walton and the rest. That doesn't happen every day.

    Afterwards we moved to the Legion in Aberaman for a well deserved beer and buffet. Andy Legg left at 10.40 to drive back to Peterborough to be ready to take training in his new job as assistant manager.

    It was announced that over £8,000 had been raised so far including money from a walk up Snowdon, money raised on Andy Legg's benefit night by the supporters and the money raised in Aberdare on Wednesday (which was just under £5,000). A sum will be added to that by Leggy after the benefit match. I feel proud to have bee part of the night that raised a decent amount of money.

    As the big 4 0 approaches for me I think I may have played my biggest ever game and came away from it head held high. Thank you to Andy Legg and the players who accepted me as one of them. I'll not forget Jeff Eckhardt walking behind my goal saying "Nice saves Mike" or running out of the tunnel to applause and not jeers. Also being asked for my autograph. It does wonders for the ego you know.


    Well done to Nigel at Heatwise, his company organised the event in a professional manner and without their support it would never have gotten off the ground.
    Speaking after the game Gwyn of the Valley Rams said

    "Straight up now and the man ain't paying me, But Mike had a stormer in goals tonight, Walton the ex City Pro let in 5 whilst they only got one past Mike, He really played well, no bull."

    Paul Corkery also of the Rams said

    "The third period saw the entrance of the legend that is Mike Morris in goals for Leggys team and to be fair to him he played really well and made some good saves before being unfortunate to concede a goal late on."

  4. #4

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Against, two spring to mind.

    Eric Redrobe, playing for Hereford Utd on a Saturday then in the Herefordshire Sunday League. Total bruiser beat shit out of me on the pitch but brilliant off it.

    & a guy called Devon White put 5 passed me in the first half of a pre-season friendly v Bristol Rovers, fortunately they took him off at half time.

  5. #5

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Played with and against Jan Becker, late 60’s early 70’s.

    Jan went to the Jacks then Leicester, but unfortunately never made the grade for different reasons.

  6. #6

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Quote Originally Posted by mazadona10 View Post
    Something to fill the time.

    I never played for a team as a kid and when I was a teenager watched Cardiff every week so didn't join anyone so have only really played 5 aside.

    I have played a couple of charity games against Steve Jenkins and Nathan Blake.

    Blakes team also included Darren Campbell and Christian Malcolm.

    Anyone else played against ex Pro's?
    Played against Willie Screen , with Alan Sanders (Cardiff youth ) and on the same field with Mike England in a schoolboy training session , man was a giant , loads of ex professional welsh league players in the Sunday Leagues ,god I miss my footy

  7. #7

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Previously posted that I played for Swansea University and we set up an Old Boys Reunion that has been running for 40 years now, In the 90s we played a few games against Mumbles Rangers Vets on a Sunday morning and beat them until they brought along a couple of ringers. Jeremy Charles was ok but Alan Curtis was at a different level and we could not get within 5 yards of him for the whole game. Different class

  8. #8

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    I used to work with the great Ivor Allchurch and often we have a kick about in our lunch break,other footballers i have played with
    Robbie James Russell Coughlin.

  9. #9
    International City123's Avatar
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    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Played with and against Ben Cabango in school, five a sides, youth football etc

    Was another kid in school at Southampton, he was quality and we were surprised he never made it

  10. #10

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril evans awaydays View Post
    Previously posted that I played for Swansea University and we set up an Old Boys Reunion that has been running for 40 years now, In the 90s we played a few games against Mumbles Rangers Vets on a Sunday morning and beat them until they brought along a couple of ringers. Jeremy Charles was ok but Alan Curtis was at a different level and we could not get within 5 yards of him for the whole game. Different class
    Curtis was a special player, very underestimated in my view

  11. #11

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxim View Post
    I used to work with the great Ivor Allchurch and often we have a kick about in our lunch break,other footballers i have played with
    Robbie James Russell Coughlin.
    I worked with Russell's daughter, Max from our Carlisle office. Taken early. She told a couple of good stories about Chris Coleman!

  12. #12

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Mike England after he had retired.
    He was completely shot and appeared to just wander off and then the ball just appeared at his feet.
    His ability to read a game of football was extraordinary.

  13. #13

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril evans awaydays View Post
    I worked with Russell's daughter, Max from our Carlisle office. Taken early. She told a couple of good stories about Chris Coleman!
    Russell was a great lad who liked a drink.Robbie was also a good guy i went to the same school as them.
    I didnt go often lol hence my grammer.

  14. #14

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Quote Originally Posted by mazadona10 View Post
    Something to fill the time.

    I never played for a team as a kid and when I was a teenager watched Cardiff every week so didn't join anyone so have only really played 5 aside.

    I have played a couple of charity games against Steve Jenkins and Nathan Blake.

    Blakes team also included Darren Campbell and Christian Malcolm.

    Anyone else played against ex Pro's?
    The late, great Ray "Butch" Wilkins.

  15. #15

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Ivor Allchurch. Played against him in a Welsh league game in about 1975. He was about 46 years old and ran the game. I couldn't get near him. That game made me pretty much give up on playing.

  16. #16

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxim View Post
    Russell was a great lad who liked a drink.Robbie was also a good guy i went to the same school as them.
    I didnt go often lol hence my grammer.
    Met Robbie James a couple of times. One of his first Wales games was Czechoslovakia away 1982 ? and we had a couple of drinks with him and Alan Curtis the day before the game because he thought me and my mate were from Brynmill rather than lodged by The Rhyddings. Second time he was in a club south of Reading when he was with QPR and off on a Wales tour to Canada the next day. Both times he was great and humble company.

  17. #17

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril evans awaydays View Post
    Met Robbie James a couple of times. One of his first Wales games was Czechoslovakia away 1082 ? and we had a couple of drinks with him and Alan Curtis the day before the game because he thought me and my mate were from Brynmill rather than lodged by The Rhyddings. Second time he was in a club south of Reading when he was with QPR and off on a Wales tour to Canada the next day. Both times he was great and humble company.
    Robbie got himself into alot of bother with the women in his younger days, but as you say very down to earth lad who never forgot he was from the hill.

  18. #18

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxim View Post
    Robbie got himself into alot of bother with the women in his younger days, but as you say very down to earth lad who never forgot he was from the hill.
    That would fit. He was coming on hard to a mate's girlfriend and pissing him off in the process at Sindlesham Mill. He worked for Air Canada baggage handling and swore blind that he sent Robbie's baggage to Vancouver rather than the rest of the team to Toronto the next day in revenge. Not sure how true that is but it's a good story!

  19. #19

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxim View Post
    Robbie got himself into alot of bother with the women in his younger days, but as you say very down to earth lad who never forgot he was from the hill.

    wasn't Ian Rush a bad man for ladies

  20. #20

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    I've posted here before that I played 2 full seasons for Newport County's Welsh League side in the late 1960's so the best I think played against would be Ivor Allchurch when he was with Haverfordwest. Otherwise we played both City and Swansea's Welsh League sides so there a string of names that come to mind - Tosh when he was a lad (as I was) Derek Tapscott, Herbie Williams and I don't recall others as I wasn't 'looking up' to them if you know what I mean. My best buddy - we traveled to Somerton two evenings a week together - was the lovely Gilbert Reece who went on to greater things of course.

    I've also mentioned before that another good guy and City Legend that I trained with for a year or so was Don Murray who came out to Ely every week for a year or so to coach my Cardiff & District team. He'd always come out for a drink with us afterwards (this is while he was still in the City team) - smashing guy.

  21. #21

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Peter Sayer who I played against in a BT 6 a side tournament. Think it was his dad who worked for BT which was how he wangled a game. Great skill and movement on the ball, which was probably why his team won the tournament.

  22. #22

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    I played with Jermaine Easter who was good, but Ryan green was miles better. Iíve played 5 a side against Cyril regis too.

  23. #23

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Probably quite a few as a youngster, Juninho is probably the best.

  24. #24

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuerto View Post
    Probably quite a few as a youngster, Juninho is probably the best.
    End of thread. Tuerto wins.

  25. #25

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Had to man mark Matthew Jones . Didn't fair well.

  26. #26

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    John Toshack and Terry Yorath on Lavernock beach kickaround.

  27. #27

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimistic Nick View Post
    End of thread. Tuerto wins.
    Schoolboy international, he was about 3ft, i think that i touched the ball three times. Remember a player named Junior Bent? A winger for Bristol City, absolute lightening. I was only 16, think he was 18 or 19-Didn't get a sniff my son... Simon Davey against the Jacks, he was an established pro, i was a kid and i had to mark him. The only reason he was in the reserves was because he was in contract dispute with Swansea and refused to play. It was great, because he wasn't interested, having the day off

  28. #28

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    I played Sunday League football against Phil Dwyer when he was with South Wales Police, and ex-County player Paul Preece.

    David Tong also guested for our Cardiff unemployed 5-a-side team in Wrexham, where he helped us win the ‘Gold’ medal.

    I also played against John Parsons, in the Cardiff Combination.

    My team were very good, top of the table, running away with the league.

    Parsons was playing for Llanishen Wanderers.

    It was at Pontcanna, he walked out he was short, overweight, and I think smoking a fag.

    They beat us 3-1, he got a hat trick, we couldn’t get near him.

    One thing he did particularly well, which is a big difference between pros and parks, is he could hang in the air for crosses.

    I’ve also played with Layton Maxwell, a number of times.

    Not the fittest, had back issues, but his touch, vision and ability on the ball, was levels above everyone.

    One of the lads was shouting at him once, telling him what to do, and to track back.

    I laughed and said ‘Mate the guys scored a winning goal at Anfield for Liverpool. Don’t make yourself look stupid.’

    Layton’s a top guy too, no ego.

    These days doing a very good job managing Gabalfa Draconians in the Welsh League.

  29. #29

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    When younger, I played in the same team as Terry Hubbard (who later played for Swindon Town; 1970-1976). He was exceptionally gifted at that age group and did play a couple of games against City in the Football League, I recall. I still see him from time to time about town. He's still a good bloke.

    StT.
    <><

  30. #30

    Re: Best footballer you have played with or against

    Was at uni and we were going to play 5s, and one of the lads asked if his mate could play. We said OK, his mate "Nathan" turned out to be Nathan Ellington. He was about 27/28, and oh my God was he good. You just had to pass it near him, it was under control in one touch and then he'd turn and lash it in the top corner. It was absolutely ridiculous.

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