Position : Winger (supposedly)
Played : 1986-7
Appearances : 19
Goals : 1
John seemed like a typical Vic Halom signing but he was actually signed by Eddie Gray. John was fresh from a stint in Swedish football with Kramfors having finally been released by Oldham after two seasons without making a league appearance. His 20 games for them earlier had mainly been at left back following John Ryan’s departure to Newcastle.
I nominate John as the worst player I’ve seen for Dale. He looked older than his years (26) and played the game in slow motion trundling along on the left until he met the insurmountable obstacle of a full back and we were very lucky if we managed to get a throw-in from the situation. When we played Peterborough at home in March their fullback Alan Paris was openly laughing at him. One moment sums him up; away at Crewe Brian Stanton got the ball just outside our area , looked up and hit the best pass I’ve ever seen from a Dale player diagonally crossfield to Hudson’s feet on the left touchline deep in their half. All he had to do was control the ball but instead it bounced off his shin into touch, wild applause from the Dale fans turning into fury at his incompetence. His only League goal at home to Aldershot was a complete fluke. Making it to the byline for possibly the only time in his career he hit an awful lame “cross” which rolled towards the near post where keeper Tony Lange flopped on the ball and somehow managed to divert it into the net.
Thankfully the nightmare ended in May when he was released and moved on to Grantham FC. He now works for the PFA as Director of their Community programme. I wonder how many of his clients realise just how shite he was.