Tuesday, 13 July 2010
85 Jason Smart
Position : Centre half (also played at right back)
Played : 1985-6 to 1988-9
Appearances : 117
Goals : 4
Jason was a YTS player handed a daunting debut at home to Burnley in March 1985. He did OK and we won 1-0 , about the only bright spot in the miserable latter half of the season.
He started the 1986-7 sesaon on the bench but came on in the first game when Keith Hicks got injured. From that point on he was a first team regular for the next three years though for most of the 1987-8 season he played at right back. It’s difficult to assess a very young player coming into a very bad side but he was by no means the weak link and played with a mature confidence. At the end of 1988-89 he moved to Crewe for a tribunal–set fee of £40,000.
Jason did well at first , earning good notices when they played Liverpool in an FA Cup tie but gradually faded out of the first team picture. Released in 1992 he had brief spells at Witton and Hyde but was soon back in Rochdale playing Sunday League football for Castleton Top House. In 1994 he played a couple of games for Dale’s reserves and there were suggestions he might make a League comeback (he was still only 27) but it never happened.