Sunday, 31 October 2010
177 John Halpin
Played : 1991-92
Appearances : 31
John was signed on a free from Carlisle. He'd already made an impression at Spotland a couple of year's earlier when he ran into the wall at the Sandy Lane end and exited on a stretcher. He was a former Scotland Youth international who'd attracted some attention when he made his debut for Celtic but never established himself in the first team. In 1984-85 he went to Sunderland on loan but didn't appear for them and instead Carlisle signed him. He was at Brunton Park for 7 seasons making 153 appearances and scoring 17 goals.
Like many of Sutton's early signings John was slightly past his sell-by date. He had some skill on the ball and could still go on the odd good run but his influence was usually peripheral. It didn't help that we also had John Ryan playing on the left and it often seemed that John H. wasn't needed there. My favourite moment of John's was away at Barnet in April 92 where he and Carl Parker were doubling up on their dangerous winger Paul Showler. John wasn't a tackler so he instructed Parker to do the business - "Have him, have him ! ". Parker obliged by kicking Showler about 6 foot in the air and getting a yellow card for it. John melted away from the scene like he had nothing to do with it.
Towards the end of the season he was dropped and then released in the summer. He played for Gretna for a short time but then went back to Carlisle to work on their Football In The Community programme where he has been ever since. He played a number of times for their supporters' team against ours in the 90s.