Monday, 14 March 2011
307 Richard Jobson
Position : Centre half
Played : 2001-02 to 2002-03
Appearances : 51
Goals : 3
Richard was a personal red letter signing , the last Dale player who was older than me. The 38-year old arrived on a free from Tranmere in September 2001. He had a distinguished track record. He was originally signed from Burton Albion by Watford , then flying high under Graham Taylor, for £22,000 in 1982 . Although he appeared in the old First Division and the UEFA Cup he could not command a regular place and in February 1985 moved to Hull for first team football for a giveaway £40,000. He was a great servant to them hardly missing a match and scoring 17 goals in 221 appearances. In August 1990 Joe Royle broke Oldham's transfer record and signed him for £460,000. In his first season he guided them to the Second Division title and won England B caps under his old boss Taylor. Richard was a key man in Oldham's three year sojourn in the top flight and stayed with them the following year. However Oldham failed to mount a promotion challenge and mounting financial pressures forced them to offload their high-earning stars. Richard returned to the Premiership with Leeds paying £1 million for him in October 1995. Now 32, Richard was hit by injuries and he only made 23 appearances in his two and a half year stay at Elland Road plus 8 on loan at Southend. In March 1998 he rejoined Joe Royle at Manchester City , went down to the Second Division with them then enjoyed two successive promotions. Royle knew he was too old for the Premiership and publicly touted him to other clubs, grumbling about age discrimination though Richard's PFA involvement may have been a factor in putting them off. Eventually Tranmere took him on after a loan spell and he played 17 games for them before joining us.
Richard was quite popular with some Dale fans, particularly those who'd been at Boundary Park in the early 90s, but I don't think he was a good signing for us. He came to cover for an injury to Dave Bayliss but Parkin kept him in the side when Bayliss recovered and I'm sure that had a bearing on Dave quitting the club shortly afterwards. As mentioned above he was heavily involved with the PFA and he got Gareth Griffiths involved too so we had both centre halves distracted by off-field politicking. To be fair Richard could still play a bit; he was good in the air and tackle and didn't give the ball away but unsurprisingly he was pretty slow by this point. He made a bad mistake for Lincoln's goal in the penultimate game which probably cost us automatic promotion.
John Hollins offered him another year's contract (a very lazy decision in my opinion) which Richard was quick to sign. He played 15 games in the early part of 2002-03 after Steve MacAuley was found wanting. In November 2002 he became PFA chairman and disappeared from view after that until the final game away at Macclesfield where Paul Simpson gave him a League swansong. Unfortunately his thunder was stolen by Macclesfield veteran John Askey scoring a last minute equaliser in his final League appearance.
Richard confirmed his retirement immediately afterwards and is now a senior executive at the PFA.