Saturday, 23 April 2011
352 Paul Tait
Position : Forward
Played : 2004-05 to 2005-06
Appearances : 47
Goals : 3
Paul was signed from Bristol Rovers on a Bosman as he wanted to return to the north west. He started out as a trainee at Everton but made his League debut for Wigan in 1995. He was discarded after 5 appearances and went to Runcorn and then Northwich. He hit form with the latter scoring 65 goals in 157 appearances and returned to League football with Crewe in 1999.
He made 62 appearances (half of them as substitute) and scored 6 goals (all of them in his first season). He was released in 2002 after a brief loan spell at Hull. He then spent two seasons at Bristol Rovers scoring 19 goals in 74 appearances.
Paul is probably the most unjustly-maligned player in this survey. He was a decent footballer unsuited to the way Parkin wanted to play. He was a tall, slender player, good in the air and with a surprisingly nice touch on the ground..He was good at holding the ball up and bringing others into play and when he played alongside Grant Holt they looked to have a decent understanding. His weaknesses were lack of pace and a seeming inability to get any power behind his shots.
He showed what he was best at in the League Cup against Wolves when he made a well-timed run into the box to meet a cross from Brian Cash and plant a perfectly placed header into the net. Unfortunately Cash went the way of all wingers under Parkin and Paul usually had to try and create his own chances in a three-upfront formation. In that he struggled to score at all. His first League goal didn't arrive until December at Shrewsbury (and I missed it).
Things started to go downhill for Paul after the game away at Swansea in March when he was sent off after some outrageous play acting by the Swansea players in front of a ref clearly anxious to balance the sides after sending their star man Lee Trundle off (that was deserved). His place was taken by Ricky Lambert moving up from midfield and Parkin kept him there.
Paul missed the start of the following season through injury and largely had to make do with the subs bench when he recovered. He got a start in the LDV at Tranmere and responded with an inspired performance and two goals. Grant Holt's suspension and then departure gave him a few starts and he managed another goal at Wrexham on Boxing Day. His last game was at home to Stockport in January where he was mystifyingly taken off after a quite good first half. He was then paid up (and replaced by someone far worse but we'll come to that ) before the transfer window closed when it seemed more sensible to keep him.
Paul was signed up by Chester after scoring twice in a reserve game but the manager departed shortly afterwards and Paul was released after 9 appearances. He then moved to Boston scoring twice in 14 appearances but went on loan to Southport in November and signed for them permanently in January 2007. He scored twice in 8 appearances then returned to Northwich in the summer. He spent four months there scoring 3 in 16 then popped up at Barrow in 2008 scoring twice in 24 mainly substitute appearances. He seems to have retired after that.