|EX PLAYERS ASSOCIATION
(Friday 6th March 2009)
More than 120 former Wanderers players are expected to turn up at Adams Park on Saturday 7th March as the 'Wycombe Wanderers Ex-Players Association' is officially launched. The Association has been created by former Wanderers press officer Alan Hutchinson and long standing Wanderers supporter and media man John Taylor. They put the call out via the local press in January of this year and have been delighted with the response. Taylor commented, "Itís had a really good response. We have had a wide variety of people from different eras, including some who actually played in the 1940s."
The former players will be entertained in Scores Sports Bar before the game and it's hoped that 17 of the surviving players who have made more than 300 First Team appearances in a Wycombe shirt, will be paraded to the crowd 20 minutes before the kick-off of Wanderers 'League Two' meeting with Chesterfield. After the game all the ex-players will be presented in the Vere Suite to supporters.
Leading the parade of those who have made more than 300 appearances, will be Wanderers top appearance maker and goalscorer of all time, Tony 'Bodger' Horseman - with an incredible 749 competitive First Team appearances and 416 goals between 1961 and 1978. Just behind 'Bodger' will be John Maskell, Wanderers popular goalkeeper between 1964 and 1980 and having made 616 First Team appearances. Maskell is on the committee of the Association and has helped send out the call for former players. The committee also includes former player Bobby Dell, while Jackie Tomlin has been elected as the first President of the Association. Tomlin played for the Wanderers in the 50's and 60's and was part of the famous sides that won the Isthmian League in 1956 and 1957 and also reached the Final of the 1957 Amateur Cup at Wembley. All the remaining surviving members of the '57 side' hope to be at the launch, including the ever popular Len Worley.
The oldest player to have been traced and accepted the invitation is 89 year old Frank Avery who first played for Wycombe in 1937. He holds the Club record for most goals scored in an Amateur Cup game when he hit six in a 10-1 victory over Kingstonian in a First Round replay at Loakes Park during the 1945/46 season.
Other names the successful 1970's period under Brian Lee, will be Paul Birdseye, Howard Kennedy, Micky Holifield and Keith Mead. Along with 'Bodger' and Mask', they were part of the Wycombe side that earned national fame by reaching the Third Round of the FA Cup back in the 1974/75 season.
Coming more into the modern era, Dave Carroll, Keith Ryan, Jason Cousins and Matt Crossley will all be present and paraded before the game having exceeded the 300 appearance mark while with the Wanderers. Meanwhile, making the longest journey will former goalkeeper Gary Lester who will fly in specially from Romania where he has been undertaking Aid Work.
Those that are unable to attend because of current football commitments include Viv Busby, Keith Scott and John Granville. However, they have asked to be kept a place for the next big funnction to be arranged by the Association, an inauguration dinner at Adams Park on 12th November 2009. More players are hoped to contacted before then. If you are a former Wanderers player (First Team or Reserves), please get in touch with John Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 17 players with 300 or more Wanderers appearances Apps Goals Seasons played Tony Horseman 749 416 1961/62 - 1977/78 John Maskell 616 0 1964/65 - 1979/80 Dave Carroll 602 100 1988/89 - 2001/02 Keith Ryan 517 50 1990/91 - 2004/05 Len Worley 512 67 1954/55 - 1969/70 Jason Cousins 473 9 1991/92 - 2001/02 Paul Birdseye 459 14 1971/72 - 1981/82 Micky Holifield 422 84 1971/72 - 1980/81 Gary Lester 420 0 1979/80 - 1989/90 Charlie Gale 413 18 1961/62 - 1970/71 Howard Kennedy 407 100 1974/75 - 1982/83 Mark West 381 174 1984/85 - 1992/93 Ian Rundle 357 5 1965/66 - 1973/74 Keith Mead 352 14 1973/74 - 1981/82 Barry Baker 348 12 1963/64 - 1970/71 Bob Dell 319 32 1979/80 - 1985/86 Matt Crossley 318 6 1987/88 - 1995/96 Other surviving players with 300 or more appearances Apps Goals Seasons played Steve Brown 443 43 1993/94 - 2003/04 Michael Simpson 339 20 1996/97 - 2003/04 Danny Senda 316 9 1998/99 - 2005/06
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