Rochdale AFC fan, Matt Bannon, has provided the first guest post in what I hope will be a regular series on heroes from our youth.
Heroes from our youth. The players we had or have an attachment with, whether as a youngster or now (you may be a youngster!), for whatever the reason. I’m not particularly looking for the likes of Rooney or Gerrard, – too obvious, unless you can provide a more eccentric reason, like sharing the same hair weave expert as Wazza, perhaps – but more those unlikely players you may have bumped in to as a kid; you liked the sound of their name; they were the first Latvian to play for your club; the first player you saw score; the subject of the elusive Panini sticker to complete your Wolverhampton Wanderers page etc. etc – the wonderful www.inbedwithmaradona.com love Kenny Wharton for sitting on the ball mid-game (link here: http://grumpyoldfan.net/?p=245 )…..give us your memories…… firstname.lastname@example.org
The subject of Matt’s undying football love is Steve Whitehall, who played for Rochdale in the 90s, scoring 74 goals in 235 appearances for the club. His other clubs included Mansfield Town and Oldham Athletic and his playing career ended mid 2000s at non-league Marine.
I’ll leave it to Matt to wax lyrical…..
Stevie, Stevie Whitehall…..
My Cult hero
Rochdale have had some great cult figures over the past few years from Gary Jones, Craig Dawson, Ernie Cooksey and Jimmy Graham. We have also had some great strikers such as Grant Holt, Rickie Lambert and Alfie Le Fondre who are all now firing in the goals in the Premier League.
For me my first hero and I will always have a soft spot for him was Steve Whitehall.
I first started following Rochdale in the early 90s when I moved into the Spotland area (Rooley Moor Road for the locals). I went down to the ground one afternoon and have been hooked since. I used to love standing in the Sandy Lane End when in full voice the fans would sing STEVIE STEVIE WHITEHALL! as he poached another goal.
(see attached video of Stevie scoring v Darlington in 1992) (a truly poached goal! – twig)
During my work experience at Spotland in 1995, I had the pleasure of meeting Stevie and I would always say hello to him as he trotted past my house on the way to training on Lenny Barn Playing Fields. During this season Stevie scored over 20 goals to cement his place as a Rochdale Legend.
I was gutted when he was sold to Mansfield in 1997.
I even forgave him when he joined Oldham in the twilight of his career.
There’s only one STEVIE WHITEHALL one STEVIE WHITEHALL!!!!!
you can follow Matt on Twitter – @mattb1202