Vote for your All-Time Boston United Legend

Boston United Supporters' Association (BUSA) are to hold a "Legends Evening" in the near future. They will be inviting all the living "Boston United Legends" along to an evening in the Sports Bar. The nominated "Legends" are based on the people selected to appear on a "Boston United Celebrities" collectible card set, that was put together a couple of years ago by Boston fan Barry Pearson. As part of the evening BUSA want to find out who the Boston United Supporters consider to be the all-time Boston United Legend. The nominees are listed below. The poll is now closed. The closing date for votes was 20th June 2003. The results will be revealed at the BUSA "Legends Evening".


THE NOMINEES

Dave Adamson Defender (76-82)
Signed from Yorkshire League club Hatfield Main. Previously with South Shields and Doncaster Rovers. Scored a hat trick on his debut for the England Non-League XI in a match against Scotland. Collected five England Semi-Professional caps in all. Born 7/5/1951 in Chester-le-Street.
Dave Adamson
Mike Alexander Forward (68-70)
Signed from Grantham Town for £2,000. Was the Anglia TV Sports Personality of the Year for 68/69. Previously with Brigg Town, where he scored 120 goals in two seasons, Gainsborough and Grantham. Top scorer with 23 goals in 68/9, United's first season in the Northern Premier League. Moved on to Gainsborough Trinity.
Mike Alexander
Paul Bastock Goalkeeper (92-)
Had extensive experience with Cambridge United, Coventry City and Kettering Town before signing for United. Voted "Player of the Year" in 92/3 and again ten years later in 2002/3. Paul is a highly regarded keeper. Jointly holds the record for the most appearances for Boston United with 572. Born 19/5/1970 in Leamington Spa.
Paul Bastock
Brian Bates Forward (70-72, 77-79)
Previously with Notts County and Mansfield Town, making over 140 League appearances before signing up with Boston. A regular goal scorer in his time with the club. Also had experience as manager of Notts County's youth team. Born 4/12/1944 in Beeston.
Brian Bates
Gordon Bolland Forward (75-77)
Born in Boston, went on to play for Millwall, Chelsea, Orient, Charlton and Norwich City before returning to play for United. He also jointly led a players' co-operative, with Freddie Taylor, to run team affairs for the second half of the 1976/7 season after the departure of Howard Wilkinson. Born 12/8/1943.
Gordon Bolland
Jim Conde Forward (72-74)
Bought from Bangor. A prolific scorer in the Northern Premier League, being the club's top scorer in 72/3 & 73/4. He had gained League experience with Scunthorpe and Tranmere before joining Boston. Scored the only Boston goal in the FA Cup match against First Division Derby County in 1974. Was sold to Kettering Town for £2,000 where he later became reserve and youth team coach. Born 19/4/1944 in Cresswell.
Jim Conde
Chris Cook Forward (79-91,92-98)
Local lad who forced his way into the first team squad with his goal-scoring exploits in the reserve team. Scored the Pilgrims' goal in the FA Trophy Final at Wembley in 1985. Voted "Player of the Year" in 86/87 after becoming top scorer with 27 goals. He eventually left York Street for spells with Altrincham, King's Lynn and Boston Town before "coming home" to jointly manage the newly established reserve team in 1992. However midway through the 94-95 season, he made a fairytale return to first team action scoring the winner in a 1-0 away win at Matlock. From then on he saw regular first team action until he hung up his boots to become the club's youth development officer in 1998. In the 95/96 season he added a further 18 goals to his tally and was voted "Player of the Year" again. Chris is the club's all time leading goalscorer with 179 goals to his credit in over 400 appearances. Born 19/5/1962 in Tidworth, Hampshire.
Chris Cook
Steve Evans Manager (98-02)
Appointed manager in October 98, following the resignation of Greg Fee. Previously manager of Dr. Martens Midland Division side Stamford AFC, where he enjoyed huge success. Hailing from Scotland, he began his playing career with Bolton Wanderers, but he soon moved back north of the border to play for Clyde, Ayr United and then St. Johnstone. His dramatic impact on United's fortunes in transforming them from relegation candidates to title challengers and ultimately the runners-up spot in his first season, then the league title in his second season, made him a cult hero with the fans on the terraces. He then went on to take Boston United to the Conference title and subsequent promotion to the Football League. He resigned in September 2002 after being suspended by the club when charges of contractual irregularities were brought against him by the FA. Born 30/10/1962 in Glasgow.
Steve Evans
John Froggatt Forward (69-75,79-84)
Bought from Buxton, for £500. He was previously with Notts County but had lost his place to former Boston United goalscorer Jimmy Rayner. Top scorer for two seasons in his first spell with the club. Sold to Colchester for £6,000 who he helped to promotion to the Third Division. Then moved to Port Vale for £10,000 and from there to Northampton Town for another £10,000. Returned to the Pilgrims in 1980. Appointed manager at the end of season 80/81. A painter and decorator by trade. Born 13/12/1945 in Sutton-in-Ashfield.
John Froggatt
Martin Hardy Defender (88-93,94-99,99)
Joined the Pilgrims for a 10,000 fee from Worksop Town in June 88. Previous experience with Notts County. Made 220 appearances, scoring 17 goals before being released following United's relegation from the Vauxhall Conference. Rejoined the Pilgrims at the start of the 94/95 season after a one season break at Matlock. Returned to Worksop Town after leaving the Pilgrims at the end of 98/9, but briefly returned for a few games at the end of 1999 before moving on to Stamford AFC. Born 12/12/1962 in Worksop.
Martin Hardy
Billy Howells Defender (64-76)
Holds record for most first team appearances for the club with 572 games. Signed from Grimsby. Along with John Lakin, a stalwart of the Boston sides of the late sixties and early seventies, winning five league titles and numerous cups along the way. Born 20/3/1943 in Grimsby.
Billy Howells
Gary Jones Forward (91-93)
Bought from Kettering Town in August 91. Signed for Kettering for 17,500 from Grantham. Previously with Rossington Main and Doncaster Rovers. Voted "Player of the Year" in his first season after scoring 31 goals in 51 appearances. Sold to Southend United for 25,000, a club record, where he made 47 League appearances and scored 14 goals. Later moved on to Notts County, then to Hartlepool United to become their record signing for £60,000. However, after less than one season at Hartlepool he moved on to Halifax Town. Later played for Nuneaton Borough and Gainsborough Trinity. Born 6/4/1969 in Huddersfield.
Gary Jones
Jim Kabia Forward (74-81,87-88)
Signed from Chesterfield for a four figure fee. He scored two goals on his debut in a Northern Premier League fixture against South Liverpool. A prolific goalscorer. Always a big favourite on visiting grounds, not only for his goalscoring ability but also for his popularity with the barrackers. Had a spell in America and also made a name for himself with the bat in the Local Cricket League. Returned to the club in March 87 after spells with Stafford, Burton, King's Lynn and Kettering. Moved on to Gainsborough Trinity, then Holbeach, Spalding and King's Lynn. Became manager of Boston FC in 1990. Born 11/11/1954 in Mansfield.
Jim Kabia
John Lakin Defender (64-75)
Born in Sheffield. Made over 400 first team appearances for the club. Signed from Grimsby Town, he had played three games for England's youth team. Along with Billy Howells, a stalwart of the Boston sides of the late sixties and early seventies, winning five league titles and numerous cups along the way. An accountant by profession.
John Lakin
Tommy Lowder Midfield (49, 54-60, 61)
He played as an amateur for Crystal Palace in 1946, before signing professional forms with Rotherham in 1948. Despite scoring five goals for Rotherham in eight games he was allowed to leave the club and he then signed up with Boston United in July 1949. He played nine games and scored five goals before he was transferred to Southampton for £1500. He had three seasons with Southampton and one with Southend United before returning to Boston when he was snapped up by Ray Middleton at the start of the 54/5 season. He played in the great FA cup run of 55-56. He left the club to play for Skegness Town for the 60/1 season, but briefly returned to Boston for a few games in the 61/2 season. He settled in Boston and ran a general store after finishing his playing career. Born 17/10/1924 in Worksop. Died May 1999.
Tommy Lowder
Ernest Malkinson Director (34-86)
Soon after Boston United FC came into existance in 1933, Ernest Malkinson was voted in as one of the club's directors. He soon became the main driving force behind the club and remained so for the next fifty years.
Ernest Malkinson
Arthur Mann Defender (82-83, 83-86)
Signed from Mansfield Town. Began his career with Hearts but in 1969 was transferred to Manchester City for 65,000, then a record for a Scottish defender coming across the border. Following a three and a half year stay at Maine Road, he later played for Notts County, and Shrewsbury Town before joining Mansfield Town in 1979 deal. After one season with the Pilgrims when he was voted "Player of the Year" he left to join up with his former Notts County teammate Don Masson at Kettering Town, but returned to York Street after only three months. He took over as manager at end of 83/84 and led the Pilgrims to the FA Trophy Final at Wembley in 1985. After leaving the Pilgrims he played for Telford United, then became assistant manager at Grimsby and later West Bromwich Albion. Born 23/1/1948 in Falkirk. He died in February 1999, following an industrial accident.
Arthur Mann
John McKenna Goalkeeper (87-92)
Signed in August 87 on his return from South Africa, where he had been playing in the National League for Grineckar Rangers and previously for Durban City. English experience was with Everton and Leeds in the Central League and with Morecambe. United "Player of the Year" in 87/88 and 89/90. The Pilgrims turned down a £50,000 bid for him from Charlton Athletic in March 88. Selected for the England semi-professional squad to play Wales in March 88. Transferred to Dagenham and Redbridge. Collected seven England Semi-Professional caps in all. Later moved on to Southport, Accrington Stanley and Ashton United. Born 21/3/1962.
John McKenna
Ray Middleton Goalkeeper (54-61)
Signed from Derby County. Previously had a long career with Chesterfield and Derby County and also played for the England B side. As a schoolboy he had played in the Sunderland side that had won the English Schools Shield in 1932/3. Away from football, he was elected on to Boston Town Council in 1955, as a socialist. The first professional footballer to be honoured as a Justice of the Peace. He insured his hands for £2000 when he worked as a miner. Became player-manager at Boston and he was in charge for the record 6-1 away win at Derby County in the FA Cup. Left to become manager at Hartlepool United. Later returned to Boston to become club secretary and pools promoter. Born 6/9/1919 in Boldon. Died 12/4/1977.
Ray Middleton
David Poplar Midfield (76-82)
Joined the Pilgrims after considerable experience with Gainsborough Trinity, Worksop Town and Boston FC. Was highly regarded in Northern Premier League circles for his heading ability around the penalty box. A tall goal scoring midfielder. He worked as an advertising representative for a newspaper.
Dave Poplar
Harry Sharp Forward (45-50)
Joined the club after the war on part-time terms of 25 shillings per match (£1.25), with a win bonus of ten shillings (50p). Played in all the club's league and cup games in his first season and ended it as top scorer with 34 goals. He was offered professional terms with Notts County after scoring all five goals in a trial match against Leicester City. He turned them down however as he thought farming was safer than football! Later played for Spalding Town before becoming player-coach at Eastville FC. Died in May 2002, aged 80.
Harry Sharp
Paul Shirtliffe Defender (88-92)
Signed for a club record fee of 12,500 from Frickley Athletic in June 88. The holder of fifteen England semi-professional caps. Previous experience with Sheffield Wednesday and Northampton Town. Voted "Player of the Year" in 88/89. Transferred to Dagenham and Redbridge for an undisclosed fee. Born 3/11/1962 in Hoyland.
Paul Shirtliffe
Jim Smith Midfield (69-72)
Took over from Don Donovan as Player-Manager. Previous clubs included Sheffield United, where he was a goal getting forward, Aldershot, Halifax Town and Lincoln City. As well as being player manager he also had to perform the Secretarial duties, run the club lottery, dig new drains, concrete the car park and decorate the Boardroom. Whilst at Boston, his teams never finished out of the top four, conceded only three home league goals all season in 1969/70 and the side were some forty games into an unbeaten run of 51 league games (a British professional record) when he left the Pilgrims to join Colchester in October 1972. Went on to lose a lot of hair and manage Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Oxford United, QPR, Newcastle United and Derby. Born 17/10/1940 in Sheffield.
Jim Smith
Bobby Svarc Forward (71-72)
Signed from Lincoln City for 2,000. Former clubs included Leicester City and Barrow. Followed Jim Smith to Colchester United for a transfer fee of £6,000 after scoring 21 goals in 28 matches. Later followed Jim Smith to Second Division Blackburn - where he was top scorer in 76/7, and had a loan spell with Watford, but his career was halted by a serious injury. Went on to become a Jehovah's Witness. Born 8/2/1946 in Leicester.
Bobby Svarc
Freddy Tunstall Forward (36-46)
Former Sheffield United and England winger. Made seven appearances for England between 1923 and 1925 and was England captain for matches against Canada and France. Scored the only goal in the 1925 FA Cup Final when Sheffield United beat Cardiff City. He is arguably the most famous player ever to pull on a United shirt. He became player manager after the war and then manager for two spells, in between which he was the trainer. His career with Boston lasted from 1936 until he retired as "trainer", aged 65 in 1962, before coming out of retirement to manage the club for a season whilst they played in the Boston & District League in 1964/5. He is Boston's longest serving manager - having been in charge for a total of almost 10 seasons over the years. Born 28/5/1897 in Gravesend. Died 1971.
Freddy Tunstall
Howard Wilkinson Forward (71-76)
Joined from Brighton. Previously with Sheffield Wednesday. Played for the England Youth team. Qualified FA Staff Coach. Took over as Player-Coach when Jim Smith left in 72. Was a school teacher before taking up management full time. Took United to two consecutive Northern Premier League Championships. Went on to manage Mossley, the England Semi-Professional side, Notts County, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United. Whilst with Leeds United he took them from the third bottom of the Second Division in 1988 to a First Division title in 1992. Went on to become the FA Technical Director. Took over as caretaker England manager following the departure of Glenn Hoddle. Born 13/11/1943 in Sheffield.
Howard Wilkinson


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