A Hundred Cobblers
100 – Charley Hearn. Signed on loan from Millwall this young lad had been touted as one of the players for the new millennium by The Sun when he was 16. He never lived up to his early promise but this classy ball playing midfielder still made 24 appearances for the Cobblers in the 2004-2005 season when the Cobblers finished 7th and lost in the Play-off Semi Final to Southend.
99- Sam Aiston. Signed from Tranmere in 2006, this talented midfielder always reminded me of a lower league Steve McManaman with his wavy hair and playing style. Injury meant that he only played 22 games for the Cobblers in the 2 years he was here, a shame because on his day he was a match winner.
98 – Ben Marshall. Signed by Stuart Gray the day before the season started last year (2009/10). This talented winger will end up a good lower league player. Question marks abound about his professionalism but he was certainly too good for League 2.
97 – Alex Konstantinou. A surprise inclusion but this young lad makes this list simply because without him the trip to Anfield would never have happened. His assist in the own goal at Reading makes it even more surprising that he hasn’t featured since.
96 – Richard Butcher. A product of the Cobblers youth system this lad made 22 appearances for the Cobblers before making himself a good career in League 2. Shockingly he passed away recently at the age of 29. RIP.
95 – Colin Larkin. Criminally underused by Stuart Gray in my opinion. This lively forward always looked good against us so his signing I thought was a bit of a coup. That was until Gray decided to play him out wide for the majority of the time. He’s still doing the business at League 1 Hartlepool, proving he was one that we should have kept on to.
94 – Darren Byfield. Although he only arrived on loan from Aston Villa in 1999, his signing excited me in a way that few other loan signings have. He was starting to build his reputation in the game and his time at Sixfields surely taught him all he needed to know about being the lower league marksman he is today. Plus, the lucky git is married to Jamelia.
93 – Daryl Clare. Another loan forward who arrived at a similar time to Byfield. His record in lower league football since leaving us was nothing short of prolific. One that got away as far as I’m concerned. Unfortunately his playing style was very similar to Jamie Forrester’s and there just wasn’t room for both of them at the Club it would seem.
92 – Leon McKenzie. A born goalscorer. If he can play 15 more games this season, you’d back him to net at least 7 goals. Unfortunately his goals for us have mainly come in draws or defeats, but he will rapidly climb up this list if he continues his goal scoring exploits.
91 – Richard Walker. 4 goals in the 12 games on Loan from Blackpool in 2003. Even then you could see he was going to be a good forward at this level as his spell at Bristol Rovers proved. I liked him and always hoped one day he would return.
90 – Chris Carruthers. A product of our youth system who made 74 appearances for us before joining Bristol Rovers in 2005. Big things were expected of him and he never quite did live up to his expectations. Played against Man Utd in the FA Cup and gave away the early penalty by tripping Cristiano Ronaldo in front of the North Stand.
89 – Ikechi Anya. Joined on loan from the Glenn Hoddle Academy towards the end of the 2008/09 relegation season. Scored a couple of vital goals and very nearly helped us stay up. Quick and with good composure the similarities to Michael Owen were made by one mad fan at Peterborough due to his “low centre of gravity”. Left us to play in Spain for Seville reserves.
88 – David Rennie. Played 44 games in the successful 1996-97 season that culminated in our victory at Wembley. Started against Swansea that day but was taken off after 40 minutes and never played for the club again.
87 – Sam Parkin. Had a season on loan with us where he couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo. If we had kept him for one more year though, he would have turned into one of the most feared goalscorers the lower league has ever seen whilst being a Cobbler, another one that got away….
86 – Dean Peer. Say what you want about this limited workhorse, Dean Peer’s 128 games for the Cobblers fully justifies his inclusion on this list. Love him or hate him you could always rely on him when the going got tough. Mocked for being Ian Atkins’ love child but his work rate and commitment meant he was a valuable member of the squad.
85 – Billy McKay. Destined to go down in Cobblers folklore as one of the goalscorers on that famous Anfield night last September. There’s more to come from Billy and if he can kick on and maybe get a decent target man to play with, than this young man could go far.
84 – Michael Jacobs. One of our own, a product of the youth academy who, like Billy was an Anfield goalscorer. Potentially he is destined to make this Club a lot of money but let’s hope he sticks around for a couple of seasons at least.
83 – Carl Heggs. Started for Swansea against us in that Wembley final in 97 only to start for us in the Wembley 98 final. Played 49 games for us in 2 years scoring 9 goals. A flair player who also had work rate, a rare combination. A cult hero of mine and I was sad to see him leave. Currently works as Notts County’s chief scout.
82 – Marc Richards. Never really got the rub of the green in his two seasons at Sixfields but I’d kill to get him back here now. Hit the bar against Man Utd in the Cup tie, an effort that seemed to sum up his time at the Cobblers. Currently leading the line very effectively for Port Vale.
81 – Barry Richardson. Psycho. A good safe keeper, I’ll never forget his interaction with the Hotel Enders at the old County Ground. He was the original proof that you needed to be as daft as a brush to be a keeper. Unfortunately he now works as the Goalkeeper coach at London Road.
80 – Paul McGregor. An exciting signing for us at the time. He had been schooled in the footballing ways at Nottingham Forest and joined us after an impressive spell at Plymouth. Unfortunately his 2 years at Sixfields were blighted by injury and he only managed 5 goals from 62 appearances, however his impact was much more than that. Often used as an impact sub this man could have gone far, if only he’d sorted his hair out!!!
79 – Darren Harmon. A pearl amongst the swine that played for us in the early 90’s. A goalscoring midfielder and ex-Player of the Year for us.
78 – Paul Harsley. 59 games in 2 years for this midfielder earns him this place on my list. I liked him and was surprised we let him go. The 2003 Cobblers Player of the Year.
77 – Chris Freestone. An impressive signing bearing in mind that he was a Premiership goalscorer at Middlesbrough. Played at Wembley in the 1998 Play Off Final and amongst his 14 goals for the Club came 2 that helped knock West Ham out of the League Cup in our biggest Cup upset since Coventry City fell at the County Ground.
76 – John Hodge. A real tricky winger. Provided the flair to the hard work of an Ian Atkins side. Mostly used as a substitute during his time at Sixfields this popular player quickly built up a good relationship with the fans despite the fact his skills often flattered to deceive.
75 – Joe Burnell. A good footballing midfielder who was surprisingly released by Stuart Gray after the Club had finished in its highest League position for over 10 years in 2008. Joe played 57 games for the Cobblers in his time here and always gave 100%.
74 – Eric Sabin. A real cult hero amongst the fans, and indeed their Player of the Year in 2005. Only played for the Club for one season and scored 13 goals in 56 games before he moved to Oxford.
73 – Kevin “Bloody” Wilson. Joined us in 1997 in the twilight of his career. Famously gave himself penalty taking duties whilst he was player manager but could never get that 100th league goal. Age caught up with him but he was occasionally capable of the odd flash of his old abilities.
72 – Derek Asamoah. Plucked from Non League obscurity at Slough Town, Asamoah would go on to score 30 goals for the Cobblers over 4 seasons at the Club. An exciting direct player often used as an impact sub. A real buzz went around the crowd whenever he was on the ball. Supposedly a very difficult player to manage but his skills will live long in any Cobblers fan’s memory.
71 – Colin Hill. A former Northern Irish International at centre half and a real rock at the back in the 54 games he played for us at the end of his career. Played at Wembley in 1998.
70 – Jason White. The original John Gayle. This bloke had everything you could require of a League 2 striker. Scored 18 goals in the 2 years he was here and came off the bench at Wembley in 1997. When he and Gayle played upfront together opposing Centre halves would run and hide.
69 – Dave Gilbert. Left-footed wide midfielder and a set piece specialist. Although I do remember my Uncle telling me about the time he cleared the Hotel End when he blasted a penalty over the bar…..
68 – Liam Davis. This boy has everything in his locker to make it at Championship level. His injury problems seem to be behind him and he is wasted at his current position of Left Back. Too good for us, as simple as that….
67 – Peter Gleasure. My first memory of a goalkeeper at the Cobblers. Plus like all good 80’s footballers his moustache and perm combo really was something to behold.
66 – Pat Gavin. If it wasn’t for his arse, Northampton would have been relegated to the Non League in 1993 and would have quite probably gone out of business. Didn’t do much in a Cobblers shirt but was the scorer of one of the club’s most important goals.
65 – Luke Guttridge. If only… If only he wasn’t injured so frequently we would not have got relegated in 2009 in my opinion. So much talent but seemingly so little brains. His sending off at Rotherham last season was the single most foolish thing I have ever seen a Cobbler do on the football field.
64 – David Hunt. A key member of Calderwood’s promotion winning side of 2006. His long throw and midfield skills were vital to Calderwood’s tactics that year and we never really replaced him well enough whilst we were in League 1.
63 – John Johnson. Again reaches this lofty position as much on potential as anything else. Also I rate him this highly because he is the scorer of the best two long distance goals I have ever seen at the Cobblers, his winner against Lincoln and his volley against Forest Green really are why you pay your money at the gate. Two fabulous strikes….
62 – Jason Steele. Could quite possibly play for England one day. I think he is that good. Currently number 1 for Middlesborough and it won’t be long until he is a Premiership keeper, whether with Borough or without them….
61 – Jason Dozzell. Played 22 games for us in the 97-98 season and despite his legs going was still a class act in the centre of the park. Gave us the experience needed to go to Wembley for the second consecutive year.
60 – Chris Dunn. Improving all the time after some initial set-backs threatened to ruin his Cobblers career. If this guy conquers his demons than there is no reason why he couldn’t play at a higher level. Set a club record last season for the number of minutes without conceding a goal and has twice won the PFA Player of the Month award in League 2.
59 – Andy Holt. Mr Dependable. Very versatile player who has played for the Cobblers since 2006. Has made over 160 appearances and has never once given anything less than 100%.
58 – Steve Berry. Scored the winner against Coventry in that FA Cup tie back in January 1990.
57 – Ian Clarkson. The original Mr Dependable. I don’t ever remember him missing a game after he joined us. Another of the Atkins lads from Birmingham, Clarkson was a real steady eddie at Right Back and played in both the Wembley Play Off finals for the Club.
56 – Abdul Osman. Is only this high up in the count because of the two penalties he has taken for the Club. One to knock out Reading and the one at Anfield when he silenced the Kop. He could be as good as he wants to be and has so far this season been the Cobblers best player in my eyes, he has also now made 100 appearances for the Club.
55 – Kenny Deucher. The Good Doctor. Prolific in Scotland for Gretna, less prolific for us in his short time hear. What Dr Deucher did bring to the team though was more than goals. A solid target man who gave it his all, he was also handy to have around as he saved on physio costs.
54 – Eoin Jess. I was so excited when we signed this lad from Forest. Played at the highest level with Coventry and Scotland before joining us in 2005 and was a vital piece of the squad that won promotion in his first season.
53 – Chris Hargreaves. Over 150 games for the Club between 2000 and 2004, Hargreaves never seems to get the credit his performances deserved from the Cobblers fans. Needed a haircut but apart from that you couldn’t fault him in the time he was here.
52 – Josh Low. Record Signing. Cost £165,000 when we brought him from Oldham in 2003, a right sided player who made over 100 appearances for the Club before leaving us for Championship side Leicester.
51 – Sean Dyche. His experience at centre half was vital in our Promotion winning season under Calderwood, a Watford legend when he joined us and his no nonsense approach was exactly what was required. Now back at Watford as Assistant Manager.
50 – Phil Chard. Club Stalwart. This bloke did the lot for the Cobblers, played in every position and managed the side as well. Played over 250 games for the Club at a time when its very existence was under threat. An excellent servant to the Club.
49 – Chris Doig. Joined the Club at the same time as Jess and played over 100 games at centre half. Unfortunately injury meant we never saw the best of Doig but his commitment and effort could never be questioned. We let him leave and replaced him with Hinton, will never understand the logic that Stuart Gray had for that one….
48 – Steve Brown. Northampton through and through during his time at the Club. Joined Wycombe where he made 443 appearances for the Club after he made over 170 for us, never injured and never missed a penalty.
47 – Lee Harper. Charismatic keeper who saved Diego Forlan’s penalty. Made over 150 appearances for the Club and only lost his place due to the emergence of Mark Bunn.
46 – Daniel Jones. The best Left wing back I have seen play for the club, simple as that. A big reason for our high league position in 2008 and proof that Stuart Gray did (initially at least) know how to use the loan market. Amazed he is struggling for games at Wednesday now, should be playing a much higher standard of football.
45 – James Hunt. The engine room of the midfield under Atkins, Wilson and Broadhurst. Very much an unsung hero, a very tough ball winning midfielder and our very own Guvnor.
44 – Ryan Gilligan. Love him or hate him he is one of the youngest players to have made 200 appearances for the club and at only 24 that is quite impressive. Despite what others say he will get better and provides the work rate and effort that this current side seems lack all too often.
43 – Andy Woodman. The sort of character every Goalkeeper should have. Saved a penalty at Wembley for us and is the only keeper to have done that for us, now a Newcastle coach and was recently in the headlines for fighting Joe Jordan on the touchline.
42 – Pedj Bojic. What he lacked in talent he made up for with heart. 115 games for the Club made him a Cult hero for the fans and his efforts have not been forgotten.
41 – Paul Trollope. This talented ball playing midfielder played 84 times for the Cobblers in the twilight of his career. Great in possession and at set pieces. Was such a shame that he played for Derby though, I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.
40 – Mark Hughes. Disappointing in the way he left the Club after relegation in 2009 but before that Mark was one of our youngest ever captains and one of the few players you could depend on in that fateful 2008-09 season.
39 – David Seal. Cost the Cobblers £90,000 in September 1997, money generated from the Wembley adventure the previous May helped pay the fee. Seal was never prolific for the Cobblers but still managed to be their leading goalscorer in the 97-98 season which culminated in the second Wembley appearance.
38 – Danny Jackman. Cultured left foot and set piece specialist, I always felt he was a much better central midfielder than a left back. Player of the Season in 2007/08 and would have been much higher up this list if it wasn’t for the way he left the Club.
37 – Alex Pearce. Superb loan signing by Stuart Gray. Played 15 games in 2007 but it was easy to see this guy had class. Is now the first team captain of Reading and still only 22.
36 – Simon Cox. Another quality loan signing. Shame he picked Swindon over us because he was good enough to have reached the very top of this list. One we certainly missed out on.
35 – Giles Coke. Quite simply the finest “footballer” I have seen in a claret shirt. His passing and technique was a level above anybody else I have seen in recent years. Again the disgraceful way he left the Club has deprived him of a much higher position on this list.
34 – Kevin Thornton. Enigmatic Irishman. Technically the best player we have and scorer of great goals. Obviously has issues else he’d still be playing at Championship level. My favourite current player and the highest ranking current squad member in this list. Also belligerently put his finger to his lips after scoring his penalty into the Kop, which drove the home fans mental.
33 – Andy Kirk. Not looked back at very fondly by a lot of fans due to his perceived lack of work, however that was not his game. He was a goalscorer through and through and in just over 100 games here he scored 30 goals, a fine strike rate. Signed from Boston for over £100,000 his signing was a real sign of intent when the Cardoza’s first arrived. Currently just as prolific in the Scottish Premier League for Dunfermline.
32 – Kyle Walker. He’ll play for England one day, of that I’m sure. Another quality loan signing by Gray and arguably the best loan player we have ever had. Currently first choice Right Back for Aston Villa.
31 – Ian Hendon. Steady Right Back who i don’t think we have ever bettered in that position with the exception of Jason Crowe. Left us to sign for then Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.
30 – Sean Parrish. Competitive midfielder from the Ian Atkins side and in my opinion very under rated. Scored a cracker of a goal at against Cardiff to help send us to Wembley, the definite highlight of his Cobblers Career.
29 – Keith Welch. Did this guy ever make a mistake? Superb goalkeeper and one who deserved to play at a higher level, perhaps it was his dodgy moustache that stopped it happening?
28 – Gabor Gyepes. Class Hungarian defender who joined us after recovering from a horrific knee injury which saw him released by Wolves. Signed by Cardiff after only a handful of games for us.
27 – John Gayle. Legendary centre forward who’s more renowned for his physic more than his scoring record. Played less than 50 games for us and only scored 8 goals but his impact on the Club seemed much more than that.
26 – Lee Williamson. Only played one season for the Club before we criminally let him leave for Rotherham for nowt, who then received £500,000 for him from Watford. Quality midfielder who is currently in Crystal Palace’s first team.
25 – Martin Aldridge. Scored the first goal at Sixfields and was a local Daventry boy. Always thought he’d return to Club to finish his career however his death at only 25 years old in 2000 robbed us of that finale. The Refreshment bar in the North Stand is named after him, deserves more than that I reckon.
24 – Tony Adcock. What a striker, joined us from Man City in a swap deal that saw Trevor Morley go the other way. Played two spells for the Club scoring 40 goals in just over 100 games.
23 – Dave Savage. One of my favourites, his lanky style and goal scoring exploits made going to Sixfields a real pleasure in the late 90’s. My particular highlight was his winner in a smash and grab win against Reading at the Madejski. Now cutting wood in B&Q.
22 – Ian Taylor. Legendary figure at Villa who joined us to see out the remainder of his Career. His experience in the middle of the park was vital for us in our promotion winning season of 2005-06.
21 – Steve Terry. A rock at Centre half who played over 180 games for us in the early 90’s. Also played in an FA Cup final in 1984 for Watford, not many ex-Cobblers who can say that.
20 – Bradley Johnson. Joined as a youngster from Cambridge who developed into a fine midfielder who joined Leeds for £250,000. Scorer of great goals. Seemed criminally undervalued by our fans in his time here.
19 – Poul Hurbertz. Top scorer in the 2007/08 season when we finished 9th in League 1. This Danish striker became a real cult hero after his arrival from Millwall with his unorthodox but effective style. Left to return to his homeland, but onloy after we ran onto the pitch to give him a hug after his last game (during which he scored a beauty).
18 – Paul Reid. Centre Half signed from Rangers at the start of our Calderwood reign, his impact was such that he was made captain at 21. Left us to go up two divisions to Barnsley. Class, class defender.
17 – Eddie McGoldrick. I only have vague memories of him but what I do remember is that he was an exciting goal scoring right winger. Left us to play for Palace and later Arsenal and also became a full international for the Republic of Ireland. Back at the Cobblers now, in a coaching capacity.
16 – Carlo Corazzin. Everybody’s favourite Canadian hot shot only makes number 16 in my list. Scored 30 goals in 78 games for the Cobblers and was our player of the year in 1999 (he came on to receive it on crutches). Good little player but struggled at League 1 level.
15 – Roy Hunter. 177 games in 7 years for the Cobblers earns my favourite play making midfielder number 15 on this list. Injury deprived him of higher level football in my opinion and his long throw was just as impressive as Andy Holt’s.
14 – Steve Howard. The perfect target man. Started slowly in a Cobblers shirt and never hit the prolific form that would later benefit Luton. He did so much more than that for the side though, if we had a 23 year old Howard in this current team the play offs would be an easy target.
13 – Bobby Barnes. My first Cobblers hero, a real flair player. Scored 37 goals for us before being sold to the P*sh to stop us going out of business. Had his club car repossessed because we couldn’t afford the payments.
12 – Marco Gabbiadini. We were all in heaven when we signed this guy, however he constantly bore the brunt of our criticism so much so that a fellow Cobblers fan once started on us for not supporting the team. Allegedly paid in pies by the club in lieu of wages, in 120 games for club he scored 25 goals.
11 – Neil Grayson. Larry is unlucky not to get a top 10 place if I’m being honest. His 32 goals in 120 games coming from 1994-97. Great little player whose energy and enthusiasm really made the crowd take to him.
10 – Mark Bunn. The best goalkeeper I have seen play for us, as simple as that.
9 – Ray Warburton. Commanding centre half and a big threat from set pieces. Captained the Wembley 97 side.
8 – Luke Chambers. The best player the club has produced through its youth policy? Certainly in recent years, this young defender was made captain by Calderwood at 21 and then followed him to Nottingham Forest where he has now made over 150 appearances for them.
7 – Martin Smith. Footballing genius. Played 104 games for the Club between 2003 and 2006 and scored 24 goals. Pure quality.
6 – Scott McGleish. Excellent scoring record for the Cobblers and our main goal threat in the years he was here. Scored 43 goals for the Club and is still doing the business in League 1.
5 – Jason Crowe. 171 games for the club in the 4 years he was here. It’s easy to forget just how good Jason Crowe was I feel, easily the best right back I have seen play for the Club and probably also the best midfielder.
4 – John Frain. Zimmer. Scorer of the most celebrated goal of my life time. Played a monumental 219 games for the Club despite looking (and running) like a 40 year old.
3 – Ian Sampson. Club legend. The fact that he played 392 games without ever making a mistake I can remember gets him on the list at number 3. Mr Consistency.
2 – Adebayo Akinfenwa. Oh why did you have to leave us, the number 1 spot could have been yours!!!! Power house forward who is missed more and more with every passing game we play. An impressive 37 goals in the 88 games he played for us.
1 – Jamie Forrester. MY FAVOURITE EVER COBBLERS PLAYER. Joined us on loan and marked his debut with a fabulous goal, the kind of effort that would become the norm during his time here. Scorer of more Cobblers goals than anyone else on the list…. Just a class act.
If you liked this check out Danny Brothers’ fond remembrance of the 1996-7 Cobblers that appeared a few days ago.