Lest We Forget

Posted by on Aug 24, 2009 in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

One of last week’s more interesting stories was that of Ipswich ‘keeper Shane Supple’s decision to quit football at the tender age of 22. The young Irishman’s reluctance to stick it out after a hapless few years will have no doubt provoked some derision on the forums, but he is not the first player to have, quote, “fallen out of love with the game”, and nor will he be the last. While millions of us can’t get enough of it (and if we actually can, Sky will always be there to remind us of its perpetual wonder), one has to empathise with Supple’s voluntary exit. A bit-part squaddie, the Irishman was overlooked on countless times in favour of Lewis Price, Neil Alexander, Stephen Bywater and Richard Wright, and he seems to have been kept on purely to provide cheap and ready cover from the bench.

The final straw probably came when Jim Magilton decided to replace Supple as best second best ‘keeper by bringing in Bartosz BiaÅ‚kowski on loan at the end of last season. Literally frozen out by being sent to that infamous ice rink Boundary Park on loan, Supple must have spent the summer weighing up whether a reasonable if not spectacular wage was really worth living out of a bag in a Greater Manchester Travelodge. His negative decision reminded me of Wayne Quinn, the ex-Blades, Newcastle and West Ham full-back, worth as much as £800,000 in 2001, who at 28 years old decided to join Step 7 Cornish side Hayle F.C after being released by the Hammers. Flatly turning down overtures from Plymouth, Quinn showed that, like with Supple, Colin Bailie, Darren Bastow and many others, this high-pressured and unforgiving game isn’t what it’s always cut out to be.

Who’ll be next?

is co-editor of The Two Unfortunates. He's 31, supports Plymouth Argyle and takes a particular interest in the fortunes of those Football League clubs west of Bristol. He tweets @lloydlangman.


  1. Jack Mayflower
    August 24, 2009

    Well, there's Simon Walton down at Plymouth. As we all know, nothing freezes down in the Westcountry. The parlance down this way for the cold shoulder is “Guinaned”, so named after the last player at the club to be shown the way to go home.
    Walton has been sidelined and humiliated by his ommission from the first team squad, regularly trains with the youngsters, and looks to have found himself cast adrift for the length of Paul Sturrock's tenure. However, young Walton, with lots of “previous”, eight of them to be precise, has shown no signs yet of Supple intentions, but then his wages are reputed to be a little more than reasonable.

  2. Ben
    August 25, 2009

    Wayne Quinn – now there's a player I'd forgotten (or had tried to forget successfully). Thanks a bunch for reminding me…

  3. Lloyd
    August 26, 2009

    Watch what you say: along with Nigel Martyn and Matty Etherington, he's been one of Cornwall's best exports in recent memory!

    Walton has been well and truly Guinaned. I doubt he'll get a game at Argyle again as, like with Sean Goater at Reading a few years ago, we'll have to pay QPR a further 250k if he does. A shame to see him rot away when we're paying him well, but he's looked unfit and overrated in every game that I've seen him play.

    I think that goalkeepers probably suffer the most, though. There's only 92 spots available (in the League, at least) and most clubs only want a young and cheap reserve goalkeeper in the mould of Supple (or Lloyd Saxton in Argyle's case). Now and again they may emerge, but with 'keepers often playing on until their late 30s, opportunites are hard to come by.

  4. Matt R
    August 27, 2009

    Nathan Ellington quit playing football. I think it happened just after we pissed £3.5m on him two years ago…

  5. Lanterne Rouge
    August 27, 2009

    Just heard the McAnuff and Rasiak news – not sure these guys are going to get Reading out of the relegation area although the way McAnuff turned round under Rodgers last
    season might be a good sign. Champagne corks are hardly popping though – and nobody can blame Smith for taking the Pompey dollar. It's also interesting to see others we thought might be on their way to Reading – Cork and Bridcutt end up at Coventry and Stockport respectively.

  6. Lloyd
    August 27, 2009

    I was really quite surprised by those signings. Kebe, Robson-Kanu and Henry are all quite capable on the wing, so I'm not sure about the need for McAnuff. As for Rasiak, that could probably go either way. It seems that every team in this league needs a big man up top these days.

    Feel a bit sorry for Watford now. Priskin, Smith and McAnuff all gone — it reminds me of Argyle in the January 2008 transfer window.

  7. Lanterne Rouge
    August 27, 2009

    But they still have young Jenkins and Graham has started well.


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