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 Post subject: RANDOM NOTES ON OLD PLAYERS - CRAIG BOARDMAN
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:03 pm 
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there would been no chance of Craig being anything but a footballer, when your granddad and dad were both pro's.

George Boardman senior played for Partick Thistle for a number of years, famously scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over Celtic and then playing against Rangers in the 1930 final. He joined Bradford Park Avenue but never made a first team appearance and then returned to Scotland to play for Nairn County. He also played for a Glasgow team called Ashfield before joining Partick. George Boardman junior played for Queens Park and Scotland Amateurs (alongside Peter Lorimer and Peter Cormack) before turning pro with Shrewsbury Town, where he played alongside Shrewsbury's player manager Arthur Rowley the all time record Football League goalscorer and Frank Clarke, older brother of Leeds & England striker Allan Clarke. George later played for Barnsley where injury pretty much ended his career though he did play for St Johnstone and Buxton for a while.

Craig Boardman was born in Barnsley in 1970. How he joined Nottingham Forest is perhaps an apocryphal story. His dad George junior was scouting for Barnsley at the time and apparently Barnsley FC were not happy that Craig had opted to join Nottingham Forest rather than Barnsley, so they sacked George as scout. Clearly I can't prove that tale one way or the other but I understand George later scouted for Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur. If it is true, it's a strange attitude for Barnsley to take, you got a young kid making his mind up, do I join a mid table Division 2 side with no money or do I join one of the biggest teams in the Division 1 with a legendary manager, a realistic chance of winning trophies and a chance to play international football. I think the American phrase is "a no brainer".

Cloughy had taken over Nottingham Forest in 1975 after the now notorious 44 days at Leeds. Within 2 years Forest had been promoted back to Division 1, won the league title at the first attempt, smashed Leeds' record of going a full year without losing a game, then won not one but two European Cups. After a couple of quiet years, Cloughy re-invented the side as an attacking side with a penchant for doing well in the domestic cups. But Cloughy was no gung ho up and at them attacking coach, he did like a strong defence and when Craig made his one and only first team appearance, Forest could call on Des Walker, Steve Chettle, Carl Tiler and Darren Wassall at centre back, with Roy Keane and Terry Wilson in midfield occasionally doubling up at centre back if needed. Full backs were equally well covered with Brian Laws, Gary Charles, Stuart Pearce and Brett Williams.

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 Post subject: Re: RANDOM NOTES ON OLD PLAYERS - CRAIG BOARDMAN
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:18 pm 
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Craig's one game in the first team was in the 1991-92 season in a League Cup tie at Bolton Wanderers and he came on as a sub for Roy Keane, no less. Forest winning 4-0. Forest went onto reach the League Cup final, losing to Manchester United at Wembley. Forest also won the last ever ZDS Cup, beating Southampton 3-2 at Wembley and in the FA Cup they reached the Quarter Finals, losing to Portsmouth. At the end of the season, Des Walker transferred to Sampdoria while early on in the 1992-93 season Teddy Sheringham was transferred to Tottenham Hotspur. The 1992-93 season was a disaster for Forest, they were relegated and Brian Clough resigned after 18 years in charge.

In the summer of 1993, Craig joined Peterborough United in Division 1 and managed by former Luton player Lil Fuccillo. Division One clubs at that time entered the Anglo Italian Cup and the English clubs would play each other in groups before the group winners qualified for the international stage where they would play clubs from the Italian Serie B. It was an unpopular competition, it had been abandoned in the early 70's due to violence, and the resurrected tournament was going the same way, with Birmingham in particular being involved in a very bad tempered match which spilled over into the crowd. For the 1993-94 competition, Peterborough were in the same group as Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion, Posh beat Leicester 4-3 and then Leicester drew 0-0 with West Brom, so all Posh had to now was not lose at West Brom and they would qualify for the International stage. However, Posh fielded pretty much a weakened side, Craig made his debut as did a few others, and only few regular first teamers were in the team. West Brom won 3-1. West Brom went onto meet Pescara, Padova, Fiorentina and Cosenza, but didn't qualify for the quarter finals. The interesting 'what if' there is Fiorentina, they had just been relegated from Serie A and amongst their players was an Argentine called Gabriel Batistuta, who later became a legend in Italian football and was Argentina's all time record scorer until Lionel Messi turned up.

Craig left Peterborough after only playing that one match and signed for Halifax Town in November 1993.

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 Post subject: Re: RANDOM NOTES ON OLD PLAYERS - CRAIG BOARDMAN
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:35 pm 
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As mentioned in the piece on Lee Bracey, Halifax were managed by Peter Wragg. He was replaced by former Newcastle centre half, John Bird in January 1994 and Halifax finished 13th. Craig played 28 games and other Halifax players with OTFC connections included Simon Collins (on loan from Huddersfield), Shaun Constable, Ryan Gray and Dave Hanson.

In 1994-95, Craig played 33 games and I think he may have been their player of the year. Halifax finished 8th. Also playing for Halifax this season with later OTFC connections were Paul Fleming and Noel Horner.

In 1995, Craig joined Scarborough, playing in Division 3 and managed by former Sheffield United midfielder Ray McHale. Craig made his debut v Exeter City but he struggled with injuries all season, making only 12 appearances in all. Mitch Cook replaced McHale during the season. Craig's last game was at the end of the season away at Gillingham, who were celebrating promotion in front of a rare 10,000 crowd.

In 1996-97, Craig played for Stalybridge Celtic in the Conference, Craig played 45 games and Stalybridge finished 13th. also playing for Stalybridge was ex Ossett Town striker Dean Trott, who played 33 games.

In 1997-98 Craig played 4 games for Halifax in their Conference championship season, he later played for Sheffield FC before joining Ossett Town in January 1999 as one of Gary Brook's first signings. A strong header of the ball, but a relaxed style and manner helped calm everyone down in the run in to promotion to the NPL. He was very rarely flustered, he was sent off in his first game against Armthorpe Welfare who had a 6 foot 5 striker, the only other times I saw Craig get angry was at the end of the 1999-2000 season when Witton needed a win to get promotion and one of their forwards was diving all over the place and also at Matlock when tangling with Mr Norbury. to be fair, even the Pope would get medieval if he had Norbury's elbow in his mouth.

Craig left us during the disastrous 2002-03 season, it was rumoured he joined Frickley Athletic but I never heard his name mentioned again. I got the impression he was fed up with football, but there again he was a laid back character, so who knows?

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