Players from the Past

On this page we take a look at some of the outstanding footballers to have come out of Shropshire over the years.

Jake Jervis

JAKE JERVIS (THOMAS TELFORD SCHOOL)

Jake is a striker who started his career at Championship side Birmingham City. He made his debut as a substitute in a 2-1 away victory against Everton in January 2010. In the 2010-11 season Jake went on a monthh`s loan to Hereford United. He scored on his debut in a 2-0 victory against Bradford City. In his next game he converted a penalty in a 2-1 win at Chesterfield. In August 2011 Jake appeared as a a substitute in the second leg of an Europa Lague tie against Nacional Madeira of Portugal which Birmingham won 3-0. He was loaned to Swindon Town a month later and scored 5 goals in 14 appearances for the League Two side. In January 2012 Jake joined Preston North End on a month`s loan and scored on his debut in a 1-1 draw away to Rochdale. He returned to Birmingham having scored twice in five appearances for the League One side. Jake appeared as a late substitute in the FA Cup 5th round tie against Chelsea where Birmingham secured a creditable 1-1 draw. In August 2012 Jake joined Carlisle United on a month`s loan and scored in a 4-2 win against Portsmouth.IN 2012-13 Jake joined Elizagspor in Turkey`s premier league on a three and a half year deal with the chance of playing against teams such as Galatasaray and players of the calibre of Didier Drogba., After a short spell at Portsmouth Jake joined Ross County in the Scottish Premier League before agreeing a one-year contract with League Two club Plymouth Argyle in June 2015 where he linked up again with manager Derek Adams who had signed him for Ross County.  He scored his first goal for the Pilgrims in a 4-1 win over Carlisle United on 18th August 2015. Jake was a part of the Plymouth team that won promotion to the League One as he played 49 times, scoring 13 goals in the process. Then on the 31st January 2018, Jake made the switch to promotion chasing League Two side Luton Two for an undisclosed fee, where he has signed a two and a half year deal. Then in August 2018 it was announced that Jake was joining fellow League One rivals AFC Wimbledon on a season long loan. After his loan spell came to an end back to parent club Luton Town. In September 2019, it was announced that Jake was joining newly promoted League 2 side Salford City on a season long loan. In his loan spell at Salford City, Jake made 20 appearances and scored 4 goals for the club. Following his loan spell he went back to parent club Luton Town. He then left Luton Town on 19th August 2020 on a free transfer to Finnish side SJK until the end of the season. At the end of the season, Jake extended his contract with the Finnish Club until the end of the 2022 season. Currently Jake has made 35 appearances for the club where he has scored 11 times. At the end of his contract Jake joined Indian side East Bengal. Since then he has gone on to play for KuPS in Finland and more recently joined National League North side Brackley Town in December 2023.

scott brown

SCOTT BROWN (THOMAS TELFORD)

Scott attended the Thomas Telford School and was a product of Wolverhampton Wanderers Youth Academy. He is currently first-choice goalkeeper for Cheltenham Town, having previously been on the staff of Bristol City. Scott joined Cheltenham in the 2005-06 season. He was made  first-choice  goalkeeper in the 2009-10 season and performed heroically to help Cheltenham scrape away from relegation to the Football Conference, albeit on the last day of the season. Scott received universal praise after a fine performance against Tottenham in the 3rd round of the FA Cup at White Hart Lane in January 2012. As season 2013-14 drew to a close Scott remained first choice goalkeeper for Cheltenham. In the summer of 2014 Scott joined Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen before joining Wycombe Wanderers in July 2016. A loan spell at Eastleigh followed before a loan move back to Cheltenham Town in the January 2017 transfer window. After his loan spell at Cheltenham Town, Scott moved to Port Vale in May 2018 where he signed a two year contract. After making 129 appearances for Port Vale, Scott was released at the end of the 2020/21 season. On 9th June 2021, Scott signed for fellow League 2 side Exeter City on a two year deal as a player-coach.

matt done

MATT DONE (THE MARCHES)

Matt attended Marches School and Technology College in his home town of Oswestry. He started his career at Wrexham in 2006/07. One of his most memorable contributions was scoring against Sheffield Wednesday in a 4-1 League Cup victory. In May 2008 Wrexham were relegated to the Football Conference and Matt decided to continue his playing career in the Football League with Hereford United. He signed for League one newcomers Rochdale on 31 July 2010. On 21 June 2011 Matt joined Championship side Barnsley.In January 2013 Matt moved to Edinburgh and joined Scottish Premier League side Hibernian on a loan deal until the end of the season. In September 2014 Matt scored a hat-tick in the league soon after his return to Rochdale in a 5-2 victory against Crewe Alexandra in August 2014.  In February 2015 Matt left Rochdale to join Sheffield United for an undisclosed fee on a two and a half year deal.  On 10th February 2015, Done scored on his Blades debut in a 4-1 home victory over Colchester United. Matt spent two years at the South Yorkshire outfit where he won promotion to the Championship before having his contract mutually terminated at the end of that season. In July 2017, Matt returned to Rochdale for his third spell at the club where he signed a two year deal. In June 2019, Matt signed a new two year deal at the club. In June 2021, Matt signed a new one year deal at the club.

craig davies

CRAIG DAVIES (BRJ & PHOENIX SCHOOL, TELFORD)

Craig Davies was born in Burton on the 30th July 1986 and attended the BRJ and Phoenix schools in Telford. Craig joined Shrewsbury Town Centre of Excellence in 1999 and quickly developed into a promising centre forward. His talents were spotted by Manchester City who negotiated a transfer from Shrewsbury C of Excellence to the Man City Academy at age of 16. He was not to make his debut for the City but in 2004 he signed for Oxford United and in his very first season netted 8 goals in 23 games. One year later he took the European tour, joining Verona in the Italian league but after one season he re-joined English football when he signed a loan deal to Wolves in 2006 making six full appearances. He signed for Oldham Athletic in 2007, scoring on hid debut and making 44 appearances. Following a loan spell at Stockport, he joined Brighton & Hove Albion in January 2009 where he is now a First Team regular. He has 6 Welsh international caps.

He sored 23 goals for Chesterfield in League Two in 2010-2011 and was tranferred to Barnsley in summer 2011. Craig is currently scoring freely in the Championship for Barnsley under the stewardship of Keith Hill. In September2012 Craig scored 4 goals in an emphatic 5-0 victory away to Birmingham City at St Andrews. He returned to the Welsh squad and appeared as a substitute in the Gareth Bale inspired 2-1 victory in the World Cup Qualifier at the Cardiff City stadium in October 2012. In January 2013 Craig became Dougie Freedman`s first signing at Bolton Wanderers costing £300,000. In season 2013-14 Craig joined Preston North End on loan. At the start of season 2014-15 Craig was back leading the line for Bolton Wanderers, before joining Wigan Athletic in July 2015 whom he left to join Scunthorpe United in January 2017. Davies spent five months at Scunthorpe before re-joining fellow League One side Oldham Athletic for his second spell. Following the 2017-18 season where he scored 11 times in 40 games he moved to Mansfield Town in the summer of 2018 for an undisclosed fee and signed a two year contract. In the summer of 2020 after making 19 appearances and scoring 2 goals over the two years he spent at the club, Craig was released from Mansfield Town. He is currently a free agent.

Billy Jones

BILLY JONES (BELVIDERE SCHOOL) 

Billy Jones was born in Shrewsbury and attended Belvidere School. He made his League debut for Crewe Alexandra at the age of 16 in October 2003 and has played regularly ever since. He has England caps at Under-16 and Under-17 (both as captain) and also at Under-19 and Under-20 levels. After 132 appearances for Crewe, Billy joined Preston North End in 2007 and  became a First Team regular at Deepale. Billy was voted Player of the year for Preston inseason 2010-2011. He secured a transfer to West Bromwich Albion and became a Premier League player in June 2011 on a three year contract. Currently first choce full back for WBA in the Premier League in seasons 2012-13 and 2013-14. As WBA attempted to avoid relegation from the Premiership Billy had a significant part to play towards the conclusion of the 2013-14 season. He made 22 Premier League appearances in 2013-14 for WBA, but in the summer of 2014 Billy signed a four year deal with fellow Premiership side Sunderland under the management of Gus Poyet. Following his release from Sunderland after the 2017-18 where the side were relegated to League One, he joined newly promoted Championship side Rotherham United on a two year contract for a free transfer. In July 2020, Billy signed a new one year deal at the Championship club. On 21st January 2021, Billy re-joined Crewe Alexandra on loan until the end of the season, where he has since featured three times. After making 36 appearances for Rotherham, Billy was released at the end of the 2020/21 season. He is currently a free agent.

Danny Guthrie

DANNY GUTHRIE (THOMAS TELFORD SCHOOL)

Born in Shrewsbury, Danny attended Thomas Telford School with whom he won a number of County titles. He was at the Manchester United Academy until the age of 15 when he joined Liverpool, making his debut as a substitute in the Carling Cup against Reading in October 2006 and then starting for the first time in a UEFA Champions League match at Galatasaray in December. He was loaned to Southampton for the later stages of the 2006-07 season spent 2007-08 on loan at Bolton Wanderers before securing a permanent move to Newcastle United in Summer 2008, the fee believed to be in the region of £2.5 million. He played over 80 games for Newcastle, helping them gain promotion to the Premiership and scored 6 goals for the club. He featured in midfield in the successes against Everton and Stoke City and was credited for a man of the match performance against QPR. Danny joined Premiership newcomers Reading in the summer of 2012 and played regularly in the midfield for the Berkshire club in the Championship during 2013-14 before signing a two-year deal with Blackburn Rovers following a successful trial in August 2015.  He made his debut six days later in a 1-2 home defeat to Shrewsbury Town in the first round of the League Cup. After spending a two year spell at the club, Danny left in the summer of 2017 and joined Indonesian Liga 1 side Mitra Kukar. After making 30 appearances for the club, Danny joined League 2 side Walsall in July 2019. After making 39 appearances for the club where he scored 1 goal, Danny left Walsall and signed for Icelandic side Fram.

KYLE BENNETT (Thomas Telford School)

Kyle is the younger brother of Elliott and is an attacking midfielder known for blistering pace and close ball control. He signed for Wolves in September 2007, but later joined League Two Bury in August 2010 and in that month he made his league debut against Port Vale. Kyle scored his first two goals in a 3-1 win against Crewe in February 2011. In July 2011 he moved to Doncaster Rovers during their 2014-15 League One campaign before moving to Portsmouth in May 2015.  He signed a two year contract, becoming Paul Cook’s first signing as manager.  On 8th August 2015 Kyle made his Portsmouth debut at home to Dagenham & Redbridge, scoring twice and assisting Gareth Evans. Kyle racked up over 100 appearances at the South Coast club before having his contract mutually terminated on January 31st 2018. Then on 1st February 2018 he then signed for League 1 side Bristol Rovers. After 17 appearances and 3 goals for the club, on 31st January 2019 he joined Swindon Town on loan until the end of the season. Following his loan move to Swindon Town where he made 15 appearances and scoring 4 goals he rejoined with his parent club Bristol Rovers. On the 8th October 2020, Kyle joined Grimsby Town on a season long loan. After leaving Bristol Rovers, Kyle joined National League North side AFC Telford United in August 2021.

DAVE EDWARDS (Mary Webb School)

David Edwards joined Shrewsbury Town on leaving school and made his First Team debut as a substitute against Scunthorpe on the final day of the 2002/03 season. He established a regular place in the Town team and as a Welsh Under-19 and Under-21 international. He joined Luton Town in summer 2007 and made his debut for the Full Wales international team on 17th November 2007 against the Republic of Ireland at the Millennium Stadium. His first start for Wales came a few days later in a heroic goalless draw against Germany in Frankfurt. In January 2008 he joined Wolverhampton Wanderers and was a member of the Squad which won promotion to the Premier League in 2009. By the summer of 2009 he had 14 full Welsh international caps. His all-action style has resulted in several fine performances, but few can have given him more pleasure than scoring in a 2-1 win against Manchester City past his fellow Salopian and good friend Joe Hart in season 2010-11. David played in midfield against Belgium and Serbia in the World Cup qualifiers in September 2012. He was in outstanding form for Wolves in the latter part of season 2013-14 as Wolves were crowned League One Champions.  Dave was also an integral part of the Wales squad that qualified for the 2016 European Championships. Dave spent nine years at the Championship side where he made well over 250 appearances until he left the club in August 2017 and joined fellow Championship side Reading on a free transfer. Dave spent 18 months at the Championship side where he made 32 appearances until he left the club in January 2019 to re-sign for his boyhood league 1 side Shrewsbury Town. Dave made his second debut for the club as a substitute in a 3-0 defeat to Charlton Athletic. After making 66 appearances in his second spell at Shrewsbury, Dave was released at the end of the 2020/21 season. On 10th June 2021, Dave joined League of Wales side Bala Town. Dave made his Bala debut in the Europa Conference League first round tie against Northern Irish side Larne in July 2021.

Dave Edwards

SCOTT RUSCOE (Belvidere School)

Scott is an accomplished midfielder who joined Newtown in the League of Wales in 1997. In 2000 he joined Chester in the Conference before switching his allegiance to TNS in January 2002. He was selected for the Welsh semi-professional side that won the Four Nations trophy in 2004. Named in the League`s dream team in both 2004/5 and 2005/6 Scott is a member of the coaching and playing staff at New Saints(formerly TNS). He holds the record for appearances in European competitions for League of Wales players and has appeared against teams of the calibre of Liverpool. His appearance in the 1-0 loss against Slovan Bratislava in the 2014 Champions League was his 30th in European competitions.

ROB EDWARDS (Thomas Telford School)

Rob Edwards was born in Telford and attended Thomas Telford School. He joined Aston Villa for whom he made his debut in the 2002-03 season, making 8 appearances before being loaned to Crystal Palace and Derby County. He moved to Wolves for £225,000 in July 2004 and became a first team regular. However, following an injury hit season in 2007-08, he moved to Blackpool and became a regular in their First Team. By the summer of 2009, he had 15 full Welsh international caps. After a brief spell at Norwich, Rob joined Barnsley in July 2011 and has made several appearances in the Championship team`s defence during season 2011-12. In January 2013 Rob returned to Shropshire and joined Shrewsbury Town in League One on a month`s loan.In the summer of 2014 Rob had decided to hang up his boots and was subsequently appointed the manager of Tranmere Rovers for season 2014-15.

Rob was a late developer in professional football and achieved a degree in Sports Science at Worcester University. He has since played over 100 times for Port Vale. Rob plays on the left flank and is known for his pace and dribbling ability. He signed with Port Vale in August 2008, having previously represented Nuneaton Borough, and soon became a regular in the 2008-09 campaign.He became an integral part of the Port Vale set-up in succeeding seasons, but had been recently sidelined with an achilles problem. Rob left Port Vale in August 2014 after a six year spell and joined League Two club Mansfield Town.  He later joined Tranmere Rovers in January 2015 and is currently plying his trade for Kidderminster Harriers.

Rob was a late developer in professional football and achieved a degree in Sports Science at Worcester University. He has since played over 100 times for Port Vale. Rob plays on the left flank and is known for his pace and dribbling ability. He signed with Port Vale in August 2008, having previously represented Nuneaton Borough, and soon became a regular in the 2008-09 campaign.He became an integral part of the Port Vale set-up in succeeding seasons, but had been recently sidelined with an achilles problem. Rob left Port Vale in August 2014 after a six year spell and joined League Two club Mansfield Town.  He later joined Tranmere Rovers in January 2015 and is currently plying his trade for Kidderminster Harriers.

ROB TAYLOR (Bridgnorth Endowed)

Rob was a late developer in professional football and achieved a degree in Sports Science at Worcester University. He has since played over 100 times for Port Vale. Rob plays on the left flank and is known for his pace and dribbling ability. He signed with Port Vale in August 2008, having previously represented Nuneaton Borough, and soon became a regular in the 2008-09 campaign.He became an integral part of the Port Vale set-up in succeeding seasons, but had been recently sidelined with an achilles problem. Rob left Port Vale in August 2014 after a six year spell and joined League Two club Mansfield Town.  He later joined Tranmere Rovers in January 2015 and is currently plying his trade for Kidderminster Harriers.

ANDY COOKE (Grove School, Market Drayton) 

Andy was born in Shrewsbury on the 20th January 1974 but received his education in Market Drayton. A highly rated player within the county he found his way to Newtown in Mid Wales. He became a prolific scorer for Newtown and soon moved to Burnley, scoring 52 goals in 134 appearances. In January 2000 he moved to Stoke City where he scored 21 goals in 71 games. After two years playing in South Korea between 2003 and 2005, Andy returned to England with Bradford City, scoring 8 times in 41 appearances. Following a short loan spell with Darlington, he joined his home town club Shrewsbury Town in 2006, scoring two crucial goals in the Play-Off semi-final at MK Dons which secured a Wembley appearance in May 2007.

PAUL JONES (Adams School, Wem)

Born in Chirk but educated in Shropshire, goalkeeper Paul Jones had a long and distinguished career in which he represented Kidderminster, Wolves, Stockport, Southampton, Liverpool, Watford, Millwall and Queen’s Park Rangers. He played for Southampton in the 2003 FA Cup Final and won 50 Welsh international caps.

PETE WILDING (Meole Brace)

A versatile player, Pete Wilding moved from the local leagues, via Newtown and Telford United, to join Shrewsbury Town in 1997 and make 229 appearances in a six year career in league football. The highlights of his career was unquestionably the FA Cup giant-killing of Premier League Everton in January 2003, when Pete marked a young Wayne Rooney with considerable success, and the subsequent Fourth Round tie at home to Chelsea.

ROGER PREECE

Shropshire Lad, born in Much Wenlock Roger Preece signed for Coventry City initially but joined Wrexham as a full time professional in 1986. He he spent four seasons at the Racecourse before moving on to local rivals Chester City where he stayed for six seasons, his best season being 1993 when Chester finished second in the old Third Division. He left Chester and played non league football with Southport and Telford United for a couple years before Jake King brought him to Gay Meadow where he would enjoy another three seasons of league football. In total Roger made 300 appearances in the Football League and scored 18 goals.

DAVID JOHNSON (Burton Borough School)

David Johnson was actually born in Kingston, Jamaica. He attended the Burton Borough School in Newport where he was to bring substantial honours as a schoolboy international. By 1990 David was a regular member of the Telford & District Schools’ and Shropshire teams. His performances had attracted the attention of football league clubs and the English Schools Football Association. He signed schoolboy forms for Manchester United and played for England Schoolboys in 1990 with a particularly sparkling performance at Wembley. History was to be made in terms of schools football in Shropshire when at the age of sixteen, during his final year at Burton Borough, David represented English Schools U18 Xl. It came as no surprise when two years later, David signed professional for Manchester United. Serious injury was to affect his immediate progress with United and in 1995 he moved on to Bury where in two seasons he made 72 appearances and weighed in with 18 goals. But in 1997 his career was re-kindled with a move to Ipswich where he enjoyed enormous success over four seasons with 121 appearances and 57 goals, making his Premier League debut in the process. In 2000 he moved on to Nottingham Forest where he remained a regular goal scorer with a further 112 appearances and 46 goals. He also managed three loan spells with Sheffield Wednesday; Burnley and Sheffield United whilst with Forest.

KEVIN SEABURY (Priory School)

Kevin Seabury represented the Shropshire Schools Under-19 team whilst still only 16 and joined Shrewsbury Town straight from school at 16 years old. He remained a town player for ten seasons, making his debut in April 1993 and eventually making 258 League and Cup appearances for his home town club. He now looks after the future stars with coaching responsibility within the club’s Centre of Excellence for the Under 15’s – full circle for a terrific loyal servant to the club.

STEVE PERKS (William Brookes School) 

Goalkeeper Steve Perks was another player who represented Shropshire Schools Under-19 when still only 16. He joined Shrewsbury Town on leaving school and made his debut in the 1981-82 season. However, it was not until 1984 that he became regular first choice keeper, a role he fulfilled for 8 seasons, making 243 league appearances. Steve still lives locally and was one of Shrewsbury Town’s finest servants.

WAYNE WILLIAMS (Charlton School). 

Wayne Williams played for the Shropshire Schools U19 team whilst still a Year 11 (Under-16) pupil. On leaving school, he joined Shrewsbury Town, making his debut in the League Cup at just 17 years old in 1982. He was soon a first team regular and enjoyed a further seven seasons with the Town, making a total of 289 appearances and earning the nick name of ‘bomber’ for his exhilarating runs down the wing. He left Shrewsbury in 1989 to join Northampton Town.

DALIAN ATKINSON (Wrockwardine Wood School)

Dalian Atkinson was born in Shrewsbury but grew up in Telford, attending the Wrockwardine Wood School. During his years at school, other schools in the county dreaded being drawn against Wrockwardine in the cup competitions. A natural athlete with awesome pace, his capacity to win the game with moments of magic became commonplace. The connection between Bob Ellis and Bobby Robson at Ipswich Townwas to bear good results for Dalian and he signed professional for the club in January 1985. He spent four seasons with the club making 49 appearances and scoring on 18 occasions. In 1989 he moved on to Sheffield Wednesday for a substantial fee and in one season made 38 appearances with 10 goals. He then took in the European tour and moved to Real Sociadad for two seasons but returned to English football when he joined Aston Villa iib 1991. Re-juvenated, Dalian had a wonderful period at the Villa with several sensational goals including Match of the Day winners but in 1995 he set off for Turkey, joining Fenerbache. However, the following season he was back in English football once again, this time with Manchester City, where in 1996 he made just seven appearances with a return of two goals. There then followed a succession of spells with overseas clubs beginning with South Korea. A Shropshire lad, he had enormous talent and enjoyed an illustrious career.

Dalian Atkinson
Paul Bracewell

PAUL BRACEWELL (Blessed Robert Johnson School. Wellington)

Top of the Hall of Fame for boys from Shropshire Schools FA is undoubtedly Paul Bracewell, a superb professional and wonderful role model for any aspiring young footballer. Though not of Shropshire birth he was to receive his secondary education at the Bob Ellis Football Academy within the Blessed Robert Johnson (BRJ) School in Wellington. He signed professional for Stoke City in 1980 and during the following three seasons would play 123 games. He was transferred to Sunderland in 1983 and in his opening season played 38 games. In May 1984 he moved to Everton where, in the following four seasons, he established himself at the highest level, winning Championship medals both at home and in Europe and gaining full caps with England. In his first season with Howard Kendall’s side Everton won the First Division Championship and entered Europe. In the following season they finished second. After winning 3 England caps, he was then hit by serious injury, missing a whole season. In August 1989 he returned to Sunderland where he experienced both promotion and relegation in successive seasons. In June 1992 he made the short journey to Tyneside signing for Newcastle United where he played in the newly formed Premiership. His form remained outstanding and in the three seasons with Newcastle he would gain a Championship league medal.. In 1995 he moved back for the third occasion to Sunderland where he once again won promotion to the Premiership. In October 1997 he would make the move to Fulham where in his second season he guided them to the championship of the Second Division playing in 26 games. He was briefly Manager of Fulham and later of Halifax Town. An astonishing career of 569 league appearances and 22 goals plus four league championship medals, European medals and full international caps.

DAVID PREECE (Oldbury Wells School, Bridgnorth)

David Preece was a diminutive player who joined the ranks of those boys who represented Shropshire at both U15 and U18 levels. He attended the Oldbury Wells School in Bridgnorth and became one of those rare players to represent the U18 side whilst only 15 years of age. He signed professional for Walsall in 1980 and thus began a career that would span twenty years. He spent played 107 games for Walsall with a return of five goals and joined Luton Town in 1984, where he stayed for eleven season playing 328 games, including the 1988 League Cup Final when Luton defeated Arsenal at Wembley. At 32 years of age he transferred to Derby County in 1995 and had loan spells with Birmingham and Swindon before transferring to Cambridge United in June 1996. He spent four seasons with Cambridge before finally joining Torquay United as a player in October 2001 and managed four further games. Some will remember his brief spell coaching with Telford and previous coaching position at Cambridge United but it is his long and successful career as a player which at this stage is worthy of praise. In a career spanning two decades (1980-2001) David amassed in excess of 500 league games and, within the Shropshire Schools & Colleges FA Hall of Fame, remains one of the great midfield players emanating from the county. Sadly he died in July 2007, aged 44.

David Preece

LEE ROBERTS (Grove School)

Shropshire Lad born in Market Drayton and attended Grove School. Joined Shrewsbury town in 1973 from school, signing professional in January 1975. Stayed with the club until 1977 making fourteen appearances during a very successful period for Shrewsbury where opportunities for a young professional were limited. He moved to Exeter City in 1977 where his career blossomed for the next six seasons, making 135 appearances and scoring twelve goals.

TERRY HUGHES (Belvidere)

Born in Llanidloes in 1953, so not quite a Shropshire Lad but he did receive his education in Shrewsbury at the Belvidere School. A promising centre forward who represented his county and joined Harry Gregg at Shrewsbury upon leaving school in 1969. He signed professional in January 1971 and by the time he was twenty he had made 66 appearances in town colours and had scored 22 goals.

PAUL BEVAN (Meole Brace)

Born in October 1952 in Shrewsbury and attended Meole Brace school. Signed as a professional on his 18th birthday by Harry Gregg in 1970 and made 66 appearances in three seasons with one goal to his credit. Followed Harry Gregg to Swansea City where over the next two seasons he made 77 appearances scoring five goals. In January 1975 he signed for Crewe where he stayed for five seasons making 170 appearances and scoring on seven occasions. After Crewe he went into non league football with Worcester City.

TED HEMSLEY

Born in Stoke in Trent but educated in Bridgnorth. Talented sportsman who had a distinguished career both on the football pitch and cricket square. Signed for Shrewsbury under Arthur Rowley in 1960 and made his debut one year later. He spent eight seasons with Shrewsbury until 1968, playing in 233 games and scoring 22 goals. He moved to Sheffield United with Arthur Rowley and spent nine successful seasons with the Blades playing in 247 games and scoring 7 goals. He moved to Doncaster in 1977 where he spent two seasons. He will also be remembered for this selection as opening batsman for England whilst in a long and distinguished career with Worcestershire.

PETER WALL (Pontesbury Secondary Modern, now Mary Webb School)

Peter Wall made his Shrewsbury Town debut in December 1963 against Wrexham and over the next two seasons made a total of 24 appearances before signing for Wrexham. When he signed for Liverpool from Wrexham, his career took off and he became a regular member of the Liverpool first team. He subsequently played for Crystal Palace and then spent a number of years in the United States, playing and coaching.

Terry Gennoe

TERRY GENNOE (Wakeman School)

Terry Gennoe was a goalkeeper who began his professional career at Bury and Halifax Town but made his name at Southampton, playing in the 1979 League Cup Final at Wembley. In 1981 he moved to Blackburn Rovers where he enjoyed the best years of his career and was mostly first choice until his final appearance in 1990 at 37 years of age. He became Blackburn Rovers goalkeeping coach and was later goalkeeping coach at Celtic.

CARLETON LEONARD (Oswestry Boys High School)

Carleton Leonard played for the Shropshire Schools U19s whilst still a 16 year old. He subsequently signed for Shrewsbury Town, making his debut in 1975 and going on to make 298 appearances in eight years at the club and figuring in the team that finished Champions of the old Third Division (now Leage One) in 1978-79. He joined Hereford United in 1983 but is now back with Shrewsbury Town, coaching in the Centre of Excellence.

JOHN PHILLIPS (Grange School)

Both John Phillips’ father and grandfather played League football so it was no surprise when, after attending the Grange School in Shrewsbury, he signed for Shrewsbury Town where he made his debut in goal in 1968 at the age of 16. He moved to Aston Villa and then to Chelsea where, despite acting mostly as understudy to Peter Bonetti, he played a crucial part in their European Cup Winners Cup victory in 1970/71, playing in both legs of the quarter and semi-finals. He made 149 appearances for Chelsea before later playing for Crewe, Brighton, Charlton and Crystal Palace. He also won 4 Welsh international caps.

DAVE POUNTNEY (Bashchurch School)

A real “local hero”, Dave Pountney made his debut for Shrewsbury Town in September 1957 and between 1957 and 1964 made a total of 271 appearances. In October 1963 he created history by becoming the first Shropshire born player to leave the club for a fee, joining Aston Villa for £20,000. He became a firm favourite and first team regular at Villa Park and later rejoined Shrewsbury Town, giving a further three years service. Dave remains a well known part of the town as a successful businessman and, when it comes to promoting football at grass roots level, he has made an incredible contribution over the years. We in the Shropshire Schools and Colleges FA are grateful for his support.

GERRY HITCHENS (Highley)

Born in 1934 in Kidderminster – but Gerry Hitchens lived and was educated in the county mining town of Highley in South Shropshire. It was whilst playing for the Highley Welfare Miners Football Team that he was spotted and he eventually found his way to Cardiff City, where at the age of 20 he signed professional. He had four seasons with them making 95 appearances and scoring 40 goals. Aston Villa moved in for his services and a further four seasons saw him make 132 league appearances for the Villa in which he scored 78 goals. At the age of 26 he signed for the Italian giants Inter Milan. The remainder of his professional career was spent in Italy and he went on to play for Torino; Atalanta; and Cagliari. Four years earlier John Charles (Leeds United and Wales) had moved to Juventus in 1956 to establish himself as a giant within the Italian game but by 1963 the ‘Gentle Giant’ would return to English football with Cardiff City for three seasons. After a similar success story of adapting to Italian football, Gerry also eventually returned to England where he played non league football for Worcester and Merthyr Tydfil.

BRIAN ‘CURLY’ EDGLEY (Monkmoor Boys’ School)

A local Shrewsbury lad, Curly Edgley signed for Shrewsbury Town in 1955. Starting as a winger, he later moved the then fashionable position of “deep lying centre-forward” and became a regular in the Town team from until 1960, playing in the side that won promotion from Division Four (now League 2) in 1959. In 1960 he was sold to First Division (Premier League) Cardiff City where he managed just one season and ten games (1 goal), before moving on to Brentford (one season) and Barnsley (one season). He then spent periods outside the league and played in South Africa and Australia.

Billy Wright

BILLY WRIGHT (Coalbrookdale High School)

Billy Wright was born in Ironbridge on the 6th January 1924 and would go on to be one of the legends of the English game of football. He is associated with Wolverhampton Wanderers and England. At Molineux a statue stands as tribute to his achievement in the world of football. He was a one club player joining Wolves in 1945 at the end of the war. He would play twelve consecutive seasons with the club amassing a total of 490 league games with a return of thirteen goals. On the international field Billy Wright would become a household name the world over, and as Captain of England he gained the magic one hundred caps during his career. An enormous achievement given that there were fewer internationals in those days.

One of the greats in English Football history.

REG FOULKES (Lancasterian School, Shrewsbury)

In 1938 whilst attending the Lancasterian School in Castlefields, Reg became the very first boy from Shrewsbury to play for the England Schoolboys. Whilst the war would delay his career as a professional footballer, he signed for Walsall FC in 1945 where he would play in the Third Division south for five consecutive seasons, playing in 160 games at Centre Half. In 1950 he transferred to Norwich City where he would have a further six consecutive seasons, playing another 216 games. During his career he also scored fourteen goals. He returned to live in Shrewsbury and can still be found watching Shrewsbury Town Football Club.

JOHN ‘JACKIE’ WASSALL (St. Michael’s Street School, Shrewsbury)

John ‘Jackie’ Wassall was born in Shrewsbury in 1917 and educated at St. Michael’s Street School in Ditherington, he began his football career with Wellington Town but was signed by Manchester United in 1935 where in his very first season they won the First Division Championship. After four years with United the outbreak of war put paid to his career in football though he did have a couple of seasons with Stockport County following the end of the war. How is he remembered as a striker? – Well he makes it into the Manchester United Hall of Fame.

WILLIAM OAKLEY (Shrewsbury School)

Born in Shrewsbury in 1873, Oakley played for five years in the Shrewsbury School 1st XI. The nineteenth century was an age when the amateur was an equal to the professional and he went on to represent Oxford University and the famous amateur Corinthians at full-back, whilst winning 16 full England caps between 1895 and 1901, including once as captain (v. Ireland in 1901) before injury forced his early retirement. An outstanding athlete, he also represented Great Britain in the long jump and hurdles against the United States in New York in 1895.

JOHN CHARLES HENRY (‘JCH’) BOWDLER (Shrewsbury School)

Bowdler played in Shrewsbury Town’s first ever FA Cup tie, at Macclesfield in 1887, whilst still at school, arrived late after missing a train but then contributed considerably to a 3-1 victory. He subsequently played for Wolves and Blackburn Rovers (the first man from Shrewsbury to play in the Football League), appeared in two FA Cup semi-finals and won 5 Welsh international caps. Though nominally an amateur, he used the money “acquired” through football to fund his training as a solicitor (in those days trainees were not paid) and eventually founded the local firm that still carries his name today (Lanyon Bowdler). He was subsequently both Secretary and Chairman of Shrewsbury Town FC and a member of the Shropshire FA, as well as serving on the Town Council and fighting in the First World War as a corporal in the Shropshire Regiment.

JOHNNY HANCOCKS (Oakengates)

A dimunitive figure who wore size 3 boots Johnny began his career with Wrekin Schools and played for Oakengates Town in the Birmingham League. In 1938 he turned professional and played a whole season for Walsall in the old Third Division South. With the outbreak of the Second World War Johnny played for the Army and representative sides representing Wrexham and Shrewsbury. In 1946 he joined Wolverhampton Wanderers. The transfer fee was £4,000 and his debut came in a 6-1 thrashing of Arsenal. His fine club form led to a call-up for England and he won  the first of a handful of  caps in a 6-0 defeat of Switzeland in Decmber 1948. Hancocks scored twice in that victory and also played against Wales and Yugoslavia. He would have enjoyed several more caps, but for the likes of Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney. His goals helped Wolves to their first ever league title in 1953/54 and played  in the 1949 FA Cup Final where Wolves  defeated Leicester City 3-1. He scored 168 goals in 378 appearances and is the club`s fourth highest goalscorer, but holds the club record for the most goals in the top division.

Johnny Hancocks

MIKE BERNARD (Monkmoor, now Belvidere School)

He was born in Shrewsbury and made his debut for Stoke City in 1965/66 for whom he made 135 Football League appearances including the 1972 Football League Cup Final. He was transferred to Everton in April 1972 for £140,000. A combative midfielder and full back he made 171 senior appearances for Everton including one in the first replay of the 1977 Football League Cup Final. Mike scored 8 goals for Everton, before being transferred to Oldham Athletic in July 1977. He made 6 appearances for Oldham before injury curtailed his career.

JASON BARNETT (Ercall Wood Technology College)

Jason attended Ercall Wood Technology College in Wellington, before beginning his professional football career with Wolverhampton Wanderers. He was promoted to the Wolves first team squad at the start of the 1994-5 campaign. Jason joined Lincoln City at the end of that  seson with the Imps paying a £5,000 transfer fee.  A cultured right back he  made over 239 appearances for Lincoln in all competitions between 1995 and 2002. He scored 6 goals for LIncoln City in 208 Football League appearances, uniquely scoring on his Football League Division 3 debut –  a 1-1 away draw against Exeter in October 1995 – and on his last appearance for the club in a 1-1 draw away to Hull City in 2002.

DELWYN HUMPHRIES (Belvidere)

Delwyn attended Belvidere School in Shrewsbury and began his football career as a forward with Newtown and later Bridgnorth.The England semi-pro international moved to Kidderminster Harriers for £10,000 in November 1990.

He played in both the Football Trophy finals in 1991 and 1995. Delwyn was an integral part of Kidderminster`s fine FA Cup run in 1994. Indeed he scored the only goal in the 1-0 win against Preston North End at Aggborough. He scored 33 goals in 136 games for Kidderminster,mainly in the Conference before suffering a serious knee injury. Afterwards he completed his career with brief spells at Northwich Victoria, Stafford Rangers and Bromsgrove Rovers.

ALAN WEBB (Orleton Park)

Alan was born in Wrockwardine and began his Football League career as a right back with West Bromwich Albion. He played for the Baggies between 1981 and 1984,this also included a short loan spell at Lincoln City. He spent most of his career with Port Vale and was voted Port Vale FC player of the season in 1984-5. He also helped them win promotion from Fooball League Division 4 in 1985-6. Alan was part of the team that won the Third Division Play-off Final in 1989. He was forced to retire from the game in June 1992, after failing to recover from a broken leg sustained in October 1989.

JOHN LEAH (Belvidere)

John has played the majority of his careeer in the Welsh Premier League, starting with TNS at Llansantffraid. After a short spell at Newtown he joined Darlington in Football League Division 3 in 1998. He made 10 appearances for Darlington in all competitions, 7 in the Football League and scored 1 goal. He returned to Newtown in 2000 and after a successful season he rejoined TNS. TNS were renamed The New Saints and while with New Saints John was named Welsh Premier League Player of the Year for 2006-7. John has since played for Rhyl and Airbus UK.

MARTIN BUTLER (Oldbury Wells)

Martin attended Castlefields Primary School and Oldbury Wells School at Bridgnorth. He rose through the junior ranks at Walsall, making his senior debut in the 1993-4 season. In the summer of 1997 he joined Cambridge United for a fee of £22,500 and his form there led to a transfer in the region of £750,000 to Reading in February 2000. He later joined Rotherham, returned to Walsall, moved to Grimsby, then Burton Albion before signing for Worcester City.Martin`s career was hindered after he suffered severe damage to his ankle while playing for Reading in November 2001 when he was a regular goalscorer.

DARREN RYAN (Marches)

Darren was born in Oswestry and began his professional football career at Shrewsbury Town. The midfielder made 4 Football League appearances for the Shrews between 1990 and 1992. In 1992-3 he played for Chester City and scored two goals in 17 appearances. The following season was his most productive and he scored 6 goals while making 36 appearances for Stockport County. Between 1994 and 1996 he made 32 appearances for Rochdale scoring 2 goals.Darren then returned to Chester where he scored 1 goal in 4 appearances before driting out of the Football League in 1996. He has since played or coached in Welsh football for Barry Town, TNS, Newtown and Airbus. Darren is currently an Academy coach at Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers.

TONY GREGORY (Dawley)

Tony played for Shrewsbury Town as a first choice full back between 1964 and 1975. He became an executive officer for the MOD in 1980 and has since resided in Bridgnorth.

BERNARD MCNALLY (GRANGE SCHOOL)

Bernard was born in Shrewsbury and attended the Grange School and was soon snapped up by his local club, making his debut for Shrewsbury Town in 1980. He went on to make 346 appearances in all competitions, scoring 36 goals from his midfield position. During this period he made 5 appearances for Northern Ireland and, in 1986, he was selected in the Northern Ireland Squad for the FIFA World Cup Finals in Mexico, though he did not play in the tournament. In 1989 he was transferred to West Bromwich Albion, the highlight of his career at The Hawthorns being an appearance at Wembley in 1993 when Albion won the Division 2 (now League 1) Play-Off Final. He subsequently played for Telford United and was later the first Manager of the newly formed AFC Telford United. He took up a role in youth development for Shrewsbury Town during the 2013-14 season.