THE ULTIMATE SWINDON TOWN XI: Paul Plowman

Fraser Digby

Colin Calderwood

Shaun Taylor

Don Rogers

First published in STFC News
Last updated
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AFTER extracting 160 names from a list 1,200 strong, the final selection of a ‘best eleven’ was no easy task.

For Town’s last line of defence I had three candidates in Sam Burton, Peter Downsborough and Fraser Digby. Local boy Burton played right through the 1950’s on his way to more than 500 appearances, while Downsborough performed heroics at Wembley in 1969. But Digby, coming to Swindon as an untried youngster, matured into a first class keeper as the club progressed to the top flight.

In the centre of defence George Hudson and Stan Harland were strong contenders. But Colin Calderwood took on the mantle of captain at just 20, leading the side from the bottom tier to the top.

Alongside him for part of that journey was Shaun Taylor - brave to the extreme and more of an aerial threat than Harland going forward.

On the right at the back Rod Thomas would get the nod in many ‘best’ XIs and Wally Dickenson from the 1920’s came to mind. But Billy Tout could operate anywhere down the right and had a great scoring record from distance or set pieces.

On the left, internationals Jock Walker and Paul Bodin came close but there was really only one choice for me. John Trollope played almost 900 games for the club, where he spent more than half of his 71 years as player, manager and coach.

In the middle a combination of steel and creativity could perhaps include Ray McHale and Alan McLoughlin. But I have Joe Butler and Ernie Hunt, whose paths crossed briefly at Town in 1965.

Butler was a tireless worker and strong tackler, while Hunt provided the guile.

Sitting just behind my front three and given a free role would be Harold Fleming, his prominent aquiline nose picking up the scent of any viable route to goal.

Up front, I think few would argue with the inclusion of Harry Morris and Don Rogers. However, there were many options on the table for a third striker - Maurice Owen, Duncan Shearer and Sam Parkin to name just three.

My vote eventually went to Steve White who, like Owen, cost the club just a signing on fee and gave the club many years’ service - but ‘Chalkie’ scored goals at a higher level.

Alongside him, the muscular Morris bulldozed his way to a goal almost every game for an incredible seven years. And Rogers was simply the most talented and exciting player I have witnessed in the red of Town during my 50 years of watching them.

PAUL PLOWMAN'S GREATEST TEAM SWINDON TOWN XI: Fraser Digby; Billy Tout, Colin Calderwood, Shaun Taylor, John Trollope; Joe Butler, Ernie Hunt, Harold Fleming; Harry Morris, Steve White, Don Rogers.

Comments (31)

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9:05am Sat 22 Mar 14

adje says...

john moncur shoould be in there
john moncur shoould be in there adje
  • Score: 1

9:08am Sat 22 Mar 14

cornishrobin says...

Agree with most of your choices Paul. For me, I would have to find a place for Maurice Owen somewhere !
Agree with most of your choices Paul. For me, I would have to find a place for Maurice Owen somewhere ! cornishrobin
  • Score: 1

9:22am Sat 22 Mar 14

RamsburyRed says...

Any Swindon Town greatest XI that ignores Hoddle is not worthy of debate
Any Swindon Town greatest XI that ignores Hoddle is not worthy of debate RamsburyRed
  • Score: 2

9:26am Sat 22 Mar 14

itslove says...

...downsborough; bodin, Colin Calderwood, mackay. harland, John Trollope; hoddle,, Harold Fleming; Harry Morris, Steve White, Don Rogers.
...downsborough; bodin, Colin Calderwood, mackay. harland, John Trollope; hoddle,, Harold Fleming; Harry Morris, Steve White, Don Rogers. itslove
  • Score: 0

9:29am Sat 22 Mar 14

Old-Stager, Hilperton says...

Digby ahead of Peter Downsborough ? - You cant be serious.
Please refer to Vic Morgan's greatest Swindon Town X1
Digby ahead of Peter Downsborough ? - You cant be serious. Please refer to Vic Morgan's greatest Swindon Town X1 Old-Stager, Hilperton
  • Score: 4

9:58am Sat 22 Mar 14

the don69 says...

Don't rate Paul plowman's team at all,what about Hoddle,Dave Mckay,Macari,Eastoe or Fjortoft,Chalky White? don't think he'd get on the bench lol have to have little think on that and name my team later!but one things for sure they will trash Plowman's lot!lol!!!!!!!!!!!!
Don't rate Paul plowman's team at all,what about Hoddle,Dave Mckay,Macari,Eastoe or Fjortoft,Chalky White? don't think he'd get on the bench lol have to have little think on that and name my team later!but one things for sure they will trash Plowman's lot!lol!!!!!!!!!!!! the don69
  • Score: 0

10:08am Sat 22 Mar 14

adje says...

Da ve mackay??? are you serious?absolutely hopeless for town
Da ve mackay??? are you serious?absolutely hopeless for town adje
  • Score: 3

10:15am Sat 22 Mar 14

Farteaboy says...

Love chalky...but really? No Glenn Hoddle? Ray McHale? Peter Eastoe? David Moss? And the great god Dave Bamber? Prefer Vic's selection any day.
Love chalky...but really? No Glenn Hoddle? Ray McHale? Peter Eastoe? David Moss? And the great god Dave Bamber? Prefer Vic's selection any day. Farteaboy
  • Score: 2

10:18am Sat 22 Mar 14

red white says...

Peter Downsborough was ace for all you youngsters,the best.
Digby good but not great.
Peter Downsborough was ace for all you youngsters,the best. Digby good but not great. red white
  • Score: 2

10:26am Sat 22 Mar 14

the don69 says...

adje wrote:
Da ve mackay??? are you serious?absolutely hopeless for town
Assuming all players are at their peak dear boy!
[quote][p][bold]adje[/bold] wrote: Da ve mackay??? are you serious?absolutely hopeless for town[/p][/quote]Assuming all players are at their peak dear boy! the don69
  • Score: 0

10:31am Sat 22 Mar 14

LionelHutz says...

adje wrote:
john moncur shoould be in there
You have a point there. Player of the Year in our only ever top flight season. You could argue that Fjortoft should be too, as for half a season he was the form striker in the country, again in the top flight., and that's something no other Swindon player could possibly have achieved.

It's a great pub debate, this one.
[quote][p][bold]adje[/bold] wrote: john moncur shoould be in there[/p][/quote]You have a point there. Player of the Year in our only ever top flight season. You could argue that Fjortoft should be too, as for half a season he was the form striker in the country, again in the top flight., and that's something no other Swindon player could possibly have achieved. It's a great pub debate, this one. LionelHutz
  • Score: 0

10:34am Sat 22 Mar 14

LionelHutz says...

the don69 wrote:
adje wrote:
Da ve mackay??? are you serious?absolutely hopeless for town
Assuming all players are at their peak dear boy!
In that case, you'd have Glenn Hoddle, Ossie Ardiles, Shay Given, Michael Carrick and possibly James Milner. You have to judge a Swindon XI on how they performed for Swindon, not what they did at other clubs!
[quote][p][bold]the don69[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]adje[/bold] wrote: Da ve mackay??? are you serious?absolutely hopeless for town[/p][/quote]Assuming all players are at their peak dear boy![/p][/quote]In that case, you'd have Glenn Hoddle, Ossie Ardiles, Shay Given, Michael Carrick and possibly James Milner. You have to judge a Swindon XI on how they performed for Swindon, not what they did at other clubs! LionelHutz
  • Score: 2

10:40am Sat 22 Mar 14

red white says...

Stan Harland over Taylor the traitor.

Steve White my namesake over Eastoe and Fjortoft,heart rules head.
Stan Harland over Taylor the traitor. Steve White my namesake over Eastoe and Fjortoft,heart rules head. red white
  • Score: -1

11:09am Sat 22 Mar 14

Rod Thomas 1969 says...

Very interesting debate this one I saw my first game at the County Ground in 1950 and have been a season ticket holder fo more years than I care to remember.
The best goalkeeper for me must be Peter Downsborough followed by Norman Uprichard no mentioned of Norman, ther must be a place for Rod Thomas who together with Don Rogers are the best players I have seen play for STFC no places for Mike Summerbee Maurice Owen, no mention of Mel Nurse, Bobby Woodruff, or Keith Morgan, Sorry Paul there must be a place for the great Rod Thomas real class.
Very interesting debate this one I saw my first game at the County Ground in 1950 and have been a season ticket holder fo more years than I care to remember. The best goalkeeper for me must be Peter Downsborough followed by Norman Uprichard no mentioned of Norman, ther must be a place for Rod Thomas who together with Don Rogers are the best players I have seen play for STFC no places for Mike Summerbee Maurice Owen, no mention of Mel Nurse, Bobby Woodruff, or Keith Morgan, Sorry Paul there must be a place for the great Rod Thomas real class. Rod Thomas 1969
  • Score: 2

11:16am Sat 22 Mar 14

Oi Den! says...

Taylor the traitor?! He was shat on and forced out of the club by McMahon.

Ooh Shaun Taylor - a long way from being the most skilful Town player but definitely my all time second favourite after The Don. An absolute Town legend.
Taylor the traitor?! He was shat on and forced out of the club by McMahon. Ooh Shaun Taylor - a long way from being the most skilful Town player but definitely my all time second favourite after The Don. An absolute Town legend. Oi Den!
  • Score: 4

11:18am Sat 22 Mar 14

buckobassettboy says...

Just the team of 69 will do for me-they may have not been all outstanding individuals but collectively they were enough to beat a team of Arsenal that was full of internationals.This was ''the best eleven'' on the day and would you change a winning team if you were able to go back and replay the game?
Just the team of 69 will do for me-they may have not been all outstanding individuals but collectively they were enough to beat a team of Arsenal that was full of internationals.This was ''the best eleven'' on the day and would you change a winning team if you were able to go back and replay the game? buckobassettboy
  • Score: 2

11:22am Sat 22 Mar 14

red white says...

Oi Den! wrote:
Taylor the traitor?! He was shat on and forced out of the club by McMahon.

Ooh Shaun Taylor - a long way from being the most skilful Town player but definitely my all time second favourite after The Don. An absolute Town legend.
Ok but he played for them so he's out,but Stan Harland lifted the League Cup at Wembley for us.

'There is no greater moment!' as the great Brian Moore said in the commentary on the day
[quote][p][bold]Oi Den![/bold] wrote: Taylor the traitor?! He was shat on and forced out of the club by McMahon. Ooh Shaun Taylor - a long way from being the most skilful Town player but definitely my all time second favourite after The Don. An absolute Town legend.[/p][/quote]Ok but he played for them so he's out,but Stan Harland lifted the League Cup at Wembley for us. 'There is no greater moment!' as the great Brian Moore said in the commentary on the day red white
  • Score: 1

11:51am Sat 22 Mar 14

red white says...

buckobassettboy wrote:
Just the team of 69 will do for me-they may have not been all outstanding individuals but collectively they were enough to beat a team of Arsenal that was full of internationals.This was ''the best eleven'' on the day and would you change a winning team if you were able to go back and replay the game?
Ha ha ha! yes you are spot on.

I used to recite the team to my dad,maybe not the cup final team but;

Downsborough,Thomas,
Trollope,Butler,Burr
ows,Harland,Smith,Sm
art,Horsefield,Noble
,Rogers!
[quote][p][bold]buckobassettboy[/bold] wrote: Just the team of 69 will do for me-they may have not been all outstanding individuals but collectively they were enough to beat a team of Arsenal that was full of internationals.This was ''the best eleven'' on the day and would you change a winning team if you were able to go back and replay the game?[/p][/quote]Ha ha ha! yes you are spot on. I used to recite the team to my dad,maybe not the cup final team but; Downsborough,Thomas, Trollope,Butler,Burr ows,Harland,Smith,Sm art,Horsefield,Noble ,Rogers! red white
  • Score: 1

12:14pm Sat 22 Mar 14

LionelHutz says...

Oi Den! wrote:
Taylor the traitor?! He was shat on and forced out of the club by McMahon.

Ooh Shaun Taylor - a long way from being the most skilful Town player but definitely my all time second favourite after The Don. An absolute Town legend.
Hear hear. It never ceases to amaze me how people mis-remember some of our players. Taylor would have seen out his career with Swindon if it wasn't for McMahon.

We got rid and our loss was Bristol City's gain, albeit in a lower division.
[quote][p][bold]Oi Den![/bold] wrote: Taylor the traitor?! He was shat on and forced out of the club by McMahon. Ooh Shaun Taylor - a long way from being the most skilful Town player but definitely my all time second favourite after The Don. An absolute Town legend.[/p][/quote]Hear hear. It never ceases to amaze me how people mis-remember some of our players. Taylor would have seen out his career with Swindon if it wasn't for McMahon. We got rid and our loss was Bristol City's gain, albeit in a lower division. LionelHutz
  • Score: 1

1:41pm Sat 22 Mar 14

Oi Den! says...

Foderingham;
Thomas, Calderwood, Taylor, Trollope;
Moss, McHale, McLoughlin, Rogers;
Austin, Noble (with Eastoe pushing hard for that spot)
Foderingham; Thomas, Calderwood, Taylor, Trollope; Moss, McHale, McLoughlin, Rogers; Austin, Noble (with Eastoe pushing hard for that spot) Oi Den!
  • Score: 4

1:43pm Sat 22 Mar 14

Oi Den! says...

The above is with due respect to the undoubted greats I never saw, such as Fleming and Morris.
The above is with due respect to the undoubted greats I never saw, such as Fleming and Morris. Oi Den!
  • Score: 0

1:46pm Sat 22 Mar 14

red white says...

Well yes Harold Fleming took us to the semi cup final of the FA Cup no?

So he's in.
Well yes Harold Fleming took us to the semi cup final of the FA Cup no? So he's in. red white
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Sat 22 Mar 14

red white says...

Oi Den! wrote:
Foderingham;
Thomas, Calderwood, Taylor, Trollope;
Moss, McHale, McLoughlin, Rogers;
Austin, Noble (with Eastoe pushing hard for that spot)
Your'e cheating now.
[quote][p][bold]Oi Den![/bold] wrote: Foderingham; Thomas, Calderwood, Taylor, Trollope; Moss, McHale, McLoughlin, Rogers; Austin, Noble (with Eastoe pushing hard for that spot)[/p][/quote]Your'e cheating now. red white
  • Score: 5

1:47pm Sat 22 Mar 14

the don69 says...

Downsborough, Thomas,Calderwood, Taylor, Trollope, Hoddle, Fleming, Butler, Rogers, Eastoe, Fjortoft. Subs Hunt, Summerbee , Morris, Digby, Nurse. Manager Danny Williams.
Downsborough, Thomas,Calderwood, Taylor, Trollope, Hoddle, Fleming, Butler, Rogers, Eastoe, Fjortoft. Subs Hunt, Summerbee , Morris, Digby, Nurse. Manager Danny Williams. the don69
  • Score: 10

2:20pm Sat 22 Mar 14

the don69 says...

red white wrote:
buckobassettboy wrote:
Just the team of 69 will do for me-they may have not been all outstanding individuals but collectively they were enough to beat a team of Arsenal that was full of internationals.This was ''the best eleven'' on the day and would you change a winning team if you were able to go back and replay the game?
Ha ha ha! yes you are spot on.

I used to recite the team to my dad,maybe not the cup final team but;

Downsborough,Thomas,

Trollope,Butler,Burr

ows,Harland,Smith,Sm

art,Horsefield,Noble

,Rogers!
Your dad should have told you, Horsefield was not in the 69 team! Don Heath was! 10/11 ain't bad depending how young you were? lol!!!
[quote][p][bold]red white[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]buckobassettboy[/bold] wrote: Just the team of 69 will do for me-they may have not been all outstanding individuals but collectively they were enough to beat a team of Arsenal that was full of internationals.This was ''the best eleven'' on the day and would you change a winning team if you were able to go back and replay the game?[/p][/quote]Ha ha ha! yes you are spot on. I used to recite the team to my dad,maybe not the cup final team but; Downsborough,Thomas, Trollope,Butler,Burr ows,Harland,Smith,Sm art,Horsefield,Noble ,Rogers![/p][/quote]Your dad should have told you, Horsefield was not in the 69 team! Don Heath was! 10/11 ain't bad depending how young you were? lol!!! the don69
  • Score: 6

9:48am Sun 23 Mar 14

WirralRed says...

the don69 wrote:
Downsborough, Thomas,Calderwood, Taylor, Trollope, Hoddle, Fleming, Butler, Rogers, Eastoe, Fjortoft. Subs Hunt, Summerbee , Morris, Digby, Nurse. Manager Danny Williams.
Yes, this is close to what I would choose. A good balance of determination, steel & flair plus individual brilliance!

F
[quote][p][bold]the don69[/bold] wrote: Downsborough, Thomas,Calderwood, Taylor, Trollope, Hoddle, Fleming, Butler, Rogers, Eastoe, Fjortoft. Subs Hunt, Summerbee , Morris, Digby, Nurse. Manager Danny Williams.[/p][/quote]Yes, this is close to what I would choose. A good balance of determination, steel & flair plus individual brilliance! F WirralRed
  • Score: 8

11:10am Sun 23 Mar 14

Septimus Poynter-Brown says...

Some interesting options here

Hoddle was a fine player but unfortunately walked out on the club halfway through doing a good job.
Mackay was past his sell-by date when he came to STFC and ruined the career of one of our greats in Stan Harland. Stan was still bitter about it until almost the day he died.
Shaun Taylor was similarly treated shabbily - amongst others like Andy Rowland, John Trollope and Ross MacLaren - by McMahon bringing in his mates from Merseyside.
As for 'Horsefield' ?
Didn't he play for Donkyster ?!!
Some interesting options here Hoddle was a fine player but unfortunately walked out on the club halfway through doing a good job. Mackay was past his sell-by date when he came to STFC and ruined the career of one of our greats in Stan Harland. Stan was still bitter about it until almost the day he died. Shaun Taylor was similarly treated shabbily - amongst others like Andy Rowland, John Trollope and Ross MacLaren - by McMahon bringing in his mates from Merseyside. As for 'Horsefield' ? Didn't he play for Donkyster ?!! Septimus Poynter-Brown
  • Score: -3

12:22pm Sun 23 Mar 14

Redgollum says...

buckobassettboy wrote:
Just the team of 69 will do for me-they may have not been all outstanding individuals but collectively they were enough to beat a team of Arsenal that was full of internationals.This was ''the best eleven'' on the day and would you change a winning team if you were able to go back and replay the game?
Totally agree Bucko. But if we had 4 extra subs, then Fjortoft, Mossie, Calderwood & McHale.
[quote][p][bold]buckobassettboy[/bold] wrote: Just the team of 69 will do for me-they may have not been all outstanding individuals but collectively they were enough to beat a team of Arsenal that was full of internationals.This was ''the best eleven'' on the day and would you change a winning team if you were able to go back and replay the game?[/p][/quote]Totally agree Bucko. But if we had 4 extra subs, then Fjortoft, Mossie, Calderwood & McHale. Redgollum
  • Score: -4

6:02am Mon 24 Mar 14

jennytools says...

Players that have worn a town shirt,?? Digby would be way out behind flowers and given, David Thompson, hazard, moncur, hoddle, summerbee, Lorenzo, Ozzie, McMahon, and Chris Ramsey, I know it's all about opinions but I like to hear opinions on what this bloke has seen, not what he has read out of a book.
Players that have worn a town shirt,?? Digby would be way out behind flowers and given, David Thompson, hazard, moncur, hoddle, summerbee, Lorenzo, Ozzie, McMahon, and Chris Ramsey, I know it's all about opinions but I like to hear opinions on what this bloke has seen, not what he has read out of a book. jennytools
  • Score: 0

10:33am Mon 24 Mar 14

Redgollum says...

It amazes me that Joe Butler is so often mentioned. He was carp when we first signed him, but improved. But he was a worker & every team needs one of them. That sort of player is what we need now. Along with a Ray McHale.
It amazes me that Joe Butler is so often mentioned. He was carp when we first signed him, but improved. But he was a worker & every team needs one of them. That sort of player is what we need now. Along with a Ray McHale. Redgollum
  • Score: 0

5:22pm Mon 24 Mar 14

the don69 says...

Redgollum wrote:
It amazes me that Joe Butler is so often mentioned. He was carp when we first signed him, but improved. But he was a worker & every team needs one of them. That sort of player is what we need now. Along with a Ray McHale.
We could also do with a player called Don Rogers now! but there ain't that sort of player around at any time! LOL!!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Redgollum[/bold] wrote: It amazes me that Joe Butler is so often mentioned. He was carp when we first signed him, but improved. But he was a worker & every team needs one of them. That sort of player is what we need now. Along with a Ray McHale.[/p][/quote]We could also do with a player called Don Rogers now! but there ain't that sort of player around at any time! LOL!!!!!!! the don69
  • Score: 0

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