HERE’S an idea for your column they said. Pick your all time Swindon Town team. Easy that isn’t it ? That won't take five minutes. Well, I've been thinking about it all week.
The first criteria I set myself was make it players I’ve seen. I’d love to include Harold Fleming but as I never saw him take the field, I think he gets an honorary inclusion in the squad. He is without doubt one of our greatest though.
So then to the task at hand. It’s a nightmare. Who do you put in, who do you leave out? How would players from half a century ago, when I started watching the Town, fit in with the modern game.
The more you think about it the harder it gets. Before we go any further I have to mention my all time favourite, Will Dixon. Loved watching him play and again gets in the squad. The owner of a fearsome moustache and a terrific full back. So get to it Morgan. OK.
In goal is Peter Downsborough. The greatest display of work between the sticks I’ve ever seen was at Wembley on that famous day in 1969. Peter is in just before Fraser Digby and Jimmy Allan. The defence has to be a five-man operation to include a genius at sweeper, Glenn Hoddle. So it is John Trollope, an overlapping full back before they were invented. Colin Calderwood, Shaun Taylor, the best central defensive partnership I’ve seen just ahead of Stan Harland and Frank Burrows with Calderwood captain. At right back our most capped player Roderick Thomas, a man with telescopic legs.
A three man midfield of Ray McHale in the middle, inspirational as a captain and a player. On the right would be David Moss and on the left, of course, the Don. Sir Donald Rogers is a must, our greatest player and he would hover over modern pitches.
Up front? This is a toughie. I’ve said many times I think Charlie Austin is the best natural finisher I’ve seen so he just gets in ahead of Peter Eastoe, Steve White and Alan Mayes. Charlie’s partner would be Andy Rowland. Top centre forward and bloke, who fractionally gets the nod in front of Duncan Shearer.
So here it is (5-3-2) Downsborough, Thomas, Calderwood, Hoddle, Taylor, Trollope; Moss, McHale, Rogers; Austin, Rowland.
Subs... too many to mention!