This season Prostate Cancer UK is the official charity of The
Football League. To celebrate, we've asked bloggers from each of
the 72 clubs to count down their top five strikers to have worn the
No9 shirt, in recognition of the fact that prostate cancer
affects one in nine men.
Deadly Don: Aaron Wilbraham led the MK attack for six years. Photo courtesy of Action Images
Here blogger Greg Trumper, from gdmonthlymusingsuncut.blogspot.com,
selects MK Dons' five best No9s… and one to forget!
5. Rowan Vine (2011)
Although not technically a Dons player, Vine came on loan from
QPR, played 17 games and scored one goal. Yet Vine's ball skills
were such that in pretty much every game he played in, we won. The
six-footer held the ball up well and brought others into play.
Despite playing out of his preferred position, due to the way the
manager set the team up with a five-man midfield, Rowan adapted and
slotted into the system well.
4. Allan Smart
Smart was a big lad from Scotland who played here in the 2004-05
season when the club was still recovering from going into
administration and relegation. The Perth-born 6ft 2in striker was
brought in from Crewe and scored four goals in the league and two
in cup competitions before departing for Bury. More a target man
who liked to get stuck in than a fox in the box, he stuck around
during a time when players seemed to be leaving every
3. Dean Bowditch
Bowditch came to the Dons from Yeovil and, like Vine, is used on
the wing rather than as a traditional striker. Bowditch had played
for England at Under-16, 17 and 19 level. Dean has played 41 times
and scored 12 goals in his one season here, so not too shabby for a
natural striker playing on the wing. While not a player that
instantly stands out, his work rate and contribution often win him
the man of the match award.
2. Clive Platt
The 6ft 4in Wolverhampton-born striker was an ever-present fixture
in his time at the Dons. Probably the best target man we have had
and a perfect foil for the poacher Izale McLeod, Platt was good
with his head and controlling the high balls played up to him. He
played 102 times and scored 27 goals and could play as the lone
striker when needed, so much so that when fans talk about who they
would like back, it is often Platt.
1. Aaron Wilbraham
Probably the player that divided the fans the most. For me,
Wilbraham just did what he was told. Often used behind the main
striker, or as a lone striker, Wilbraham won most of the headers
from long balls and was a skilful player, scoring some wonder goals
and everything from volleys to tap-ins. He did it all and won
scores of free-kicks from fouls he made the opposition make. It was
this ability that divided the fans. Some thought he spent too much
time on his backside, but this was, as one of his managers told me,
what he was meant to be doing - holding up play, winning free-kicks
and generally frustrating opposing defenders with his ability to
hold the ball up.
And the worst…
Leon Knight (2007-08)
Knight takes this slot largely for his attitude. Despite having
undoubted talent after coming through the Chelsea set-up, he seemed
to upset a few people including the manager at the time, Paul Ince.
Born in Hackney and standing a diminutive 5ft 5in, he was not the
tallest striker but had a good turn of pace and could be a tricky,
skilful player when on his game. Playing 33 games for the Dons and
scoring five goals, it was his clash with the manager - and indeed
some players - that was his downfall.
Follow Greg on Twitter @Gunnerdon