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.
Wayne's world: Wayne Curtis was loved by fans and team-mates alike. Photo courtesy of Action Images
Here blogger Nik Marsdin, of thenaplesofthenorth.tumblr.com,
selects Morecambe's five best No9s… and one to forget!
5. Wayne Curtis
Despite being the first man to miss a penalty at the new Wembley,
it was Wayne's goals against York City in the 2007 semis that took
Morecambe to the play-off final and ultimately on to the Football
League for the first time in the club's history, and for that
reason he's in my top five. He wasn't the best or most prolific
No9, but was a dedicated servant and great pro who fittingly helped
to deliver Morecambe to the promised land. My favourite Curtis
moment was him being sent off for decking two players after an
industrial challenge on his team-mated David Perkins; a proper team
player loved by team-mates and fans alike.
4. Ian Cain
Might be a bit controversial this as he didn't always play No9,
but most famously took the shirt against Hull City where he played
up front on his own if my memory serves, and in total managed a
remarkable 96 goals too. Cainy was my favourite ever Morecambe
player - he was ace, a proper winger who would run at defenders for
fun. I always remember him as a socks-rolled-down wing wizard
tearing past defenders leaving them in a heap on the deck - they
couldn't even get close enough to foul him half the time. There
were always rumours of big clubs looking at him but they never came
3. John Coleman
Morecambe's second-highest goalscorer ever with 201, in my early
years Coley was a bit of a non-league superstar. Part of an almost
all-Scouse team at the time, he led the line with tenacity and
bravery and with an almost magic touch in front of goal. I don't
think I will ever see a player as prolific in a Morecambe shirt.
The vast majority of his goals were scored while in the Northern
Premier League but, like Big Jim (No2), he laid the foundations for
a soon-to-be successful Conference side. Should arguably be higher
than No3, but after moving down the road to rivals Accrington his
reputation has been sullied somewhat.
2. Jim McCluskie
Big Jim - a mountain of a man on the field and a true gent off it.
The term 'old-fashioned centre-forward' is bandied about fairly
loosely these days but this man epitomised it. Big, strong, brave
and great in the air, he was a bit of a non-league Alan Shearer.
Instrumental in gaining promotion to the then big time of the
Vauxhall Conference, Jim managed an agonising 99 goals for the
Shrimps in his time at Christie Park.
1. Justin Jackson (1995-96, 1998
The most exciting player I've ever seen in a Morecambe shirt,
Jackson played for the club in a couple of different spells to
great effect on both occasions (but it's probably fair to say he
didn't quite do it at any other club). Something obviously clicked
with him by the seaside - quite possibly his strike partners
John Norman and Phil Eastwood. Jacko was unbelievably quick,
especially in the Conference, and made defenders play 10 yards
deeper than usual, leaving Morecambe free to play open, expansive
football. It was a great time to be down at Christie, it seemed
like the sun was always shining the years Jacko played, and he also
earned the club a fair whack of dosh with his big-money moves to
Woking and Max Griggs' non-league moneymen of the day, Rushden
And the worst…
Mark Ceraolo (1995-98)
There are a number of contenders for this spot, of which all but
Ceraolo are lucky to escape. My worst ever No9, Ceraolo sounded
like a smooth, suave Italian type and probably was until he stepped
on the playing field. He was crap: at times he would have struggled
to hit a barn door and, despite scoring a respectable amount of
goals for Morecambe, for every one he scored he missed about eight.
Ceraolo was fortunate that during his time Morecambe were creating
chances for fun and playing some really good open stuff under Jim
Harvey, so some of his misses went unnoticed.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NaplesOfLeNorth