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.
Fash the Bash: John Fashanu was the Dons' first England star. Photo courtesy of Action Images
Here the bloggers from sw19army.com select AFC
Wimbledon's five best No9s… and one to forget!
5. Shane Smeltz
How many players in the Isthmian League ever get to play
international football? Shane Smeltz did for New Zealand. The
German-born Kiwi made 61 appearances in an AFC Wimbledon shirt,
netting 26 times and even getting a call-up for his country. It was
inevitable he would move upwards, as he left for then Conference
Halifax, but many a Dons fan was still proud when he scored against
Italy at the 2010 World Cup.
4. Eddie Reynolds
To this day the tall Irishman remains the only player to ever net
four goals in a Wembley final - all with his head. While the FA
Amateur Cup final in 1963, against Sutton United, was the highlight
of a career that coincided with the start of the semi-professional
era at the club, Reynolds also helped the Dons record four Isthmian
League titles, including three successive ones between 1962 and
3. Alan Cork
Very few players ever get to play in all four divisions - even
fewer score at both Newport County's Somerton Park and Anfield in
the league for the same club. That was exactly what Alan Cork did,
as the Dons went from the Fourth Division to the top flight in just
nine seasons. Wimbledon fans didn't care that he didn't have any
hair, especially with 145 goals in 430 games, the highlight being
his role in the famous FA Cup final win over Liverpool in 1988.
2. Danny Kedwell
Responsible for the most iconic moment of the AFC Wimbledon era so
far, the forward had a big role in propelling the Dons from the
Conference South to the Football League. Tough and combative, he
rarely missed a game. His last kick for the Dons will always be the
most memorable - a strike from the spot against Luton in the 2011
Conference play-off final that sent the fans into dreamland.
1. John Fashanu
Lovingly known as Fash the Bash, if any player embodied the
Wimbledon that gate-crashed the top flight in 1986, it was the
former Barnardos boy. Battering ram on the pitch, entrepreneur off
it, he was often characterised as a brute. But his 107 goals for
the club helped him become the first Dons player to wear an England
shirt - and was seemingly as effective with his head as Glenn
Hoddle was with his feet.
And the worst...
John Gayle (1989-90)
Signed from Burton Albion along with ex-Forest boss Steve
Cotterill, Gayle was a man-mountain in the shape of John Fashanu.
Sadly, that's where the similarities ended. While Fashanu was wily,
Gayle seemed every inch the non-league equivalent - he undeniably
tried hard, but was painfully lacking. Those who saw his miss
against Chelsea at Plough Lane in 1989 will be wondering where the
ball finally landed.
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