This season, Prostate Cancer UK is the official charity of the
Football League. To celebrate, each week
footballer-turned-journalist Adrian Clarke - who played for
Arsenal, Rotherham, Southend, Carlisle and Stevenage - is rounding
up the best performances by No9s in the Football League, in
recognition of the fact that prostate
cancer affects one in nine men. In week six (Saturday 22
September), he hails a Tyke coming to the fore, the skills of a
legendary leftie and Torquay's bright sparkie...
Four-za Barnsley! Craig Davies had reason to cheer. Photo courtesy of Action Images
Championship star No9
Craig Davies - Barnsley
Before their stunning 5-0 win against Birmingham at St Andrews on
Saturday, the Tykes hadn't won on the road since January, so it's
fair to say that most Barnsley supporters have been rendered
speechless by the weekend's heroics. As for Blues fans, don't
Star of the show was 26-year-old Wales international Craig Davies,
who fired in a spectacular four-goal salvo in the space of 19
minutes. There was excitement when he stabbed home a pea-roller
nine minutes into the second half, ecstasy after he twisted and
turned his way to a gorgeous second, and total euphoria when his
coolly taken third sent Barnsley into orbit. By the time the No9
wrapped things up with a two-yard header for his fourth, there was
just an awful lot of head shaking all round.
Did you know?
The Welshman grew up supporting Birmingham. Oh, the irony.
No9s scored 12 per cent of the Championship's glut of 77
goals this week
League One star No9
Dean Bowditch - MK Dons
Having made his first-team debut for Ipswich at the age of 16,
great things were expected of Bowditch but the midfielder lost his
way and, nearly 10 years on, he is attempting to resurrect his
career with the ambitious MK Dons. What had been a quiet start to
the season took off in style at Gigg Lane last Saturday, thanks to
his tremendous hat-trick away in the Dons' 4-1 win at Bury.
The No9's first came via an impressive left-footed volley home
from close range. The second was a scrappy goalmouth scramble
tucked away with his left once more, while the former England youth
international netted his third courtesy of, you've guessed it,
another sweet left-footed finish.
Did you know?
The 26-year-old employs his own mind coach to ensure that his head
is in the right place to produce his best on the pitch.
No9s were on fire in League One once again, bagging 15 per
cent of the division's goals
League Two star No9
Rene Howe - Torquay United
Hats off to Howe for becoming the first player to win the Best No9
of the week for a second time, even though it took a slight
intervention from Lady Luck for the Gulls front man. Against AFC
Wimbledon on Tuesday night, a ball cleared by a defender struck an
oblivious Howe, ricocheting off his midriff into the net for a
winning goal that cruelly contributed to Terry Brown's sacking as
Dons boss the next morning.
There was nothing lucky about Howe's second of the week at home to
Burton on Saturday though: he crashed in a volley from close range
to earn his team another valuable point.
Did you know?
While playing non-league football with Kettering and Bedford, the
bulky striker completed his training to become a qualified
No9s scored 10 per cent of League Two's goals last
So do you fancy supporting us and spending a season saving men's
lives? Then here's how to get involved