The Beswetherick XI – Goalkeepers

The Beswetherick XI – Goalkeepers

After the Leeds game and generally after any defeat, perusing Twitter can be a sadomasochistic activity for any sane Wednesday fan.

Owls often tout themselves as the best fans in the country and when it comes to knee-jerk reactions we’re definitely amongst them.

Some of the overreaction to our results got me in a train of thought:

Do we live in a short term bubble where we just forget things or do people genuinely think that we stink?

Either way Carlos’ team is far from the worst thing seen at Hillsborough since the Owls meekly surrendered their Premier League status in 1999/2000 – if fans think Atdhe Nuhiu is bad, they’ve forgotten Kim Olsen!

But what is the worst thing or things?

So over the coming season Owls Alive is bringing you the Beswetherick XI, the worst we’ve seen in the post 2000 odyssey and we’re asking you, the reader to help us attain that goal.

Some you might not agree with, some you may think are far too talented to even consider being in these ranks but as ever, it is a subjective issue.

I’ve only set one criteria here, the player must have had TEN outings in an SWFC shirt, one-off crapness could be an anomaly, ten probably isn’t.

Of course we start with the custodians in goal.




Brad Jones. You forgot he played for us, didn’t you?

He’s perhaps best remembered as an example of Liverpool’s at times completely bonkers transfer policy (or lack thereof): They paid Middlesbrough a staggering £2.3m for him in 2010.

Don’t say that football has gone mad; it’s been that way for quite a few years now.

At Wednesday Brad Jones was drafted in on loan by Paul Sturrock. I still remember Sturrock fondly.

Contender No 1

Contender No 1

He was almost like MacGuyver from the tv show, trying to build a football team using a piece of string and two rusted cans found in a ditch, at what we know now was a football club utterly in disarray.

It’s perhaps then harsh to single out Brad Jones, then, considering the state of the club then.

In his half a year here he played quite regularly as the start to the 2006-07 season turned from sour to downright miserable. Maybe it’s because he was what we could get after crowd favourite Scott Carson didn’t sign for us that pre-season, so he felt instantly disappointing as an inadequate successor to Carson.

19 conceded in his 15 games with us, two penalties conceded (the Leeds penalty saw a red card that was duly rescinded) and just two clean sheets. Letting in four goals in Colchester saw Wednesday dump deep into the molasses of a(nother) Championship relegation fight.

There was no indication whatsoever he’d ever be a Premier League footballer, let alone one transferred for millions.

There might have been worse ‘keepers (but, really, only marginally).

Yet for me Brad Jones has perhaps become a symbol of not overly talented footballers still able to essentially earn a living as millionaires (This site speculates his weekly wage at Liverpool was £25,000 a week…).

Jones in action for SWFC

Jones in action for SWFC

I can’t blame the footballers – who’d say now to a yearly income of £1.3 million for doing a bit of training and sitting pitch side for Liverpool games?

But I do question the sanity of the market place that values a player like Brad Jones so highly.

In the Autumn of his career (with only 170 first team appearances to his name), he’s now seemingly found a new lease of life in the Netherlands, and doing quite well by the look of things.

If reincarnation is actually a thing, I want to come back as a very moderately talented footballer paid millions for not doing much.

Peter @PLoehmann




The Ashington product was another signing of Paul Sturrock after the hapless Ola Tidman (more on him later) was jettisoned in the midst of the 2004/05 season, Adamson had been a career backup goalkeeper and whenever he got the opportunity he showed why.

He had actually been released in the summer of 2005 but reluctantly resigned when Paul Sturrock couldn’t find another goalkeeper as back up.



In just 12 SWFC appearances he kept the solitary clean sheet and conceded 23 goals.

In the 2006/07 season, with the summer courting of Scott Carson being ultimately unsuccessful Paul Sturrock and his successor Brian Laws chose to test the loan market rather than give Adamson a chance – Jones, the veteran Mark Crossley and Iain Turner were all preferred over Adamson and when Turner was called back to his parent club Everton, Adamson’s howler at Birmingham killed any hope of an unlikely SWFC playoff push.

Of course this wasn’t the first time that managers showed a lack of faith in Adamson, after David Lucas went down with injury, both Paul Gallacher, Nicky Weaver and Scott Carson were signed to take on the gloves.

He was finally released in the summer of 2007 and went on to Stockport County, Ilkeston Town and the now defunct Hereford United.

Last I heard he was goalkeeping coach at Bustlehulme FC.


Tidman in his later years

Tidman in his later years

In Kevin Pressman’s long SWFC career he fought off numerous challengers to his jersey, they may have temporarily dislodged him but Pressman always ended up being called on again.

One of the last men to do this was the Swede Ola Tidman, signed by Chris Turner from Stockport County in the summer of 2003.

Tidman was given the gloves to start the 2003/04 but disappeared from the reckoning in September after a few shaky performances to open the season.

From then on his performances were fleeting but after three stinkers at Bradford, Swindon (where the Owls lost 3-2 after being 2-0 up with just over 20 minutes to play) and then at home to Chesterfield in October 2004, Paul Sturrock wisely released the Swedish stopper.

Tidman keept just two clean sheets and conceded 28 goals in 16 appearances.

He had a brief spell in Denmark with FC Midtjylland but I don’t know where he is now.




In recent years it’s been harder to find a goalkeeper worthy of this eleven as Lee Grant, Chris Kirkland and Keiren Westwood have been fine representatives between the sticks – even Nicky Weaver, Richard O’Donnell (even though he was part of the Stevenage debacle) and Stephen Bywater had solid stints as the last line of defence.

But if you think things are bad now, cast a glance at the past and you’ll realise it isn’t actually that bad!

Owls Alive
Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @MoseleyOwl

One Comment

  1. Will there by 5000 words on Ashley Westwood?

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