The signing of Nicky Adams was probably one of the most
anticipated signings in the club's history. He'd made a name
for himself at neighbours Bury, and for such a young winger,
he had an excellent record for both goalscoring and assists
despite his efforts often going largely unappreciated by
sections of the Gigg Lane crowd.
So it was with great
delight that we prepared to welcome him to Spotland. It was
undoubtedly the worst kept secret in football (well in at
least the South Lancashire branch of League Two football).
The connection came from Dave Flitcroft's time at Gigg Lane
as a player, and full of reports from Tom Kennedy about the
differing mentalities of the clubs at the time, it was an
easy choice to make.
So well known was the forthcoming transfer that it was
Dale fans chanting his name at the Bury v Dale game, despite
his appearance in a Bury shirt, and this site had even
agreed with the club to be his shirt sponsors for the
And then it never happened.
A last minute bid from Leicester blitzed everything from
Dale out of the water, with an offer that nobody could have
turned down, and so it was that young Adams signed with the
League One promotion hopefuls, prompting the biggest change
in avatars that the messageboard had ever seen in one day
But that didn't prove to be the end of the Nicky Adams
story as in January 2009, we brought him to Spotland after
he fell out of favour with the Foxes, signing an initial
month's loan with Dale.
His debut had immediate impact, with a goal and an assist
within the opening twenty minutes prompting many a thought
as to what could have happened had he made the Summer switch
as had been rumoured.
He stopped at Rochdale for two months being a key player
during that time, though making the full ninety minutes was
something of a rarity. He often played with a Rab C Nesbitt
style headband following a cut head sustained in one match
which seemed to take forever to heal.
He left Spotland with Dale having won eight of the
fourteen games in which he played (we won one in ten
following his departure). Some questioned the impact that
he'd had, but stats like that simply don't lie.
Rumours have persisted about a return to Spotland in the
future, and it's not being rude to the winger to suggest
that if he found it tricky to secure a first team place
during their League One campaign, he's not going to find it
easier now they're in the Championship.