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Played for Both: Wrexham v Dale (FA Cup)
Played for Both: Wrexham v Dale (FA Cup)
Friday, 8th Nov 2019 09:00 by Chaff

Our “Played for Both” feature continues with a former captain who played for both Dale and our FA Cup opponents Wrexham.

We’re going back a bit further with this one this week with our “Played for Both” feature as we look back at former Dale captain Andy Thackeray.

I was only a youngster when Thackeray played at Dale but among my memories are stories I’ve heard through the years from various Dale fans.

Thackeray came through the ranks at Manchester City and played in the 1986 FA Cup Cup final against Manchester United in which City won over two legs. Former Rochdale striker Paul Moulden was on the scoresheet in the final as well. Thackeray was never awarded his winners medal for the win despite playing in both legs. He had to wait 27 years before finally being awarded because he was sent off in the first leg and this meant he wasn’t entitled to a medal for some reason. There was a nice little article on the MEN website a few years.

He was released by Billy McNeill weeks after the FA Youth Cup win and signed for Huddersfield Town, but he only managed a couple of appearances before moving to Newport County for a season where he was a first team regular.

Thackeray moved to Wrexham in 1988 and spent four years in North Wales, making over 150 appearances, scoring 14 goals in the process. The famous 1992 FA Cup giant killing against Arsenal will have been a highlight of his time at Wrexham. He was also named Wrexham’s Player of the Year for 1992.

Dave Sutton brought the right back to Spotland in the summer of 1992, the first season I can remember watching Rochdale as it happens. Apparently, we even paid a £15,000 fee to Wrexham for him as well. In fairness he did go on to make nearly 200 appearances for Rochdale over a five-year spell and was made Rochdale captain as well. He also chipped in with 16 goals for Dale as well.

One famous story that always gets brought up when his name is mentioned is the coin toss when we played Carlisle in the Auto-Windscreens Shield in February 1995. Thackeray, club captain, won the coin toss and decided to kick into the gale force winds and Rochdale couldn’t handle the conditions and ended up getting hammered 4-1 in the first leg. A 2-1 win the second leg wasn’t enough to stop us crashing out.

Thackeray is perhaps more famous for doing a double double against Bury in the 1992/93 season. We played Bury in the Auto-Windscreens and Thackeray scored both goals in a game that Rochdale won 2-1, notable for the fact that some players arrived late due to horrendous traffic issues! We then played the buckets in the league, we drew 2-2 and Thackeray scored both. The equaliser came in stoppage time and goalkeeper Kevin Rose had got on the end of a cross having come up from his own net and so nearly scored but the rebound fell to Thackeray who put in the rebound.

Thackeray left Rochdale in 1997 to join Halifax Town of the Conference and he was an integral part of that squad that managed to win promotion back to the football league. He spent two years at Halifax Town, playing 79 games and scoring 7 goals before leaving to join Nuneaton Borough in 1999.

He spent four years at Nuneaton and made 125 appearances and continued chipping in with goals from his full back position with 10 goals for the Warwickshire club. He then returned to the North-West to join Ashton United and also had a spell at Mossley. He went on to play 74 times for Mossley and won the Player of the Year there in 2006 before hanging up his boots on a career spanning over 400 games.

Thacks is now showing off his clever footwork back in his home town of Huddersfield where he’s a chiropodist! (See what I did there!)

Photo: Action Images

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