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Wycombe Wanderers 2 v 1 Rochdale
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 18th January 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Played For Both: Wycombe Wanderers v Dale
Thursday, 16th Jan 2020 18:00 by Chaff

Our latest “Played For Both” see us take a look back at a former Daley and a former Chairboy.

There aren’t a great deal of players who have played for both clubs for this fixture but we’ve found a lad who had loan spells at both clubs and one who is very fondly remembered by the Dale faithful. And he also got an England call-up!

Back in 2007, Dale needed a keeper. We had James Spencer and Sam Russell at the club but Spencer couldn’t get a game and Russell, well there were all sorts of rumours about him but he ended up leaving hastily at the end of the season when his contract expired and in January 2009, Keith Hill moved to bring in a young keeper on loan from Blackburn Rovers called Frank Fielding. He’d been on loan to a couple of League sides before us and had done well and it looked like a positive signing and that’s exactly how it turned out. He’d also been capped by England at under 19 level.

Known for being very quick off his line, it was almost like watching the Monk from Mean Machine at times as Fielding seemed to get itchy feet and wanted to play outfield. He very quickly became a fan favourite at Rochdale and was a superb shot stopper.

He had loan spells at Wycombe and Northampton prior to joining us and did well in both spells there as well. His spell at Wycombe came as a double signing with a keeper from Bolton as all Wycombe’s goalkeepers were injured and he joined the Chairboys in September 2007 on an initial three-month loan but that got extended as he’d been very impressive in his spell and kept his place even when the other keepers had regained fitness. He went on to play 36 games for Wycombe before heading back to Blackburn.

The next season saw Fielding move out on loan to Northampton where he made 12 appearances before heading back to Blackburn, but he may as well have not even unpacked his bags as he came over to Spotland for the first of two loan spells. He was excellent for us and went onto make 25 appearances for us that season and became an integral part of the side that lost in the semi-finals of the playoffs against Gillingham.

We had tried to solve our goalkeeping issues in the summer of 2009 with the signing of Kenny Arthur from Accrington Stanley but for whatever reason it never quite worked out for Kenny. We also had Tom Heaton on loan, Matty Edwards, Danny Taberner and Jordan Andrews who weren’t ready for first team football and the goalkeeping issues went on. Heaton was amazing in his loan spell from Manchester United but was only temporary and we needed to bring in a goalkeeper again and we made a move for Fielding to return from Blackburn on loan.

Fielding meanwhile had been an emergency loan signing for Leeds United but hadn’t even managed to get a game and the loan was terminated, allowing him to return to Dale.
It was like he’d never been away, he was superb and played the remainder of the season in net for Dale and eventually, Dale got their long awaited first promotion in about 40 years to boot with Fielding being a huge part of that success.

A hugely popular figure around the club and a big fan favourite as well but this would be the last we saw of the Blackburn keeper.

The summer of 2010 was a big one for Fielding. He found himself in a strange position where he was given an England call-up when Ben Foster was ruled out with injury for the friendly against Hungary.

Not only that but he found himself in the England Under 21’s squad to go to the 2011 European Championships in Denmark in which England failed to get out of the group stage.

Fielding was evidently getting frustrated with a lack of opportunity at Blackburn and managed to get himself a couple of loan spells with Derby County. He made 16 appearances on loan for the Championship side before signing permanent in the summer of 2011 for a fee of £400,000.

His hot-headedness was still a big characteristic of Frank’s and he was sent off after just 67 seconds against rivals Nottingham Forest, but he’d evidently impressed enough to be able to be restored to the starting line up once he’d served his suspension.

Fielding went on to make 64 appearances for Derby before joining Bristol City in the summer of 2013 for an undisclosed fee believe to be around £200,000.

He would spend the next 6 years at Ashton Gate and is highly regarded by Bristol City fans for his service to the club. He was released by the club in then summer of 2019 having played 184 games for the club.

Frank signed for Millwall in the summer where he started the season as first choice goalkeeper but injury in the first match of the season has kept him out of the side since and he’s only managed to play that one game so far this season.

Still only 31 now, Frank surely has plenty more left in what has already been a top career.

Photo: Action Images

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