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CCF Rebooted: No.1 - Joe Widdowson
Monday, 4th Jan 2021 11:57 by AtThePeake

Dean begins a reboot of the old Clarke Chroniclers Footballers blog, looking back at every player to play a league game for Dale since the original blog came to a close at the end of the 2009/2010 season.

For anyone who doesn't remember or has never seen the original blog, in which the writer documents his memories of every player to play for Dale from his first game in 1981 right through to the end of the promotion season in 2009/2010, you can read it here: http://clarkechroniclersfootballers.blogspot.com

I've decided not to go over old ground with any of the players that were written about in the first edition and as such, we kick-off with a Dale debutant from our first game of the 2010/2011 season in Joe Widdowson.

Position: Left-back

Played : 2010-2012

Appearances : 66

Goals : 0

Still to this day, when the topic of our most under-rated former players crops up, I cast my mind back to full-back Joe Widdowson.

After signing the left-back in the summer 0f 2010/2011 along with Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro (more on him soon!), I don't think I was alone in wondering whether two players from a team that had just been relegated from the same league that we had won promotion from was the smartest move as we prepared for life in a higher division - particularly in the case of Widdowson, who was being signed to replace the outgoing Tom Kennedy as first-choice left-back.

However, we should've known by that point that Keith Hill was pretty adept at pulling rabbits out of hats and Widdowson proved to be one such rabbit. A strong and dependable defender, he also provided some thrust from the left full-back position, often embarking on overlapping, surging runs forward and registering 34 appearances in his season under Hill starting with the opening day goalless draw with Hartlepool, in which he picked up a yellow card.

In the following, rather less successful season under Steve Eyre and John Coleman, Widdowson managed to retain his starting berth in the majority of matches despite the rest of the eleven appearing to change on a near-constant basis. A lack of consistency and quality across the squad led to Dale finishing bottom of the League One table but Widdowson had continued to be one of our better performers in what were difficult circumstances that season.

As such, it was certainly a surprise when Widdowson was included among the released players at the end of that campaign and we found that he would be seeking pastures new. He ended up at Northampton for two seasons, before a very brief spell with Bury, where he actually made more appearances for Morecambe during a loan spell than he did for his parent club.

Having been born in Forest Gate and having come through the ranks at West Ham United before moving to Grimsby, he has now settled in the capital again and in his fifth season with Leyton Orient having previously made 94 appearances for another London outfit in Dagenham & Redbridge.

Photo: Action Images

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Beechball added 18:21 - Jan 4
Wasn't there some away game that Joe didn't want to play during Beech's caretakership ?

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