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CCF Rebooted No.13 - Liam Dickinson
Thursday, 9th Sep 2021 13:33 by AtThePeake

In terms of expectation versus reality, few signings can have disappointed Rochdale fans quite like the loan signing of Liam Dickinson in January 2011.

Position: Striker

Arrived from: Barnsley (loan)

Played : 2011

Appearances : 14

Goals : 0

Left for: Barnsley (end of loan)

After the failed experiment of signing one former Stockport County striker earlier in the season in Anthony Elding, Keith Hill opted for that player's former strike partner when looking for another centre forward in the loan market in January of 2011/2012.

With Elding struggling for form and fitness, Dale were looking for someone to become the fulcrum of an attack that included Chris O'Grady drifting in from the left and the emerging Matt Done playing as a second striker.

Dickinson's arrival had been met with intrigue given the record he'd enjoyed at previous clubs. After enjoying spells in non-league with the likes of Irlam, Trafford and Woodley Sports, the Salford-born forward made the step-up to the EFL in 2005 by joining Stockport County, where he'd rack up 34 goals over 94 appearances.

That form prompted a big money move to Derby County, but Dickinson's face never quite fit at the iPro Stadium and he would fail to make a league appearance for the Rams, instead spending loans at Huddersfield, Blackpool and Leeds before moving to Brighton & Hove Albion.

27 appearances and 4 goals with the Seagulls later (plus a nine game loan spell at Peterborough United), Dickinson moved to Barnsley in 2010, but would be farmed out on loan once to Walsall before arriving at Spotland later in the 2010/2011 season.

Having seen first-hand the threat Dickinson could be with his aerial prowess, strength and touch in front of goal, Dale fans were reasonably excited that the answer to their striker problem had been found, but it quickly became apparent that the struggles with Derby and Barnsley had affected Dickinson's confidence.

During his spell, Dickinson was all too easy to defend against, struggled to hold the ball up and lacked any cutting edge when it came to finishing the chances he did manage to fashion for himself.

In 14 appearances (7 starts and 7 from the bench), he failed to find the net and he's destined to be remembered by Dale fans more for his winning goal for Stockport in 2008's League Two play-off final at Wembley than any of his performances in our colours a handful of seasons later.

After leaving Barnsley at the end of that season, Dickinson joined and left Plymouth in the space of 8 days before enjoying a slightly more productive spell at Southend, scoring 10 goals in 30 games. After that, he returned to Edgeley Park and Stockport before spells in non-league with Stalybridge Celtic, Guiseley, Bradford Park Avenue and FC United of Manchester.

His last semi-pro deal was with Droylsden back in 2019 and he's now playing charity football alongside the likes of Lee Sharpe and Denis Irwin for a team known as 'Jet2 All Stars'.

Photo: Action Images

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CockneyDale added 14:01 - Sep 9
As someone with the same surname, I was hoping for some great headlines involving Dale and Dickinson, but it never came to pass...

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