Your club’s worst player... EVER! As voted for by the fans
Accrington Stanley (Justin Jackson)
By Lee Walker (@leewasi)
Stanley have had some truly abysmal strikers over the years, but the majority of those arrived on free transfers or loans, and with little or no previous history.
After a couple of appearances – including one of Stanley's classic FA Cup wins – he was moved on six weeks later after failing to turn up for training
Jackson, however, is an exception to the rule having been signed for £150,000 by his previous club Doncaster. Perhaps we should have known when Rovers’ chairman decided to pay up his contract.
Still, having arrived on a free, much was expected of Jackson after productive spells in the Conference, where he was top scorer in the 1999/2000 season. It wasn’t to be: after a couple of appearances (including one of Stanley's classic FA Cup wins against Huddersfield in 2003, it should be noted) he was moved on six weeks later after failing to turn up for training.
You can see Jackson below, wearing No.24, dancing around during the celebrations against Huddersfield. Needless to say, he’s not remembered for much else.
AFC Wimbledon (Andre Blackman)
By Gary Jordan (@Gazjor1)
The 26-year-old-back left-back was on the books of both Arsenal and Tottenham at youth level – but that’s as good as it got. After being released by Bristol City for a “disciplinary matter”, he landed at AFC Wimbledon in June 2010.
Unbelievably he landed at Celtic next – if not for long – but duly failed to hit double figures for appearances at seven clubs after AFC Wimbledon
An OK pre-season included a winner against an Arsenal XI, and he duly got the nod for first-team duties. But only 13 league appearances (and six yellow cards) later, Blackman was deemed “surplus to requirements”.
His temperament always overshadowed any ability he may have had. Unbelievably he landed at Celtic next – if not for long – but duly failed to hit double figures for appearances at seven clubs after AFC Wimbledon (including a brief stint in Morocco). He’s now finally found a home at Crawley, where he’s a first-team regular.
(There’s no AFC Wimbledon clip, but this sums him up nicely.)
Arsenal (Igor Stepanovs)
By Tim Stillman (@Stillberto)
Like Gus Caesar, Stepanovs will only ever be remembered for one game.
Ray Parlour spins a good yarn about him and his Gunners team-mates deliberately overstating Stepanovs’ ability to Arsene Wenger while the stopper was on trial, in order to wind up the notoriously anxious Martin Keown
Arsenal travelled to Old Trafford in February 2001 with a depleted defence; thus, a back four of Oleg Luzhny, Gilles Grimandi, a young Ashley Cole and Stepanovs were torn limb from limb by United, who had raced into a 5-1 lead by half-time and eventually won 6-1.
Dwight Yorke had netted a hat trick by the 35th minute, with the gangly Latvian centre-back trailing comically in his wake. That Stepanovs started nine consecutive games in the spring of 2002 – during the Gunners’ Double-winning run – will be forgotten, his brief Arsenal legacy forever besmirched by that fateful afternoon in Manchester.
Ray Parlour spins a good yarn about him and his Gunners team-mates deliberately overstating Stepanovs’ ability to Arsene Wenger while the stopper was on trial, in order to wind up the notoriously anxious Martin Keown. Talk about a joke backfiring.
Aston Villa (Aleksandar Tonev)
By Ian Woodcock (@Ian_A_Woodcock)
Sadly, what Villa got was a midfielder who couldn’t tackle, pass or cross
The words ‘worst’ and ‘Aston Villa’ have spent a concerning amount of time together over recent years. So with that in mind, I've plumped for a player who was – if only briefly – part of the club's decline.
Aleksandar Tonev arrived at Villa Park in the summer of 2013 with a recommendation from countryman and Villa legend Stiliyan Petrov, plus the customary YouTube video of him scoring goals from miles out.
Sadly, what Villa got was a midfielder who couldn’t tackle, pass or cross. The shots which had bothered Bulgarian nets now either flew over the bar or dribbled forlornly past the post. Not that it stopped Tonev attempting them from 40 yards whenever he’d found his way onto the pitch.
Villa won just two of his 17 league appearances, and he was farmed out on loan to Celtic for the next season. Tonev endured an equally unhappy time north of the border after he was handed a seven-match ban for racially abusing Aberdeen full-back Shay Logan.
He's currently on the verge of being relegated to Serie B with Crotone, having achieved the same feat with Frosinone last season. Aleksandar the not-so-great.
Barnet (Mark Flashman)
Flashman played the final day of one Conference season, with the first team rested for a local League Cup final the next day, and had an utter howler as they were humiliated 5-1
Check out the forum thread yourself: Flashman has cropped up a number of times in there. Even then, the comments perhaps don’t justify him.
Mark Flashman, son of then-chairman Stan, played a number of games under Barry Fry in the late 1980s. Whether or not he was in the team because of family relations is for the cynics to decide but, playing second fiddle to regular keeper Gary Phillips, he enjoyed a few run-outs in the first team.
Flashman played the final day of one Conference season, with the first team rested for a local League Cup final the next day, and had an utter howler as they were humiliated 5-1.
During one reserves game he received some heckling from a Barnet fan, which riled Daddy Stan enough to ask whether the critic ‘would like to keep his legs’. He replied that it would do the club a favour if Mark lost his – and quickly left the stadium.
Accrington-Barnet • Barnsley-Blackpool • Bolton-Brentford • Brighton-Burnley • Burton-Cardiff • Carlisle-Cheltenham • Chesterfield-Crawley • Crewe-Doncaster • Everton-Fulham • Gillingham-Huddersfield • Hull-Leicester • Leyton Orient-Man City • Man United-Millwall • MK Dons-Newport • Northampton-Notts County • Oldham-Plymouth • Portsmouth-QPR • Reading-Scunthorpe • Sheffield United-Southampton • Southend-Sunderland • Swansea-Walsall • Watford-Wigan • Wolves-Yeovil