Dean Windass: The Never-Ending Story

Brian RhodesSenior Analyst IFebruary 16, 2009

When we last saw our departing hero Dean Windass he was about to set sail on his swansong in the lower reaches of the Football League. Deano had upset the apple cart at his beloved Tigers in his frustration at a lack of first team playing time with the Premiership cubs Hull City.

After many a weblog and a heated discussion with fellow Hull City striker Marlon King (also jettisoned by the Hull City management and soon to be on trial on assault charges), Deano saw himself surplus to requirements by his boyhood favourites. Through many protestations and discussions with the Hull City management team, Deano found himself floundering around trying to find a berth to continue playing.

Many offers and enquires came in for Deano but the chance to join Coca Cola League One (CC1) outfit Oldham managed by old friend John Sheridan was the one for Deano. It also gave him the chance to rekindle an old friendship, with the veteran goalkeeper Mark Crossley, from his Boro days.

So, Deano set sail for Boundary Park, Oldham but would the chance to help cement Oldham as solid Championship promotion contenders be enough for the veteran striker who on April Fool's Day would reach his 40th birthday?

It didn't take Deano long to find his stride with the Latics. In his first run out with the Greater Manchester side he had three assists in their 3-1 victory over local rivals Stockport County. His form took a slight dip that coincided with a poor couple of games for the Boundary Park team as they fell to promotion rivals Scunthorpe at Glanford Park 2-0, and drew to Swindon Town 0-0.

Things were about to change for the Gypsyville boy against Leicester City, the runaway leaders in the CC1 that would cement Deano as a folk hero at yet another club.

On 50' Greg Fleming the Latics goalkeeper was shown a straight red card for hauling down Leicester City striker Matt Fryatt in the 18-yard box, giving away a penalty kick in the process.

As is common in lower league football a goalkeeping sub is sacrificed for more options on the bench for outfield players and Oldham were no different from many other clubs in not having a reserve keeper.

So, up steps our hero Deano. Windass took his time pulling on the green number one jersey on the edge of the 18 yard box and even longer to make sure that the gloves were just right, in an attempt to psych out the waiting Fryatt.

Deano's hi-jinks worked, the resultant spot kick was powered wide. Soon after the penalty he palmed a shot onto the post from Andy King and dived at the feet of Fryatt to block the rebound shot. Deano helped to keep out the division's highest scoring forward line with a string of brave and well timed saves.

In the post match interview the ever modest Windass offered his services to England manager Fabio Capello as goalkeeper in the friendly match against Spain.

The story doesn't end there though folks. On 14th February Dean Windass the journeyman striker (or goalkeeper) of Hull City (three times), North Ferriby Town, Aberdeen, Oxford United, Bradford City (twice), Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and now Oldham Athletic, scored his 200th professional career goal.

In true Deano fashion he was booked for his efforts. What more would you expect from the man that was famously shown the yellow card three times in one game for Aberdeen. Just this season he was booked for warming up too close to Stoke's procrastinating long throw specialist Rory Delap.

Deano, long may your character and skills continue to shine in English football, it sorely needs it.