JOHN BLACKWELL General Manager
|John Blackwell has been involved with the club for many years, helping with the coaching and running the reserve team in the seventies, as Club Secretary from 1978 onwards and as General Manager since 1998. He has even been on the substitute's bench three time for the Pilgrims. He was a member of the Vauxhall Conference Management Committee for nine years and the Unibond League Management Commitee for five years. As a youngster he started off as a goalkeeper with Tower Road School and Kitwood Boys School. He played in successive Pitcher Cup final victories for Kitwood, the first as a keeper against George Farmer, the second as a striker against Sleaford. His prowess at junior level won him a trial with Peterborough United, but he decided to play locally, first with Boston Athletic, then Real Towell. His biggest disappointment is that he was not good enough to play football at a top level. The match he most remembers is the FA Trophy semi-final against Altrincham at York Street back in 1985. In his leisure time he enjoys watching sport on TV, reading the Saturday evening football papers and being with his family.
STEVE EVANS Manager
Appointed manager in October 98, following the resignation of Greg Fee. Previously manager of Dr. Martens Midland Division side Stamford AFC, where he enjoyed huge success, bringing them the United Counties League Title in both 96/7 and 97/8 and promotion to the Dr. Martens League.
Hailing from Scotland, he began his playing career with Bolton Wanderers,
but he soon moved back north of the border to play for Clyde, Ayr United
and then St. Johnstone. He was forced to give up playing football at the age
of twenty eight, by a cruciate knee-ligament injury. His dramatic impact on
United's fortunes in transforming them from relegation candidates to title
challengers and ultimately the runners-up spot in his first season, then the
league title in his second season, has made him a cult hero with the fans on
The players that Steve most admires are Kenny Dalglish and Roy Keane. His favourite grounds are Celtic Park and Sheepy Road, Atherstone. His least favourite grounds are Ibrox and the South Kesteven Sports Stadium, Grantham. The advice that he would give to a youngster who wants to make a career in football is to work hard and always listen. He plays golf in his spare time.
|JIM WOODS Club Physiotherapist
|Returned to Boston early in the 2001/2 season after spending a few seasons as Grimsby Town's Reserve and Youth team physiotherapist. He is the brother of former Norwich City and England goalkeeper Chris Woods.
PAUL BASTOCK b. 19/5/70 Goalkeeper
Born: Leamington Spa
Paul is one of the most highly regarded goalkeepers in non-league football and is now in his tenth season with the club after joining United from Kettering Town in 92-3.
First choice keeper for Boston United, "Bazza" was the only squad member who
started in all 42 Nationwide Conference games during the 2000-01 season.
Always popular with both home and away supporters, he had an outstanding
season, making many spectacular saves, often at crucial moments. A highlight
of his season was when he almost scored his first goal for the club - a long
kick downfield during the home game against Scarborough bounced over his
opposite number and headed towards an open net, but got stuck in the mud on
As he used to live a few miles down the road from Birmingham it is no surprise that he supports Birmingham City. Paul believes that you should support your local team. "Bazza" enjoyed his schooldays although he came away with no qualifications, as he spent most of his final year training with Coventry City.
Paul is one of the few United players to have settled locally, living in the town with wife Ann (a Bostonian), and children Laura and Callum. He said "becoming a father has changed me because I have grown up and steadied down and it has taught me a lot about myself."
Away from football his main priority is his family but he also likes to play golf and snooker. One of the sporting events outside football Paul would like to go and see is the Ryder Cup.
It is not surprising that when he was younger he admired Peter Shilton and Neville Southall and nowadays one of his favourite players is Chris Woods, all great international goalkeepers in their time.
During the earlier part of his career Paul spent six months playing football in Malaysia, which he enjoyed considerably. He said it was a fantastic experience, but the standard was only about Vauxhall Conference level.
Paul's advice to any youngsters who want to make a career in football is to get an education and prepare for the high points when they come because you can suffer a lot more low points.
After "Bazza" has finished playing football he would like to coach boys football teams. He says that an advantage of being a footballer is that you become a bit of a personality and you get a lot of free time, but a disadvantage is that you never get to celebrate at Christmas and the New Year.
Paul does have a superstition, which is that he does everything three times, for example if the ball is coming towards him in a game he will touch his gloves three times.
When asked what he thought about the Boston fans he said: "The majority are critical, but the youth element of the crowd are the supportive ones. They all pay their money so they are entitled to have their say." Paul also said he would like to hear the fans get behind the team more. He would like to be remembered as a steady goalkeeper who was always committed to the team.
NICK CONROY b. 9/4/76 Goalkeeper
|Nick Conroy signed for Boston United in December 2000 from United Counties League side Yaxley as goalkeeping cover following Kevin Martin's departure. He made his first-team debut for the Pilgrims in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup Final against former club Stamford - but it was not a happy debut as Boston were beaten 2-1. He made his Conference debut in April 2001 when he was brought on at the end of the first half in the match at Hednesford Town following the dismissal of Paul Bastock. He showed little sign of nerves and this time he finished on the winning side as Boston romped home 4-2.
JIM RODWELL b. 20/11/70 Defender
|Jim Rodwell joined Boston United on a free transfer from Rushden & Diamonds in February 2002. He had been with the Diamonds since May 1996 and had made 84 appearances for them, scoring four goals. He also appeared on the TV show "Britain's Brainiest Footballer", finishing third.
PAUL ELLENDER b. 21/10/74 Defender
|A central defender who was Boston United's record signing when he joined the club from Scarborough one day before the start of the 2001/2 season. He joined Scunthorpe United on leaving school but was released at the end of the 93/4 season. He was snapped up by Gainsborough Trinity where he was a great success. Moves to Altrincham and Scarborough followed, and at each club he has played at he has become an instant hero with the fans for his commanding displays.
MARK MONINGTON b. 21/10/70 Defender
|Central defender Mark Monington was signed up by Boston United in June 2001 after being released by Rochdale.
ANDY LODGE b. 17/5/78 Defender
Signed in January 2000 from Stamford AFC. A young left-sided wing back, he has slowly been making his mark on the first team over his two seasons with the club.
|Not quite yet a regular in the side, he made 22 first team appearances in 2000-01. He is often seen making surging runs down the wing and is a good crosser of the ball. The player he most admires is Ryan Giggs. Away from football he likes playing snooker and pool and watching boxing.
ROSS WEATHERSTONE b. 16/5/81 Defender
A young defender signed from Oxford United, along with his brother Simon, on a
free transfer in February 2001. Like his brother, he came through the youth
scheme at Oxford. An instant hit with the Boston supporters. A fearless
tackler, he was knocked unconscious and picked up a large gash across his
forehead following a challenge in his debut match, at home to Northwich
Victoria. A knee injury picked up in the home game against Southport in March
2001 ruled him out for the rest of the season.
At Oxford, he made his League debut in a match against his home town club Reading, which Oxford won 2-1. He made three League appearances for Oxford, before picking up a knee injury that kept him sidelined.
NEIL THOMPSON b. 2/10/63 Defender
|Joined the club from Scarborough to help with the coaching. Was drafted into the Boston first team after all the regular defenders were ruled out due to injury or suspension.
RAY WARBURTON b. 7/10/67 Defender
|An experienced central defender, signed from Rushden & Diamonds in March 2002. Since joining Rotherham as an apprentice in 1985 he made over four hundred League appearances, scoring 31 goals, playing for York City, Northampton Town and Rushden & Diamonds.
SIMON RUSK b. 17/12/81 Midfield
Previous clubs: Peterborough United, Cambridge City.
|Simon was signed from the Peterborough United Academy side in March 2001 after being released by the Posh. He has played three times for the Scotland Under 18 team. Previously also had a loan spell with Cambridge City. He scored the only goal of the game on his home debut in the match against Southport, after running sixty yards to get into the right position to bundle the ball home. Overall he scored twice in his six appearances at the end of the 2000-01 season.
MARK CLIFFORD b. 11/9/77 Midfield
|Signed in Febrary 2001 from Ilkeston Town for a fee of £7,500. Although notionally a right-sided midfielder, he was slotted into the side at right back, where his pace and sharpness of tackle soon earned him a regular first-team slot.
PETER COSTELLO b. 31/10/69 Midfield
Signed after returning from a spell in Hong Kong. Has made over 100 League appearances, scoring 19 goals.
His most memorable match was when he played for Bradford City against Leeds
United at Elland Road in March 1989. The match, in the old Second Division,
was played in front of a crowd of 33,325. It ended in a 3-3 draw and Peter
scored the second Bradford goal with a stunning 25 yard volley. The biggest
influence on his career has been Geoff Lee, the Bradford City youth team
coach. The footballers he has most admired are Stuart McCall (Bradford City)
and Mick Halsall (Peterborough United). In his spare time he likes playing
golf, watching horse racing and most of all, spending time with his daughter
After picking up the Boston United "Player of the Year" award in 1999-00, Peter Costello's 2000-01 season was something of an anti-climax. Out of the side for most of the season with a serious hamstring injury, he only made 14 starts for the club. But when he did return to the side late in the season, the signs were encouraging enough to suggest that he could pick up further awards if he can stay injury-free. A bustling midfielder with an eye for goal, who always gives 100%, he scored 7 goals in the 2000-01 season. He gained his UEFA B coaching badge during the season, which should help him with his desire to move into club management in the future.
DARREN BEESLEY b. 16/3/81 Midfield
|Darren Beesley joined Boston United from Airdrieonians in January 2002.
JAMES GOULD b. 15/1/82 Midfield
|A product of the "Cobblers" youth side, signed up in June 2001 after being released by Northampton Town.
MICKEY BROWN b. 8/2/68 Midfield
|Signed up from Shrewsbury Town at the start of the 2001/2 season after impressing in pre-season trials. An attacking midfielder with the speed and ability to beat defenders. He joined Shrewsbury Town as an apprentice in 1985 and broke into the first team a year later, he had spells with Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End and Rochdale, but in each case he returned to Shrewsbury to continue his footballing career. Overall he has made 418 League appearances, scoring 36 goals.
JAMIE COOK b. 2/8/79 Forward
|Jamie Cook was one of three players signed by Boston United from Oxford United on free transfers in February 2001. A tricky striker who is capable of wriggling his way through opposition defences. He opened his goal-scoring account in the final game of the season against Hereford United with a pair of goals, one of which was a spectacular long-range volley. Whilst at Oxford he made 92 League appearances, scoring seven goals.
DAVID TOWN b. 9/12/76 Forward
Signed up after he was released by Rushden & Diamonds just before the
transfer deadline at the end of the 00/01 season. Up against leading
Conference marksmen Justin Jackson and Duane Darby, he was having trouble
breaking into the Diamonds' first team. A versatile forward, he scored three
goals in his six starts for the "Pilgrims" in the 2000-01 season, one tap-in,
one header and one stunning volley from the edge of the area.
He joined Bournemouth as a trainee in April 1995, he soon made the first team and scored ten goals in 92 appearances before moving on to Rushden & Diamonds for £30,000 in May 99. He scored seven goals in 25 appearances for the Diamonds. He also had a short loan spell with Hayes.
DARYL CLARE b. 1/8/78 Forward
|Boston United signed up Republic of Ireland Under 21 International Daryl Clare from Grimsby Town in the summer. He had two loan spells with Northampton Town and one with Cheltenham Town during his time with Grimsby. Overall he has made 118 League appearances, scoring 13 goals.
SIMON WEATHERSTONE b. 26/1/80 Forward
|A young striker signed from Oxford United on a free transfer in February 2001. He settled well into the side and soon got on the scoresheet, producing five goals in his thirteen starts. He came through the youth scheme at Oxford, and was offered a professional contract at the club when just seventeen years old. He scored his first League goal in the dying seconds of a match against Nottingham Forest, after coming on as a substitute. Overall he made 56 League appearances, scoring 4 goals. He is the brother of defender Ross Weatherstone.
ANTHONY ELDING b. 16/4/82 Forward
Youngster who joined the Boston United Academy at the end of the 1998/9 season.
His impressive goal scoring with Boston United Reserves
soon resulted in a call up to the first team squad. He finally made his full
debut for the first team in a Nationwide Variety Club Trophy match against
Nuneaton in September 2000, and what a start it was, he headed home the
opening goal after just 32 seconds of the match. With strong competition for
forward places he only managed to start one more first team match in the
season, but he was often on the subs bench, sometimes being brought on for the
last few minutes to pick up vital experience. With strength and an eye for
goal, one to watch for the future.
He has also scored nine goals in five games when playing for the Lincolnshire FA Under 18 side. Anthony says that it is all down to Chris Cook that he is at Boston United. He is also pleased that Steve Evans is taking an interest in the young players at the club, giving them an opportunity to succeed. He is being sponsored by United director Roy Hackford, for which Anthony is very thankful. His most memorable match to date was when he played for the Nottingham Forest youth team in a match against Liverpool, which Forest won 2-1 with Anthony scoring one of the goals. The player he admires most is David Ginola. Outside of football, the sporting event he would most like to see is a Formula One Grand Prix.
NEIL TARRANT b. 24/6/79 Forward
|Neil Tarrant joined Boston United on loan from Scottish League Division One side Ross County in January 2002.
MARK ANGEL b. 23/8/75 Forward
|Boston United signed up Mark Angel from Darlington in June 2001. A skilful winger in the traditional mould, he had been on-loan at Queen of the South for much of the previous season.
GERRARD 'GEZ' MURPHY b. 19/12/78 Forward
|Boston United signed up Gez Murphy in the summer from Telford United, after he had been released by the "Bucks" at the end of the season. He had been Telford's top scorer in the 1999/2000 season with sixteen goals.
MARK FREEMAN b. 27/1/70 Defender UNAVAILABLE FOLLOWING PELVIC INJURY
|A big, experienced, central defender, signed up during the close season from Cheltenham Town for £15,000. He started his footballing career with Bilston Town before moving on to Wolves for two years. He made a name for himself when helping Hednesford Town rise from the Dr Martens League Midland Division into the Conference. After a short spell with Gloucester City he was transferred to Cheltenham Town for £7,500 in February 1996. He was a key member of the Cheltenham squad that won promotion to the Football League in 1999.
JAMES EVANS b. 27/1/82 Goalkeeper CONTRACT EXPIRED
|Signed up from Bolton Wanderers as a stand-in keeper to provide cover at the start of the 2001/2 season.
PHIL GRAY b. 2/10/68 Forward LOAN PERIOD EXPIRED
|A Northern Ireland international, signed on loan in October 2001 from Oxford United. Previously he had been the subject of an £800,000 transfer from Luton to Sunderland in 1993. He has scored 90 goals in 326 League appearances.
MIKE MARSH b. 21/7/69 Midfield RETIRED
|Boston United signed up former Liverpool midfielder Mike Marsh from Southport for £15,000 in June 2001. He was voted Conference Player of the Year for the 1999/2000 season after helping Kidderminster Harriers win promotion to the Football League.
JAMES DICK b. 21/6/74 Midfield ON LOAN WITH STENHOUSEMUIR
Born: Bellshill, Strathclyde
|When Boston United manager Steve Evans signed up fellow Scot Jim Dick from Airdrieonians in June 2000, he described him as being the "Best midfielder in the Conference". A tenacious, hard tackling, central midfielder, he missed quite a few games last season after being suspended - most of his twelve bookings being picked up for dissent.
GARY BRABIN b. 9/12/70 Midfield CONTRACT EXPIRED
|An experienced midfielder who was a key member of the Hull City side that made the Division Three playoffs in 2000/1, he was surprisingly released at the end of the season. Has made 228 League appearances, scoring 25 goals.
KEN CHARLERY b. 28/11/64 Forward FREE TRANSFER TO DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE
The Pilgrims broke their transfer fee record to sign up Ken Charlery from
Third Division side Barnet for £25,000 in September 2000. This prolific
striker had been Barnet's top scorer the previous season with 13 goals.
Overall in his footballing career he has scored 118 goals in 432 League
appearances. He was a member of the Maidstone United squad that won promotion
from the Conference back in 1988/9 and in that season he scored the first
goal in Maidstone's 3-0 home win against Boston.
He scored four minutes into his debut for the Pilgrims when he fired home from close range at Northwich Victoria. He finished the season as top scorer with 16 goals from 34 starts, 4 of his goals being from the penalty spot. A typical goal poacher with the knack of being in the right place at the right time to tap home. Had a long spell in mid-season when he failed to find the net, but finished the season strongly with well taken goals in the last two games. His best goal of the season was an audacious overhead chip with his back to goal that gave Boston a late equaliser in their home match against Conference champions Rushden & Diamonds. He was called up for the England semi-professional side in March 2001 and came on to score a goal in the 77th minute of the match against Holland.
DION SCOTT b. 24/12/80 Defender LOAN PERIOD EXPIRED
Born: Bearwood, Bournemouth
|Boston United signed Dion Scott on a month's loan as defensive cover in November 2001. He had previously been with Walsall where he had been captain of their youth team. He has made two League appearances for Walsall. Returned for another month on-loan at the end of December 2001.
PAUL NEWTON b. 16/1/80 Goalkeeper RELEASED
|Signed up in December 2001 as a stand-in keeper to provide cover following an injury to Nick Conroy.
STEVE MCGARRY b. 28/9/79 Forward RETURNED TO ST MIRREN
|Steve McGarry joined Boston United on a three month loan spell from Scottish League Division One side St. Mirren in January 2002. In his time at St. Mirren he had made 160 first team appearances and scored 27 goals.
KEVIN EVANS b. 16/12/80 Midfield LOAN PERIOD EXPIRED
|Kevin Evans joined Boston United in February 2002, on a month's loan from Cardiff City. He had made 34 appearances in the Cardiff City side that had won promotion from the Third Division the previous season.
JAMES FLETCHER b. 24/2/83 Defender
|A left back who spent the 2000/1 season in the Boston United "Academy".
BRIAN HARDIE b. 17/4/85 Midfield
|Has a great left foot and supports the front men superbly. A former Peterborough junior.
PAUL HART b. 6/9/84 Forward
|Six foot striker who has a great touch and the ability to finish in the six yard box. Was released by Ipswich Town.
DAN WORNHAM b. 18/11/84 Midfield LEFT THE CLUB
|A centre half who reads the game superbly. He made a number of appearances for the first team in pre-season matches, including a goal scoring appearance against Northampton Town. Also plays a mean game of chess. Previously with Ipswich Town.
ANDREW LONG Defender LEFT THE CLUB
|A right back who is strong in the tackle and has a good right foot. Formerly a junior with Bradford City.
PAUL TAYLOR Defender LEFT THE CLUB
|A centre back who has already made his first team debut, in the Lincolnshire County Cup match against Scunthorpe United.
MATTHEW ROACH Midfield LEFT THE CLUB
|A midfielder in the Roy Keane mould. Tough in the tackle and goes from box to box. Previously on the books of Southampton.
STUART FERGUS Forward LEFT THE CLUB
|Loves nothing more than getting the ball at his feet and running at defenders. Previously with Chelsea.
THOMAS ELWICK Midfield LEFT THE CLUB
Born: Newport, Gwent
|A Welshman who has represented Wales at under 15 level. Can play anywhere across the midfield. Released by Newcastle United.
MICHAEL SNEDDON Forward LEFT THE CLUB
|Lad who gets amongst defenders feet and punishes them by finishing well. Was previously a junior at Leicester City.
BEN EATON Forward LEFT THE CLUB
|Highly rated youngster who has tremendous movement and loves to have a crack at goal. Previously with Tottenham Hotspur.
Player interviews by: Becky Thompson.
Photographs copyright © Ken Fox and Adam Upsall, 2001.