Home Results News Table Squad Statistics

Boston United Squad 2002/2003

Management and Support Staff

JOHN BLACKWELL General Manager

Born: Kirton
Now lives: Boston
Status: Married to Maureen
Children: Lisa and Katie
Car: A Suzuki Liana sponsored by Cropley Motors

John Blackwell
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.

Neil Thompson NEIL THOMPSON b. 2/10/63 Manager

Born: Beverley
Previous clubs: Nottingham Forest, Hull City, Scarborough, Ipswich Town, Barnsley, Oldham and York City as a player and York City and Scarborough as manager.

Joined the club from Scarborough to help with the coaching. He was later drafted into the Boston first team after all the regular defenders were ruled out due to injury or suspension and ended up playing four times during the season. He was given the managerial reins when Steve Evans was suspended by the club after charges were brought against him by the FA.

JIM WOODS Club Physiotherapist Jim Woods
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.

Playing Staff

Paul Bastock PAUL BASTOCK b. 19/5/70 Goalkeeper

Born: Leamington Spa
Now lives: Boston
Status: Married to Ann
Children: Laura and Callum
Previous clubs: Coventry City, Cambridge United, Sabah(Malaysia), Fisher Athletic, Kettering Town.

Paul is a highly regarded goalkeeper and is now in his eleventh season with the club after joining United from Kettering Town in 92-3.

First choice keeper for Boston United, "Bazza" was the once again the squad member who started the most games during the 2001-02 season, only missing the opening Conference fixture against Margate due to suspension. Always popular with both home and away supporters, he had an outstanding season, making many spectacular saves, often at crucial moments and keeping 14 clean sheets.

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

Born: Peterborough
Previous clubs: Peterborough United, Kettering, Stamford AFC, Yaxley.

Nick Conroy
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.

MICHAEL PRICE b. 4/3/83 Goalkeeper

Born: Newcastle
Previous clubs: Leicester City.

Michael Price was signed on-loan from Leicester City for a month in February 2003 as goalkeeping cover after Nick Conroy picked up a hand injury.

LEE BEEVERS b. 4/12/83 Defender

Born: Doncaster
Previous clubs: Ipswich Town.

After impressing in trials with the reserves, Lee Beevers was signed on loan from Ipswich Town until the end of the season just before the transfer deadline in March 2003.

Matt Hocking MATTHEW HOCKING b. 30/1/78 Defender

Born: Boston
Previous clubs: Sheffield United, Hull City, York City.

Matt Hocking joined his home-town club on a free transfer when his contract with York City expired in the summer of 2002. He had started his footballing career with Sheffield United, but moved on to Hull City after failing to break into the "Blades" first team. After two seasons at Hull he had a loan spell with York City at the end of the 98/9 season which ended with a permanent move to the "Minstermen" for the following season. Overall he has made 154 League appearances, scoring 4 goals.

MARK GREAVES b. 22/1/75 Defender

Born: Hull
Previous clubs: Brigg Town, Hull City.

Mark Greaves
Mark Greaves was signed up by Boston United on a free transfer from Hull City in August 2002. He started his footballing career with Brigg Town, with whom he gained an FA Vase winners medal. He joined Hull City in June 1996 and during his time with them made 204 first team appearances, scoring 12 goals.

Paul Ellender PAUL ELLENDER b. 21/10/74 Defender

Born: Scunthorpe
Previous clubs: Scunthorpe United, Gainsborough Trinity, Altrincham, Scarborough.

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.

STUART BALMER b. 20/9/69 Defender

Born: Falkirk
Previous clubs: Celtic, Charlton Athletic, Oldham Athletic, Scunthorpe United.

Stuart Balmer
Experienced defender Stuart Balmer was signed up on-loan by Boston United from Oldham Athletic in December 2002 to provide defensive cover following an injury to Mark Greaves. He had played against Boston earlier in the season whilst on-loan with Scunthorpe United. Overall he had previously made 364 League appearances, scoring 18 goals.

Ben Chapman BEN CHAPMAN b. 2/3/79 Defender

Born: Scunthorpe
Previous clubs: Grimsby Town.

Ben Chapman was signed up from Grimsby Town after being released in the summer of 2002. He had been with Grimsby since 1997, having joined as a trainee. In his five seasons with the Mariners he had made 21 League appearances.

TOM BENNETT b. 12/12/69 Midfield

Born: Falkirk
Previous clubs: Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Stockport County, Walsall.

Tom Bennett
Tom Bennett joined Boston United in the summer of 2002 after being made available by Walsall. He had started his footballing career as a trainee with Aston Villa. After one season with Villa he moved on to Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he stayed until 1995. He then signed up with Stockport County. For the last three seasons he has been with Walsall, where he was team captain. Overall he had made 341 League appearances, scoring fifteen goals before joining Boston.

Simon Rusk 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.

ROBERT DICKINSON b. 27/11/83 Midfield

Born: Leeds
Previous clubs: Ipswich Town.

After impressing in trials with the reserves, Robert Dickinson was signed on loan from Ipswich Town until the end of the season just before the transfer deadline in March 2003.

Peter Costello PETER COSTELLO b. 31/10/69 Midfield

Born: Halifax
Now lives: Peterborough
Status: Married to Rosemary
Children: A daughter - Hope
Previous clubs: Bradford City (where he played with Greg Abbott!), Rochdale, Peterborough United, Lincoln City and Kettering Town.
Car: Ford Orion.

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 Hope.

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.

JAMES GOULD b. 15/1/82 Midfield

Born: Rushden
Previous clubs Northampton Town

James Gould
A product of the "Cobblers" youth side, signed up in June 2001 after being released by Northampton Town.

Neil Redfearn NEIL REDFEARN b. 20/6/65 Midfield

Born: Dewsbury
Previous clubs: Nottingham Forest, Bolton Wanderers, Lincoln City, Doncaster Rovers, Crystal Palace, Watford, Oldham Athletic, Barnsley, Charlton Athletic, Bradford City, Wigan Athletic, Halifax Town.

Experienced midfielder Neil Redfearn joined Boston United in the summer of 2002 after being released by relegated Halifax Town. Overall he has made 701 League appearances, scoring 146 goals. He had seven seasons with Barnsley, which saw them twice win promotion, first to Division One and then to the FA Premiership. A £1 million transfer to Charlton Athletic followed, before moving on to Bradford City, Wigan Athletic and Halifax Town.

ALEX HIGGINS b. 22/7/81 Midfield

Born: Sheffield
Previous clubs: Sheffield Wednesday, Queens Park Rangers, Chester City, Stalybridge Celtic.

Alex Higgins
Alex Higgins was signed up on non-contract terms in October 2002. He had previously made one League appearance after coming on as a substitute for the last ten minutes of a match for Queens Park Rangers.

Lee Thompson LEE THOMPSON b. 25/3/82 Midfield

Born: Sheffield
Previous clubs: Sheffield United.

Lee Thompson was signed up from Sheffield United on a month's loan in October 2002. A former England Schoolboy international, he has yet to make a first team appearance for the "Blades". He scored a spectacular winning goal in his second match for Boston, when a long range shot from the right wing curled over the keeper and into the net.

RICHARD LOGAN b. 4/1/82 Forward

Born: Bury St Edmunds
Previous clubs: Ipswich Town, Cambridge United, Torquay United.

Richard Logan
Richard Logan was signed on a one month contract in November 2002 after being released by Ipswich Town. Richard had joined Ipswich as a trainee in August 1998 and had made five substitute appearances in the first team. He had also had loan spells with Cambridge United and Torquay United.

GRAEME JONES b. 13/3/70 Forward

Born: Gateshead
Previous clubs: Bridlington Town, Doncaster Rovers, Wigan Athletic, St. Johnstone, Southend United.

Striker Graeme Jones signed up for the Pilgrims in March 2003 after obtaining release from his contract with Southend United. He scored on his debut for the Pilgrims with a stunning volley from the edge of the area.

SIMON WEATHERSTONE b. 26/1/80 Forward

Born: Reading
Previous clubs: Oxford United.

Simon Weatherstone
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 in his first season. Last season his impressive form continued, resulting in a trial with Bolton Wanderers. 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 for Oxford United.

David Town DAVID TOWN b. 9/12/76 Forward

Born: Bournemouth
Previous clubs Bournemouth, Rushden & Diamonds, Hayes.

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.

STUART DOUGLAS b. 9/4/78 Forward

Born: Enfield
Previous clubs: Luton, Oxford United, Rushden & Diamonds.

Stuart Douglas
Stuart Douglas joined Boston United on non-contract terms in August 2002. He had previously spent seven seasons with Luton Town and last season had loan spells with Oxford United and Rushden & Diamonds.

Mark Angel MARK ANGEL b. 23/8/75 Forward

Born: Newcastle
Previous clubs: Walker Central, Sunderland, Oxford United, West Bromwich Albion, Darlington, Queen of the South.

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.

PETER DUFFIELD b. 4/2/69 Forward

Born: Middlesbrough
Previous clubs: Middlesbrough, Sheffield United, Halifax Town, Rotherham United, Blackpool, AFC Bournemouth, Stockport County, Crewe Alexandra, Hamilton Academicals, Airdrieonians, Raith Rovers, Darlington, York City.

Peter Duffield
Much travelled striker Peter Duffield joined Boston United at the end of January 2003 after being released by York City. A proven goalscorer, he had previously scored 153 goals in 389 first team appearances, including one for York City against Boston earlier in the season.

YTS Lads

BRIAN HARDIE b. 17/4/85 Midfield LEFT THE CLUB

Born: Corby

Has a great left foot and supports the front men superbly. A former Peterborough junior.

PAUL HART b. 6/9/84 Forward LEFT THE CLUB

Born: Ipswich

Six foot striker who has a great touch and the ability to finish in the six yard box. Was released by Ipswich Town.

No longer with the club


Born: Nottingham
Previous clubs: Mansfield Town, Ilkeston Town.

Mark Clifford
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. At the end of the season he was rewarded for his defensive skills by winning a place in the "Conference Team of the Season".


Born: Reading
Previous clubs: Oxford United.

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.


Born: Dublin
Previous clubs: Manchester City

Patrick McCarthy
Central defender Patrick McCarthy was signed on-loan for a month from Manchester City in November 2002.


Born: Oxford
Previous clubs: Oxford United.

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.


Born: Doncaster
Previous clubs: Sheffield United, Southend United, Notts County, Bury, Northampton Town, Lincoln City.

Tony Battersby
Boston United signed up Tony Battersby in October 2002 on a three-month contract after he had been released by local rivals Lincoln City.


Born: Jersey
Previous clubs: Grimsby Town, Northampton Town, Cheltenham Town.

Boston United signed up Republic of Ireland Under 21 International Daryl Clare from Grimsby Town in the summer of 2001. He had two loan spells with Northampton Town and one with Cheltenham Town during his time with Grimsby. Overall he had made 118 League appearances, scoring 13 goals before joining Boston. Last season he topped the Conference goalscoring charts with 25 goals and picked up both the club and Conference Player of the Year awards.


Born: Doncaster
Previous clubs: Ipswich Town Academy.

Steve Burton
Steven Burton was signed up from Ipswich Town for three months on-loan in August 2002. He had already made a few appearances for Ipswich's reserve side as well as featuring in their under-17 side that reached the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup.

Jim Rodwell JIM RODWELL b. 20/11/70 Defender MOVED TO FARNBOROUGH TOWN

Born: Lincoln
Previous clubs Halesowen, Dagenham & Redbridge, Rushden & Diamonds.

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.


Born: Bilsthorpe
Previous clubs: Burnley, Rotherham United, Rochdale

Mark Monington
Central defender Mark Monington was signed up by Boston United in June 2001 after being released by Rochdale.


Born: Boston
Now lives: Boston
Status: Single
Children: None
Previous clubs: Wyberton Colts, the Nottingham Forest Centre of Excellence, Grimsby Town Academy and Lincoln City Academy.

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. Last season he made his breakthrough into more regular first team action and after picking up 6 goals in 12 starts was soon attracting the attention of League scouts. Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton Wanderers were amongst the clubs to give him trials. 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. 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.

RAY WARBURTON b. 7/10/67 Defender RETIRED

Born: Rotherham
Previous clubs: Rotherham, York City, Northampton Town, Rushden & Diamonds.

Ray Warburton
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.

Liam George LIAM GEORGE b. 2/2/79 Forward RELEASED

Born: Luton
Previous clubs: Luton, Clydebank, Stevenage Borough, Bury.

Former Eire under-21 international Liam George was signed up on non-contract terms in February 2003. He had started his footballing career as a trainee with his home town club Luton. He soon progressed to the first team and made over a hundred League apprearances for the "Hatters" before being released. He then had a trial with Clydebank followed by short spells with Stevenage Borough and Bury.


Born: Hull
Previous clubs: Hull City.

Ben Morley was signed up in August 2002 from his home town club Hull City. Whilst with the "Tigers" he made 34 first team appearances and scored one goal.

Player interviews by: Becky Thompson.

Photographs copyright © Ken Fox and Adam Upsall, 2002.

<< 00/1 01/2 02/3 03/4 04/5 05/6 06/7 07/8 08/9 09/10 >>