Loan players are part of the scenery these days, especially in the Championship. Heck, they’ve even got their own window, one in which Premier League teams palm off their wares and tout them to clubs like ours in the hope that they’ll get to play in front of proper crowds and come back to them having undergone some kind of rites of passage bildungsromanesque maturation, having experienced the hurly-burly of lower league football. Either that or they go to play in Holland for Vitesse.
From the perspective of the loan player, it’s a chance to impress both your actual employers and your prospective employers. Some see it as a chance to secure a permanent move to a club that actually values their talent. For others, it’s an obstacle and a chore that is beneath them until they finally break into the first team and dislodge one of those pesky foreigners blocking their career path. Some players have even taken the art of being the loanee to higher levels and made it into an art form: a big hello to Ryan Bertrand. But there’s also another category: the older pro who’s lost a yard of pace, is less mobile than he once was but would just like to play football because, you know, he’s not getting any younger and at his age, he just wants to get there – it’s all he’s ever known.
We’ve had them all down at the City Ground, in all shapes and sizes (step forward Adam Proudlock). So here they are, a collection of those you might not remember and those you might wish not to remember. We present perhaps the most underwhelming bunch of loaness ever to have graced our hallowed turf:
Colin Doyle - Year: 2004-05, Apps: 3 Goals:0
You remember him: he threw one in at White Hart Lane. This isn't that moment but this guy played for us:
Iain Turner - Year: 2009. Apps: 3 Goals: 0
No. Me either.
Andy Melville - Year: 2005. Apps: 13 Goals: 0
Turned inside out by Dele Adebola against Coventry City in a crucial relegation battle, which we lost. That’s some feat.
Will Hoskins - Year: 2008 Apps: 2 Goals: 0
Clean through on your debut against Millwall after five minutes. Oh, you’ve fluffed it.
Michael Chopra Year: 2004 Apps: 5 Goals: 0
I’ve got nothing.
Nick Barmby - Year: 2004 Apps: 6 Goals: 1
Ran around a lot.
Yoann Folly - Year: 2005 Apps: 1 Goals: 0
QRR away. Scored a goal in the FA Cup in 3-0 win. Good work for the one appearance, I guess.
James Henry - Year: 2007 Apps: 1 Goals: 0
Touted as a wunderkid but in reality, a decent League 1 player.
Carl Fletcher - Year: 2008 Apps: 5 Goals: 0
Lee Martin - Year: 2008 Apps: 13 Goals: 1
Scored a lovely goal at home against Watford in 1 3-2 win early doors in the season but that’s about it.Thought he was Cristiano Ronaldo. Wasn't.
Gary McSheffrey - Year: 2009 Aps: 4 Goals:0
Not the Gary McSheffrey I thought I knew.
Scott Wootton - Year: 2012 Apps: 13 Goals: 0
Solid. Unspectacular. Looked great in our woeful team. Unable to get a game with Leeds these days.
Daniel Ayala - Year: 2012-13 Apps: 12 Goals: 1
At first he was alright. But then he was a bit rubbish. Still not forgiven him for getting himself sent off at Watford in a 2-0 defeat before half-time. Here's Daniel enjoying a happier moment in a Forest shirt:
James Coppinger - Year: 2012 Apps: 6 Goals: 0
Not the James Coppinger that terrorised us in Doncaster Rovers’ colours. Don’t bet on him returning any time soon.
Adam Proudlock - Year: 2003 Apps: 3 Goals: 0
I trusted Paul Hart’s judgment on this one. He was way off. We were desperate. Enjoy this moment in which he almost misses from four yards out for the might Telford against Eastwood Town. Happy times.
Mikkel Beck - Year: 1999-00 Apps: 5 Goals: 1
He scored a goal for us? Also notable for, while playing against us for Middlesbrough, coming on as a substitute after 59 minutes, but being so bad he was himself taken off in the 87th. Ouch.
Matthew Upson - Year: 2000 Apps: 1 Goals: 0
Francis Benali - Year: 2001 Apps: 15 Goals: 0
I know he did play for us and I do remember being pleased about it at the time but…to be fair though, those marathon runs really are some achievement.
Richard Gough - Year: 1999 Apps: 7 Goals: 0
As a kid, I remember writing a piece of English homework on Richard Gough and Stuart Pearce and how I respected them. No, I’ve no idea how he managed to squirm his way into my consciousness at such a tender age either. That defending against Derby County at their place…
They left little mark. We may not remember them. But we thank them for their efforts.