Woking Football Club, The Laithwaite Community Stadium, Kingfield, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9AA01483 772470
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Woking History

A Season To Remember - 1996/97

By Neil Bennett

The following appeared in the matchday programme during the 2008/09 season.
With thanks to Mark Doyle for kindly providing the pictures.

Part Eighteen

1996/1997: The Players: a brief 'Where Are They Now'

1996/97 Squad Photo

1996/97 Squad

Laurence Batty (45) Darling of the KRE for nine years until his release in 2000, after making over 420 appearances, to make way for the disastrous Mark Ormerod. Went on to play for St Albans and Walton & Hersham, whom he also managed. Goalkeeping coach at Wycombe until last autumn.
Appearances 1996/97, League & Cup: 46, Goals: 1

Kevin Betsy (30) Blooded under the BFG in 96/97, flourished under McGovern the following season. Approaching 300 League appearances and £500,000 in transfer fees in a career that has seen spells with Fulham, Bournemouth, Hull, Barnsley, Hartlepool, Oldham, Wycombe, Bristol City, Yeovil and Walsall. Currently with Southend.

Kevan Brown (42) Indefensibly allowed to leave the following March in McGovern's defining moment of crass ineptitude. Returned from Yeovil in 2000 for a largely unhappy spell as a player and latterly (and abortively) coach. A dignified model of utter dependability in defence. Now Director of Sport at St Francis School in Pewsey, Wiltshire.

Andy Ellis (42) Outlasted, and even briefly succeeded, McGovern, managing the side for one game following his sacking. Mostly a peripheral figure in 96/97 but scorer of crucial goals, at odds with a season of impossible consistency the previous year. Went on to play for Worcester City and Leamington. Now a lecturer.

Colin Fielder (44) Victim of Cards' indifferent early autumn form. Ended his playing career with Aldershot, with whom he retains close associations. Still earns his living in the carpet industry and lives in Hampshire.

Steve Foster (34) The move his outstanding 40-game Cards' career deserved arrived in the summer. Played nearly 200 games for Bristol Rovers and over 100 for his next club, Doncaster. After a year with Scunthorpe he now captains Darlington in League 3.

Simon Garner (49) Forever a symbol of the beginning of the end for the BFG, after his release from prison Garner played for Wealdstone, Flackwell Heath and Windsor, working as a postman and then a decorator. His autobiography was published in 2002 and he was recently voted Blackburn's Greatest Player of All Time. Re-trained as a journalist, and now combines various media and hospitality roles for Blackburn alongside work for the PFA.

Giuliano Grazioli (33) A reputable source of goals in a lower league career with Peterborough, Swindon and Bristol Rovers. Most successful at Barnet, with whom he won the Conference title in 2005. Still playing, currently with Dover.

John Gregory (31) Understudy to Laurence Batty, appearing nine times. Released at the end of the season.

Darran Hay (39) Left, for Stevenage, in 2000 after passing the 200 game mark. Never recaptured his brand of fitful potency away from Kingfield. Later managed, most recently home-town club, Hitchin.

Terry Howard (43) Moved to Aldershot in 1998. Remains revered at Leyton Orient, where he was named among the club's greatest ten players ever, and also, remarkably, published his splendidly-titled autobiography Ooh Terry Howard. Still works at Billingsgate Fish Market.
44 (1)/1

Junior Hunter (34) Shipped out in October '97 after the arrival of record signing, Steve West. Later played for Enfield and St.Albans.

Paul Hyde (45) Still playing, for Hythe in the Kent League.

Justin Jackson (34) Cards cut their losses at the beginning of 97/98, recouping their original outlay in Jackson's sale to Notts County. A regular, if not prolific, goalscorer with Rotherham, Halifax, Morecambe, Rushden, Doncaster (for whom he was memorably sent off at Kingfield in 2001), Accrington, Tamworth and Brackley. Ended last season at Bromsgrove Rovers.

Tom Jones (44) Playing career wound down in 2004 with Swindon Supermarine and Shrivenham after he left Kingfield in 1998. Later coached in Korea alongside Ian Porterfield, and briefly managed Armenia at international level in 2007 after Porterfield's death from cancer.

Aiden Kilner (31) Released, then oddly re-signed in the close season. He nevertheless failed to fullfil early promise, later playing for Sutton, Godalming Town and Guildford United.

Grant Payne (33) Joined permanently as McGovern's first signing then sold controversially to Aldershot Town in 1999 as the club spiralled into pre-Ingram financial meltdown. Player/Manager with Westminster Casuals. Lives in Woking.

Hans Segers (48) After his famous solitary appearance in a Cards shirt, Segers returned to Wolves after being cleared of match-fixing charges, playing eleven games at Championship level. Moved on to Spurs, where he was goalkeeping coach until Martin Jol's dismissal in 2007. Author of books and public speaker on his Christian faith.

Scott Steele (37) Just 25 back then and probably at his peak before injury deprived him of the edge to his game that made him a Kingfield legend. Left amid the chaos of the BFG's second coming in 2002. Saw out his career at Kingstonian and Bisley, before successfully managing Guildford City last season alongside Lloyd Wye.

Robin Taylor (38) Remained at Kingfield until 1999. Subsequently coached in the USA, returning to play for Kingstonian. A teacher in History and PE in Walton.

Steve Thompson (46) Back playing (for Bridgewater Town) after his eleven year spell as player, assistant manager and (on three separate occasions, two as caretaker) manager with Yeovil ended with Russell Slade's recent departure. Sold for £7500 in 1998 and replaced by Wayne Sutton: a more damning indictment of the McGovern era you could not find.

Dave Timothy (34) Another who was unable to sustain early promise. Played his best football at Kingfield, leaving in '99 and seeing service with Hampton & Richmond, Sutton, Slough, Carshalton and Kingstonian.

Clive Walker (51) Left for Cheltenham, with whom he won both a Conference title and an FA Trophy medal under Steve Cotterill, after failing to land the manager's job he so clearly sought. Now 51, works for both the BBC and SKY TV. Co-director of Sporting Experience, a football-based corporate hospitality company, with fellow ex-Chelsea player, Jason Cundy.

Steve Wood (46) Injury at Dover effectively ended his playing career, though Wood was already demonstrating an obvious business acumen through establishing a chain of soccer schools. Now a specialist in sports law and a players' agent.

Lloyd Wye (42) The bitterness surrounding his departure appears to have dissipated a little with the passage of time, with this legendary figure an occasional Kingfield visitor still. Ended his playing career with Farnborough, Staines and Bisley, then managed with success at Guildford.

Shane Wye (43) Living, working and raising a young family in New Zealand, where he plays for and coaches Wanagnui Athletic. Left the club for the final time in 2001, after more than 370 appearances.

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