Mark Fish, Martin Brittain, Ian Miller, Darryl Knights and Mike Pollitt make the list of Ipswich Town’s ‘one-game wonders’
18:11 28 January 2016
Following the departure of James Alabi, who scored on his only Ipswich Town appearance at Doncaster, we take a look at 10 of the club’s one-game wonders.
Every club has them. The players who manage just one appearance before moving on, either to bigger and better things or because they just didn’t make the grade, with some one-game wonders living long in the minds of supporters and others vanishing from everyone’s thoughts.
Here we take a look at 10 players who, for a variety of reasons, made just one appearance during their time at Portman Road.
The South African centre-half enjoyed an impressive career which saw him play for Italian giants Lazio, become an icon at Bolton and sure up the defence at Charlton. However, it all came to an end after just one half of football with Ipswich, at QPR in 2005.
The centre-half was still searching for full fitness after falling through a glass table and suffering a serious shoulder injury, but was given a torrid time by the likes of Kevin Gallen and Paul Furlong before being replaced at the break. He announced his retirement soon after.
If you are going to turn out just once for a team, it may as well be in an impressive home victory over their most bitter of rivals. That’s exactly how Mike Pollitt spent his time with the Blues, having joined on loan from Wigan to cover for injuries, as he performed well in the 3-1 win over Norwich at Portman Road in November 2006.
Sadly, Wigan boss Paul Jewell quickly recalled his player due to an injury crisis and he was soon in Premier League action for the Latics, rather than helping out the Blues.
A homegrown midfielder in the mould of Matt Holland, Bloomfield was around the Ipswich Town first team squad at a congested time, with the likes of Holland, Jim Magilton, Tommy Miller and Jermaine Wright standing between him and first team action. That meant the England Under 19 cap made just one appearance for the Blues, away at Notts County in the League Cup, before moving on to Wycombe Wanderers just before Christmas in 2003.
Things have gone well though as he has become something of a club legend with more than 350 appearances for the Chairboys in over a decade and, complete with a sports journalism degree, he pens an insightful regular column on the BBC Sport website.
A 16-year-old boy making his debut for his hometown club live on television is fairytale stuff, but sadly it was as good as it got for Knights in the first team at Portman Road. He came off the bench away at Sunderland in November 2004 to great fanfare and went on to be a part of the team which won the FA Youth Cup later that season, but was loaned out to Yeovil before leaving permanently.
He did earn himself a professional career, though, and has turned out for the likes of Cambridge, Kidderminster and Newport, for whome he played in the FA Trophy final at Wembley in 2012. He’s now at Solihull Moors.
The winger was something of a mystery during his time at Portman Road, having once been tipped to make a real impact with boyhood club Newcastle. During his stint with the Blues his only outing came as a first-half substitute in a Carling Cup draw at Peterborough in 2006, with two loan spells at Yeovil following before he eventually moved to Carlisle on a free transfer.
He made just one league appearance there before moving to Walsall just six months later, where he again appeared only once in the league.
The utility player certainly arrived with some pedigree, having been with both Manchester United and crosstown rivals City’s youth set-ups, but a polished background doesn’t always lead to success.
First team opportunities were at a premium for the Swiss, whose only outing was in the 2-0 loss at Stevenage in the League Cup, and he was soon out on loan at Bury and then Port Vale. He’s now back in his homeland, playing for Lugano.
Ipswich Town was the briefest of stops on a football journey which saw the Saint Lucian striker play in Portugal, England, Trinidad, Scotland and China.
Then in his early 20s, Jean arrived on a month to month contract and made it off the bench just once, in a 2-2 draw with Stoke, before being picked up full-time by Rotherham.
Jamie Vardy is the latest reminder that there’s life outside the Football League, but it’s a path former lecturer Ian Miller trod with the Blues in 2006. Signed from Bury Town, Miller may not have broken the Premier League goalscoring record (mainly because he is a central defender), and he may not have been capped for England, but the centre-half forged a professional football career when it looked as if the dream was gone.
He made just one appearance for the Blues, as a sub against Plymouth in 2007, but went on to play in the Football League for Boston, Darlington and Cambridge, who he captained, and also won the FA Trophy and led Cambridge out at Old Trafford in the League Cup.
The diminutive midfielder was formerly on the books of Chelsea before moving to Portman Road and quickly became one to watch as he was a part of the side which won the FA Youth Cup in style in 2005. He signed a pro deal soon after but, despite his promise, managed just a few minutes of action for the Blues after replacing Matt Richards in a 3-1 win over Roy Keane’s Sunderland in 2006.
He was released by the Blues in 2008 and has since secured an impressive Football League career for himself, most notably with AFC Wimbledon for whom he made just under 200 appearances. He’s now at Leyton Orient.
Injuries robbed Ipswich of a highly promising Irish defender and denied Gerard Nash of a football career. After deciding to move to Ipswich when the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool were reportedly interested in 2002, the centre-half played just 14 minutes for the Blues after coming on in the 6-1 victory over Burnley in October 2003.
With injuries ruining his promising career before it had even begun, he had loan spells with Hartlepool and Southend but managed just three appearances before calling it a day in 2006. He has since carved out a career in coaching with the club’s academy.