We’re going back to January 24th for today’s ‘on this day’, a new feature which I’m sure I’ll get bored of eventually.
The actual news of the day was the debut of big defender Mark Foran. He penned a loan deal from Peterborough United a couple of days before, but he was pictured on the back of the paper with Shane Westley, having appeared for the reserves in a win against Doncaster. You can tell how big he was by how he dwarfed Westley when posing for the photo outside the club shop.
Foran made his first appearance in a City shirt for the reserves with Doncaster beaten 1-0. Of course, John Beck wasn’t entirely happy with that, saying, “Doncaster fielded a very young side, and we had several seasoned professionals playing who should have won the game and did. We should have won four or five nil.” There were some kind words for Foran though, with the controversial boss adding, “Mark Foran did well considering he has not played a match since the start of December.”
Foran had begun his career with Millwall, later moving to Sheffield United. Whilst there, he spent a five-game loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers, which saw the fans vote him as their worst-ever player. He bounced back, signing for Posh and (predictably) scoring against Wycombe before his loan move to the Imps.
Sadly, he didn’t make much of an impact at the Bank. His first appearance came as we lost 5-2 away at Darlington. In that game, he was part of a typical Beck change. At half time, with City 3-0 down and struggling for chances, Beck brought off striker Jae Martin and put on defender Steve Holmes at right back. Just thirty minutes after putting Holmes on, with the score still 3-0, he brought the defender off, and Foran entered the fray – we lost 5-2.
His next game was a home defeat just a couple of days later, 3-1 at home to Wigan (famous for Terry Fleming’s double booking). He started that game but was out of the squad the following week as we beat Fulham 2-0. A more solid-looking defence pleased Beck, and that was the end for Foran. When he reached the end of his 28-day loan, he returned to London Road. He spent time on loan at Oldham the same season, appearing once.
His later career was blighted by injury; three times he broke his leg during spells with Crewe and Bristol Rovers, which led to his move into non-league football at the turn of the century. He ended his career with Northwich Victoria after a season with Telford United.