Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The Guardian Knowledge - 8th October 2008


THE 30-YEAR CREDIT CRUNCH
"I read last year that Glenn Murray was the most expensive player Brighton had signed since Terry Connor joined in 1983 (as part of a swap deal with Andy Ritchie) - does any club have a longer-standing record signing?" asked Ben Peachey last week.
Brighton's transfer record actually stretches back to October 1980 and the £500,000 signing of Ritchie from Manchester United, and there are few clubs in England that can surpass it.
Few, indeed, come close. 1989 is a year from which several clubs' transfer records still stand. Luton (Lars Elstrup, £850,000 from Odense), Leyton Orient (Paul Beesley, £175,000 from Wigan), Bournemouth (Gavin Peacock, £210,000 from Gillingham) and Millwall (Paul Goddard, £800,000 from Derby County) will all be celebrating, if that is the right word, the 20th anniversary of their biggest splurge next year.
Surpassing Brighton, if only by a few months, are Rotherham United. The £150,000 the Millers paid Millwall for the services of Tony Towner in August 1980 has never been exceeded by the club, though they have equalled it on three occasions since for the strikers Lee Glover, Alan Lee and Martin Butler.
Rob Davies, Mickey Smith and Tom Lines also email with a mixture of pride and embarrassment to offer the name of Walsall's record signing Alan Buckley. "Buckley was bought from Birmingham City in June 1979 for the then enormous transfer fee of £175,000," writes Rob. "He went on to manage the club and holds a special place in the hearts of many Walsall fans."
Walsall claim the record for Football League clubs, but it would appear that Wrexham hold the overall title. They forked out £210,000 for Liverpool's Joey Jones in October 1978, a figure unsurpassed since. And with the club currently languishing in the Blue Square Premier, there's little prospect of it being eclipsed any time soon.

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