467, Not Out
PAUL Wotton has long since taken his place in the pantheon of Argyle greats.His stock rose further on Saturday, when he made his 467th appearance for his hometown club.
That lifted him to third – alongside goalkeeper Fred Craig – on the list of players who have appeared most for the Pilgrims.
Only Sammy Black, an erstwhile team-mate of Craig’s in the post first world war era, who played 491 times, and Kevin Hodges – playing stalwart of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s – now stand ahead of 35-year-old Wottsy.
Kevin – one of Paul’s managers at Home Park and current Head of Youth – made an apparently unsurpassable 620 appearances in just over 14 years as a Pilgrim.
Up until last month, Hodgy also stood alone as the player who had the longest Home Park career, as defined by debut to final appearance.
That now belongs to Wottsy, which throws up the tantalising question of how near to Kevin’s ‘untouchable’ appearance total he might have reached had it not been for two significant breaks in his career.
He was out of action with a serious knee injury for 15 months in the mid 2000s, after his 14-year spell at Home Park was broken by nearly three and a half years with Southampton and Yeovil that ended when he returned to Home Park in January 2012.
ARGYLE APPEARANCES, ALL COMPETITIONS
1 Kevin Hodges 620
2 Sammy Black 491
3 = Fred Craig 467
Paul Wotton 467
5 Johnny Williams 448
6 = John Hore 441
Pat Jones 441
8 Michael Evans 432
9 Jack Leslie 401
10 Moses Russell 400