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Greatest Centre-Backs: 15-11

Your Top Pilgrims

30 June 2019

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THE Greatest Pilgrims, voted for by the Green Army, lists the top 25 Argyle legends in all positions and after completing the goalkeepers and full-backs, we move on to the centre-backs.

Greatest Pilgrim Centre-Backs
Ranked No.15
Chris Harrison

A story of composure and steady authority, Chris Harrison was a quiet hero for Argyle in a Pilgrim career that lasted more than a decade.

A product of the Home Park youth system, Harrison progressed to make an impressive 381 appearances for the Pilgrims. His debut came in 1976 and the early years as a trainee provided the platform for eight seasons of excellence in the famous Green shirt.

Comfortable in the centre of defence, the quiet Cornishman was a superb reader of the game and one of those defenders who seemed to have the natural ability to sense danger, and snuff it out.

Harrison played his final game for Argyle in 1985 and spent three years at Swansea City before moving back to Cornwall for a spell in local football. Harrison has worked as a coach with the Argyle Academy and a great Pilgrim defender.

Greatest Pilgrim Centre-Backs
Ranked No.14
Hasney Aljofree

A sublime left foot and willingness to give everything for the cause was the hallmark of a fine Argyle career for Hasney Aljofree.

After coming through the famed Academy at Manchester United, Hasney moved to Bolton Wanderers in search of first-team opportunities. He then signed for future Argyle boss Paul Sturrock at Dundee United.

When Luggy took over at Home Park, Hasney soon arrived on his shopping list, signing for Argyle in 2002. Over the next five years, he looked a quality player in the centre of defence or at left-back.

Hasney was completely courageous in his defending but also a cultured player on the ball, regularly pinging delightful long passes with his supreme left foot. After loan spells with Sheffield Wednesday and Oldham, Hasney left for Swindon in 2007, again joining forces with Sturrock.

Injury sadly cut short his playing career but this great Pilgrim has since worked as a coach with Oldham and Manchester United.

Greatest Pilgrim Centre-Backs
Ranked No.13
John Newman

He looked tough as nails and played football in the same manner. John Newman was a proper defender and a Pilgrim star over the course of 328 appearances.

Newman began his career at Birmingham City and helped the Blues win the Second Division title and reach the 1956 FA Cup Final. He then spent three years at Leicester City before moving to Home Park in 1960.

His first job was to help Argyle avoid relegation and Newman settled into seven years happy years at Home Park. His uncompromising approach to defending made him a fearsome competitor but Newman also had plenty of technical quality.

His popularity with the Green Army was recognised in 1966, when he was named Argyle’s first ever official Player of the Season. Newman finished his fine career with a spell at Exeter City before moving into management with the Grecians, Grimsby, Derby and Hereford.

Greatest Pilgrim Centre-Backs
Ranked No.12
Mike Green

One of the heroes of the great side assembled by Tony Waiters in the 1970s, Mike Green had the perfect name, and talent, to become a great Pilgrim.

He graduated from the youth team at Carlisle before moving to Gillingham for regular first-team football. His next spell at Bristol Rovers saw Green take on the captaincy with the Gas and tempted Waiters to pay £19,000 for his services in 1974.

Green was a top class defender and also a hugely influential character, on and off the field. He was a natural leader and captained Argyle to promotion in 1975, playing in every single game during that historic season.

He eventually left Home Park to sign for Torquay and was later manager of the Gulls. A great Pilgrim and number 12 in your list of top Argyle centre-backs.

Greatest Pilgrim Centre-Backs
Ranked No.11
Mark Smith

A big unit of a man, Mark Smith had established his place as a legend at Sheffield Wednesday after spending the first decade of his career with the Owls.

Smith earned England recognition at Under-21 level and reached two FA Cup semi-finals with Sheffield Wednesday before making the move to Home Park in 1987 under manager Dave Smith.

It was soon very clear that the Pilgrims had acquired a top class defender, as Mark Smith took control of the Argyle back four with his commanding presence in the air and fearlessness in the tackle.

The Green Army loved their tough Yorkshireman and Smith clearly loved playing for Argyle, but the lure of a move back home proved too much when Barnsley made him an offer in 1990.

Smith spent two years with the Tykes and then played for Notts County and Lincoln before moving into the coaching scene.

For information on the Greatest Pilgrims, please click here.

The Greatest Pilgrims are sponsored by the Big Green Lottery. Sign up to the lottery for chances to win weekly cash prizes, a monthly prize of £500, the annual draw of £12,000 spread across ten finalists and monthly bonus prizes.

The Big Green Lottery raises valuable funds for the Argyle Academy, including the purchase of a new minibus for our young stars last year. At present, our BGL membership stands at 650 and our aim is to reach 1,000 members, which would effectively triple the quarterly donations to the Argyle Academy.

For more information, contact us on bgl@pafc.co.uk and to join the BGL, simply sign up online

Greatest Centre-Back Results So Far
11. Mark Smith
12. Mike Green   
13. John Newman
14. Hasney Aljofree
15. Chris Harrison
16. John Williams
17. Bobby Saxton
18. Mathias Doumbe
19. Andy Morrison
20. Kari Arnason
21.Peter Hartley
22. Adam Barrett
23. Darren Purse
24. Forbes Phillipson-Masters
25. Neil Hague

Greatest Full-Back Results
1. Paul Connolly
2. Gordon Nisbet
3. Tony Capaldi
4. Gary Sawyer
5. Mark Patterson
6. David Worrell
7. Paul Williams
8. Gary Poole
9. Colin Sullivan
10. Peter Gilbert
11. Moses Russell
12. Onismor Bhasera
13. Leigh Cooper
14. John Hore
15. Marc Edworthy
16. Lee Hodges
17. Brian McGlinchey
18. Dave Provan
19. Phil Burrows
20. Jon Beswetherick
21. John Uzzell
22. Tony Book
23. Septimus Atterbury
24. Pat Jones
25. Wayne O’Sullivan

Greatest Goalkeeper Results
1. Romain Larrieu
2. Luke McCormick
3. Jim Furnell
4. Alan Nicholls
5. Geoff Crudgington
6. Bill Shortt
7. Alan Miller
8. Steve Cherry
9. Peter Shilton
10. Rhys Wilmot
11. Dave MacLaren
12. Fred Craig
13. Pat Dunne
14. Remi Matthews
15. Milija Aleksic
16. Jon Sheffield
17. Paul Barron
18. Martin Hodge
19. Bruce Grobbelaar
20. Geoff Barnsley
21. Harry Cann
22. John Willie Sutcliffe
23. David Stockdale
24. Bill Harper
25. Neil Ramsbottom


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