Someone who can cross a ball

When I think about great Walsall teams and great Walsall goals, I like to remember the assist as well as the finish.

Boli’s wonderful scissor kick v Southend came from a sumptuous cross from the wonderful Jeff Peron.

Our beautiful white kit with David Kelly had Willie Naughton’s wizardry and crossing ability.

2 questions then, for Walsall fans:

1.) Who was your favourite Saddlers player to deliver a set piece / get to the byline and cross a ball?

2.) Realistically, who could we sign this summer to deliver the ammo for Jama Matt next season?

My suggestions would be:
Q1.) Peron - arguably, Walsall’s greatest number 11.

Q2.) Lloyd Isgrove (now at Bolton but destroyed us when on loan at Barnsley in the play offs) or (for @geordiesaddler) Callum Roberts (who signed a 3 year contract with Aberdeen in the summer but then sustained a bad injury which has limited game time this season).

Darren Bradley took the best set pieces I can remember for Walsall. Bradley… Ada… Goal.

Wrack is the most productive wide player in my time watching Walsall.
Especially the 98/99 season.

I don’t know much about who is available these days, I don’t follow football that closely anymore.


Scott Houghton, dribbled , ran at pace and delivered a great ball.

I can’t remember much better.


Yeah I had forgotten about Houghton. Could play equally well with both feet, never knew if he was going outside for the cross or cutting in for the shot. Great player.


Shakey could bit a ball :star_struck:

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What I would give for a modern day player like that at Walsall.

I agree @Blazing_Saddler

Although Darren Bradley was out of shape, he’d do a Jan Molby and just ping it about on a sixpence!

A good example of a player from a big Midlands team (Villa and WBA) who gave something back to a ‘smaller’ Midlands club at the end of his career. Mountfield and Wayne Clarke were similar, in that respect.

I also agree that Wrack was brilliant under Graydon. Sadly, Merson was a terrible influence because both got caught up in a gambling addiction that took a big chunk of their full potential away from them.


I was so gutted when Houghton and O’Connor joined Posh!

Johnny Hodge could play abit too!


I was talking about Bradley specifically for set pieces. I think we have had enough midfielders that can’t run, although it has been a while since we had one that could pass a ball.


Kevin MacDonald was another who took my breath away with his ability. Bradley was a player who you would pay your entrance fee to watch.

I wonder whether players like these still exist in the modern game?

He was brilliant and one of the reasons why I got hooked on Walsall.

It was a bad move for him in my view.

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To have a go from a free-kick it would be Shakey, he hit some crackers. As a supplier from set pieces Mini Preece was good, and Bradley who has been mentioned above. Danny Guthrie had that ability but we rarely saw it.
As for wingers who were good crossers, Wracky was excellent, Peron was another, Scotty, Acker, Miah, and others, wish we had one or two like them now.
Keates took some good free kicks and corners, always a bit underrated as a player I thought.
The Buck could deliver a good set piece but he tended to be wanted in the middle, sniffing.
Wrack scored from a corner, Millwall at home was it?

I didn’t see enough of Colin Taylor to judge, but I would imagine many of those older than I am would say he was the best.


Keates was massively underrated as a footballer in my opinion, at the time at least. I have only seen us get promoted 5 times and he was part of 3 of those!

I used to love those balls he put in like the one we scored off against Stoke in the playoffs. Not sure if Goodman touched it or it went straight in. Those balls are super difficult to defend,


At what you like about him as a player but Matt Richards is the best free kick taker in my era

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Wrack was just astonishing that first promotion season. If I remember right, 14 goals but what really syood out when I watched a vid of all the goals for the season was he had the assist for the majority of the rest of our goals.

Peron is the best player I have personally ever seen in a Walsall shirt. Been lucky to have wide players like Scotty Houghton, Darren Wrack and Johnny Hodge. Jason Brissett played a big part in our promotion under Sir Ray and we also had Pedro Matias, Paul Hall, Jamie Paterson… What I would give for players like these now…


Colin Harrison could hit a great free kick. Saw him once score from his own half. It went all along the ground if I remember correctly into the street end goal.

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A few names off the top of my head.

But, yes, that season when Bradley and Viveash connected for so many goals from free kicks was very special. I remember an away match at Peterborough during that period and it felt like that combination was coming up with a goal at every match. So, pre game in Peterborough, into the bookies and a decent sized bet (for me) on the first goal being Viveash. I swear, every time we got a free kick in the right area, the whole crowd was willing it to happen but, in the end, although I remember one very near miss, it didn’t happen!


Kevin Harper at league two level (on loan) was outstanding. I remember the Notts County game for Trevor Benjamin’s shinner but Harper was probably man of the match that day.

I remember Merson chipping over the wall perfectly for Jorge to nod home.