Profiling those Saddlers that came and went in the blink of an eye...AS WE embark upon a year of celebration to mark Walsall FC’s 125th Anniversary, a lot will, quite rightly, be said about the most popular players or those who have made the most appearances for the club over the years.
But what about those players that came and went in the blink of an eye? They may have only appeared on a handful of occasions, but nevertheless, have made a contribution to the history of this great club of ours.
We will be highlighting some of the forgotten Saddlers from the Bescot Years, continuing with a big, bustling front-man who made a dramatic entrance...
With The Saddlers in need of some presence up front at the start of the 1993/94 season, John Gayle was signed on loan from neighbours, Birmingham City.
Having helped The Blues to promotion during the previous year, he certainly came in and made an instant impact as he scored the opening goal in a 2-1 victory at Shrewsbury Town on his debut.
Having seen the ball hit the back of the net, Gayle mounted the security fence behind the goal and the away end rocked from his hefty 6’3” frame.
That was to be his one and only goal from a four-match spell, that included three home games.
He went on to appear in the top-flight with Coventry City before serving the likes of Burnley, Stoke City, Gillingham (on loan), Northampton Town, Scunthorpe United, Shrewsbury Town and Torquay United.
As his playing days came to an end, he turned out for Moor Green whilst working at Washwood Heath Technology College. He then worked for the Prince’s Trust in Birmingham and has since managed Devon outfits, Totnes & Dartington and Newton Abbott.
He is now a secondary school teacher in Bristol.