Skip to main content

Jon Stead - farewell to an adopted $h!thead!

When a Huddersfield fan asked me for my thoughts on Jon Stead's recent form following his move 'home', I put this together.  Thanks to @Terrier1987Cas for the opportunity to write about one of my favourite recent City players for his site:

It's probably safe to say that when Jon Stead signed for Bristol City, fans were excited about the prospect of a 'big' name joining us and boosting our strike force, but there was undoubtedly an element of concern at the prospect of another journeyman footballer turning up, someone whose career appeared to be on a downward trajectory and of whom the main memories were long barren, goal-less runs of games in the Premier League for Blackburn and Sunderland.

Thankfully, he leaves us three years later as one of the most popular players to have pulled on a red shirt in recent memory. If you want a 25-goal a season striker, then Stead isn't your man. That's partly because he's not as adept at sniffing out opportunities  as, say, Jermaine Defoe, but it's mainly due to the fact that he does most of his good work in the build up to the chance, working the pitch to its limits and stretching defences wide.

He really announced himself to City fans with a stunning long range strike live on Sky against QPR, but the most telling moment of Stead's stay came at the end of the 2011/12 season, when he was carried shoulder-high from the pitch having spent much of the previous two months metaphorically doing the same for many of his team-mates, driving us clear of a desperate relegation scrap with an immense effort, dedication and no little skill.

He was named Player of the Season that year. Not surprising you may think having read the above? However, what was remarkable about that award was that until the last few days of February he had only played six hours of football, having missed most of the first three-quarters of the season with injury or just by being out-of-favour. 14 wholly committed appearances were enough to win the vote by a landslide, as reviewed in my end of season review for that season -

Perhaps this past season the desire for more of a goal threat blinded then-manager Derek McInnes to Stead's natural attributes, as the big name summer signings were Sam Baldock and Steven Davies. Stead still managed to oust them fairly regularly, but didn't get into a run of games until it was too late.

His obvious love of the club and the local area, regularly portrayed via his ever-expanding use of Twitter, instilled even more support and popularity for the man, and his touching words upon leaving were said with a level of sincerity and grace too few modern footballers seem capable of grasping.

Very few players leave a club without a notorious minority saying good riddance, or castigating said player for their desertion. However in Stead's case, across hundreds and hundreds of tweets and forum posts, there was not a single dissenting voice with many echoing similar words, generalised into something along the lines of:
"Thanks for all the effort Jon, I just wish more in our team had your commitment, heart and desire - we don't see many players like you in today's game"

And I think that's all you really need to know.

The Exiled Robin

Follow me on Twitter ---'Like' us on Facebook ---


  1. Couldn't have put it better myself if the rest of the team had been as committed to the cause as Steady always was we would have been playing in the Premier League not L1 but they were not so neither are we.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Season of Unfortunate Events

You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief across south Bristol at half-past-two on Saturday afternoon, as referee James Linington drew an end to one of the most disappointing and frustrating seasons in recent Bristol City history. Awful because we haven’t been able to go to games. Awful because of the never-ending stream of injuries, serious injuries, repeat injuries. Awful because of the inability to take enough shots on goal. Awful for the basic inability to pass the ball which has blighted our performances throughout the season. Awful for the apparent lack of care from a number of senior professionals in the last third of the season. Despite their constant references to fans being missed, I suspect there is a fairly significant contingent of players, staff and directors at Ashton Gate saying a little prayer of thanks that fans haven’t been allowed in during these last few months. The atmosphere would have fluctuated from frustration to anger to sheer vitriol, certainly

Sweeping floors, driving the minibus and winning at Wembley. R.I.P. Terry Cooper, Bristol City hero

For nearly 100 years of their existence, Bristol City had trundled along like many other middling Football League clubs. A couple of promotions, a handful of relegations, the odd shot at glory and a clutch of notable former players and moments had been strewn across the century. Then in 1976 that changed with promotion to an increasingly high-profile First Division. That story has been well told by many, with the ultimate repercussions leading to the story of the Ashton Gate Eight, men who sacrificed their future prosperity and family’s stability to ensure the very survival of our club. And most of those stories stop there. The remarkable gesture is a great ending to a story, and what came next is just seen as a gradual re-establishment to our standard jostling within the middle two divisions. But to skip over that period of the mid-to-late 1980s would be disingenuous to a man who was front and centre of Bristol City’s recovery, a man who rebuilt the foundations on a shoestring and

Bristol City v Manchester City betting Tips #MCFC #BristolCity

Bristol City v Manchester City betting tips Ross’ debut on The Exiled Robin started with an agonising (but very fortunate for us) loss as his Derby to win to nil recommended best bet didn’t come in thanks to the wrong decision not to give Derby a late penalty for a foul by Aden Flint on Cameron Jerome. He did however, point out that Derby have the best home defence in the league and ushered you in the direction of a home clean sheet at 17/10. Over to Ross for the betting preview of our Carabao Cup semi-final second leg on Tuesday night… Bristol City head into this tie on the back of a gutting late 2-1 defeat at The Etihad in the first leg. The Robins were on a five-match losing streak heading into the match with Derby on Friday, so Lee Johnson was delighted to end that unwanted streak ahead of this massive fixture. Annoying for me is the ruling that away goals count AFTER extra-time, so if the game does go to 120 minutes, Man City will have that long to secure an away goal whi