All-Time Harriers XI: Midfield
The tricky thing here was whether to choose my all-time favourite midfielders or my all-time favourite midfield. My all-time favourite midfield consisted of Richard Forsyth, the passer, Paul Grainger, the enforcer and John Deakin, the worker. Together those three were a well balanced combination. But to choose them would overlook the likes of Graham MacKenzie, a man who couldn’t run, tackle, jump or head but without his passing ability the 1985-86 season would have seen far fewer than 205 goals scored and the legends of Casey, Davies and Tuohy wouldn’t have been born. It would also overlook Mike Marsh, one of the catalysts, probably the main driving force, behind the 1999-2000 championship win.
Richard Forsyth. Along with Graham MacKenzie one of the best passers ever to pull on the Harriers shirt. A product of the Harriers youth team, he chipped in with his fair share of goals (including the one that won the FA Trophy Semi-Final Replay in 1991), was one of the best penalty takers at the club in the last 30 years and was probably the best free-kick taker, too. His abilities deservedly earned him a move into the Football League with Birmingham City.
Paul Grainger. When he arrived at the club he had the reputation of a hard-man and initially he missed quite a lot of game time through suspension. However, in the 1993-94 season he played in all 42 league games, starting 40, and in my opinion this was one of the main reasons Harriers won the Conference for the first time as well as making it to the FA Cup 5th Round.
Graham MacKenzie. In the mid-to-late 80s he fed the goalscoring appetites of Casey, Davies and Tuohy. “He’s fat, he’s round, he’s worth a million pound” we sang as he helped inspire a last-day victory at Gateshead in 1991-92 that ensured Harriers avoided relegation. Despite him not looking like a footballer without him so many of the good things that happened for Harriers would not have been.
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