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Once an Iron... Wayne Bullimore

2 April 2020

Former Scunthorpe midfielder Wayne Bullimore arrived at the club with a big reputation having rose through the ranks at Manchester United.

During the coming days, we'll republish past interviews with legendary former Iron players from our matchday programme.

However the midfielder started his professional career with Barnsley before later joining Stockport on a short term deal.

He then joined Scunthorpe as a 23-year-old in 1993 and explained to us how that transfer came about.

“I started out as a professional with Barnsley before joining Stockport on a month to month contract and then whilst I was there, I got a call from someone at Scunthorpe where I was initially offered a two month contract,” he said.

“Stockport were doing quite well at the time though so it was very hard for me to break into the team and when the opportunity to move to Scunthorpe arose I just thought that it would be a better chance for me to play first team football and develop as a player.

“The first few weeks were a bit stop, start because our matches kept getting called off so it took a while for me to bed in on the playing front but fortunately it went well after that and I signed a longer deal which saw the beginning of a really enjoyable stage of my career.

“I almost felt as if I had a few things to prove at Scunthorpe because I felt that I played well for Barnsley but sometimes it’s a good thing to play with an extra bit of motivation and I felt that that helped me, particularly in the early part of my time with Scunthorpe.”

During his two years as a player with United, Bullimore saw the club transform from mid-table mediocrity to realistic play-off contenders.

He enjoyed a very successful part of his career with Scunthorpe and was involved in a number of high profile games whilst in North Lincolnshire.

He continued: “I’ll always remember the first leg of a cup game that I featured in for Scunthorpe against Huddersfield at home. We played some really good football on the night, I scored a good free kick and we eventually won the game 2-1 which was brilliant.

“Those are the types of games that you look back on fondly because I remember that the place was absolutely buzzing and they were in the league above us back then so that’s a game that sticks out in my mind.

“We also played Birmingham at home in the FA Cup on Sky and I scored a free kick in that game as well so there’s a few that stand out and one thing I do remember is the brand of football that we played and the quality of players we had.

“The style of football that we adopted was against the grain in that league but any team I played for had to be a side that got the ball down and tried to play because that was how I thought the game should be played and I certainly wasn’t prepared to join a side that simply used to kick and run.”

The success didn’t end with a few money spinning cup games for Bullimore and his personal performances in claret and blue were duly recognised by many people in the football world at that time.  

This was made apparent during his second campaign at Scunthorpe when he was voted into the Third Division team of the year.

He added: “I was voted into the PFA Third Division team of the year for the 1994-1995 season which I’d probably say was the highlight of my time at the club.

“To receive recognition from fellow pros and the rest of the clubs in the division as well as your own club is the highest accolade that you can receive really so I was delighted with that.

“My time with Scunthorpe was probably the most successful period of my career on a personal level and I made much more appearances at Scunthorpe than most of my other clubs so moving to there was definitely a good decision and thankfully it all worked out.”

Bullimore’s displays in the middle of the park soon attracted the attentions of a number of other clubs but it was Bradford City who eventually acquired the midfield man’s services.

The move was seen by many as the next step on the ladder for Wayne but injuries severely limited the number of appearances he made at Valley Parade.  

“We’d played against Bradford a couple of times in the cup and Lenny Lawrence and Chris Kamara, who were in charge of first team affairs at the club back then, must have just decided that I could potentially do a job for them,” Bullimore explained.

“Obviously I was named in the Third Division team of the year so that automatically seemed to alert a few teams but it was Bradford who took a chance on me but I actually got stretchered off on my home debut with quite a serious knee injury and I was out for quite a while.

“I had a loan spell at Doncaster and did quite well but I injured my other knee in training so that stage of my career was a bit of a nightmare really because it should have been a stepping stone for me to kick on after I’d done as well as I did at Scunthorpe.”

Wayne stated that Scunthorpe United will always bring back happy memories for him and he rates his time with the club amongst the best moments of his career.

“I’ll always have a soft spot for Manchester United because I spent such a long time there as a young player but I’d say that I played my best football for Scunthorpe and so I will forever look back on my time at the club fondly," he said.

“I look out for their results every Saturday evening, I always want them to do well and it always brings back nice memories whenever I pop over there so Scunthorpe United will always mean a lot to me and I’m just thankful that I had a positive experience at the club.”

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