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History

Team-mates: Mark Jackson

13 May 2020

We continue looking back at our history by speaking to former Iron captain Mark Jackson about the Iron squad during his stay with us.

Now Head Coach of the Under-18s side at his first employers Leeds United, Jackson reflected on his five-year stay with us between 2000 and 2005.

BEST MATE…

Certainly, in my early stages at the club, there were two players I got on really well with. The first is Stuart Thom, who was my centre-half partner and I used to travel in with him. We got close and were good friends on and off the pitch. Stuart moved on in 2002 and Cliff Byrne (below) came into the club. We both played together at the back and they’re the two people I was really close to. During my time there, I got on well with everyone in the team and had good working relationships with them all.

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BEST TRAINER…

Next to myself, I’d probably say it was Cliff Byrne. We both had the same kind of mindset and we liked to train hard. Some players are really gifted and didn’t have to train as hard. Cliff put 100 per cent into every session, was always very competitive and that transferred into games as well.

LEADER…

I’d probably say myself. I always put that as one of my attributes, as a player. We had people in the team that led in different ways – Cliff was similar to myself. We had players like Peter Beagrie and Andy Dawson, who led by example when on the pitch. Steve Torpey was a leader in a certain way as well.

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UNSUNG HERO…

I’d probably say someone like Andy Dawson (above). He was liked by the fans, but his performances week-in, week-out were of a very high level. That’s shown by the levels he reached in his career, moving up the divisions to the Premier League.

MOST SKILFUL…

The main one that springs to mind was Peter Beagrie, but we also had players like Lee Hodges. Lee was an exceptional talent and a match winner on the ball. It’s players like that you need in teams and they could do things with the ball in matches that players like myself could only dream of. Lee was a very, very skilful player.

MOST INTELLIGENT…

Alex Calvo-Garcia. While he was playing, he was studying as well. We’d be on the bus on the way to a game and he’d be doing some work, utilising his time to his studies. He was doing a degree while the rest of us were listening to music, playing cards of watching DVDs.

JOKER…

There were a fair few. I could probably tell you dozens of practical joke stories and each one probably involved different players. It’s hard to think of a joker in the pack because at Scunthorpe it was more of a collective of senior players, such as myself, Carl Bradshaw, Peter Beagrie and Martin Carruthers. As a collective, the banter was good and it was different players on a daily basis. Usually the butt of the jokes was Richard Kell, to do with his choice of gear.

BEST PLAYER…

It’s a really difficult one that. I’ve talked about Andy Dawson with his consistency, but I’m going to go with someone who was my best friend there and that’s Cliff Byrne. Even during my time there, I could see the potential in him and I could see his leadership qualities. He proved it as well and went on to be a really successful captain of the club.

WORST TRAINER…

Easy. Lee Hodges. He was the worst trainer, especially on a Monday morning. You’d never pick him to be on your five-a-side team on a Monday morning – for reasons I don’t need to go into! If we were playing on a Tuesday, he was professional and in tip-top condition, but if we didn’t have a midweek game he wasn’t the best!

QUICKEST…

‘Stanno’ was quick. Nathan Stanton. We also had Peter Morrison, who was quick.

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BEST TEAM…

For success and for what we did, it was when we reached the play-offs. Ultimately, we were unsuccessful against Lincoln (above), but were a really strong team.


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