ADVENT CALENDAR | Wrexham AFC's number 11s

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Tue 11 Dec 2018

Already in place in the top flight, squad numbers were introduced into the English Football League ahead of the 1999/2000 season – making this the 20th season of Wrexham squad numbers since.

Some names and numbers will be permanently linked in Wrexham fans’ minds: “Ugarte 30”, “Edwards 7”, “Sam 23”, “Ferguson 10” … the list goes on, right up until “Carrington 13” in the current squad.

But what is the story behind each of Wrexham’s squad numbers? And who have the current crop of players got to live up to?

11 – Welsh wing wizards and goal machines

Current- Rekeil Pyke

Rekeil Pyke signed for Wrexham for the second time this summer, having also appeared on loan during the 2016/17 season.

Just as he did when he made his career debut for Wrexham against Lincoln – one of three appearances for Dean Keates’ side – Pyke took the number 11 jersey.

The pacey, powerful forward has since appeared across the front three and scored five goals before picking up an injury in the draw at Barrow at the end of November.

Incredibly, his first three goals were all backheels, while his performances at the Racecourse have earned him a new contract with parent club Huddersfield Town too.

Pyke's back-heel

First- David Lowe

Had he not been retired from professional football that summer, there is every chance veteran midfielder Peter Ward would have been handed the number 11 jersey in 1999.

With Ward gone, however, Brian Flynn turned to another veteran midfielder to replace him – and he also claimed the number favoured by Ward in the non-squad number days, 11.

David Lowe is best known for his two spells at Wigan Athletic, while he also played in the Premier League for Leicester City.

He scored against Wrexham on his way to being named the Latics’ player of the year in 1997/98.

The 34-year-old’s time at the Racecourse was brief, however, playing just 11 games and finishing the campaign on loan at Rushden & Diamonds, as they finished second in the Conference.

He scored his only Wrexham goal in a 3-2 defeat to Stoke at the Racecourse before going into coaching, where his claim to fame is taking temporary charge of Derby County as they beat Manchester United 1-0 in the first leg of the League Cup semi-finals in January 2009.

Lowe is now at Blackburn Rovers, serving as assistant head coach in Tony Mowbray’s backroom team.

Longest- Andy Morrell

Andy Morrell is one of two players, alongside Chris Llewellyn, to have worn the number 11 jerseys in two stints at the Racecourse.

Morrell wore the jersey for the final season of his first spell at the club, the 2002-03 season, and then again on his return in 2010 – where he held it until being sacked as player-manager in February 2014.

It puts him half a season ahead of Llewellyn, Wrexham’s last Welsh international, who was Wrexham’s number 11 between 2003 and 2005 and again from 2006 to 2008 – although Llewellyn ultimately played more games in the jersey.

Morrell’s first season as number 11 is perhaps the best known, as he smashed in 34 league goals – and 39 in total – as Wrexham earned promotion from Division Two.

He had previously scored six league goals across four previous seasons with the club, though his goalscoring prowess had been laid bare in the FAW Premier Cup, with performances including scoring seven in an 8-0 defeat of Merthyr Tydfil.

He was less prolific on his return in 2010 but scored some important goals for the club as Wrexham reached the play-off semi-finals in 2011.

The following year, Morrell took over as player-manager after a successful stint in temporary charge when Dean Saunders left early in the season.

Morrell led Wrexham to the FA Cup third round, scoring in the draw with Brighton & Hove Albion before the Dragons lost on penalties, before Wrexham finished second in the National League on 98 points – only to again lose in the play-off semi-finals.

Morrell signed a new deal at the end of the campaign and led the team to two Wembley appearances, starting both the FA Trophy final and play-off final before making way for Adrian Cieslewicz on both occasions.

It was Morrell’s shot in the latter that was parried into Ormerod’s path in front of goal on the hour, only for the manager’s strike partner to blaze over.

By now, Morrell’s playing time was vastly reduced and he made seven substitute appearances in his final season – scoring his 65th and last Wrexham league goal in a 2-0 home win against Forest Green.

A poor start to the season saw him leave as manager in February 2014, however, and his jersey had been taken by Joe Williams before the season was done.

Andy Morrell

Promotion heroes and cup-final kings

Andy Morrell was Player of the Season as Wrexham won promotion from Division Three in 2002/03 after a stunning season in front of goal, during which he scored 34 league goals.

Morrell also netted in the FAW Premier Cup final – his 39th of the season in all competitions – and was named in the PFA Team of the Year for his exploits, which earned a move to Coventry.

Chris Llewellyn took over the number 11 jersey the following season and was in the Wrexham midfield at the Millennium Stadium, playing the full 120 minutes as Wrexham won the LDV Vans Trophy.

Llewellyn had made his first Welsh appearance for six years the previous season and, in his second spell at the club, became Wrexham’s joint-last Welsh international when he scored in a 4-0 defeat of Liechtenstein – appearing off the bench alongside team-mate Mark Jones.

Player-manager Andy Morrell was Wrexham’s number 11 when they won the FA Trophy, meanwhile, playing the first hour of the final.

Morrell also appeared in the play-off final that year and, as Theo Bailey-Jones was not in the FA Trophy Final squad two years later, he is therefore the only Wrexham number 11 to play at Wembley.

The ultimate Wrexham AFC 1-11?

We’re now 11 days into our festive feature and so have completed a team’s worth of squad numbers, so who features in Wrexham’s ultimate 1-11?

Looking at the players who made the most appearance in each squad number, your ultimate Wrexham AFC line-up is…

  1. Andy Dibble (83 league apps)

  2. Jim Whitley (106 apps/1 goal)

  3. Neil Ashton (204 apps/9 goals)

  4. Manny Smith (141 apps/2 goals)

  5. Brian Carey (153 apps/10 goals)

  6. Dennis Lawrence (198 apps/14 goals)

  7. Carlos Edwards (130 apps/19 goals)

  8. Danny Williams (126 apps/9 goals)

  9. Lee Trundle (80 apps/19 goals)

  10. Darren Ferguson (260 apps/20 goals)

  11. Chris Llewellyn (170 apps/27 goals)

Wrexham’s Number 11s

Embed from Getty Images

1999-2000: David Lowe (10 league apps/1 goal)
2000-2001: Waynne Phillips (7 apps/1 goal)
2001-2002: Kevin Russell (10 apps/0 goals)
2002-2003: Andy Morrell (45 apps/34 goals)
2003-2005: Chris Llewellyn (91 apps/15 goals)
2005-2006: Lee McEvilly (23 apps/7 goals)
2006-2008: Chris Llewellyn (79 apps/12 goals)
2008-2010: Neil Taylor (47 apps/3 goals)
2010-2014: Andy Morrell (113 apps/25 goals)
2014: Joe Williams (3 apps/0 goals)
2014-2015: Theo Bailey-Jones (8 apps/0 goals)
2015-2016: Adriano Moke (32 apps/0 goals)
2016: Sean Newton (15 apps/2 goals)
2016: Rekeil Pyke (3 apps/0 goals)
2017: Izale McLeod (15 apps/1 goal)
2017: George Miller (5 apps/0 goals)
2018: Nicky Deverdics (12 apps/1 goal)
2018-: Rekeil Pyke (20 apps/5 goals)*
+Stats only include matches played in the specified jersey, does not include play-offs
*Up to 01/12/2018

arrow-45degchevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up cross facebook instagramletter linked-in logo-social-youtubemap-marker minusplay-solidplay plus quote-mark skype tripadvisor twitter whatsapp youtube