ADVENT CALENDAR | Wrexham AFC's Number 15s

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 15 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?

15 – Robs and Roberts

Current: Jordan Maguire-Drew

Wrexham became Brighton winger Jordan Maguire-Drew’s fifth loan club of his career when he signed ahead of the 2018/19 season.

The 21-year-old had previously had spells with Worthing, Dagenham & Redbridge, Lincoln and Coventry before signing for Wrexham under Sam Ricketts.

Taking the number 15 jersey, vacated after young defender Olly Marx was released in the summer, Maguire-Drew scored twice in his first four matches.

The pacey left-footed winger netted against Boreham Wood before curling in a screamer from long-range in the following game against Maidenhead.

He scored his third for the club against Aldershot at the start of September but niggly injuries, squad rotation and – most recently – a tooth extraction – have cut his playing time.

Jordan Maguire-Drew celebrates

First: Paul Barrett

Former Newcastle trainee Paul Barrett made his Wrexham debut in the 1998/99 season and was handed the number 15 jersey when squad numbers were introduced the following year.

The Geordie midfielder made 17 league appearances in the middle that year and scored his first two Wrexham goals too.

While he was to stay with the club for four more seasons, including the Division Three promotion campaign, he spent the rest of his time at Wrexham as number 12.

Longest: Rob Evans/Mike Williams

Both Mike Williams and Rob Evans wore number 15 for three consecutive seasons for Wrexham – Williams between 2006 and 2009, and Evans from 2014 to 2017.

Prior to Evans, Rob Ogleby was number 15 for two seasons, meaning Wrexham’s number 15 has been a Rob or a Roberts (Stephen) for seven of the 20 seasons of squad numbers.

Back in 2006, however, it was Welsh defender Mike Williams – the third player with that name to turn out for Wrexham – in the jersey.

He signed professional terms the previous season after coming through the ranks and was in the squad along with younger brother Marc.

Capped at Welsh under-21 level, the older Williams brother made 76 league appearances in his three seasons as number 15, scoring his first two Wrexham goals in the third of those.

He wore number six for his final season, the 2009/10 campaign, where played 30 times more and scored four goals, before leaving to join Kidderminster Harriers.

Later at Altrincham, osteoarthritis forced his early retirement aged just 28, but he returned to playing in the Welsh Premier League in 2015 and is now with Bangor City.

Penycae-born Rob Evans wrote his name into the Wrexham history books in the number 15 jersey, meanwhile, becoming the club’s youngest captain when, aged 18, he led the Dragons in the FA Trophy against Guiseley.

Evans originally made his Wrexham debut in April 2012, against Newport, and it was the 2014 season when he first wore number 15.

The midfielder was voted Wrexham’s young player of the year for the first time that season and was an ever-present the following season as he scooped the award for a second time.

Despite being captain and making over 100 appearances for Wrexham, Evans was released at the end of the following season, however.

He rejoined the club this year though, as part of the academy’s coaching staff – taking charge of the under-15s.

Promotion heroes and cup final kings

While the two previous number 15s were still with the club – Paul Barrett and Stephen Roberts – it was Dan Bennett who wore the jersey as Wrexham earned promotion in the 2002/03 season.

Singapore international centre-back Bennett started 14 league games and made another four as a substitute during the campaign.

He returned to Singapore despite being offered a new deal, however, and Craig Morgan was number 15 when Wrexham beat Southend to win the LDV Vans Trophy at the Millennium Stadium.

Welsh centre-back Morgan played all six matches in that competition, including the full 120 minutes in Cardiff, but left the club when his contract expired in the summer.

In the FA Trophy final in 2013, meanwhile, it was Rob Ogleby wearing number 15 – the Welsh under-21 international having scored earlier in the run to the final.

Ogleby replaced Brett Ormerod on 77 minutes but was not one of Wrexham’s four penalty takers in the subsequent penalty shoot-out.

Wrexham’s Number 15s

1999-2000: Paul Barrett (17 league apps/2 goals)
2000-2002: Stephen Roberts (31 apps/1 goal)
2002-2003: Dan Bennett (18 apps/0 goals)
2003-2005: Craig Morgan (44 apps/0 goals)
2005-2006: Lee Roche (17 apps/1 goal)
2006-2009: Mike Williams (75 apps/2 goals)
2009-2011: Frank Sinclair (56 apps/0 goals)
2011-2012: Steve Tomassen (2 apps/0 goals)
2012-2014: Rob Ogleby (59 apps/12 goals)
2014-2017: Rob Evans (99 apps/7 goals)
2017-2018: Olly Marx (1 app/0 goals)
2018-: Jordan Maguire-Drew (17 apps/3 goals)*
+Stats only include league matches played in the specified jersey, does not include play-offs
*Up to 12/12/2018

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