ADVENT CALENDAR | Wrexham AFC's number 22s

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 22 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?

Number 22 – Chopping and changing

Current- Matt Sargent

Youth team captain Matt Sargent was handed the number 22 jersey for the 2018/19 season and, after a few trips with the travelling squad, first featured on the bench for the FA Cup second-round replay with Newport.

Sargent, capped at Wales under-17 level, then made his first Wrexham appearance the following weekend as a substitute in the 3-0 win against Boston United.

The 19-year-old, tipped for a bright future, earned positive reviews for his performance, with Graham Barrow stating, “He did well when he came on and used the ball intelligently.”

Matty Sargent in action against Tranmere Rovers

First- Kristian Rogers

Kevin Dearden wore number one for the first year of official squad numbers, and his three back-ups were numbered 20-22.

Kristian Rogers was third on that list, with the 18-year-old former England schoolboys international yet to make his career debut at the time.

The teenage stopper was handed his league debut in the number 22 jersey, however, when he played – and kept a clean sheet – against Colchester in the April.

That proved his only appearance of the season, however, and Rogers wore 25 when he made six Wrexham appearances the following year.

He was number 21 in his most notable season, playing 30 times in the 2001-02 season, but after just seven appearances in the Division Three promotion campaign as number 13, he was released in the summer of 2003.

A season at Sheffield United followed, before he dropped into the non-league, with clubs including Worksop Town and Northwich Victoria.

Longest- Declan Walker

In 20 seasons of squad numbers, no less than 23 players have been assigned Wrexham’s number 22 jersey.

That includes four different players in the 2006/07 season – Cherno Samba, Richard Walker, Tom Craddock and John McAliskey.

Indeed, only one player has started and finished two consecutive campaigns with the squad number – and that is despite Declan Walker only making seven league appearances in that time.

Walker made his debut as an 18-year-old towards the end of the 2009/10 season, wearing 32 as he played the full game in a 1-0 win at Hayes & Yeading.

The Irish youth international was promoted to 22 for the following season, and played five times in the first month but only once thereafter – on the final day of the regular campaign.

Just one appearance followed in an injury-hit 2011/12 – a 1-0 win away to Newport County – and Walker was wearing 18 when he enjoyed his most productive campaign the following year.

After 21 more league appearances, however, Walker left at the end of the season and joined Bangor City.

Promotion heroes and cup-final kings

Though Luke Campbell was assigned the number 22 jersey for the 2002/03 promotion campaign, he never got onto the pitch that season.

The same was virtually true of Matt Shaw two years later – he made one sub appearance and did not feature in the successful FA Trophy campaign.

Bradley Reid was the man with the number 22 jersey during the 2012/13 season, during which he made his professional debut on Boxing Day, but the teenage striker was not at Wembley for the FA Trophy win.

In fact, Wrexham have never had a number 22 at Wembley, with Joe Whittington – the man who was assigned the number two years later – also not featuring.

Wrexham AFC’s Number 22s

Embed from Getty Images

1999-2000: Kristian Rogers (1 league app)
2000-2001: Steve Thomas (6 apps/0 goals)
2001-2002: Mark Evans (4 apps/0 goals)
2002-2003: Luke Campbell (0 apps)
2003-2004: Jim McNulty (0 apps)
2004-2005: Matthew Shaw (1 app)
2005-2006: Matt Done (6 apps/0 goals)
2006: John McAliskey (3 apps/0 goals)
2006: Tom Craddock (1 app/1 goal)
2007: Cherno Samba (3 apps/0 goals)
2007: Richard Walker (3 apps/0 goals)
2007-2008: Conall Murtagh (4 apps/0 goals)
2009: Christian Gyan (0 apps)
2009-2010: Kristian O’Leary (8 apps/0 goals)
2010-2012: Declan Waker (7 apps/0 goals)
2012: Andy Bishop (4 apps/2 goals)
2012-2014: Bradley Reid (13 apps/1 goal)
2014: Leon Clowes (0 apps)
2015: Joe Whittington (0 apps)
2015-2016: Jonathan Royle (1 app/0 goals)
2016-2017: Kieran Wolland (0 apps)
2017-2018: Owen Kirkham (0 apps)
2018-2019: Matt Sargent (0 apps)*
2000-2001: +Only includes league matches played in specified jersey; does not include play-offs
*Up to 20/12/2018

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