ADVENT CALENDAR | Wrexham AFC's Number 2s

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sun 02 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?

2 – City slickers

Current – Kevin Roberts

A decade after bursting onto the scene on the Anglo-Welsh border, Kevin Roberts returned to North Wales when he was snapped up for an undisclosed fee from FC Halifax Town in 2017.

He only became Wrexham’s number two at the start of this season, however, moving into the jersey vacated by James Hurst.

Robbo has since shared right-back duties with another former number two, Mark Carrington, but passed 50 league appearances for the Dragons in October.

Kevin Roberts crosses in

First – Mark McGregor

Having come through the ranks at the club, Mark McGregor had long established himself as first-choice right-back before squad numbers were introduced in 1999.

Naturally, McGregor was handed the number two jersey for that campaign and enjoyed two more memorable seasons before reneging on a verbal agreement to stick with the Dragons by signing for Burnley on a free transfer.

McGregor played 45 league games in the 1999-2000 season, finishing the campaign with a spectacular long-range goal against Gillingham at the Racecourse – his only goal of the season.

The following year saw him play 43 league matches, while one of his final acts in a Wrexham shirt was to score in the FAW Premier Cup final defeat of Swansea.

Longest – Jim Whitley

Zambian-born former Northern Ireland international Jim Whitley was handed squad number two at the start of the 2002-2003 season, having signed from Manchester City the previous year. He was to be the first of three ex-City players to wear number two for Wrexham – Curtis Obeng and Javan Vidal following suit in later years.

Whitley went on to hold the jersey for four years, featuring regularly in the first two seasons as Wrexham were promoted back to Division Two.

Knee injuries ravaged his final two campaigns, however – costing him a place at Wembley in 2005 and limiting him to just 23 league starts across the two seasons.

He was not offered a new contract in 2006, consequently retiring from football aged just 31.

Promotion heroes and cup final kings

Jim Whitley was the number two for the 2002-03 promotion season, starting 44 of the 46 league games that season and scoring one goal.

Whitley’s struggles with knee injuries saw him miss the 2005 Football League Trophy final, however.

Stephen Wright wore number two when Wrexham beat Grimsby in the 2013 FA Trophy final, despite only making his first appearance in that year’s competition in the second leg of the semi-final.

Wrexham’s Number 2s

1999-2001: Mark McGregor (88 league apps/6 goals)
2001-2002: Willie Miller (5 apps/0 goals)
2002-2006: Jim Whitley (106 apps/1 goal)
2006-2007: Lee Roche (28 apps/0 goals)
2007-2008: Simon Spender (34 apps/1 goal)
2008-2009: Kyle Critchell (2 apps/0 goals)
2009-2011: Curtis Obeng (65 apps/1 goal)
2011-2012: Daniel Alfei (5 apps/0 goals)
2012-2014: Stephen Wright (44 apps/1 goal)
2014-2015: Mark Carrington (30 apps/1 goal)
2015-2016: Javan Vidal (23 apps/2 goals)
2016-2017: Mitchell Lund (4 apps/0 goals)/Iffy Allen (7 apps/0 goals)
2017-2018: James Hurst (17 apps/0 goals)
2018-: Kevin Roberts (17 apps/0 goals)*
+Stats only include matches played in the specified jersey, does not include play-offs
*Up to 01/12/2018

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