Issue Stallard hangs up his boots

As told by Michael Wood

The rise of Mark Stallard – who retired from football aged 35 today – at Bradford City came with almost no decline.

Stallard notched up 450 appearances in his career but it is a May day in 1996 in which he swept in Ian Ormondroyd’s flick down in the six yard box at Wembley for which he enters Bradford City’s history. Stallard’s goal – City’s second in a 2-0 win over Notts County – completed the Bantams turn around from mid-table side to promotion under Chris Kamara.

Stallard joined City January 1996 from Derby County for £110,000 and scored 10 in 42 games falling between the cracks of Kamara’s 42 players in one season which saw the likes of Rob Steiner and Erik Regtop arrive at the club. A little portly and very English in his play Stallard must have seemed somewhat old hat. Certainly there was no long decline. He left City to join Preston on loan and then left for Wycombe Wanderers and a career doing good work in the lower leagues.