Make Peter Thorne guest of honour for City’s home game with Notts County

Peter Thorne’s departure from Valley Parade is a sad and unbefitting end for a player whose efforts over the last two-and-half-years have proved so memorable. Although Michael has written an excellent tribute, I’d also like to add my own.

Stuart McCall’s second signing after Barry Conlon, injury prevented Thorne from making an instant impact but, after netting against Chester City in an FA Cup 1st Round tie in November 2007, he played a key part in the team’s revival after a slow start to the campaign. That form continued into the start of the following season at least, though further injuries and loss of form saw him go goalless for three months, before he was the nearly hero of City’s late promotion push collapse – scoring memorably in the last minute against leaders Brentford to earn a draw, and then having perfectly legal goals against Morecambe and Dagenham ruled at pivotal moments in the games. It could have been so different for Thorne and City.

Thorne was a goalscorer and little more, and in the modern era where players’ faults are highlighted to unfair proportions, the fact he did little but tuck away chances was a reason to criticise, especially when he wasn’t tucking away those chances; but such prowess is hard to come by and will be missed. After the huge hole that was Dean Windass leaving in 2007, you feared City might struggle to find a goalscorer to replace him. Thorne took on that role and was widely loved for it. Now we can fear we might struggle to replace him.

Half a chance was often all he needed, bang, goal and the usual understated celebration. He scored many simple goals but he also scored some excellent ones, his high number of goals against Notts County probably standing out most. He netted a hat trick against the Magpies in January 2008 and two on the opening day of the season after, but it probably his effort at Meadow Lane in February 2008 that will go down as my personal favourite Thorne goal. Controlling a long pass from TJ Moncur calmly, he spun into the area and unleashed a powerful shot past Russell Hoult. No wonder Notts County were sick of him.

But they should have to see him one more time. After such heroic efforts Thorne shouldn’t be allowed to exit via the backdoor in this manner. We supporters deserve the chance to say goodbye and to show our appreciation, and Thorne deserves the chance to receive it. Make him the guest of honour at City’s game with Notts County next Tuesday, invite him onto the pitch at half time to meet his public. Let us chant his name one more time and remember the many great moments he provided for City.

We’ll really miss Thorne, please let us at least say goodbye.

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