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LOTW - 25/10/07 - Maurice Whittle


Stevie_J
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Welcome to the 24th Latics Legend of the Week. This week it's Maurice Whittle.

We're looking for you, the OWTB members, to post their memories, anecdotes and stories of our weekly Legend. Anything at all.

Mate of yours? Met him in a pub? Go to school with his Mrs? Get hit by his car? Had a scuffle with him?!
Anything and everything!

If you have access to some season stats or career stats then post those too; pictures, videos, songs, etc, etc...!?
Post them all!!


A couple of very simple rules:
1. Please stay on the topic of a single legend at once... it probably apparent why by now.
(If you would like to suggest an upcoming legend then please feel free to PM me)
2. Please don't post anything which may subject you to libel... as OWTB cannot be held responsible for that.
3. Have fun!

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Maurice was signed by Latics from Blackburn in May 1969 as a wing-half, but he was converted into a full-back. In the four seasons from 1970-71 to 1973-74, Maurice missed only one league game. He had a fantastic left-foot shot and scored a remarkable 39 goals for a full-back in 312 league appearances for Latics. He was a cool, skilful defender and put in consistent good performances for eight years. One of Latics’ great players.

 

In 1977 he left Latics and became a part-time player with Wigan in the Northern Premier League.

 

Then he went to the U.S. and played with George Best for Fort Lauderdale Strikers:

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/dulyjs/strik...ers_honors.html

 

When he came back to the UK he played for Barrow, and then in March 1980, he went back to play for Wigan after their election to the Football League.

 

Not many players have the honour of an under 11s’ football league being named after them:

http://www.newfold.wigan.sch.uk/Sports/Football%201.htm

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Guest oa_exile

...............Ninety Miles an Hour !!!!

 

I can still remember singing that int Chaddy !

 

You had to laugh when he took a penatly , GK trying to "Get out of the way" as he "Blasted" the ball int net ........ Happy Days :grin:

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Along with Clive Llloyd and Faroukh Engineer, Maurice was one of my first sporting heroes.

 

I have so many happy memories of him as a Latics player.

 

I remember me and my friends all buying green American style football shirts, from Tommyfield Market, with the number 3 printed on the front and the back in his honour.

 

We also used to have "Maurice Whittle" penalty and free kick competitions when we were only allowed to kick with our left feet. This is why I'm two footed to this day!! And why I still wear the number 3 shirt when I play. And why my Latics retro shirt from TOFFS has his number on the back.

 

His goal against M*n U*d in December 1974 is etched into my brain. He never really used to celebrate after scoring but, on this occasion, he went mad, racing away and being chased by the rest of the team.

 

One particular event sticks out in my mind. I pegged (there's a word I haven't used for 35 years!!) off school to watch the Latics train. I stood outside the main entrance waiting for the players, to get their autographs. As I stood talking to Ian Robbins, Maurice went past and I missed the chance to get him to sign my bit of paper. I had to wait around for the rest of the morning for the players to finish so that I could get his signature on his way back.

 

Thinking about it, he's a most unlikely hero, curly hair, unkempt, a left back who used to wear his socks rolled down, but he's probably my favourite all time Latics player (Ritchie is the best, in my opinion) but Maurice sums up everything that is great about Oldham Athletic for me!!

 

I'm sure that I'll remember many more Maurice stories over the next couple of days so thank you OWTB for making him "LOTW".

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Apart from Irwin, the best full back this club has ever had. He was fearless and would tackle the 59 bus if asked to... Blistering left foot shot which people genuinely tried to get out of the way of.. I too was there when he scored against Man Utd and jumped nearly as high as he did in celebration. An unassuming genuine footballer who never took it for granted and never wore a shin pad.. He didn't actually score first in that game against Man Utd though. Ronnie Blair scored but it wasn't seen by the ref. :mainstand:

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The best left back ever to play for Latics imo.

 

Genuine excitement in the ground whenever we got a free kick within 30 yards of the goal and boy could he hit the ball. Don't think I've seen another Latics player hit it as hard as he could. Well remember the penalty against Man U. Also remember a screamer he scored at York City. Not too many full backs today, or even then, played with socks round their ankles but he never seemed to get injured and it just seemed to add to his character.

 

What wouldn't we give today for a left side of Whittle & Groves. Was gutted when he eventually left us.

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Mo didn't need a right leg except to stop him falling over. He could inflict more damage with his exocet missile left peg than most players could manage with two. I remember a match at the old Bristol Rovers ground when he took a free kick and all but decapitated their keeper. Thankfully, he had the sense to get out of the way. The shot was from over 30yds out and I well remember Barry Davies on commentary on MotD that night saying: "Oh, I say. He really is a tremendous striker of the dead ball". Understatement of the season, if not the decade.

 

Oh aye, he could tackle a bit too. Not many, if any, wingers could show him a clean pair of heels.

 

Now, if Mo had a son of similar ability..............

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One of my all time favourite players a true latics legend. Outstanding memories of Mo are his goal away at York in the promotion season to the third division .

 

Along with helping to carry him off the pitch when we secured a point at Plymouth away on a Friday night to pip Bristol Rovers for the championship. Oh and how could I forget that goal against that other little team from Manchester.

 

Very rarely has a defender excited fans as much as mo used to. I can still hear the chant now M-A-U-R-I-C-E, M-A-U-R-I-C-E,

Boy could he crack a ball, and keep it low.

God those were happy days makes me feel old thinking about it. He was hard a nails too wish we had him now .

Thanks for the memories Maurice wherever you are true legend up there with Stich in my opinion, but like I said for a defender not many have excited us like he did.

 

Thanks Mo

 

Robert

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Another Latics legend who was playing when I first started watching the Latics.

As previously stated Maurice is best remembered for his blistering left foot shot.

His conversion rate from the spot was phenomenal, I never saw him miss a penalty for us in several years of Maurice being an ever present player at left back.

His rolled down socks were his trademark (I dont think I ever saw him wear a pair of pads).

 

One recollection of Maurice springs to mind, I think it was 1974 we had just won the 3rd division championship and were playing away at Blackpool, I know it wasn't a league game it may have been either a pre-season friendly or a Texaco cup game or something (I was only 11).

Maurice scored a free kick from about 25 yards and nearly broke the net, I think we won the game 2-1 but the free kick really stands out in my mind, I dont think I had ever seen a ball struck more ferociously. There was absolutely no subtlety about it he just whacked it as hard as he could but it was so effective on so many occasions.

A very solid and dependable left back who served the club very loyally for many years.

 

A true Latics legend.

Edited by Hometownclub
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"maaauuuuuuuuuuuuurriiiiiiiiiiiice" " ninty miles an hour "oh yes memorys of early days at B P got hit by one of maurices "hand warmers" that got deflected knocked me clean off the wall at the front of the chaddy (anyone else remeber sitting on the wall at the front H&S would have a corronary now lol )made sure i was behind the goal from that day alot safer !

top player and your right never missed a pen didnt he get a hat trick against york in a night game remeber it cos we had to go int paddock cos the chaddy were full ?

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"maaauuuuuuuuuuuuurriiiiiiiiiiiice" " ninty miles an hour "oh yes memorys of early days at B P got hit by one of maurices "hand warmers" that got deflected knocked me clean off the wall at the front of the chaddy (anyone else remeber sitting on the wall at the front...)

 

I remember sitting on the wall at the RRE. When the legendary John Charles played at BP for Leeds (before they became 'dirty Leeds'), he hit the ball so hard that, as it struck the wall and made it vibrate, me and the other lads fell off the wall! Happy days! :grin:

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"got deflected knocked me clean off the wall at the front of the chaddy (anyone else remeber sitting on the wall at the front H&S would have a corronary now lol )

 

Dunno about sitting on the wall but (and sorry to move off the thread a bit) I remember standing right behind the wall in the Chaddy with the girlfriend of the time who, for some reason had a wicker shopping basket with her and had put it on the running track in front of the wall. Bob Ledger, who could wallop a ball a bit, narrowly missed the onion bag, hit the basket wedging the ball inside it, and basket and ball rebounded back off the wall into the goal area. Those were the days.

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One recollection of Maurice springs to mind, I think it was 1974 we had just won the 3rd division championship and were playing away at Blackpool, I know it wasn't a league game it may have been either a pre-season friendly or a Texaco cup game or something (I was only 11).

Maurice scored a free kick from about 25 yards and nearly broke the net, I think we won the game 2-1 but the free kick really stands out in my mind, I dont think I had ever seen a ball struck more ferociously. There was absolutely no subtlety about it he just whacked it as hard as he could but it was so effective on so many occasions.

A very solid and dependable left back who served the club very loyally for many years.

 

A true Latics legend.

i was at that match when he hit the ball so had it did break the nets ,the goalkeeper nearly died of fright ,not many players could hit a ball so hard like whittle ...

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Guest oa_exile
..not many players could hit a ball so hard like whittle ...

 

Seem to remember something on the lines of that Rioch , Lorimar , etc wasnt there a test done at the time ? hence the 90 miles an hour tag for Maurice ?

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Guest oa_exile
They're also made to fly through the air faster.. How fast would his shots be now?

 

Interesting article on Modern Footballs V's Old "Style" Footballs

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/4123437.stm

 

Modern footballs 'not much safer'

 

Heading a modern-day football is not significantly safer than an old-style leather ball, a study by ballistics experts has found.

Experiments conducted by scientists at the University of Glasgow showed the impact created on players' heads had a similar force.

 

High-speed cameras showed both balls collapsed to about half their diameter.

 

Ballistics engineer Alan Birkbeck said it was like being struck by 10 bags of coal for 3/100ths of a second.

 

Mr Birkbeck said: "We captured pictures of an old-style and a modern ball hitting a wall at high speed, the speed that a professional footballer kicks the ball.

 

"What we found was that the force was enough to collapse both down to about half their diameter.

 

"We also weighed the leather ball when it was bone-dry and weighed the modern ball and there was only a gram or two of a difference.

 

"We then soaked the leather ball in water and this only added another gram of weight making the difference only a scale of two or three grams."

 

In 1998, former Celtic player Billy McPhail lost his legal case for disablement benefit over a claim that he developed the first stages of senile dementia as a result of heading the old fashioned, heavy, leather footballs.

 

However, in 2002 an inquest into the death of former West Brom striker Jeff Astle ruled that he died from a degenerative brain disease caused by heading heavy leather footballs.

 

Mr Birkbeck, a senior engineer at Glasgow's Mechanical and Engineering Department, said: "The modern ball is not really safer, a professional footballer strikes it at 80 or 90mph - with your head in the way that's the equivalent of being struck by 10 bags of coal in 3/100ths of a second.

 

"With an impact like that you would really want it over a longer time, rather than a short, sharp blow.

 

"Personally, I'd rather be punched by a boxer."

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I'd certainly rather head a ball than be hit by a boxer, especially as from my most recent outing on a football pitch the ball would miss my head 3 times out of 4 :blush: I was dubious about the speeds qouted, thinking that the 90 mph claim for Whittle might have been measured along the same lines as a copper nicking you for speeding because he thought you were going quite fast, then making you walk along a line to see if you were drunk. Really fast ones on Sky are often measured at around 70 mph. However, I found this:

 

The hardest recorded shot in football - ever

 

 

Plus: players' names on both sides of a shirt; what Rory Allen did next; and did Pele and Di Stefano play together? Email your questions and answers to knowledge@guardian.co.uk

 

James Dart and Paolo Bandini

Wednesday February 14, 2007

Guardian Unlimited

 

David Hirst

"Eat my shot!" Photograph: Anton Want/Getty Images

 

"There was a great hullabaloo over Obafemi Martins' goal against Spurs last month, timed at 84mph, with Telegraph journalist Henry Winter speculating that it could take the crown," writes Archi Campbell. "However, I remember a goal by David Trezeguet for Monaco against Man Utd in the Champions League quarter-finals of 1998 that was timed at 96mph. This would also be faster than Nicky Summerbee's 87mph shot on Record Breakers, which is often given as the fastest shot ever. Was Trezeguet's shot really that fast, and if so, why does everyone seem to ignore it?"

 

Article continues

"There's no official record," explained the Football Association's historian David Barber when quizzed, but we knew our readers weren't going to be palmed off so easily. Therefore, armed with a toothcomb, our archives and a handy list of humdingers measured on the Sky Sports Replay 2000 tracking machine, we can provide you with the most authentic - if unofficial - list of heavy hitters at our disposal.

 

First off, three things: Martins' goal is only the ninth hardest shot recorded; Summerbee's effort was obviously not in a competitive match so we'll ignore it; and Trezeguet's thunderbolt at Old Trafford can only have been ignored because it was in European competition - but it was recorded at 96mph, putting him third on our list.

 

Pipping Trezeguet, however, is David Beckham (the only player to appear twice in our top 10), who smashed home a 97.9mph effort of his own against Chelsea on February 22 1997. That might top our list of powerful goals, but there is one harder shot - recorded by Sky's fancy device - that puts it well and truly in the shade. Step forward ... Sheffield Wednesday's David Hirst, who drilled a 14.8-yard howitzer against the crossbar at a whopping 114mph during a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal on September 16 1996. Therefore, our top 10, as it stands, is ...

 

1) David Hirst - 114mph (for Sheffield Wednesday @ Arsenal on September 16 1996)

2) David Beckham - 97.9mph (for Man Utd v Chelsea on February 22 1997)

3) David Trezeguet - 96mph (for Monaco @ Man Utd on March 19 1998)

4) Richie Humphreys - 95.9mph (for Sheffield Wednesday v Aston Villa on August 17 1996)

5) Matt Le Tissier - 86.8mph (for Southampton v Newcastle on January 18 1997)

6) Alan Shearer - 85.8mph (for Newcastle v Leicester on February 2 1997)

7) Roberto Carlos - 85.2mph (for Brazil v France on June 3 1997)

8) Tugay - 84.2mph (for Blackburn @ Southampton on November 3 2001)

9) Obafemi Martins - 84mph (for Newcastle @ Tottenham on January 14 2007)

10) David Beckham - 80.5mph (for Man Utd @ Derby on September 4 1996)

 

If you have any evidence so that we can update the list, let us know at knowledge@guardian.co.uk.

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