Often Partisan

Where Are They Now? Part XXVIII

Marlon King’s recent run of form has led many on messageboards to compare him to the best strikers of the post-Trevor Francis era. The subject of today’s article whilst playing in marginally the same position doesn’t fit into that bracket at all. If anything, he’s in with former subject Richie Moran and Colin Robinson as one of the lesser forwards that Blues have ever signed. Today, I’m going to be looking at the fortunes of Mark Sale.

Mark Sale

Unlike many players of the era I actually have a clear, definable memory of Mark Sale. The 1992 pre-season saw Birmingham City send a team to play at the home of one of my local non-league sides Chelmsley Town. At the time I hadn’t been allowed to go to many games by my parents so this was a boon for me – a game I could go to and just around the corner to boot. Anyway, when the team line-ups were announced it quickly became clear that it was a “Birmingham City XI” playing – a team of kids, trialists and one first teamer. Mark Sale. The game wasn’t very memorable, but I remember it finished 1-0 (I think to Blues but I could well be wrong) and Sale was crap.

In twenty-one league appearances for us Mark Sale never scored a goal – however he did get two outside of league competition and I wonder how many of you can name the opponents? Answer at the bottom of the article.

The change in ownership in 1993 saw Sale moved on, and he went to Torquay United for £10,000 in 1993. The move to the south-west did Sale some good and he struck up a bit of a partnership with Duane Darby, a Brummie who had come to Torquay as a kid. Sale notched his first professional league goals whilst with the Gulls and after scoring eight times in forty-four league games got himself a £20,000 move to Preston North End.

After a season at Deepdale which saw him score a fairly decent seven times in just thirteen appearances, Sale moved on to Mansfield Town for a heady £50,000. It was to be the start of a nomadic existence for the striker which saw him go to Colchester, Plymouth, Rushden and Diamonds and Doncaster before dropping further down the non-league pyramid in 2002.

Sale’s spell at Rushden and Diamonds was sadly more notable for the fact he was diagnosed with Hodgkin disease (a form of cancer) having been a regular in the side but after undergoing chemo he got fit again and managed to play twice as Rushden won the Conference in 2001.

After a year with Doncaster, Sale played for local side Tamworth for a season, fitting in a short loan spell at Hucknall Town, followed by spells at Alfreton Town, Northwich Victoria and Hednesford Town before he finally hung up his boots in 2007 at the age of 35.

For nearly five years now since retiring, Sale has been College Development Team Manager, where he has been in charge of bringing through new young talent for the Brewers from the local schools into the Academy system. However, the former striker hasn’t forgotten those who helped him and earlier this year was able to hand over a sizeable donation to Queen’s Hospital in Burton with money he raised as a thank you for the help that he had been given back in 2001.

Did you get the two teams he scored against? Thanks to the ever useful statistical guide compiled by Steve Tirebuck, I can confirm that they were Exeter in a heavy 4-1 home defeat in the League Cup first round in August of 1992 and the solitary goal against Sunderland in a 1-0 away win in the Anglo-Italian Cup Preliminary Round three weeks later.

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33 Responses to “Where Are They Now? Part XXVIII”

  • kentucky blue says:

    Im i right in thinking eamon dolan ( wrong spelling ) scored a hatrick for exeter?

  • kentucky blue says:

    Mark sale -useless

  • tiltonboy says:

    Colin Robinson was a Chelmsley lad, and was in the same year as me at Whitesmore. At least he managed a few goals.

    I remember coming back from a 0-0 draw at Milwall listening to Danny Baker slating Blues and especially Mark Sale. Not one of best forwards, I will agree.

  • Steve-0 says:

    The guy was about 6’5″ and his whole ethos was to flick on long balls to nobody. Legendary Blues player for all the wrong reasons. We may as well have played Steve Cram, they looked the same and had the same footballing brain.

    Glad to hear he overcome his illness though and is doing something admirable.

  • Tonytiler says:

    I remember going to Wigan on a night game. And sale was playing. Can’t remember the score either. But he wasnt the best. We had to go to stockport away last game of the season. Where we could have been champions. ( big kevin Francis was playing for Stockport at the time ). I think Gerry cooper was the boss at the time. I remember reading the mail. And cooper stated that the Wigan performance was poor. And the only person who would be definitely starting wouldbe sale. We come runners up behind brentford

  • andy says:

    The current state of Blues could see Marlon sold and the likes of Mark Sale being bought in. No joke either!!

  • brad says:

    Ricky Otto upfront with Mark Sale just in behind – Amazing!

  • Paul Carter - The Peoples Favourite says:

    He definitely scored at Sunderland away on a midweek night game preliminary round of the Anglo Italian cup cos I was there.

    Bugger cost me a fortune for it was that goal that clinched our place in the Italian away legs which I went to all of.

  • Richard W says:

    It was full back Scott Hiley who once scored a hat-trick for Exeter against Reading. Eamonn Dolan is more infamous as he was arrested more times than he scored goals for Blues! His one solitary strike came in a 1-0 win at home to Chester when he went totally berserk celebrating in front of the Kop.

    But in two away games at Rotherham and his former club Exeter, he was escorted from the pitch by police officers for the shocking crime of warming down on the pitch after the final whistle, presumably an act of great provocation in those particular places!

    I believe Dolan, like Sale also had a brush with cancer.

  • Paul Carter - The Peoples Favourite says:

    Also I remember Terry Cooper responding to criticism from the fans of Sale by stating he would be one of the best strikers in that division. Mind you he also said Graham Potter (remember him) would be an England full back. He stated that he should know a good full back when he saw one.

  • I’ve got vague memories of getting decent results out of Mark Sale on Championship Manager 93 for some team, but it was tough work…Eamon Dolan on the other hand, goal machine!

  • brad says:

    We going to get another “Do you remember when?” article soon Almajir?

    I was wondering if anyone could tell me if they remember a friendly against Liverpool when Andy Saville scored a screamer, beating Grobbelaar from about 25 yards? It was my first ever game and would love a match report or even better a clip (asking a bit much though)

    Struggling to find anything on the internet.

    • almajir says:

      I’ll be honest I had parked that series for a while whilst I thought of new games like that.

      I have to be truthful and say I don’t remember that one. I shall see what I can do though.

    • Richard W says:

      That Liverpool friendly would’ve been the “Inter city cup” in August 1993, so probably the last friendly played in front of the St Andrew’s terraces. The game finished 1-1, and because there was a trophy up for grabs, a penalty shoot out took place at the Tilton end. Blues were victorious on penalties (Out of character for Liverpool). One memory I have was the chanting of “Daddy’s Boy” at Nigel Clough as he stepped up to miss his spot kick!

    • bluenose08 says:

      I am guessing that was a pr-season friendly that i went to at st andrews, i cycled from stratford upon avon and back as my ex missus wouldnt let me have the keys to the car lol.

    • viperblue says:

      I was there !! a cracking left foot half-volley from edge of box.(he only ever scored with his left
      It was in a friendly against Liverpool arranged by the pool as repayment for
      i think Marsden who went on trial with them and got injured while there so they
      gave us a friendly.

    • Steve-0 says:

      Did that one go to a penalty shoot out?

  • Ian says:

    Hi Al, would love to know what DU DU DUGARRY le god has done since leaving blues? The greatest player in modern history to wear a blues shirt.

    • Macca Salop Blue says:

      I believe Duggary is a regular football pundit for a French TV channel. I gather he’s quite controverisial and outspoken. If you enter his name on You Tube search you’ll get clips of his tirade moments on TV…. trouble is it’s all in French.

  • brad says:

    That was the one Richard, was starting to think I had dreamt it all up! Thanks. I’m right in saying it was a belter from Saville at the Tilton end?

  • tim faraday says:

    i remember the liverpool friendly, i live in guildford and drove up for it and was let in for free by Karen Brady! sat in family stand, and listening to radio on way home a liverpool fan said we played well for a small club and there was an uproar!

  • tamuffblue says:

    Can I just say how sad I am to read of the death of Stevie Fox – played for Blues in late 70;s and was a true Tamuff man I grew up with him and then watched him play for MY teeam !!!!!

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Yes, sad news

    Remember him on the wing but he didn’t get that many games same as Paul Hendrie another winger with Tamworth connections

    • Richard Cooke says:

      Paul, I share similar fond memories of Stevie Fox and my visits to St.Andrews when the reserves were playing at home on Saturday afternoons-a regular occurrence in The Football Combination. Of course, sitting in The Paddocks-the only place available for most reserve games you were able to hear what players were saying on the pitch and I recall Steve saying to a match official; ‘That player, ref!! He’s a c++t!! That was Steve!!
      Incidentally, his team-mate Paul Hendrie.has a very successfuk business where we live and I occasionally have the chance to talk to him about his days while representing our club. No doubt when we next chat we will remember that ‘There’s Only One Stevie Fox’.l

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I used to go to school with Dave (Sugar) Robinson who was never known as “Sugar” at school and would have hated the knickname.
    He was a keen Albion fan and we used to go to the Hawthornes regularly as there was a bus which went there at the end of the road. We saw players such as Derek Kevan,Don Howe,Bobby Robson,Tony Millington etc.
    He was the star of the Bartley Green Sec.Mod.school team and played for Kings Norton Boys District team and had a trial for England Schoolboys.
    He made his debut for Blues in a 4-0 win over Villa in 1968 and manager Stan Cullis said that he had saved the club £70,000 in transfer fees to fill the problem centre-back position.
    I haven’t seen him for years,but I believe he is currently Chairman of Studley Town FC.

  • The Flying Pig says:

    Mark Sale, subject of one of the funniest ever shouts down the Blues?

    Hot on the heels of a chant of “Hiley for England” came “Sale, for sale”.

    Dark, dark days they were, but there was [is] still a comic to make you laugh.

  • RichardM says:

    You know what I could have sworn he scored against Cambridge in a 3-3 draw at St Andrews in the Anglo-Italian, taking his tally to 3 goals for Blues………

  • Dave76 says:

    I was at the game against Chelmsley Wood, we did win 1.0, Simon Sturidge got the goal. I remember Mark sale very well & Terry Cooper stating he would become a class player given a little time! My own personal vote for the worst striker I ever saw in Blue would be Carl Richards, if we ever sign another like him it would mean we truly are in dire trouble.

  • viperblue says:

    Mark Sale was bought from Rocester ,my non-league team after
    he played really well in a Birmingham senior cup game (Blues won 4-3)
    blues also wanted one of our midfielders but he got injured and the deal
    never went through.
    Blues did alright by us as Mark sale was not on contract but they still gave
    us a transfer fee

  • Rothwell says:

    How about a where are they now? On the orginal Siggi, Norwegian football legend Sigurd Rushdeldt? His record prior and after us was amazing apart from he’s Spanish adventure.

  • Paul Carter - The Peoples Favourite says:

    His record prior and after us was amazing

    Made me smile Rothwell :)


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