Ben Nelson, Chris O’Grady, George Heyes and Alan Young among players at Leicester and Rochdale

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Recent signing Ben Nelson made a seldom move between the two clubs Leicester and Rochdale. We have tracked down players with a life in both camps.

George Heyes is one goalkeeper signed from Rochdale to Leicester as far back as 1961 and Tom Kennedy also made a switch directly between the two. Chris O’Grady and Alan Young are others playing in both jerseys but had spells elsewhere in between.

George Heyes was signed by Leicester to cover for Gordon Banks when he was out on England duty but also at first seeing him as a challenger as Banks had just previously joined from Chesterfield and not yet made his England debut, something that happened in 1963. Heyes had to give up the idea of being a first team alternative at Leicester and moved to Swansea that same year.

Alan Young became a pivotal player for Leicester as he became a record signing from Oldham and helped the club up from 2nd division as champions. A favorite during the time of Jock Wallace but sold on after Gordon Milne arrived. Young played for Leicester from 1979 to 1982 and added up 104 league games and scored 26 goals. He moved to Sheffield United from Leicester and after that had spells at Brighton and Notts County before signing for Rochdale in 1986, spending a season at Spotland, scoring 2 goals in 28 league appearances.

Defender Guy Branston left Leicester in his early years of fotball and had spells at a great number of clubs in league football, one of them Rochdale. He had a loan spell at Spotland in 2007 played 4 times before returning to Peterborough United.

Everton Carr had his first years in the professional game at Leicester playing 12 league games and in 1981 moving on to play for Halifax Town and in 1983 turning out for Rochdale in 9 league games before he joined Nuneaton Borough and never again appeared in league football. He also had spells at Barnet, Bath and Weymouth among his clubs in non-league action.

Louis Dodds made a move from Leicester to Rochdale on loan in 2006/2007. Played 12 league games and scored 2 goals during his stay. Tom English a young forward at Leicester signed from Coventry later joined Rochdale for a brief spell playing 3 times in 1984/85 scoring 1 goal.

Neville Hamilton started out at Leicester and made his debut in the 1978/77 season but after just 4 league appearances moving on to play for Mansfield. He appeared 89 times in the league for The Staggs before his move to Rochdale. He was at Spotland from 1981 to 1984 and completed 74 league games and scored 5 goals.

Tom Kennedy made a move from Rochdale to Leicester in 2010. He was not much invovled during his two years at the club playing only 6 league games in the first team. His time at Spotland might have been his best completing 137 league games for the club before his switch. He later moved back to Rochdale and played there from 2014 to 2016 adding up 41 more league games.

Stan Milburn arrived from Leicester in 1959 staying at Spotland until 1965. He was a regular at Leicester as well as with Rochdale adding up a total of 236 league games at Spotland. He was the uncle of Bobby and Jack Charlton.

Chris O’Grady had a promising start to his career with Leicester and moved on to play for Rotherham and from there to Oldham before signing on for Rochdale. He managed to kick start his career again when arriving at Spotland and played 69 league games and scored 19 goals, before moving to Sheffield Wednesday. A nomadic life in football for O’Grady playing 24 league games for Leicester from 2003 to 2007, actually playing his first league game for Leicester in the 2002/03 promotion season, but then joining Notts County and later Rushden & Diamond on loan and never appeared for Leicester in Premier League action. He did play for Leicester vs. Inter Milan in a pre-season friendly scoring on a penalty. Still going at the age of 36 turning out for Ilkeston.

Winston White had a short loan spell at Rochdale from Bury in 1986, playing 4 games. White started his career at Leicester playing 12 league games and scoring 1 goal. He had his best years in football a few years later with Herford, Bury and Burnley and in total adding up 529 league appearances and scoring 81 goals, over a period of 17 years in League football.

Players in both camps,

  • Goalkeepers
    • George Heyes
  • Defenders
    • Guy Branston
    • Stan Milburn
    • Tom Kennedy
    • Everton Carr
    • Ben Nelson
  • Midfield
    • Neville Hamilton
    • Winston White
  • Forwards
    • Alan Young
    • Louis Dodds
    • Chris O’Grady


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