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Nicky Marker and Ben Thornley

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Guardian article on Ben Thornley today, a Manu youngster in the early 90's. Its claimed that he was the best of his generation---better than Giggs or Scholes or Beckham.

His career was ended by an horrendous tackle by Marker in a reserve game at Ewood Park. His knee was apparently utterly shattered and he never recovered. He did sue Rovers and Marker later and received compensation. Don't remember hearing about this at the time.

I remember that generally Marker was an excellent back-up in midfield.

When we played Spurs at White Hart Lane  they were totally confident of winning easily as we our usual central midfielders were out with injury.

In fact, Marker and Atkins ran the game and we won comfortably!

However, Marker was a dirty sod and ended Ardilles' season when he played against us for Plymouth.

Can't give a link but its easily found on the Guardian site.

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Pretty sad that such a shithouse player ended such a promising career. 

Growing up I remember Thornley being spoken about by a lot by United fans but I presumed he just wasn't good enough. Didn't realise it was an injury that stopped him reaching his potential.

Edited by Batman.

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Marker was an agricultural type from the previous era all but disappeared now, very handy player to have in the squad then.

Where have all the hardmen gone ? 🤔

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Ince, Robson even Scholes also Liverpool with Souness, McMahon, Molby, Ince all good teams based around midfield hardman who were mostly firm but fair but no strangers to the dirty stuff .

Being in red they mostly got away with it though.

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Just now, tomphil said:

Ince, Robson even Scholes also Liverpool with Souness, McMahon, Molby, Ince all good teams based around midfield hardman who were mostly firm but fair but no strangers to the dirty stuff .

Being in red they mostly got away with it though.

Jaysus I wouldn't call Scholes a midfield hard man 

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Just now, Bigdoggsteel said:

Jaysus I wouldn't call Scholes a midfield hard man 

No, but he was one of the worst tacklers ever. Dangerous because he didn't have a clue how to tackle.

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5 minutes ago, Bigdoggsteel said:

Jaysus I wouldn't call Scholes a midfield hard man 

Hard as nails, cracking player and dirty little fooker in a crafty way.

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12 minutes ago, tomphil said:

Hard as nails, cracking player and dirty little fooker in a crafty way.

Cracking player but he couldn't tackle for shit and when he tried to foul, he was extremely blatant. Keane did the dirty work for him. 

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1 hour ago, tomphil said:

Hard as nails, cracking player and dirty little fooker in a crafty way.

You got it in one tomphil. He knew exactly what he was doing. The idea that he was a dirty player as if by accident is very misguided. 

There's no room for the Nicky Markers in today's game. 

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Just now, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

You got it in one tomphil. He knew exactly what he was doing. The idea that he was a dirty player as if by accident is very misguided. 

There's no room for the Nicky Markers in today's game. 

In a crafty way I said meaning just what you've said there, he knew what he was doing.

There should be room for the likes of him, no one wants to see blatant injuries but the game is so powder puff at top level now it's ridiculous. Hendry was firm but fair he'd be sent off every week now just for having the nerve to throw himself in front of the ball leaving someone's toe.

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1 hour ago, Bigdoggsteel said:

Cracking player but he couldn't tackle for shit and when he tried to foul, he was extremely blatant. Keane did the dirty work for him. 

Like I said he was a master of the sly fouls, missed a tackle but still stopped the player.

Keane was an out right arrogant dirty twohat who wouldn't have got away with half of it if he wasn't wearing a red rag and of course he could play a bit.

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Just now, tomphil said:

In a crafty way I said meaning just what you've said there, he knew what he was doing.

There should be room for the likes of him, no one wants to see blatant injuries but the game is so powder puff at top level now it's ridiculous. Hendry was firm but fair he'd be sent off every week now just for having the nerve to throw himself in front of the ball leaving someone's toe.

I liked the rough stuff tomphil but going out to hurt players isn't my style. 

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Just now, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

I liked the rough stuff tomphil but going out to hurt players isn't my style. 

Me neither, I modelled  myself on Hendry so I liked to get stuck in but i think there's a difference between all out commitment and blatant thuggery you'd be looking at the likes of Vinny Jones and a few others for that before Marker he never struck me as a blatant dirty player or even a hardman he was just robust and committed, probably a bit clumsy.

Consider what Keane did to the City player the toerag should've been banned for life.

Our very own Lucash Neil had his moments but again I wouldn't call him dirty he was just extremely robust.

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40 minutes ago, tomphil said:

Like I said he was a master of the sly fouls, missed a tackle but still stopped the player.

Keane was an out right arrogant dirty twohat who wouldn't have got away with half of it if he wasn't wearing a red rag and of course he could play a bit.

I can't agree with you on Scholes there. He wasn't the master of sly fouls, just not able to tackle very well!

I can whole heartily agree on the second point, Keane is nasty piece of work. I have very little time for him after first reneging on his deal to join Rovers and then walking out on Ireland in Saipan. My United supporting mates think he can do no wrong. That tackle on Haaland was disgusting. 

Edited by Bigdoggsteel

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If you think Scholes didn't know how to tackle you're barking up the wrong tree. He was clever enough to make it look that way. Just because the commentators told you he couldn't tackle doesn't make it true.

Edited by Tyrone Shoelaces

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1 hour ago, tomphil said:

Me neither, I modelled  myself on Hendry so I liked to get stuck in but i think there's a difference between all out commitment and blatant thuggery you'd be looking at the likes of Vinny Jones and a few others for that before Marker he never struck me as a blatant dirty player or even a hardman he was just robust and committed, probably a bit clumsy.

Consider what Keane did to the City player the toerag should've been banned for life.

Our very own Lucash Neil had his moments but again I wouldn't call him dirty he was just extremely robust.

I liked to get stuck in and the rougher it got the more I liked it. Strange really because off the pitch I'm not an aggressive person. Having said that I put a few over the touch line but I'm glad to say I never hurt anyone badly.  It was " Marker " type player that broke my leg the first time. Second time it was just an accident. 

Edited by Tyrone Shoelaces

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8 hours ago, Batman. said:

Pretty sad that such a shithouse player ended such a promising career. 

Growing up I remember Thornley being spoken about by a lot by United fans but I presumed he just wasn't good enough. Didn't realise it was an injury that stopped him reaching his potential.

Why the hate for Nicky Marker? No Messi I’ll grant you but an excellent squad man.  Always gave everything and could fill in in several positions and was a decent player as well.  Anyone could do with a couple of his like st the club.

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Marker ruined one of the great days out of the 1980s when he nobbled Ossie on his Rovers debut at Plymouth. What was an absolutely unbelievable signing at the time became a real let down as Ardiles was out for a few vital weeks. 

He came back & had two magnificent games - both against Swindon - but what should have been a triumphant season for both and for Rovers fizzled out & OA & the brilliant Steve Archibald were left out of the XI for the final play off clinching 4-1 win at Millwall and for the second leg of the play off final at Stamford Bridge 

Ossie was the first World Cup winner to play for us I think although John Connelly was later awarded a medal having played early in the 1966 tournament 

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3 hours ago, tomphil said:

. Hendry was firm but fair he'd be sent off every week now just for having the nerve to throw himself in front of the ball leaving someone's toe.

He'd be sent off for that only if he'd not already been sent off for ungentlemanly conduct for showing his arse to the BBE before the match...

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I was at Holme Park when Marker clattered Ardiles. It was hard to forgive when he pitched up at Ewood. Yes, he was tough but he was a dirty bastard and I didn't enjoy seeing him in a Rovers shirt.

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22 minutes ago, deryck guyler's spoon said:

I was at Holme Park when Marker clattered Ardiles. It was hard to forgive when he pitched up at Ewood. Yes, he was tough but he was a dirty bastard and I didn't enjoy seeing him in a Rovers shirt.

Not sure why people liked Todd then. I'm not one to talk about someone holding grudges but that seems like something people should have gotten over quickly. 

I can't remember reading about this lawsuit before (though I probably have as it's in the LT online archives) which is unusual considering it involves Rovers v United. There was the Dahlin injury case and that wasn't related to neglectful challenges, etc. Clearly it takes a long time to deal with insurance matters hence the mention of five years for Thornley's case to be settled. Strange though that it took 3 years to file (as detailed in the link below) and he hadn't even left United.

https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/6182134.rovers-thornley-sues/

It's certainly plausible that conversation in the early 90's took place but perhaps they just got it wrong? Maybe he just wasn't as good as they thought and this injury is a convenient excuse. Didn't United have another young player (can't recall his name) who was injured around the same time period? Someone else who was supposedly better than Beckham, Scholes, etc it comes across as more United orchestrated narrative spin. I think Tottenham had a young player too who was built up as destined for great things and accomplished nothing.

Edited by Vinjay17

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