Linnets Legends - Mark Carter
"Spike" Carter is another of those players who would fit most fans definition of a Linnets Legend and who also played and managed the team during his association with the club. Mum Joyce is still a regular at home matches. I’m sure I remember Joyce telling me she used to keep a scrap book. That would make interesting reading. We all have our favourite memories of players and the goals they scored, but Spike scored so many memorable goals it would be hard to choose.
Spike was born in Liverpool in December 1960 and was also a keen cricketer in the Liverpool area. He joined Liverpool as a youngster and also played for South Liverpool and Bangor before joining Runcorn in 1984. He had already captained Bangor City in the FA Trophy final at Wembley earlier that year and went on to play in the Runcorn side which lost to Altrincham in 1986. When asked to name his favourite Gola (Conference) League player at that time, Spike named John Imrie! (Obviously a great admirer of John’s as he later appointed him as assistant manager at Canal Street)
As well as finishing with a runners-up medal in the Trophy Final, Spike was also a member of the squad which dominated the Cheshire Senior Cup, winning it five times between 1984/85 and 1988/89 as well as the Gola Championship Shield in 1985/86. He finally left to go to Barnet in 1991 (reputedly for a fee of £40,000) having been a prolific goal scorer for the club. He won eleven caps for the England non-league team and was the leading Semi-Professional International goalscorer of his time. Carter was a striker feared throughout the league and perhaps only Kim Casey at Kidderminster compared to Spike during this period. In 1986/87 he was voted as the Semi-Professional Player of the Year in the non-league handbook. After leaving Barnet, he continued to play in the League for Bury and then Rochdale averaging almost a goal every two games during his league career.
Spike played over 320 times for Runcorn in his first period at the club, scoring almost 200 goals. He returned to the club in 1999 as coach from Ashton, but almost immediately took over as manager when Derek Brownbill was sacked. Spike appointed John Imrie as his assistant but they were not able to build a successful team and lost their jobs in September 2000 when Liam Watson was appointed as manager.
"Spike" Carter is a true Linnets Legend who will always be remembered for his work rate and goalscoring prowess.
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