Writer: Cannock Saddler
Date:Friday August 3 2007
As a Saddlers fan for just over 15 years it is hard to imagine the club without Ian Roper. If ever there was a stereotypical image of a lower league defender then Ropes just about sums it up!
It is strange to think that Roper nearly didn't make it at Walsall and we have instincts of former boss Chris Nicholl to thank that he did.
Roper joined the club in 1995 as a trainee and in all honesty didn't look great! Nicholl however put his faith in him and during a roller coaster 12 years Roper has always put his heart and soul into his performances.
As a trainee Roper never looked comfortable on the ball but over time he has taken massive steps forward and formed some of our best defensive partnerships in years alongside Adrian Viveash and last season Ant Gerrard.
Roper is certainly not a goal scorer and last season's 4 goals increased his career goals tally by 200%!
Having said this it is what Roper does at the back that makes him special. Ok so he isn't the neatest or most tactically aware defender in the world but he is never in any doubt when the ball needs to be belted over the stand!
His contribution and consistent displays have been marked in recent years when he was named Walsall player of the year and only last season became Walsall's first entry into football magazine Four Four Two's Top 50 Players from the Football League.
With the new season just around the corner here's hoping for more of the same from one of Walsall's greatest servants.
What are your memories and opinions of Roper, let us know in our forum.
Date:Friday August 3 2007
Former Saddler Returns For Pre Season (Monday June 1 2015)
New Advertising Causes A Stir (Sunday May 31 2015)
Walsall - FSF's May Newsletter (Friday May 29 2015)
The Guest Blog - Close Season Edition (Friday May 29 2015)
Murphy Delighted With New Deal (Friday May 29 2015)
Murphy Signs Up (Friday May 29 2015)
Smith On Bradshaw Contract Delay (Friday May 29 2015)
Former Birmingham Ace A Target? (Thursday May 28 2015)
Aston Villa Friendly Confirmed (Thursday May 28 2015)
Doncaster Enquired About Tom Bradshaw (Wednesday May 27 2015)
|McCullough plays no part in Northern Ireland friendly
» Doncaster : 01/06/2015 21:00:00
|Released defender looking forward to fresh challenge
» Doncaster : 01/06/2015 20:43:01
|Bristol City Should Be Sky Blues Benchmark
» Coventry : 01/06/2015 20:00:01
|Jack Barthram Apologises For Tweet Criticising Swindon
» Swindon : 01/06/2015 18:50:00
|Manager Appointment Close
» Sheff Utd : 01/06/2015 18:29:00