When Ray Graydon unveiled veteren striker Don Goodman as a Saddlers player in March 2001, many fans (myself included!) thought he'd lost his mind.
At the time Goodman was 35 and had a good 500 games behind him since his career began at Bradford in 1984. What made it worse for some fans was that arguably his best moments had come at Wolves- always risky signing a former Wolves man.
Goodman didn't however come to Walsall just to see out the rest of his career. He made it clear early on that with Walsall riding high in the league, he had come to get promoted and claim a medal.
Despite only playing 25 games in a Saddlers shirt and scoring just 3 times, it is fair to say Goodman played as big a part in our journey to Cardiff as any other player that season.
Goodman became the Emile Heskey to our Michael Owen, Jorge Leitao, and brought the best out of the him. His crowning moment came in the play-off final with the first equalising goal a few minutes into the second half.
And it has to be said, Goodman deserved that kind of moment for the passion and never-say-die attitude he put into every game. This having missed a great chance in the first leg of the play-off semi final at Stoke, that could have haunted him. Not a bit of it for a true professional like Goodman.
Since retiring in 2003 Goodman has had a dabble in the media and is often used as a pundit by Sky- much better than Alan Hansen if you ask me!
If you have any memories of Don Goodman let us know on our forum.
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