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🔢 City by number: No. 11

A look at the number 11 and it's association with City players

19 November 2018

Number 11 on the back of a red and white shirt.

Many players have worn it. Traditionally it was reserved for that exciting, creative attacking player, typically the left winger but it wasn’t uncommon to see it on another forward’s shirt.

Before the Football League made squad numbers compulsory in 1999, a different Exeter City player could have worn the 11 shirt every week but the same players tended to retain the shirt.

One player who held the shirt for a short while was Adrian Thorne, who joined from Plymouth Argyle for £1,500 in December 1963. Adrian made his debut in a 4-1 victory over Bradford and was an ever-present for the rest of the season – wearing the number 11 as City won promotion to the Third Division. The tricky winger moved on to Leyton Orient just a year later but his contribution in the form of eight goals and numerous assists to City’s promotion campaign won’t be forgotten.

Similar to Adrian, who wore the number 11 for a short amount of time, Peter Hatch donned the shirt on occasions over a nine year stay at the Grecians. Traditionally Peter was a left back, wearing the number three, however on arguably his greatest performance in the red and white, Peter wore 11. Scoring direct from a corner and creating two other goals, Peter ran the show as the Grecians romped to a 4-0 victory over Newcastle, with his number 11 shirt forever immortalised in the minds of City fans worldwide.

Once the Football League introduced compulsory squad numbers in 1999, the first City player to be officially assigned the number 11 was John Wilkinson. The City academy graduate had only earned his first professional deal a year previously but a number of impressive pre-season performances persuaded manager Peter Fox to give John such a high number. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for the winger at City, but John later made a successful career in Singapore, where he even made national team appearances after gaining citizenship.

Scott Golbourne was given the number 11 shirt by Paul Tisdale after joining the Grecians in 2009 but he wasn’t your ‘traditional’ number 11. The Bristol City academy graduate was naturally a left back, and while he did occasionally play further forward, he wasn’t a player City fans would have expected to get the 11.

City’s current number 11 Jayden Stockley rejoined the Grecians for a club record fee in 2017.The striker has averaged just over a goal every two games during both his spells at the Grecians, becoming one of the most feared players in League Two.


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