There’s not much that hasn’t been written about a certain Steven Richard Flack.
In over 10 years, the striking legend made over 400 appearances for the Grecians, scoring 94 goals and endearing himself in the hearts of all fans for his never say die attitude and pure love of the red and white.
Steve’s career trajectory could’ve been very different though if it wasn’t for the manager of his local village team Orwell, where the Cambridge-born man began his career. Throughout his childhood, Steve primarily played in defence and he made his first team debut for Orwell at left-back, something that is probably completely unfathomable for most City supporters.
Orwell’s manager saw this solid full-back and made the decision to try him upfront, and it’s simple to say that choice paid off. Steve was the side’s top scorer for the next two seasons despite not being legally allowed to drink or vote and this form attracted the attention of Cambridge City.
After a few more seasons in non-league Steve’s goalscoring form was enough of an attraction for Cardiff City to part with £10,000 for his services, and the forward left behind a world of part-time jobs (including bricklaying and stand-up comedy) to go fully professional.
The striker first arrived in Exeter in 1996 and instantly proved himself with a very respectable return of 14 goals in his first season at the Park. Steve was the club’s top scorer in 1999, 2001 and 2003 and upon relegation to the Conference, the forward stayed at City despite offers from League clubs, cementing his legend status when he took a pay cut to help mentor and develop the cash strapped Grecians’ young team.
The Trust took over the club when relegation was confirmed as Steve scored the first goal under the new ownership, a bullet header into the top corner from Kwame Ampadu’s freekick.
Later into his City career Steve was used as more of a squad player, primarily featuring from the bench, but that didn’t stop him from breaking the club record for the fastest ever City hattrick, netting three times against Southport in just 13 minutes for his only ever career treble.
When Steve finally called time on his City career in 2006, he was awarded with a testimonial match against Torquay, celebrating his decade at the club.
Steve is third in City’s all-time appearances record but it’s unlikely we’ll ever see a player match his longevity in the red and white now, and maybe that’s a good thing, because there will only ever be one Steve Flack.