Random 1990s Footballer Tuesday: #31 Jason Dozzell
Name: Jason Dozzell
In his 90s prime for: Ipswich, Tottenham
Lowdown: We will start by using the phrase ‘unfulfilled potential’. When Jason Dozzell took to the pitch for Ipswich against Coventry, aged just 16 years and 57 days, he could not have predicted the initial stir he would cause. He scored the third goal in a 3-1 victory, making him the youngest ever scorer in the top division of English football. It is a record that still lasts today.
Dozzell was loved at Portman Road. Although his style was slightly lazy and portrayed a lack of effort, he was treated as a cult hero for staying with the club when relegated to Division 2, eventually helping them return to the top table. In total, he stayed at Ipswich for ten years, making 340 league appearances, and scoring 53 goals. In his last season he assisted the club significantly in remaining in the Premier League.
Unfortunately for Dozzell, it all rather soured from that point. In the summer of 1993 he joined Tottenham for the not insignificant fee of £1.9million. He was effective without being spectacular in his first season, playing 32 games, but from that point on injuries and poor performances restricted his improvement, and he played just seven games the next season. In total he played less that 100 games in his four years at White Hart Lane.
A loan back to Ipswich followed, but an incident in a bar which led to Dozzell being arrested meant that he was soon on his way to Northampton on a permanent deal, where he helped the Cobblers to the playoff final. Finally, he moved to Colchester United, where he played for three seasons before retiring in 2001 with a persistent toe injury.
Dozzell made nine appearances for England U21s
Now: After retiring, Dozzell managed three non-league clubs including Leiston and Ipswich Wanderers. He is still known to Spurs fans as one of their worst ever players, perhaps unfairly, and yet loved by those at Ipswich.