A nostalgic glance at those of who've returned to their roots
OH DANNY, DANNY
will give the City faithful the chance to dust off their old hymn sheets and belt out a chant last heard back on the terraces of Ninian Park almost a decade ago.Danny GabbidonThe deadline day return of former Cardiff favouriteGabbidon made over 200 appearances for the Bluebirds starting in 2000 and earned a fine reputation as City rose up from the basement division and established themselves as a second tier side.
Indeed, by the time he departed for West Ham United in 2005, Danny was already a vastly experienced stalwart for both club and country at the age of 25.Now, his return to the capital as player-coach has prompted us to take a look back at a few other famous Cardiff City homecomings.
FROM THE NORTH EAST TO SOUTH WALES
would certainly form a good argument to the contrary. In fact, Chops technically had four separate spells representing the Bluebirds, all of which were successful.Michael ChopraWhile it is often said to be risky to return to a former club, the case of
for £500,000 in 2006, scoring 22 goals in 42 appearances and being named in the PFA Championship team of the season.Newcastle UnitedOf course, he hit the ground running after first signing from his boyhood club , and scoring 41 more goals for the Bluebirds, including many a crucial strike.Jay BothroydA move to Sunderland for £5 million was to follow, but things did not quite pan out for Chops back in the North East and two separate loan spells to South Wales were followed up by a permanent transfer in 2009. He played for City 110 more times, forming a lethal partnership with
OTHER RECENT RETURNS
The past decade has also seen several other players re-join Cardiff City after time spent away from the club.
.Manchester Utd, who spent loan time at QPR, Rochdale and Wycombe Wanderers before coming back to sign permanently for the Bluebirds, two years after he was first borrowed from Tom Heaton are obvious examples, another is former ‘keeper Jason Koumas and Craig BellamyWhile
.Robert EarnshawHowever, the comeback first brought to mind upon Gabbidon’s return is that of his former teammate Earnie had seemingly done it all when making his name at Cardiff City as he broke countless scoring records for the club at the turn of the millennium, but he clearly still felt he had unfinished business in the City shirt. He added 22 more appearances in total and got his chance to perform that famous somersault at the new Cardiff City Stadium. Overall he scored four more times – including a strike in the Severnside Derby against Bristol City – and also managed to net his 200th career goal.
Next up, let’s go back to the 70s for one of the biggest names to return for a second stint in South Wales.
for £100,000… only to come back three years down the line.Ian Gibson is a name that is deservedly rooted in Cardiff City folklore. After scoring 75 goals in 182 league appearances he was sold to Bournemouth alongside Brian Clark in the 1971 Cup Winners’ Cup, Real Madrid goal against thatFamous for scoring
Although he will forever be remembered for his achievements in his first spell at the club, he certainly didn’t let himself down on his return. He pulled the shirt on over 20 more times that season and played a part in the club’s promotion to Division Two.
is a rarity in that his second stint with the club was the one in which he made his name.Chris PikeEighties and 90s frontman
.Fulham manager Brian Clark himself! He didn’t start out at City though, instead signing his first professional contract at Maesteg Park, Pike was first spotted playing park football by then Gareth BalegalacticoNow also famous for being the uncle of Real Madrid , become the top scorer for three consecutive seasons and reach the milestone of 150 matches in the City shirt. Not a bad second spell at all!Carl DaleIn 1986 he was to come home to Ninian Park for a successful loan period. Unfortunately it was short-lived, as an injury crisis at Fulham meant he had to be recalled to his parent club. But, like Clark before him, he was back at Ninian three years later. He’d go on to form a famed striking partnership with
THE RETURN OF TWO RAMSEYS
Also amongst the small list of returning players are two talented midfielders by the name of Ramsey..Paul RamseyOf course, all fans fondly remember the loan return of Aaron in 2011, but going back to the early 90s, the first to do so was former City skipper
. He was unable to settle in Scotland, but Football League rules prevented a return to City within 12 months. However, like his namesake Aaron, he was soon to come back on loan and turned out 11 further times for the Bluebirds in total.St. Johnstone in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, captained Cardiff and made over 70 appearances before leaving for Northern Ireland, Paul, who represented Leicester CityHaving started at
before scoring in a victory over Leicester.SwanseaThe new ‘Rambo’, meanwhile, has gone from strength to strength with the Gunners recently, but at the time of his return was still aiming to regain form after his major injury. He joined up with an immensely strong team – with the likes of Bellamy, Chopra and Bothroyd at the peak of their powers – and played a key role in an away win over
Dave JonesFormer Manager , who had given Ramsey his début, highlighted the fact that a return to a former club, albeit on loan, can be beneficial for all parties. His growth in strength and maturity were underlined by the City boss, who said: “It really was a case of someone leaving as a boy and coming back as a man.”
There are a handful of other past players who couldn’t keep themselves away from Cardiff – Roger Gibbins, Mike Ford and Tarki Micallef, to name but a few. Overall, history proves that plenty of success has been enjoyed by those that have come back to pull on the City shirt once more.
, whose experience gained since leaving in 2005 could now prove extremely valuable to the club where he made his name, both in a coaching and playing capacity.GabbsSo, here’s to a happy return for