Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Friendship on Hold for Cult-Hero Horsfield

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Friendship on Hold for Cult-Hero Horsfield

Article excerpt

Byline: LEO SPALL

AS a former bricklayer, Geoff Horsfield knows a thing or two about solid foundations. And the West Brom striker, who began his professional career at Fulham, remains hugely grateful for the start that Kevin Keegan gave him in the game.

With his no-nonsense style, Horsfield established himself as a cult hero among Fulham fans who he rewarded with 25 goals during a two-year spell between 1998 and 2000.

Life was so good as a pioneer of the Mohamed Fayed revolution that he did not want to leave, but there was no place for a burly Yorkshireman among Jean Tigana's European sophisticates.

The arrival of the French coach signalled the end for Horsfield and he was sold to Birmingham for [pounds sterling]2.25million before Tigana had even seen him play.

But rather than feeling resentful, the 30-year-old is still full of admiration for Fulham and is looking forward to meeting up with old friends when Chris Coleman's side visit the Hawthorns tomorrow.

He said: "They're a fantastic club. I enjoyed many great memories there, like beating Tottenham in the Worthington Cup when we were a First Division side and getting promoted under Kevin Keegan.

"It was an important spell for me in my career because when I turned professional I went straight from Halifax and I was flying with confidence.

"We had a great side full of experience with Philippe Albert, Peter Beardsley and Kit Symons. It was a fantastic time which I really enjoyed.

"When Jean Tigana came in he decided he didn't really want me, so it was best for both parties for me to move on. I have no regrets because I enjoyed my time at Birmingham, while Fulham built a new side and replaced me with Louis Saha who scored 30 goals that season - he was a great buy for them."

Although it was a case of chalk and fromage with Tigana, you get the impression that Horsfield would be more at home in Coleman's squad, where the bulldog spirit - through players such as Lee Clark, Ian Pearce and Mark Pembridge - runs much stronger. …

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