Writer: Peverell Green
Date:Monday November 12 2012
The next chapter in Peverell Green's 'Where Are They Now' series takes a look at the career of goal-scoring Argyle midfielder Steve Castle.
STEVE CASTLE - Born 17th May 1966 Barking, London.
Steve started his football career as a youngster playing for Romford Royal FC, a club that was founded when the ball boys of Romford FC decided they wanted to start a team, they played in the Havering District, a team mate of Steve's was to develop into a prolific goalscorer with West Ham and Everton also playing for England seven times, Tony Cottee.
In 1982 he signed for The Orient youth team playing for them until he signed professional forms in 1984, the club now having reverted to its former name of Leyton Orient.
In eight seasons he made 243 league appearances and scored 55 goals, not a bad return for a central midfielder.
This soon alerted other clubs to his potential, both Wimbledon and Liverpool had their scouts watch him.
Argyle also had a scout check him out and as a result Peter Shilton and a director, Denis Angilley, went to watch him play.
Shilton left at half time, but had seen enough and asked for his director to start negotiations to bring him to Home Park.
A deal was struck with Argyle paying £225,000 for him. Unfortunately an injury sustained in a pre-season friendly meant Steve missed the first two months of the 1992-93 season.
He played his first game on 24th October, making an immediate impact by scoring the second goal in a 2-0 home win over Wigan. Goals continued to come and by the end of his first season he had scored 13 goals, including a hat trick in a 5-2 away win at West Brom.
He ended up as joint leading goalscorer with Paul Dalton and Kevin Nugent also scoring 13.
He continued to score goals for the club and in the 1993-94 season he again topped the scoring charts, this time with 22 goals, these included a six minute hat trick in a 3-2 win away to Stockport County.
He still remains the last Argyle player to score more than 20 goals in a season. His goals helped Argyle reach the play-offs that season but unfortunately they lost out to Burnley in the play-off semi-final, drawing 0-0 away but losing 3-1 at Home Park.
The Burnley defeat was the catalyst for a terrible coming season for the club.
At the start of 1994-95 Steve was stripped of the club captaincy, we were hammered 5-1 in the first two home games and the third home game was not much better with a 3-0 defeat. After scoring in a 1-0 win at Cardiff he was diagnosed with jaundice and didn't play for five months, returning to the first team in time to score a goal in the 3-1 defeat at Wrexham, this proved to be his last goal for the club. He finished the season scoring three league and one cup goal.
In total he made 120 appearances and scored 39 goals. Unfortunately Argyle finished 21st and were relegated, sending them into the bottom division.
Relegation as usual meant the better players would be sold off and when Barry Fry, then Birmingham manager offered £275,000 Steve was soon off to St. Andrews. Goals didn't come as easily as they had at his previous clubs making only 23 appearances scoring one goal.
He was loaned out twice, to Gillingham in 1996 where he played six games and scored one goal, and in 1997 he returned to Leyton Orient, playing for them four times.
At the start of the 1997-98 season Steve joined Peterborough on a free transfer as player-coach. He played 120 times for the club and scored 20 goals, helping them to win the 2000 Division 3 play-off final in the last competitive game to be played at the old Wembley Stadium.
At the start of the 2000-01 season he joined Leyton Orient for a third time playing thirteen times for them to make a total of 322 games played for the club.
After being released by Leyton Orient he moved into non-league football with Stevenage Borough, playing for them thirteen times before moving on to St.Albans City where he played 49 times and scored a further three goals to add to his already impressive tally. After finishing playing with the club he took over as manager.
In November 2011 Steve took over as manager at Takeley FC who play in the Essex Senior League.
In July 2012, Steve now a qualified UEFA A licensed coach, was appointed Head of Development for 12-16 year olds at Stevenage FC where his years of experience should benefit the up and coming young players.
Date:Monday November 12 2012
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