Writer: Peverell Green
Date:Monday October 7 2013
The Where Are They Now series travels back just a few years where Peverell Green takes a look at the career of striker Mickey Evans.
MICKEY EVANS - Born 1st January 1973 Plymouth, Devon.
Mickey started his football career playing junior football for Prince Rock before signing as an associate schoolboy with Argyle as a fourteen year old in December 1987.
He made his debut three years later on 1st December 1990 at Port Vale, it didn't start too well for him as Argyle were beaten 5-1 with only a consolation Kwame Ampadu goal to cheer the travelling fans.
It was his only league start that season, although he appeared on the bench another three times.
The following season he was again a bench warmer as Dwight Marshall was still the main striker.
Mickey did score his first senior goal for the club though, it came in the second round of the Zenith Data Systems Cup, in a 4-0 home win over Millwall, he scored the third goal, Mark Fiore, Nicky Marker and Dwight Marshall were also on the scoresheet.
In 1992-93 Mickey started to play more games and also scored his first league goal, like his Zenith Cup goal it came in a 4-0 home win, this time over Preston, he scored the fourth goal after Lee Hodges, an own goal and Steve Castle had got the others.
Although he played the same amount of games the following season his goal tally increased greatly.
Mickey scored the first Argyle goal in an opening day 3-2 defeat at home to Stockport with Andy Comyn scoring the other. He had to wait until February to score his next goal; he got the third in a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Bristol Rovers with Dwight Marshall and Paul Dalton also scoring.
Goals came thick and fast now, he scored the first in a 2-1 home win over Swansea with Kevin Nugent scoring the second goal, the following week he got the decisive third goal in a 3-2 away win over Exeter with an own goal and one from Wayne Burnett making sure of the points.
In the next home game Mickey scored the goal in a 1-0 win at home to Barnet.
He followed this up with a fine double in a 3-0 win at Rotherham after Kevin Nugent had opened the scoring. His next two goals both came in 2-1 defeats, the first at home to Cardiff and the other at Brighton. Mickey`s goals helped Argyle to the play-offs; unfortunately their Wembley dreams were put on hold for a couple of years as they were beaten by Burnley in the semi-final.
The 1994-95 season was a complete contrast to the previous one, Dwight Marshall had moved on to Luton and Steve Castle was a shadow of his former self.
Even Mickey only scored half the goals from the year before.
He scored twice in a 3-2 win at home to Crewe after Mark Patterson had scored the first goal.
His next came in a 3-2 defeat at Shrewsbury with Kevin Nugent also scoring.
His final goal was the second in a 2-1 win at Home Park Kevin Nugent again scored the other goal.
Argyle ended the season in 21st and along with Cardiff, Chester and Leyton Orient were relegated.
Argyle started the 1995-96 season in the fourth tier for the first time in their history.
Manager Neil Warnock was determined the stay would be a short one. The season started badly, by the end of August they had lost all four league games and both matches in the League Cup.
Six straight defeats didn't auger too well for any progress out of the division.
The season turned with a 5-0 win at Bury, Mickey scored twice, with Gary Clayton, Chris Billy and Adrian Littlejohn all scoring once.
By early December Adrian had scored fourteen goals and Mickey eight. Argyle won their last three games of the season two of them 1-0 away wins with Mickey scoring the goal in each of them.
It ensured the team finished fourth and were in the play-offs.
A narrow 1-0 defeat at Colchester in the first leg was soon overturned when Mickey scored in front of a 14,525 crowd at Home Park, goals from Chris Leadbitter and Paul Williams ensured Argyle a place in the Wembley final.
As we all know a goal from Ronnie Mauge made sure the vast majority of the crowd returned home happy.
Even back in a higher division Mickey continued to score goals, by Christmas he already had twelve and other teams were starting to show an interest in him.
In February Southampton manager Graham Souness was looking for a striker to keep his team in the Premier League.
It took a bid of £650,000, a record for Argyle to persuade them to sell him.
He had made 194 appearances and scored 44 goals. Even though he left in February he still ended the season as leading goalscorer.
It proved money well spent as Mickey's goals helped to keep the Saints up.
He scored twice against Nottingham Forest and one each against West Ham and Coventry. His achievements were recognised when he was voted the Premiership Player of the Month for April 1997.
Despite keeping his team up Graham Souness was replaced by Dave Jones for the 1997-98 season and Mickey lost his place to Kevin Davies after making thirteen appearances that season West Brom offered £750,000 for his services and he was on his way to the Hawthorns.
In his time at Southampton he made 25 appearances and scored five very valuable goals.
Mickey made his West Brom debut on 29th November 1997 in a 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough, it wasn't until February until he scored his first goal for the club, it came in a 2-0 win at Swindon.
During his time at West Brom he was plagued by injury and illness.
He was loaned out to Bristol Rovers, and after scoring once from two appearances in September 2000 Rovers offered £250,000 to make the move permanent.
While at West Brom Mickey played 73 times and scored nine goals.
Also while at the club he made his international debut for Northern Ireland when he was selected to play against Romania.
Mickey's time at Bristol wasn't entirely successful; he continued to struggle with an undiagnosed illness and after only making 26 appearances and scoring six goals an offer of £30,000 from Argyle manager Paul Sturrock on transfer deadline day was enough to let Mickey return home.
Unfortunately by now Argyle were back in the Division 3.
When he re-joined his hometown club he had the results of tests that revealed he was suffering from an asthma related complaint.
He made his second debut on 24th March 2001 in a 2-0 defeat at his old club Bristol Rovers. He was soon back to goalscoring with both goals in a 2-1 win at York.
He followed that up with another in a 3-3 draw at home to Southend; he scored in between goals from David Friio and Paul Wotton.
2001-02 didn't begin too well with only one point from the first three games.
In the fourth at Rushden & Diamonds Mickey got the first goal to set up a 3-2 win with Graham Coughlan and Brian McGlinchey also on the scoresheet.
It was the catalyst of an unbeaten nineteen match run that would propel Argyle to the top of the table.
They only lost three more games after that and secured the championship in a 4-1 win at Darlington with goals from Marino Keith (2), Mickey and Jason Bent making sure the trophy was theirs. Although Mickey had scored seven goals he made many others for the likes of David Friio and Marino Keith.
2002-03 continued to see Mickey used as a target man, holding up play and allowing other players to move in scoring positions.
He still managed to score six goals, four in the league and two in the cup.
After scoring the first goal of the new season in a 4-3 defeat at Mansfield his other goals all resulted in Argyle wins.
He scored the first goal in a 2-1 win at Port Vale with Marino Keith also scoring.
He scored the third in a 3-1 win at home to Mansfield with an own goal and Martin Phillips ensuring a comfortable win. He then scored the only goal of the game in an away win at Oldham. In the first round of the FA Cup he scored first in a 3-0 win over Bury an own goal and Paul Wotton completed the scoring.
He also scored in the LDV Vans Trophy in a 2-1 win at Chester after Marino Keith had got the first.
Mickey was a consistent scorer in the first half of the season, with eight of his eleven goals coming before Christmas. He started with two at Brentford in September in a 3-1 win after Ian Stonebridge had scored the first.
He finished 2003 off with another two, this time in a 3-0 win at home to Notts County after Nathan Lowndes had scored the first goal. The three goals he scored next, were all vital ones.
He scored the first in a 2-0 win at home to Sheffield Wednesday with Grahame Coughlan getting the second.
The same to players scored again to beat bottom club Wycombe 2-1, Mickey scored the winner with a cheeky backheel near the end of the match.
His last goal of the season came when he scored the first goal in a game that ensured Argyle won their second championship in three years, the now legendary 2-0 win over QPR with David Friio scoring the second.
As recognition for his goals and workload Mickey was voted Player of the Year.
2004-05 saw Argyle playing in the newly named Championship with Mickey continuing to be used as a target man but still managed to score four times against a much better quality of defenders.
He scored the consolation goal in a 3-1 defeat at Watford, the other goals he scored all ended 2-1.
The first in a 2-1 defeat at Coventry, he then scored the winner on Boxing Day against last season's runners-up, QPR with Paul Wotton also scoring.
His last of the season came at Home Park when he got the Argyle goal in a 2-1 defeat against Ipswich.
Mickey started the 2005-06 season in great style, scoring in the first away and first home games of the season. He scored in a 2-1 win at Reading with Nick Chadwick scoring a late winner in front of a 4,000 strong travelling Green Army.
He then scored the opening goal in a 3-3 draw at home to Watford with Tony Capaldi and Paul Wotton also on the scoresheet. After scoring the winner in a 1-0 beating of Burnley at Home Park he waited until the final game of the season to score his next goal.
By the time Ipswich came to Home Park on 30th April Mickey had announced his retirement and this was to be his final game for the club.
After Tony Capaldi had opened the scoring for Argyle it looked like the game was heading for a draw until a diving header from Mickey hit the back of the net and secured the three points.
He left the pitch to a standing ovation, with, if my memory serves me right even the Ipswich fans sportingly joined in, with chants of Trigger, Trigger, Trigger ringing around the ground.
After playing a major part in three promotions, one a Wembley triumph and two championships Mickey's time at the club was over.
In his two spells at Home Park he made a total of 432 appearances and scored 81 goals.
In May 2006 he joined Torquay but decided to retire completely after playing only 14 games and scoring one goal, the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win at Bury.
Unfortunately he wasn't able to save Torquay and they finished bottom and were relegated to the Conference.
After retiring from football Mickey set up his own building company called MJ Evans and also became involved in testimonial events to raise money for local charities.
Unfortunately in 2012 Micky's building firm went into administration.
Date:Monday October 7 2013
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