For us, there’s always something of an on ne sait pas quoi with Jean-Michel Sigere – enough then, surely, to make him a cult classic? Of course, you might feel this is an odd hill for us to choose to die on. But our memories of the French forward still burn bright. It could also be a migraine, sure. We’re sticking with it nonetheless. And, ultimately, it’s us who have to make a compelling case for why Siggy well and truly earns his stripes here.
Jean-Michel Sigere: Why Is He A Cult Classic?
Is this an unfair French stereotype? Or is it how things often are when a forward has a bit of flair in his locker? Siggy had the power to do a number of things. He could inspire, enrapture and thrill. On the flip side, sure, he could also frustrate, infuriate and irritate. But, then, you can surely think of at least someone else who made you run an emotional gauntlet from week-to-week? And, if you can’t, you aren’t trying hard enough.
Siggy made up one half of a double signing from Rushden & Diamonds in autumn 2001. The other half was, of course, Simon Wormull. To be fair, Worms went onto have much more of a career with us; out-lasting the management of both Cloughie Mk II and Wayne Turner. JMS, however, moved on after two years with us; leaving for Margate just before Turner met his Waterloo. Maybe the forward jumped the gun? We’ll never know.
Anyway, we’re jumping ahead here.
Siggy nabbed his first goal in his fourth game; a 4-1 LDV Trophy defeat at home to Southend. He doubled his tally in the next match – but had to wait more than two months for the third. To be fair, this was a Boro’ side hardly setting the world alight at that point in time. Goals came, however. And he picked his moments; one of our three at Underhill as we crushed Barnet on Boxing Day. And then in early February against Woking.
Not that we’ll go much into that game.
But if there’s one game that stands out above most others for Siggy, it was indoors with the return match against the Bees. Adrian Clarke put us ahead, before the Frenchman ought to have made it two around the half hour mark. And we mean ought to have. But it was a case of from the ridiculous to the sublime; JMS lifting the ball over a defender, allowing it to fall oh-so calmly and then guiding the ball home. It was almost like art in motion.
After doubling his tally in the second half to help Boro’ secure the three points, Siggy saw red after tangling with Lee Gledhill. The defender was also sent off. There seems to be a thing about Boro’ strikers and Barnet defenders getting into hot water. As a defining point in his career at Broadhall Way, however, that first goal still lives in the memory. The strike was majestic in its quality and clinical in its execution. We’ve seen few better in the years since. If only we had more of that from the forward…
Jean-Michel Sigere: Epilogue
After ending his debut season with us as top goalscorer on 12, the 2002-3 campaign was much less productive. Part of that was failing to get a consistent run in the side as Turner opted for a rotation policy. By the time his move came to Margate came about, Siggy had only started eight times; coming off the bench 10 times. With his stop-start game time, he scored three times; the last of which came in 3-1 home defeat to… Margate.
It was also a game in which we saw the debut of George Boyd.
Not even two weeks would pass between Siggy leaving and Turner also heading for the exit. But don’t go thinking the French forward was done with us. Just under six years on, he came back to BHW; leading the line for Horsham in a 2008-9 FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round tie that we were expected to win. But his 34th minute goal drew our lowly guests level. He then turned provider as the Hornets went in at the break ahead.