Boro’ were forced into an emergency loan move in February 2021 as David Stockdale came in to take up position between our sticks. An injury to Jamie Cumming – another loanee – left us short of a number one. So, Boro’ boss Alex Revell didn’t hang around; turning to the veteran stopper ahead of a League Two clash against Exeter City. We’d placed no time limit on his stay with us at the time of his arrival. But he was certainly a player with plenty of experience and wisdom to impart.
Thrust straight into first team action, then, Stockdale had to call on that know-how; his career stretching back two decades at the time he arrived. As Revs said: “With Jamie being out for a couple of weeks and Billy Johnson still young and learning his trade, it was vital that we brought in another goalkeeper and we couldn’t be more pleased to bring in someone of David’s calibre. He will be a fantastic addition to the team both on the pitch and in the changing room.”
David Stockdale: Before Boro’
The Leeds-born stopper started out in local footballing circles; moving from Huddersfield Town onto York City in his early days. But his career soon took him further afield. After a three-year stay with the Minstermen, Stockdale moved to Darlington and attracted more attention. Fulham came in for him and, while he remained with the Quakers to claim their Player of the Year title, he did move to the Cottagers in 2008. To start with, however, the first team opportunities that came his way tended to come out on loan.
In all, he had six loan spells as a Fulham player between 2008 and 2013; two of which were at Hull City and helping the Tigers win promotion to the Premier League. In 2014, time came for Stockdale to move on once again. This time, he moved down south to Brighton & Hove Albion. With the Seagulls, he’d feature regularly in a three-year spell; racking up more than 100 outings and winning another promotion to the top flight in the process. In summer 2017, however, he turned down a new deal and moved on.
His next club was Birmingham City of the Championship. And, again, he’d find himself going out on loan to satisfy his need for first team action. Between 2017 and 2020, he played for three teams in four loan spells; the odd one out being Wycombe Wanderers. And it’d be the Chairboys who ended his stay at St Andrews permanently in 2020. Not that he’d benefit from regular action as a result. As his new club struggled to adapt to life in the Championship, Stockdale was often a bystander; freeing him up to join us in early 2021.