In two spells with the club, Neil Trebble scored his fair share of goals for Boro’ – and helped to shape some of our most memorable moments too. The 1992-3 Diadora League Premier Division season saw him turn out more than 50 times; scoring 24 in the process. OK, it was slightly less than Martin Gittings‘ haul – but we all know that Gitts is way out in front in the scoring stakes at Boro’. In anyone’s book, however, a quarter century of goals in one term is bloody good. And it certainly got him noticed as he left in summer 1993.
His record in front of goal earned him a move up to the Football League; first donning the claret and blue of Scunthorpe United. When he left us, Trebbs was still a serving member of the Army; turning out for us and a combined services team. As he told the Lancashire Evening Press, however, Scunny “paid [him] out of the army to become a full-time player” at the age of 24. After just one (injury-hit) season there, he moved to Preston North End.
From the LEP again, Trebbs recounts an ‘interesting’ first appearance for the Lilywhites; the team coach stuck in traffic en-route to Darlo and providing no time to get warmed up: “When we got to the ground, we ran in and near enough went straight out on to the pitch to play.” The forward would certainly make his mark at Deepdale; scoring a famous last-gasp winner for the club in a match against Fulham.
Gary Peters came in as gaffer at Deepdale midway through the 1994-5 campaign, which wasn’t good for Trebbs. He fell out of favour and went out on loan – “after a few months playing in the reserves and training hard each day, I went on loan to Scarborough and it was only later I heard that offers had come in from higher-placed clubs.” That move to Scabby would be made permanent, according to Soccerbase, in March 1995.
Neil Trebble: Back to Boro’
Trebble returned to Boro’ towards the end of the 1995-6 GM Vauxhall Conference season; finishing what he’d unwittingly started in 1992, perhaps? He scored twice in eight matches – including one in our four-goal Easter Monday rout against Woking. As such, it meant he timed his arrival to drive us over the line with our Conference title push. And he went onto to see yet more drama in the seasons to follow.
Eight goals was the return during the 1996-7 campaign; our title defence burning out just as we reached the final straight. Trebbs, for the record, didn’t feature in the ill-fated home defeat to eventual champions Macclesfield Town. Coincidence? Despite his own personal best efforts, his goal wasn’t enough to spare us from defeat in the FA Trophy Semi-Final replay against Woking. Though quite why a two-legged tie had to go to a replay is beyond us even to this day. It should’ve been settled at BHW in our humble opinion.
It’s enough drama for any player to see during their time at the club. But there would be a final blast of glitz and glamour. The 1997-8 season wasn’t a great one for us. The fact that Trebbs was the only man, apart from Gary Crawshaw, to break into double figures with the goal count says enough. But the FA Cup gave us much to shout about. And Trebbs would give the Newcastle defence no end of strife.
Neil Trebble: After Boro’
Trebbs’ time with the club ended for good (as a player) in summer 1998. Next would come spells at St Albans City and Welling United, before a brief foray into the League of Ireland with Shelbourne. After four matches with Shels, he came back to Blighty and turned out at Hayes, Molesey and Arlesey Town. He even ventured into management at both Aylesbury United and AFC Kempston Rovers. But you’re more likely to catch him in the commentary box at the Lamex these days; once again, back at the Boro’.