Now, not many players in our history featured on the Question of Sport telly show. But one of ’em – well, the only one – is Jason Soloman. No foolin’. A versatile player, Soloman was able to apply himself at the back and in midfield. But no-one knew he was a dab hand with the goalkeeper gloves too. And that’s because he isn’t really. That much we found out with much hilarity in a match against Woking back in the day.
So the tale unfolds, Boro’ were left somewhat up poo creek without a make-be-go stick at home to the Cards in October 1997. Richard Wilmot went off at half time, but there wasn’t any back up on the bench. In comes super-sub Soloman, who pulls on the gloves and still keeps his trackie bottoms on. And, in one iconic moment, he goes to kick the ball upfield – only for said bottoms to come tumbling down his legs.
It’s a ‘What Happens Next’ moment on national telly. It’s a ‘Why We Bother‘ moment for us.
And he kept a clean sheet!
Jason Soloman: Before Boro’
It turns out that Cloughie had been tracking Soloman for years. The lad, a class act by all accounts, found that his career started to drift. After starting out at Spurs, he moved onto Watford and saw success in the 1988 FA Youth Cup too. At the Hornets, he also received England Youth honours; spending seven seasons at Vicarage Road.
He moved to Peterborough United on loan in 1995; then completing a permanent move to Wycombe Wanderers that same year. Things looked promising for him at the Chairboys – boss Martin O’Neill a fan of Soloman’s talents. But O’Neill left for Leicester City and Alan Smith, the new man in charge, wasn’t so keen.
At the start of the 1996-7 season, then, Soloman moved to Wrexham. He couldn’t earn a permanent deal, however; Fulham the next club to come in for him. “I didn’t anticipate having to step down to this grade of football at this stage of my career,” he told the Boro’ matchday programme. “But I’m glad that, in Paul Fairclough, I have found someone who is prepared to put some faith in me at last.”
Jason Soloman: After Boro’
After leaving us after a shorter stay than we remember, Soloman was seen around in non-league for a bit longer. First, he turned up at Aylesbury United. Then, in 1999, it was to St Albans City. Hendon are another club to make use of his services, as well as Barnet. Now, it may surprise you (as it did us) that he saw action for the Bees in the Conference during the 2002-3 campaign. After them, however, we have no idea what happens and guess it’s the point at which his playing days came to an end.