Taking up his position at right back, the calm and collected John Hamsher moved to us from Rushden & Diamonds in January 2001. Such was his skill under pressure that the defender took on penalty-taking duties for us; notably scoring a last-gasp spotkick up at Morecambe in the 2001-2 FA Trophy semi-final first leg. But it was also an attribute that stood him in good stead at the back – even if our side at the time was far from a vintage one. And it was a twist of fate that made him become available from the Diamonds.
In conversation with Diamonds boss Brian Talbot at the time, our matchday programme explains why the move came about. Ultimately, Talbot said: “Out of the blue, Tarkan Mustafa became available under the Bosman ruling. It was a difficult decision because I thought Tarkan was the best right-sided player in the league. It was a shame for John – but he’s a lovely lad, a hard-working pro, is a decent passer and will always give 100%”.
To be fair to Talbot, you could see that throughout Hamsher’s time with us.