Michael Timlin had already made quite the impression on Boro’ fans, long before making his summer 2018 switch to the Lamex. That ain’t stretching the truth either. Well, the “long” bit is if you don’t think three years is a fair old stretch? It’s because, in May 2015, the player needed 15 stitches after going head-to-head with Bira Demb̩el̩e (literally) in our playoff semi-final first leg against Southend United that term. And then somehow still turning out days later in the second leg to score the goal that secured the Shrimpers’ win.
The experience that Timlin brought Stevenage can’t be underestimated. It’s almost certain boss Dino Maamria saw him as an ideal role model for the club’s young guns. And he was a mainstay of the midfield for the 2018-9 campaign; one in which Boro’ came close to the playoffs, only to miss out by a point.
Yet, his stay would only be for one season. At the end of the 2018-9 season, Timlin was among a number of lads who were out of contract and free to leave the club; not getting (or not agreeing) a new deal seeing the veteran midfielder move on. Or so it seemed. As Boro’ struggled to get to grips with the new campaign, back he came for one last hurrah; re-signing in mid-September. As we hadn’t won a match up to that point, a hurrah would be very nice indeed.
Michael Timlin: Before Boro’
We doubt his decision to join Stevenage three years on was down to a desire for us to remember him for more than a nasty head wound. It might be. You never know. The move came about, however, as the curtain fell on his time down at Roots Hall. For six years, Timlin had been a Shrimper; first ending up on the Essex coast on loan while on the books of Swindon Town. And there was a second loan spell too, before signing for an undisclosed fee in January 2012.
It was an eventful time for Timlin at Southend. More or less a year after signing for the club on a permanent deal, a broken leg in February 2013 put him out of action for nine months. It meant missing the John Stones’ Paint Trophy final at Wembley that season. That summer, he spent a brief spell at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. We won’t bore you with any of the details, but it’s on Wikipedia if you’re nosy. On his release, he returned to Southend and signed a new contract. His return from injury came in August.
Now, we said earlier how Timlin had two loan spells at Southend before moving there permanently. In joining Boro’, it was the first time in 10 years that he’d signed for a club without having been on loan there twice before. We say that because it was exactly the same when he first joined Swindon Town in 2006. Two loan spells later, and he was added to their books permanently; signing from Fulham for good in July 2008.
We can only guess he never joined Doncaster or Scunthorpe because he’d only been with both clubs for one solitary loan spell while at Fulham.