Walsall player 173. Tom Bennett


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Thomas McNeill “Tom” Bennett (born 12 December 1969 in Bo’ness, near Falkirk) is a Scottish former footballer.
Bennett joined Aston Villa on schoolboy forms aged 14, and was given a professional contract in 1987. However, he remained on their books as a senior pro for just one season before being released without making a first team appearance in July 1988. He joined fellow Midlanders Wolverhampton Wanderers the following day and made his league debut on 10 January 1989 as a substitute in a 2-0 win against Cardiff. He made the vast majority of his Wolves appearances between 1990-1992 (in the second tier), and from then onward made only sporadic first team outings. He was eventually sold in June 1995 to Stockport County for £75,000. At Edgeley Park, he quickly became a first choice player and was part of the team that won promotion from the Second Division in 1996/97, a season which also saw them reach the League Cup semi-finals. Here, he played in his preferred midfield role rather than the full-back position he had usually occupied with his previous club. His career at County was interrupted by a broken leg sustained at Birmingham in January 1998. This injury ended his status as an automatic choice and he made just 17 further appearances for the club over the following two seasons. After 146 appearances in total, he left Stockport for Walsall in July 2000, after previously having had two loan spells with them. He became their captain and helped them gain promotion to the First Division via the play-offs in his first full season, beating Reading in the final. He was a virtual ever-present in their first season back in the second flight, but departed at its conclusion for Boston United.
He played in Boston’s inaugural season in the Football League, but left midway through their second season for fellow League Two side Kidderminster Harriers. However, Harriers were relegated from the league at the season’s end and Bennett returned to his native Scotland with Hamilton Academical. His return proved short-lived though as he managed just three games in all before injury called time on his playing career.
Since leaving football, he joined a rock band as vocalist in the Stockport-based “Fracture” Here is the information from Fratures page on the internet..

Fracture  were first formed by Rodger Wylde and Tom Bennett and their first official gig was on Friday 20th November 1998 in an attempt to raise money for Children in Need. Initially the duo were only going to ʻbuskʼ in the city of Manchester to raise some money for the charity but also, I seem to remember, it was a bit of ʻegoʼ trip to realise the pent up rock star dreams the pair always held!

As news spread of the musical event, plans changed and the line up grew. Music teacher and County fan, John Gerhity, came in on bass guitar, ex-player Brian Croft played drums alongside rhythm guitarist / singer Rodger and lead guitarist / singer Tom.

The concert was held in Countyʼs banqueting suite with 300 tickets being sold raising over £1,000 for the charity. A Dvd was made of the original Fracture gig and Tom has still yet to see the event. Rodger has the only copy of the evenings proceedings which may become available to purchase! It is very funy, interesting and, musically, surprising on some songs given the number of songs crammed in to only 4 weeks rehearsals!!

The name Fracture was chosen as the band name because of the fact that Tom had just recovered from a broken leg, so it seemed appropriate, short and catchy.

Over the next twelve years the Fracture line up changed a few times with the addition of club doctor, Steven Greenhough, coming in on bass guitar and is still a member to this day. At one point Pete Collins, a County fan, came in on lead guitar to free main lead singer Tom Bennett up from the constraints of guitar playing while singing.

The next few years saw turmoil in the ranks of Fracture, ex-County pro James Flood became the bands lead singer for a while, mainly because he could actually sing! But, after going AWOL before a gig, leaving the band ʻhigh and dryʼ on the night, Floody was quickly ʻbinnedʼ, never to return! Pete Collins left due to transportation problems – he couldʼnt carry his guitar on his motorbike! A similar fate to Floodyʼs ʻno showʼ awaited Brian Croft on drums but this ʻsackingʼ lead to an unbelievable capture in 2007 on drums of Keith Chadwick.

Keith was an original member of the 90ʼs Manchester Indie band Northern Uproar who had 3 top ten CDʼs and at one point toured with Oasis!

Fracture, in 2006, played a small gig in Rodgerʼs home town of Sheffield and Keith, who was affectionately know as ʻMooneyʼ after Keith Moon of The Who, was jokingly heard to say as the band had finished their sound check, ʻthe last gig I played in Sheffield was at the Area in front of 10,000 people! How times change!ʼ

Collinsʼ departure saw the enrollment to the band of a work colleague of the Docʼs who could play lead guitar Dave ?. Wow and how he could play! Dave was like was like Jimi Hendrix and vastly broadened the repertoire of the band. As Tom and I said to each other when Dave had auditioned and agreed to join Fracture, ʻsurrounding ourselves all these good musicians really took the focus from the two of us and make us look miles better than we really were!!ʼ

Mooney was a Fracture regular for three years before his job took him to the east coast of England and he was no longer able to rehearse. Dave move on to a new band that paid him – fair enough – was not the kudos of being in Fracture reward enough?!! Oh well.

It is common knowledge that all bands have their internal differences and Fracture were no exception. Tom and ʻthe Docʼ, Steve, were constantly at each others throats because Tom rarely practiced his chords for the few songs he had to know while Rodger sang. Tom was often heard to say, at rehearsals before a song started that he was playing guitar on, ʻwhat are the chords to this one?ʻ This infuriated Steve immensely and many an argument had to be calmed down by the the diplomatic Rodger who managed to hold the peace on many occasion.

It was a sad day, however, when Tom decided to ʻcall it a dayʼ with Fracture and he left. It was at this point that the band were in a state of flux with a few guests appearing to sing with Rodger who was now fronting the band. At his own admittance he was not the greatest singer in the world but he could rival Farhouk Bulsara (Freddie Mercury) as a front man!! Former player Leon McSweeney aided and abetted Rodger as lead singer at one gig, soon after Tomʼs departure. And, on another occasion, ex X Factor finalist Carolyn Poole (wife of ex-County player David) duetted with Rodger at one gig performing ʻMustang Sallyʻ with the pair dancing seductively during the mid song guitar solo!! Rodger was quoted as saying, in the post gig press conference referring to the dance, “I thought Iʼd died and gone to heaven!”

In Fractureʼs last gig the line up was Rodger Wylde – lead singer, Steve ʻThe Docʼ Greenhough – bass, Daniel OʼDonnell – drums, David Poole – rhythm guitar, James Vincent – lead guitar and guest vocalist Phil Brennan.

At the moment Fracture is in a transitional period, so wait and see what the next line up will be for Rodgerʼs 2013 25th Year Testimonial Tour!

 

YOUTH CAREER
Gaerdoch United
1984–1987 Aston Villa
SENIOR CAREER
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1988 Aston Villa 0 (0)
1988–1995 Wolverhampton Wanderers 115 (2)
1995–2000 Stockport County 110 (5)
1999–2000  Walsall (loan) 4 (1)
2000  Walsall (loan) 7 (2)
2000–2002 Walsall 78 (5)
2002–2004 Boston United 79 (1)
2004–2005 Kidderminster Harriers 24 (0)
2005 Hamilton Academical 1 (0)
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