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A-Z of West Midlands Football

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: August 11, 2014

  • Craig Shakespeare

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DAVE SERELLA made 304 appearances for Walsall (13 goals scored) during his eight years plus stay with the Saddlers.

Born in King's Lynn in September 1952, he was a strong, reliable defender who spent four years as a professional with Nottingham Forest before moving to Fellows Park in November 1984. On leaving Walsall in August 1982, Dave signed for Blackpool and quit first-class football in May 1984 with over 400 games to his name at club level (370 in the League).

STÉPHANE SESSÈGNON was, a few years ago, described as a player who 'can perform on the left, on the right, through the middle – he's lightning quick and is a match-winner; a little powerhouse with a low centre of gravity, he possesses some great dribbling skills and can deliver a good shot.'

On his day he is all that but in his first season with Albion he wasn't at his best and he started this current campaign with just five goals in 26 Premiership appearances to his name.

Born in Allahe, Benin in June 1984, he started out with Requins de l'Atlantique, moving to another French club, Cretell in 2004, switching to FC Le Mans in 2006 and on to Paris St Germain in 2008. Steve Bruce signed him for Sunderland in 2011 and two years later (September 2013) he was signed by Albion for a club record fee of £5.5million.

Capped 48 times by Benin, he has netted nine international goals and he started the 2014-15 season with a career record of 55 goals in 362 club appearances.

MAURICE SETTERS was a bandy-legged wing-half or inside-forward with Albion from January 1955 until January 1960. In those five years the Devonian made 132 appearances and scored 10 goals.

Born in Honiton in December 1936, Maurice played just 11 games for Exeter City before joining the Baggies for £3,000 (signed by manager Vic Buckingham) and on leaving The Hawthorns he switched to Manchester United for £30,000. Later with Stoke City, Coventry City, Cleveland Stokers/USA (as a guest) and Charlton Athletic, he became manager of Doncaster Rovers from July 1971 to November 1974, coached at Sheffield Wednesday under Jack Charlton (seasons 1980-82), was assistant-manager/coach with Rotherham United (1982-84), acted as Chief Scout for Newcastle United (season 1984-85) and was assistant-manager/coach for the Republic of Ireland national team (again under Charlton) for three years, 1986-89.

Now retired, he lives in Bawtry near Doncaster. As hard as nails, with a crunching tackle, Maurice – or 'Mo Mo' – won schoolboy honours for England before going on to gain 16 U23 caps for his country as well as playing for Young England and an FA XI. He ended his playing career in 1970 with a total of 499 club appearances under his belt (434 at League level) and gained an FA Cup winner's medal with Manchester United in 1963 v. Leicester City.

JACKIE SEWELL was a goalscoring inside-forward who won a Third Division (S) championship medal with Notts County in 1950 and a Second Division winner's medal with Sheffield Wednesday (1952) before moving to Aston Villa for £20,000 in December 1955.

At the end of that season the Owls presented him with a second Division Two medal after they had clinched the title following his departure.

Born in Kells Village, Whitehaven, in January 1927, Jackie played as a guest for Carlisle United and Workington during WW2 before joining Notts County as a professional in October 1944.

He was then the subject of a record transfer from Meadow Lane to Hillsborough in March 1951 (at £34,500). He scored 40 goals in 145 appearances for Villa, helping them win the FA Cup in 1957 before switching to Hull City in October 1959, later serving in Rhodesia with Lusaka City (seasons 1961-64).

Between 1968 and 1971 he coached the Zambian national team and did likewise with Belgium in 1972-73. After retiring he moved back to Nottinghamshire, taking employment with Bristol Street Motor in West Bridgford for 14 years: 1973-87.

During a wonderful career, Jackie was relegated four times – twice with Wednesday and once each with Villa and Hull. He won six England caps, playing in the two heavy defeats by Hungary in 1953 and 1954 (6-3 at Wembley and 7-1 in Budapest). He also represented the Football League and the FA, once scoring six goals in a 9-0 win over Alberta on tour to Canada in 1950 and in 1964-65 he netted seven goals in 10 outings for Zambia. He played in the same forward-line as Tommy Lawton at Notts County and when he retired in the summer of 1965, Jackie's club record stood at 255 goals in 660 appearances, with Football League stats of 228 in 509 games.

Jackie, now aged 87, is one of the oldest former Villa and indeed England players alive today.

CRAIG SHAKESPEARE played with ex-Albion striker Imre Varadi at Hillsborough and made just 21 appearances for the Owls following his £300,000 transfer from Walsall in June 1989. 'Shakey' as he was always called, had earlier appeared in 356 games and scored 66 goals during his ten years with the Saddlers, helping them win promotion via the play-offs in 1988.

Born in Birmingham in October 1963, he was a positive, hard-working midfielder, who scored on his debut for Albion against Oxford United (away) in February 1990, which they won 1–0, and later became the Baggies' penalty-taker, netting twice from the spot in Albion's first-ever Third Division game at home to Exeter City in August 1991 (won 6-3).

He lost his place in Albion's team halfway through the 1992-93 season (under Ossie Ardiles' management) and after netting 16 goals in 128 games for the Baggies, in July 1993 he was signed for £115,000 by ex-Walsall boss Alan Buckley for Grimsby Town (121 appearances).

Later with Scunthorpe United, Telford United, Blakenhall and Solihull Borough, he returned to The Hawthorns as Football in the Community officer in 1999 and went on to become Academy coach and Albion's reserve team manager, while also acting as caretaker-boss for four weeks in 2006.

'Shakey' went on to work under Nigel Pearson at Leicester (two spells) and also at Hull City, having been a playing colleague of Pearson's at Hillsborough in 1989-90. Leicester won promotion to the Premiership as Championship winners in 2013-14.

BERT SHARP was a defender who made 23 appearances for Aston Villa in two seasons (1897-99).

Born in Hereford in January 1876, he played for Hereford Comrades, Hereford Thistle (two spells) and Hereford Town before moving to Villa Park. On leaving the Midlands he joined Everton and later assisted Southampton, Everton (again, 1901-04), Kirkdale FC and Southport Central, retiring in April 1907.

Fifteen years later, as a businessman in Liverpool, Bert became a Director at Goodison Park. He was also a fine cricketer and averaged 40 with the bat in 1900 when playing for Herefordshire. He died in Liverpool in November 1949.

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