By Omar Mirza
Wednesday 27 Oct 2010 14:03:00
Browse all They Were Sh%*@E In Black And White articles

The class of 1989/90. Jim Smith’s promotion hopefuls. You remember them? Of course you do. The poaching instincts of Scouse hitman Micky Quinn, the silky skills of Mark Mcghee, the industrious endeavours of Benny Kristensen, the pace and trickery of erm Wayne Fereday. Need I go on? Well yes I do! As memories of our  1989/90 campaign are etched in how near and yet so far we came to regaining top-flight status for me one man stands out like a mackem in Milan.

Kevin Dillon.

As unsung a player as they come. Unsung not in the truer sense of the word, however, that we appreciated his value and ‘combative’ nature to a side which actually played some decent football at times. But unsung because simply put he was indeed Shite In Black N’ White.


‘Dildo’ as he was affectionately known by no-one but my grubby teenage mind, arrived in the Summer of 89 on a free (a cash bid would just have been ridiculous) from Pompey alongside Micky Quinn to bolster a side that had been previously relegated during a shambles of a campaign that began with Willie Mcfaul splashing out cash Willie-nilly on the likes of John Hendrie, John Robertson and Dave Beasant. And ended with the drop , boardroom turmoil and anger amongst the faithful.

Sounds somewhat familiar.


Unfortunately for our hero there could be no hiding place from the boo boys due to his mackem-born credentials. But for me it wasn’t this affliction that brought tears to my poor eyes every time he was in view. It was just the fact that in a team of enough talent to push the top two of Leeds and Sheff Utd all the way in the promotion shake-up, Dillon was mystifyingly cack.

Wayne Fereday may have possessed the touch of an elephant and crossing ability that made Franz Carr look like Jarzinho but Dillon wins hands down in my opinion for on-field ineptness. He could tackle aye, but we had Roy Aitken to shackle the midfield in his twilight years.


He could pass aye, but if Rob Lee was the architect of our next promotion tilt, Dillon was the anti-Christ of this one.


And he certainly couldn’t score.


Oh dear Dillon’s ‘goalscoring exploits’. Now if you go back to Geoff Thomas’ rather dreadful miss against the French in 1992. You know clean through, just the keeper to beat and ridiculously screwing the ball ten yards wide.


Well our man Deadly Dill did that for a living.


It was his party trick, his forte, his niche. In every single bloody game. Not a one off shock horror two yard tap-in no, it’s just that weaving through our opponents feeble backline, King Kev always found enough time, space and energy to be presented with yet another gift-wrapped one-on-one to bury those soulless, goalless demons. And we waited and waited until finally it just became an accepted part of our 89/90 viewing pleasure to turn your back, close your eyes or assess the scoreboard debris and only return to the action when the accompanying goal kick/throw-in was underway.


Surely the most damning indictment of his goal-shy ways at the Toon has to be the fact that he managed to bag an incredible 45 goals in 215 games for Pompey before his Sahara-esque drought on Tyneside.


He even managed to outscore the Mighty Quinn during one of those seasons for heavens sake!


Although credit where it is due he did put in one sterling shift when kicking seven shades of shite out of his mackem counterparts alongside Aitken during that ill-fated double leg play-off tussle that I remember with little fondness.


Typical Dillon reserving his best for the worst of times!


So what went so horribly wrong? He concedes playing here was the worst part of his erm illustrious career, that the press always labelled him as sunderland-born and he admits the pressure of playing in front of 35000(?!) expectant Geordies was too much to bear.


The following season, Jim Smith was sacked and Dillon didn’t get a look-in with Ossie at the helm. At one stage he didn’t go into the club for three months before being offloaded to Reading on a free.


Ossie knew the score. Dillon was indeed Shite In Black N’ White. 

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