Youth Team Star
Apr 22, 2012, 9:46 AM
Team(s): Taunton Town
Post #1 of 1
Extracted from ciderspace
We're sad to report the death of former Yeovil Town striker Dave Platt this weekend, following a lengthy illness. Having suffered from leukaemia for some time, he passed away leaving behind his wife Tracey, and children Craig, Robbie and Leah.
Having once been on the books of Leicester City, Dave joined Yeovil Town from Grantham for a fee of £4,000 over the summer of 1978. The club had gained his signature over Football League sides Gillingham and Doncaster Rovers after the club were able to arrange him employment in the town, and so was signed by Stan Harland in time for the start of the 1978-79 season.
He didn't have the best of starts, having been injured in pre-season and so did not make his debut for the club until October 28th. Scoring in his first game against Weymouth, he went on to score 26 goals in his debut season from just 33 appearances. At this point it seemed as though he would get his chance in the Football League, with Hereford United agreeing a fee of £19,000 with the Glovers in 1979.
When the deal fell through, the official line given by the club was that Platt wasn't interested in the move, but it later transpired that the striker had failed a fitness test at Edgar Street. Reflecting upon that and the ankle problems that would dog his footballing career in subsequent seasons, Dave said it was a gradually degenerating problem:
"Fragments were breaking off my ankle bone and collecting around the joint. It affected the ligaments in the ankle. I had it chiselled off to make it smooth but it took me a year to get over it. And to be honest, I could never play up front again. You get all the kicks up there and I couldn't take it. I had to drop back into midfield."
That pretty much summed up Dave's next two seasons. He scored 12 times across those years, but was restricted to just 16 appearances during 1979-80, gradually recovering to appear 30 times during the following season. Matters improved for him during 1981-82 as he was again the club's leading goalscorer, netting 19 times from 42 appearances. His final season at the club was dogged by both another ankle injury and a falling out when the club turned down a £5,000 offer from Weymouth - he saw out the season, making a final 37 appearances, before heading south to join the Terras.
By 1984-85, Dave was back at Huish - although on this occasion clocking up just 10 appearances and a single goal. He dropped into local football having scored 61 times for the club in 168 appearances across the two spells. Despite his injury problems, he managed to stretch out his footballing career, appearing for Chard Town and even managing to turn out for Shaftesbury Town in the Dorset Combination at the age of 41 as a midfielder.
A review of his career by local journalist John Lukins, published around the time of his spell with Shaftesbury, compared him with Glovers scoring legend Howard Forinton. In that respect the comparison was uncanny - a player who demonstrated two quick feet that threatened to give him a career at a higher level, but in the end found that his ankles were unable to realistically give him a career in professional football. Like many of his generation, Dave settled in the local area with his family, but sadly on Friday night he passed away.