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Gone but not forgotten:
Paul Mayo
Position: Left-back
From: Lincoln CIty - £65,000 - May 2004
Record: Played: 27(0) Scored: 0
To: Lincoln City - free transfer - July 2005
Career stats: Soccerbase
See also: Past player profiles
He was: A lower Division full-back.

I liked Paul Mayo - or perhaps it would be more accurate to say I liked the idea of Paul Mayo.

There was his name for a start. Mayo. Ho ho. Short for mayonnaise, of course. Then there was fact that his transfer was apparently funded by the Russo Brothers - their first publicly-announced act following up their investment in the club - thus allowing gags about how the Salad Brothers had added Mayo to the playing staff.

Then there was the opportunity for more gags when watching games, if say he challenged for the ball with an opposition player and the two of them ended up on the floor - "he had Mayo all over him", etc. All right, this was the same gag. There is only the one, after all. I could add that, what with Cookie and Brownie in the squad at the same time…no, best not make a meal of it.

Ray Lewington signed Paul Mayo from Lincoln, ostensibly as a replacement for Paul Robinson, who had been sold to West Brom earlier in the 2003/04 season when an injection of cash was urgently required. It was a pragmatic purchase of a pragmatic player by a pragmatic manager. Mayo gave a Watford Observer interview soon after joining the club, in which he came across as a thoroughly sensible bloke. He'd sorted himself out very quickly with a place in Stevenage - easy access to the training ground, also quick access to the A1 for popping back up north to see friends and family. No messing; all very practical. I liked that.

He had a reputation as no-nonsense player. This didn't mean the kick-opponents-for-ninety-minutes type of no-nonsense. Rather he could kick the ball hard, and propel it long distances. He could score from free kicks. He had a long throw. I liked the idea of all of that too.

We got to see most of it, for a time. He went straight into the first team, and got off to a decent start. We saw long throws, long clearances, balls whacked very hard. Sadly we didn't see many free-kicks. The general strategy employed, singularly unsuccessfully, was Captain Cox's wall-seeking testicle-basher. You'd have thought we might have caused greater apprehension among defensive walls had Mayo adopted that same approach.

After that, though, he never really added to his game. I'd guess Ray Lewington hoped that he would. But the word at the beginning of last season was that Mayo was struggling to step his performances up, and was low in confidence. He played the first few games, but disappeared from the side after that dismal afternoon at Crewe last October. Although this was a poor performance all round, the consequences for him seemed worse than for others, and he only played in two further games last season. Ray said he'd be back, but it had yet to happen.

We'll never know whether it would have. A new manager quickly deemed him surplus to requirements and put him on the transfer list. Apparently he was one of the players with whom we would finish eighteenth in the Second Division again.

Call me a pragmatist, but I'd have no problem with us finishing eighteenth in the Second Division this season if I was watching a team I liked, and I'd have no problem with Paul Mayo being part of the team that finished there. But Adrian Boothroyd sees it differently, as is his prerogative.

So Paul Mayo plays no further part. He came from Lincoln as a lower division full back. He did a job for us for a time. He goes back to Lincoln as a lower division full back.

Geoff Wicken