I’ve been watching Northampton Town for well over 10 years now and it’s fair to say we’ve had quite a few cult heroes within the club like John-Joe O’Toole and John Frain. But who is the best striker we’ve ever had? Let’s take a look at some of those who scored plenty of goals for the Cobblers in the past decade.
‘Bayo’ was certainly a fan favourite during his time at Northampton Town. Akinfenwa signed a deal with the club in January 2008 and made his debut against Swindon Town, where he came off the bench to score a late equaliser. When you make your debut in that way, you’re going to quickly be liked by the Cobblers fans. On his home debut, he did the exact same thing, scoring late on in a 1-1 draw against Leeds United. In the 2007-08 season, he scored seven goals in 15 appearances.
In May he signed a new deal with the club, turning down multiple clubs in the process. Akinfenwa’s first spell at the club ended in 2010 after turning down a new deal, but he was still loved by the fans. Bayo would re-sign for Northampton in May 2011. It was in this spell where he scored his only professional hat-trick to date in a win against Accrington Stanley. He was then released at the end of the 2012-13 season, making his last appearance in the League 2 Play-Off Final against Bradford City.
Total Games: 188
Total Goals: 74
Despite turning 35 last month, Richards is still a name that many Northampton fans would place on the team sheet without a blink of an eye. And why? Because he is still consistently scoring goals at a high level. Richards signed for the Cobblers in 2003 after leaving Blackburn Rovers. Despite scoring twice in an FA Cup victory over Weston-Super-Mare, it would take Rico 27 attempts before he netted his first league goal for the club. On 27th March 2004, Richards scored four goals in 39 minutes against Macclesfield Town in what will remain his best ever professional game. He would end the 2003/04 campaign with 11 goals in 52 appearances. Unfortunately, the following season would be jeopardized by injury and he was only able to make 14 appearances, scoring twice.
In May 2014, Richards would return to the club, signing a three-year contract with Chris Wilder’s side after rejecting a deal at Chesterfield. He stated he chose to stay in League Two because “I want to get as many promotions as I can before I hang my boots up”. Richards enjoyed a great start to the 2014/15 season, scoring seven goals in five games, but was then sidelined with hamstring problems. Rico scored 18 goals in 36 appearances to finish as top-scorer despite having two months out with an Achilles tear. Northampton were promoted as champions in 2015/16, giving Richards his second title in three years. He once again finished as top scorer with 18 goals in 37 appearances despite missing half the season after undergoing surgery to correct another Achilles injury. Richards then scored 13 goals in 46 appearances in the 2016/17 season, and signed a new one-year deal in May 2017.
As of 10th August 2017, Richards has made 185 appearances for the club, scoring 62 goals.
Other notable strikers over the years include Scott McGleish and Andy Kirk. Both men helped the Cobblers gain promotion to League One in 2006. Another name to mention is Poul Hubertz, who was the club’s top scorer in 2007/08, scoring 13 goals in 40 appearances.
Some Cobblers fans may also include Ivan Toney, Jake Robinson, Roy O’Donovan, Alex Nicholls and Billy McKay in this list. More recent names that could be included are Alex Revell and James Collins.
Featured Image Credit: Matt Churchill