100 Goals of Warren Patmore
Warren Patmore : A Look At His First 100 Goals for Yeovil Town

Warren arrived at Yeovil in July 1995 as a total unknown. We're not bad at picking out and remembering players worth signing, but our knowledge of Irish League football is not too great and our knowledge of his previous club Ards was even less. He made a fairly low-key debut in a defeat at Aylesbury on the first day of the season, where it transpired he had picked up a viral infection on the day before the match, and was not feeling too good out there in the heat.

Warren opens the scoring in a 3-2 win at St Albans on 19th October 1996 Nine days later on August 28th 1995, he exploded onto the scene, scoring all four goals in a 4-1 win over Walton and Hersham, with manager Graham Roberts boasting "he'll be even better when he is fit". We didn't believe him! Far too many players start off like they mean it, then trail off once they feel they've established a position in the team, and that early shine rarely re-appears. Not so with Warren. He netted 27 times that season, and had already made himself a hero with the Huish Park public.

Other than that blitz on Walton, probably the other most memorable moment of that season came from a 5-3 win over Dulwich Hamlet. The only debating point of that game was why Yeovil had stopped at five. Warren, then partnered by Giuliano Grazioli, ran riot in 45 glorious minutes that had Yeovil 4-0 up at half time, and only three enforced substitutions, including Warren himself stopped Yeovil in their tracks.

Wazza's second hat-trick came early in his second season against fairly low key opposition, in a 6-0 FA Cup thrashing of Backwell United on September 14th 1996, and it was becoming clear that the first season was no fluke. With the arrival of Howard Forinton onto the scene, the pair set up a lethal partnership, between them netting 55 goals, as Yeovil raced towards that title.

As Enfield wobbled, Yeovil marched on in an unstoppable mood and 20 goals flew in during a nine match period where 19 of them belonged to the Patmore and Forinton partnership. Probably the finest moment of that partnership came when Yeovil travelled to Sutton United and a 3-0 win out in the sun with half the crowd coming from Somerset, watched Wazza lay on two goals for Howard, whilst the favour was returned to cap a memorable afternoon for Yeovil, as they saw off what was, on paper at least, their toughest remaining opposition on their way to the Isthmian League title.

Wazza turns goal provider as the P&P partnership opens up against Stevenage on 16th August 1997 So Howard Forinton departed over the summer to Birmingham City, and Wazza had a new striking partner Owen Pickard, and they took to each other like ducks to water, with Yeovil's first fifteen goals going to the P&P combination, with the duo picking up joint ownership of the Mail On Sunday goalscorers award for September.

P&P celebrate their first goal against Stevenage on 16th August 1997 This third season marked a turnaround in Warren's fortunes. As the near telepathic relationship between him and Owen developed, it was him who was turning the provider and Owen who was capitalising on the returns. This was to be only one of four seasons so far where the big man was not to finish as leading goalscorer, yet conversely, he was creating more for other players. That was also in part due to Graham Roberts' occasional use of Wazza as a stand-in central defender. His height and his power on headers usually got him by, even if the idea of being at the wrong end of the pitch was new to him.

After Colin Lippiatt took over at the helm, Warren was only to act as central defender once more, in an away defeat at Northwich, yet despite his return to the forward line, it was not until the last day of the season that he boosted his goal tally in a serious way, in a superb hat-trick in a 6-1 thrashing of Gateshead. It was clearly a relief for him to re-find his touch even if during the run-up to that game he had gone through a phase where nine out of Yeovil's 10 goals had been provided by him, and the tenth scored by him! The match ball was later to be autographed by the team, and Wazza handed the ball over to young Michael Chant, a loyal fan with cerebal palsy. That was one of many ways he endeared himself to the public off the field as well as on the field.

Wazza thunders a header narrowly over at Stevenage on 14th Sept 1998 And so to this season, where the rise in his reputation in non-league football must have surprised even him. This season, not only has he provided, he's scored them as well by the bucketload. Even though, at the time of writing, he's yet to reach the 29 goals he reached in his second season, this fourth season has surely been his finest, and there have been numerous sweet memories to savour.

Firstly, on November 7th at Kidderminster Harriers, he scored one of his finest goals, a looping angled header from 15 yards that took him past assistant manager Terry Cotton's goal tally, with Terry promising me after the game that Wazza would break the 100 mark before the season ended.

Secondly, Wazza had the satisfaction of providing the first and scoring the second of two goals on December 5th that knocked Northampton Town out of the FA Cup in front of the Match of the Day cameras. With the Cobblers managed by Ian Atkins, the manager who had rejected him at both Cambridge United and Northampton, it was the perfect response to the man who had doubted him the most.

On December 28th, there was further glory, when his fourth Yeovil hat-trick was clinched in a 6-3 thrashing on Farnborough Town. It was then we knew that the 100 goals had to happen and happen soon. Unlike Mickey Spencer, the last Yeovil Town man to secure the ton, there was to be no nervous nineties, and the goals piled in.

Wazza's England debut at Hayes F.C. against Italy in 1999. Ironically, it was probably his proudest moment of his career that almost stopped him in mid-flow. Having won his first cap earlier in the season for England against Italy, at Hayes football club, on March 30th 1999 he went one better when he scored his first goal for England at FC Genemuiden against Holland in a 1-1 draw. But a hamstring injury had been picked up during the game, and he had to wait over Easter for the injury to heal before he could resume his bid.

And so to Rushden and Diamonds on Tuesday 13th April where his 99th goal was celebrated by running 90 yards back to the large Yeovil away following with Wazza holding a single finger in the air, knowing how close he was to that milestone. He only had to wait five days; a typical strong Wazza header beat the Leek Town keepers challenge, and so it was another 90 yard dash across the field, only this time he kept going and landed in the home terrace, arms aloft as the crowd cried his name. It's perhaps significant that for both the 99th and the 100th goals, he celebrated with the crowd first and his team-mates second.

Ton Up Wazza! Celebrations at the end of the Leek Town game. So where now Wazza ? Well, here's a few hints. Chris Weller, on 102 goals, and Mickey Spencer on 104 goals may well be passed by the end of the season. Then next season there's plenty of opportunity to catch Terry Foley on 114 goals, which if achieved would put him into the Top Three all-time Yeovil Town scorers list. Thereafter it gets tricky. Dick Plumb on 150 goals is possible, but he will have to spend many a year with the club to get near Dave Taylor's 285 goals.

Whatever happens now, there's little doubt that he is going to be engrained into Yeovil Town folklore in the years to come. He's regarded as one of the key personnel in Colin Lippiatt's line-up and most importantly seems to be getting better and better. They say strikers peak around 28 or 29 years old. If that is the case then next season could be very interesting.

Warren Patmore is 27 years old (contrary to most of this season's away programmes!).

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Last Updated : 20th April 1999
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