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Played for Both No.2 - Kingsley Black

By: Paul Holmes
Date: 16/09/2001

IN THE LATE 1980's Kingsley Black was getting rave reviews week in week out for his performances down the left wing for his home town, Luton Town. Black's skill combined with his pinpoint passing and dead ball expertise earned him a regular place in the Northern Island team.

Aged just 19 Black won a League Cup winners' medal in 1988. After three more impressive seasons with Luton, Nott'm Forest, then managed by Brian Clough, paid £1.5million for his services.

Whilst at Forest, Black had an indifferent time managing only 80 league appearances in 5 years. A combination of injury and the excellent form of Ian Woan didn't help Black's cause. In 1995 Black had two loan spells at both Sheffield United and Millwall. On both occasions Kingsley enjoyed reasonable success. However, a permanent move was always out of the question because Black would still have commanded a large fee.

Ironically just one year later former Forest team-mate Brian Laws, now managing Grimsby Town managed to lure Black to the East Coast for a measly sum of £25,000. Laws only survived for a further two months as Grimsby's manager, which meant that his assistant Kenny Swain - previously of Wigan - was now in charge. Kenny Swain made no secret of his admiration for the Youth System in operation at Grimsby. One youngster in particular took Blacks's place for the rest of the season. Namely, John Oster (left).

Oster attracted great praise from many in the profession including Sir Alex Ferguson. In the end however, it was Everton who managed to secure his services, leaving a gaping void on the left wing. It was in this same summer, that Alan Buckley returned to Grimsby Town after a 2 year absence. After Dave Gilbert experienced an unsuccessful loan period at Grimsby, Black made the left wing his own for the next 5 months. The arrival of Dave Smith from West Brom in January 98' meant that the two were vying for the left sided spot.

Just when it appeared that Dave Smith had won the battle, Black became Grimsby's saviour. With town 1-0 down to Bournemouth in the Autowindscreen Final at Wembley Stadium substitute Black scored a rare headed goal to send the game into extra time. The rest is history.

Unfortunately the remainder of Black's career with Grimsby was spent on the bench. Despite finding a new central role to his game he struggled for games more than ever upon Buckley's departure and the arrival of Lennie Lawrence. Despite some excellent performances in the reserves Black was released last summer and was quickly snapped up by Lincoln City, currently managed by - Alan Buckley.

Kingsley Black
 Nott'm ForestGrimsby Town

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