Date: 10th July 2020 at 9:00pm
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In this column, we look at those players who wore the number 10 shirt in competitive games since squad numbers were brought in.

Mark Rivers (Jul 99 – Jun 01)

The first player to wear the shirt was Academy product Rivers who made almost 250 appearances for the club before joining Norwich City for about £1m. After 3 years with the Canaries, he would rejoin the Alex for an 18-month spell with a short spell at Carlisle United before retiring in the summer of 2006.

Dean Ashton (Jul 01 – Jan 05)

Probably the best player that the club have produced, Ashton was given the number 10 shirt following his debut season with the club. He made over 150 appearances for the first team before leaving for Norwich in January 2005 (with the Alex sitting a point outside the 2nd tier play-off spots in a season that only saw us survive on the final day of the season). A year at the Canaries saw him move back into the Premier League to West Ham United for £7m (the Alex saw around £1m of that) before injuries saw him retire in 2008 having made only 1 appearance for England. He now works as a TV & Radio pundit.

Juan Ugarte (Jul 05 – Jun 06)

The Spaniard joined the club after a great season at Wrexham, joining in the summer of 2005. After only making 3 appearances in an injury-plagued season, he would rejoin Wrexham on loan twice before joining the Welsh team permanently in November 2006. He would retire in 2008 after making just 4 appearances in just over a year for the Red Dragons.

Michael Higdon (Jul 06 – Jun 07)

The Liverpudlian wore the number in his final season with the club. After making his debut with the club in 2003, he made over 80 appearances for the club before joining Falkirk. He would also play for St. Mirren, Motherwell (where he would be top-scorer in the SPL with 26 league goals in the 12/13 season), NEC Nijmegen, Sheffield United, Oldham Athletic, Tranmere Rovers and Bangor City before retiring in 2017.

Eugen Bopp (Jul 07 – Jun 08)

We covered Bopp’s career in the number 7 column from Tuesday, he wore the number 10 in his first of 2 seasons with the club.

Calvin Zola (Jul 08 – Jun 10)

We covered Zola’s career in the number 9 column from yesterday, he wore the number 10 in his first 2 seasons of his 3 with the club.

Shaun Miller (Jul 10 – Jun 11)

We also covered Miller’s career in the number 9 column yesterday.

AJ Leitch-Smith (Jul 11 – Jun 14)

The homegrown forward made his debut for the club in September 2009 following loan spells at Halifax Town, Newcastle Town and Icelandic side IBV. After making over 120 appearances for the first team, he would join Yeovil Town in the summer of 2014 and would also play for Port Vale, Shrewsbury Town, Dundee before joining current club Morecambe in the summer of 2018.

Brad Inman (Jul 14 – Jun 16)

Inman joined the club on loan in November 2012 before making the move permanent the following summer for an undisclosed fee. He would play over 130 times for the club in total before joining Peterborough United in the summer of 2016. After a loan spell which was made permanent, he joined current club Brisbane Roar last summer.

Callum Saunders (Jul 16 – Jun 17)

Saunders made his Alex debut in August 2014 and wore the number 10 in his final season with the club. He would make 35 appearances for the club before joining Notts County in the summer of 2017 and would have a spell at Nantwich Town before joining current club Curzon Ashton last summer (spending some of last season at Nantwich Town in a dual-registration with the Nash).

Jordan Bowery (Jul 17 – Jun 19)

Bowery joined the club on loan in January 2017 before signing permanently, receiving the number 10 shirt. He made over 100 appearances for the club in his 30 months with the club before he joined MK Dons last summer. He has since left them and has signed for Mansfield Town for next season.

Charlie Kirk (Jul 19 – present)

The current number 10 made his debut for the club in February 2016 and has already made over 150 appearances for the club. After being so consistent with his goal contributions over the last 18 months, it’ll be interesting to see how he makes the step up next season and whether he can have a similar impact with the team.