2008 Stockport County promotion team: Where are they now?
Next month will make it ten years since Stockport County won promotion to League One with a 3-2 win over Rochdale. A combined 35,715 fans made the journey from Greater Manchester to Wembley. It was perhaps the most memorable day in Stockport's modern history. Unfortunately, it takes misfortune to define the good old days. Life for the Hatters since has been disastrous.
The club now plays its football in the non-league National League North. Stockport's decline has been sad to see but there is hope for the future. Here is how they lined up against Rochdale back in 2008 and where those players are now.
The experienced Conrad Logan played between the sticks for Stockport that day. The Irishman spent the 2007/08 season on loan with the Hatters from Leicester City, helping them gain promotion. He returned to Stockport on loan in 2009 as well. Since playing for County, Logan has had spells at Luton Town, Rotherham United, Bristol Rovers, Hibernian, and ironically, Rochdale. The 32-year-old now plays in League Two for Mansfield Town.
County's right-back was James Smith. He rose through the youth ranks at Liverpool before joining Stockport in 2007. His time at Edgeley Park was short-lived. He left in the summer following their play-off final win, signing with Altrincham. Now 32, Smith joined Southport in 2011 and has played there ever since, save for a short loan spell at Telford United.
Michael Rose manned the opposite flank. Not to be confused with the frontman for reggae icons Black Uhuru, Rose now plays for League Two side Morecambe. Since leaving County in 2010, the 35-year-old has played in the Football League for Norwich City, Swindon Town, Colchester United, and Rochdale. Apparently, there was a party next door at the Spotland Stadium
The centre-back partnership was Gareth Owen and Jim McNulty. Owen retired in 2013. He is now an academy coach at Stoke City. McNulty plays for [surprise] Rochdale. Since leaving Stockport in 2009, the 33-year-old has played in the Championship for Barnsley and Brighton & Hove Albion.
You may have heard of Anthony Pilkington. He is heavily involved in Cardiff City's Premier League promotion push. Back then, he was Stockport's right midfielder. The 29-year-old left County in 2009, played in the top flight for Norwich City, and is hoping to get back there next month.
On the opposite flank was Tommy Rowe. The 28-year-old now plays for Doncaster Rovers. He left Stockport in 2009 to join Peterborough United and has since had spells at Wolves and Scunthorpe United.
County played a 4-5-1 formation. Gary Dicker was the central defensive midfielder. He spent two seasons playing for Stockport. The 31-year-old now plays in the Scottish Premier League for Kilmarnock after spells at Brighton and Hove Albion, Crawley Town, Rochdale naturally, and Carlisle United.
Stephen Gleeson was one of the two attacking mids. He was on loan from Wolves at the time and now plays in the Championship for Ipswich Town. The 29-year-old Republic of Ireland international was a hit at Edgeley Park when he was on loan as a youngster and has gone onto have a good career with MK Dons and Birmingham City.
His partner in midfield was Paul Turnbull, who now plays for Stockport again. The 29-year-old joined his local team in 2000 and went onto be a big player for them. After spells at Northampton and Macclesfield Towns, Barrow and Chester, he returned to Edgeley Park in February.
The lone striker for Stockport was the hero of the day, Liam Dickinson. He scored the winning goal which resulted in their promotion. He has been a well-travelled footballer since leaving County in 2008 to join Derby. The 32-year-old scored 34 goals in 94 games for Stockport and has since played for 14 different clubs. He now plays, no, not for Rochdale, but in non-league for Stalybridge Celtic.