Reds sign Wigan left-back


Kevin SharpThe BBC in the story "Wrexham make Sharp capture" tonight reports that Reds boss Denis Smith has strengthened his squad with the signing of defender Kevin Sharp on a free transfer.

Sharp's contract at Wigan was terminated last week by 'mutual' consent and Smith has wasted no time in luring the experienced left-back to the Racecourse Ground, although the player is initially only on a month's contract.

The 27-year-old began his carreer as an apprentice at Leeds United, spending a year on loan with French side Auxerre during his time with the Yorkshire club.

Sharp became the Latics record signing at 100,000 when he joined them at the end of November 1995 and quickly established himself in the side.

However, the last twelve months have seen a dip in form and subsequently appearances this season have been at a minimum.

Sharp made over 200 appearances for Wigan scoring 12 goals but will be remembered by many Latics fans for his sending off at Wembley in the 1999/2000 play-off final against Gillingham and also for his late tackle that resulted in Reading's penalty in last season's play-offs.

His final match for Wigan was last month, ironically in their 5-1 thrashing at the Racecourse in the first round of the LDV Vans Trophy.

Treated like a piece of meet

Speaking to the Wigan Observer, after his contract, which was due to run until next summer, was terminated by 'mutual' consent, the Canadian born defender said that he has been treated "like a piece of meat".

Sharp told the Observer: "I'm absolutely gutted to be leaving, I really loved it at Wigan. It's been said that I handed in a transfer request, but that wasn't true. The manager just didn't want me. It just goes to show in football that you are treated like a piece of meat."

He continued: "I never wanted to leave and I went to see the manager after pre-season training and asked him whether he would be offering me a new deal. He said after having a look at me he didn't want to keep me. It was obvious I had to go."

Kevin Sharp
Height 5.09
Weight 11.11
Date of birth 19/09/74
Place of birth Ontario, Canada
Position Defender
Nationality English

All time playing career

Club From To Fee League FA Cup Woth Cup Other
Wigan 30/11/95 25/10/01 100000  157 (22) 10 7 (3) 0 7 (2) 1 18 (1) 1
Leeds 20/10/92 29/11/95 60000  11 (6) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (1) 0
Auxerre 01/08/91 20/10/92   No appearance data available
Totals 160000 168 (28) 10 7 (3) 0 7 (2) 1 18 (2) 1
goals / game 0.05 0 0.11 0.05
App G App G App G App G

Reds read riot act

Wrexham have been found guilty of misconduct for selling tickets on the day of their final home match which was all-ticket last season.

This is in breach of all-ticket conditions imposed by police and The Football Licensing Authority.

The charges arose out of Wrexham's home game against Millwall where there was crowd trouble forcing the referee to twice take the players off the pitch.

Yesterday's disciplinary commission of the Football Association of Wales also considered a disrepute charge against former Wrexham director Geoff Farrell. 

He was not represented or present at the hearing and is being told of the commission's finding by letter.

Wrexham managing director David Rhodes said: "We had a very fair hearing but the commission made it clear this sort of incident must never happen again."

The club were not fined for the incident, but have been ordered to pay the court costs.

Smith seeks new men to face City

By Terry Phillips, South Wales Echo

DENIS Smith has been in charge of Wrexham, Cardiff City's Second Division opponents on Sunday, for six matches.

The former York City, Sunderland, Oxford United and West Bromwich Albion manager won the first three - and has failed to win in the last three.

Smith, 53, is working hard to strengthen the squad in time for Sunday's Racecourse clash, which is being shown live on HTV Wales.

"I've been on the phone to see if I could beg, steal or borrow," said Smith. "We are thin on the ground, and I'm trying a number of options to see if I can strengthen the squad.

"I took the job because it was available and this - football management - is what I do and what I enjoy doing.

"I wanted to get back into the game. I was looking forward to starting work. Brian Flynn did a good job as far as developing things, but there are problems on the pitch.

"I'm surprised how small Wrexham is. I thought it was bigger, population-wise, but there is a big population around it - and they are Welsh.

"Everybody in North Wales is going to be interested in watching us.

"Right now we must prepare properly for the Cardiff City match. The players have had a couple of days off - I could see people with tired legs and tired minds. I had to freshen them up as best I can."

Smith took over from Brian Flynn, who had been in charge for 12 years, and ended a run of five successive defeats with wins against Queens Park Rangers (1-0), Wigan Athletic (LDV Trophy, 5-1) and Wigan (league, 3-2). Since then they have drawn 1-1 against Blackpool but have lost to Huddersfield Town twice, (league, 1-5 and LDV Trophy, 0-1).

The hard-up North Walians will get an FA Cup bonus from their first round tie against non-League Hereford United as it is being shown live on BBC television.

Their pay-out will be 100,000 - with another 20,000 going to the winners from FA Cup sponsors AXA.

The money will allow Wrexham to stave off bids for their better players. Oldham and Wycombe have been tracking top scorer Craig Faulconbridge, while striker Lee Trundle and Darren Ferguson are also top assets.

Oldham have already had two bids for Faulconbridge rejected.

The Bluebirds are likely to field an unchanged team from last weekend's 1-1 home draw against Tranmere Rovers. City are unbeaten in six Nationwide League matches, four of those drawn, and they have taken seven points from their last three games.