WFFC Advent Calendar: 21 – Jason Geraghty

Jason emerged from the shadows in our first season as Leyton Pennant, when Paul Taylor, with plenty of verbal encouragement from general manager Kevin Moran, decided to draft some young blood into an aging side and he became part of a lineup that took the team from one off the bottom at Christmas to third place by March, on the back of a thirteen game unbeaten run.

He was a product of the West Ham Youth academy, and made his debut for the club on the 7th of October 1995. In his first season for the club he scored seven goals in 39 starts for the club.

He was a central midfield player, who was given most of his early games on the left of midfield.

His first game of note was the incredible London Challenge Cup match at home to Boreham Wood which ended 4-4 after extra time. Geraghty scored a goal with a shot from almost on the left touchline, deliberately played it has to be said.

He also played his part in earning us a 4-3 reply victory, both games played in a howling gale which threatened to take the roofs off the stands behind the goals at both grounds.

His moment of glory came in the final of the 1997-8 Eastern Floodlight Cup final against Braintree Town.

After Pennant went a goal down, his two free kicks earnt us a 2-1 win and our first piece of silverware for the first team. His two goals that evening could not have been more different.

Taken from almost exactly the same spot, the first bounced twice before going through the body of the opposition keeper. The second swerved and dipped, Beckham-like and left the keeper for dead, a goal good enough to win any cup final.

He left us after we were relegated to the second division of the Isthmian League, having spells with Ford United, Hemel Hempstead Town and Enfield. He was also part of the newly-formed Enfield Town, where he made 38 appearances.

Opinions were strongly divided on his ability or right to be selected, fans seemed to be totally for or against. While he gave us a great deal of creativity, he was prone to putting on weight and wasn’t the best at chasing after the ball after losing possession.

In total, he made 170 appearances for Leyton Pennant, putting him fifth on our all-time list.

Thanks to Charlie Ward.

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