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Gone but not forgotten:
Colin Foster
Position: Central defender
From: West Ham - stlg 80,000 - March 1994
Record: Played: 78 Scored: 8
To: Cambridge United - free transfer - May 1997
Career stats: Soccerbase
He was: As tall as a very tall tree

The origin of BSaD's 'Colin Who?' section, Sir Colin Foster was one of the heroes of the 93/94 relegation escape. He arrived at a time when our defence was leaking an average of two goals every game and instantly made an impact - at that stage, it seemed that every time he played for us, we kept a clean sheet and every time he was missing, we conceded a hatful.

He was utterly magnificent. He'd seen it all before and that confidence spread through to his team-mates. He won everything in the air (although, bizarrely, that didn't seem to extend to the opposition penalty area), he made up for his lack of pace with anticipation, he swayed around opposition tackles in a way that was almost Ramage-esque, he just looked ridiculously calm at a time when everyone else was going mad with relegation stress.

In the end, he proved that he wasn't God after all. He got slower and the injuries became more frequent as Robert Page emerged to take his place alongside David Holdsworth and Keith Millen. He was transfer-listed during the summer of '96 and spent most of the subsequent season either injured or playing for the reserves. His time had gone and everyone knew it - it was no surprise to see him kicked off the payroll when his contract expired.

Ultimately, we got more than our money's worth out of Colin Foster. Before he got too old, before he started showing his flaws, he played like a hero. As with Dennis Bailey, it's an emotional debt that BSaD won't forget.