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8-Goal Duffy Is Back – Former Oxford, Mansfield & Imp Striker Back in Business

Rob Duffy scored goals aplenty at Oxford United and Mansfield Town, as well as pitching in with 9 at Grimsby Town. An injury at the start of the 2011/12 season for The Imps, saw him him needing an operation for Rob to have any chance of continuing to earn a living from the game. When he left City the pay-off was understood to see the caring Imps foot the bill for the operation. STMI  takes a look at the career of another quality player that saw the fates deny him a chance to prove his undeniable ability…. or have they?.

No they haven’t it seems for Rob Duffy has overcome that career threatening injury and rewarded Ilkeston manager Kevin Wilson’s faith on two counts so far this season. Not only has he rammed home eight goals in eight games, but, he has also rejected an offer to join Goole AFC. Lincoln City were good enough to stretch to an operation on an ankle injury, allowing the 31-year-old to make a slow but sure comeback at Kings Lynn last season before Wilson signed him for NPL rivals Ilkeston at the start of the season.

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In two seasons he cracked 25 goals in 60 appearances for Oxford despite two months out with a broken arm. The Stags almost missed him, trialling him before The Exiles stepped in. However in the January of that season they came to their senses and brother Dean Holdsworth allowed David to take him on an eighteen month deal. David gave him a two year deal where he bagged 28 League goals in 81 BSP appearances, that effectively saved the Stags who were hanging on by their antlers that year. Grimsby, awash with money as ever, came in with an undisclosed fee in the winter window and offered terms that the Stags were unable to match at the time. The deal was completed three days before the January window closed.

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Rob – a hero at Oxford United and Mansfield has had some tough knocks in the last couple of years. Mariners’ chairman John Fenty even tagged him as a ‘mistake’ – the Mariners are looking for a striker too after all up front have reported to sick bay.  But David Holdsworth always rated him as a lad with ability, who had the track record and hunger to prove the doubters wrong. His strike rate – 9 goals in all competitions or 1 every 140 mins – as a bit part-player a The Mariners, suggested Rob was indeed the landmark signing in 2011/12 for Lincoln along with miss-firing mercurial Adam Smith.

Under Holdsworth at Mansfield Town, the striker had duly helped to steer them away from relegation at a time when the club had no cash. Rob certainly looked to have the pedigree and the prowess we needed at 6′ 2″ and 13 stone 10lb. The former Wales U21 may have a laid back style but he is still the composed and quiet battler. He failed to dislodge hit-man-Hearn and Elding at Grimsby, despite 9 goals from his 19 starts and 20 substitute appearances. Alas just 3 games in after a decent start next to Taylor, he was forced off with an ankle injury just 44 minutes into an away game at Newport. Rob, one of the highest earners at the club, was destined to become a financial albatross during a frustrating season as that  early doors ankle injury in the 2011/12 season appeared to end his career.

STMI Biopic
Full name Robert Duffy
Date of birth 2 December 1982 (age 31)
Place of birth Swansea, Wales
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Youth career
1998–2001 Charlton Athletic
Senior stats
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2005 Rushden & Diamonds 30 (1)
2005 → Stamford (loan) 2 (2)
2005 Cambridge United 9 (0)
2005 Kettering Town 4 (1)
2006 Gainsborough Trinity ? (?)
2006 Stevenage Borough 1 (0)
2006–2008 Oxford United 56 (24)
2008 → Wrexham (loan) 6 (0)
2008–2009 Newport County 21 (1)
2009–2011 Mansfield Town 78 (28)
2011–2012 Grimsby Town 52 (8)
2012–2013 Lincoln City 3 (0)
2013-2014 King’s Lynn Town 7 (6)
2014– Ilkeston 8 (8)


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Holdsworth Needs Time and Funds

Keep the faith against Gateshead because David Holdsworth deserved better at Mansfield Town. The Stags were pretty eager to hire the popular ex Sheffield United stalwart, very much one of those new up and coming managers at the time and there are shades of his era in Notts now he has crossed the border into Lincs.


Mansfield were lacking money  and almost homeless but sent for  a low budget rookie wheeler-dealer  who, to his credit, had guided Ilkeston Town to sixth place, 10 points off the top spot with two winnable games in hand. He looked a good bet and, to an extent,  turned things around .  Deja-vous  for Holdsworth, who has had to wait for a new dawn to break at both the Stags and now the Imps. A financial wait that will hopefully end at Monday’s press conference.

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An anticipated defeat against fourth placed Gateshead FC will not please him or Imps fans, but short of a good hammering and a few moans and, all eyes should quicky move to Monday. Of course we could win and do the double over them to set things up nicely.

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Holdsworth’s reputation precedes him of course, but although there have been numerous ins and outs so far, these have been mainly short term stop gaps funded from whatever he can carve from a wasted budget. Conal Platt apart,  he has not made any long-term additions to a squad as bereft of quality as it has lacked passion for the cause.  His comments on pre-match Red Imps World interview suggest he is as in the dark on team building scope as we are

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What Holdsworth does deserve is the backing of the the board and the fans at least until the end of the season. Whether he gets any funds or not will all be revealed on Monday.  Good lord it could be like a kid in a sweetshop next week, just perm any 2-3 from a dozen deals due to be done in goal, defence, midfield and up front.   Don’t just think Darlington here, Leeds, Chesterfield, Sheffield United and the North-West are among the clubs we have been talking to of late.

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Side Hired Fired Played Won Drawn Lost
Lincoln 24 Oct, 2011 Present 15 4 3 8
Mansfield 29 Dec, 2008 18 Nov, 2010 91 37 20 34

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