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Profiling Our 1995 Vauxhall Conference Champions: Paul Kendall

27 February 2020

A quarter of a century ago, Macclesfield Town lifted the GM Vauxhall Conference trophy for the first time and in doing so, arguably changed the narrative surrounding the club forevermore. In the fourth in a series of articles, we continue our look back at all the players who played their part in what was a remarkable achievement by featuring the reliable centre-back, Paul Kendall.

When the 1994/95 season commenced, Paul had already proved himself to be a loyal and committed servant to the club - having made over two-hundred appearances for The Silkmen over the previous six campaigns.

Starting his career as a trainee at Halifax Town, he progressed through the youth ranks at The Shay before signing his first professional contract with the club in 1982.

The tenacious centre-half went on to make 106 for The Shayman - scoring four times, before signing for Scarborough back in July 1986.

Paul was part of the team that secured promotion to the Football League the following season - making twenty-seven league appearances for the North Yorkshire outfit during their historic campaign.

After helping Scarborough acclimatise in Division Four Paul returned to Halifax Town for a brief spell, before Peter Wragg secured his services in the summer of 1988.

Paul made his Silkmen debut on the opening day of the 1988/89 season, when a Steve Burr strike proved to be a mere consolation as Enfield secured a 2 - 1 home victory over Wragg's side.

Despite this, Paul went on to make forty-nine appearances for the club during his inaugural season at the Moss Rose and proved his versatility by forging effective partnerships with skipper Elfyn Edwards, Graham Tobin and Mick Hardman in particular.

Paul ended the campaign by replacing John Imrie during the FA Trophy Final against Telford United at Wembley Stadium, as we suffered a cruel extra-time defeat underneath the twin towers.

In the years that followed, Paul continued to play a vital role in the Peter Wragg era and undoubtedly became a fan's favourite here at the Moss Rose.

Strong in the tackle and dominant in the air, Paul became a reliable and dependable member of the squad and in many ways, this begins to explain his longevity at the club.

The arrival of Sammy McIlroy in the summer of 1993 changed the narrative of the club almost completely and it wasn't long before Paul had a new partner-in-crime at the heart of the Silkmen defence - a young Burnley-lad by the name of Neil Howarth.

At that time, the squad and the club in general were evolving rapidly and after missing parts of the season through injury, it was testament to Paul's defensive prowess and the respect he commanded that he would go on to make forty-three appearances in all competitions during Sammy's debut season.

Although Paul was still in-situ as Neil Howarth's trusty right-hand man at the start of the 1994/95 season, the arrival of Steve Payne during September 1994 would ultimately limit his first team appearances.

Indeed, Paul had been an ever-present in the team prior to Steve's arrival and played a crucial part in our inspiring start to the campaign.

Paul finished the season with fourteen appearances to his name and his contribution as part of that historic season is still fondly remembered here at the Moss Rose.

Images courtesy of Keith MT Wilson.

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