Mellor repays faith

Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date published: 29 May 2012

AFTER a short career with enough turmoil to last a whole squad a lifetime, David Mellor’s past season is one that must be viewed in context.

Rattling in an excellent goal at Scunthorpe on his senior Athletic debut, the left-sided player (18) marked himself out as one to watch two months later with a star showing in front of the cameras against MK Dons.

From that point on in a whirlwind first full sesaon as a pro, events took a turn for the worse.

A loss of form against a background of family illness, was followed by a knee problem that required complete rest to avoid complications.

Mellor fought back from a long lay-off and performed well in the final game, against Carlisle.

As far as Mellor’s dad Dave is concerned, the fact he is currently playing professional football at all owes much to the faith of youth team boss Tony Philliskirk.

The original chance for the Shaw lad to impress at Boundary Park came after he signed release papers at Manchester United as a schoolboy.

After an operation on his knee, it needed a club to take a punt on the youngster — one ofhundreds sitting on the scrapheap. Philliskirk was that someone.

“Tony was brilliant,” said Mellor's father. “He stood by David and took him in on a non-contract basis to prove his fitness. He gave him his big chance.”

Despite starting late, Mellor’s progress has been rapid. After signing a two-year contract with Athletic at the start of the season, he became a defensive fixture on the left side.

READ the full version of this story only in our print and eChron editions