“I didn’t think I’d play for Boston after that!” John McCombe makes United switch 11 years after first attempt fell through

John McCombe in 2007.
John McCombe in 2007.

John McCombe didn’t think he’d ever pull on a Boston United shirt after having his York Street move called off more than a decade ago.

However, football has a funny way of making things work out, and the experienced defender is now looking forward to what he hopes to be a successful season with the Pilgrims.

In March 2007 then-manager Steve Evans attempted to bring in McCombe and Hartlepool United striker Michael Proctor on loan to aid United’s League Two survival bid.

But financial problems saw the moves called off at the 11th hour, Proctor eventually signing for relegation rivals Wrexham and scoring against Boston in their winner-stays-up success on the final day of the season.

“I was at Huddersfield at the time and had been told that Boston had come in for me and Michael Proctor,”McCombe said.

“I was looking to get more games so I agreed to go and play for them.

“I trained with the team on the Friday and was ready to play against Mansfield.

“But on the Saturday morning, about 10.30am, I got the call saying the paperwork hadn’t gone through and I couldn’t play.

“After that we found out about Boston’s financial difficulties and the deal was off because of a transfer embargo.

“It was frustrating because the transfer window was about to shut.”

After the move fell through, McCombe didn’t think United would ever be an option again.

“I didn’t really think I’d play for Boston after that,” he added.

“Your career takes you in one direction and you move on.

“I didn’t think about playing for Boston again, but then things happened over the summer.”

McCombe will join fellow closed-season signing Nathan Arnold in assisting manager Craig Elliott’s staff, helping out with coaching and fitness duties.

And the 33-year-old is keen to get stuck into the role and work alongside some familiar faces, including former teammates Arnold and Ben Middleton.

“Obviously, I know Ben from Harrogate and he’s a very good player,” McCombe said.

“And Nathan was at Mansfield for a few weeks when I was. But I’ve seen him play a lot when I’ve been to watch my brother (Jamie) at Lincoln.

“He’s a great player and at this level he will do well for us, he knows what it takes to win things.”