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‘Brilliant addition’ – Scarborough Athletic sign ex-League One player

‘Brilliant addition’ was just some of the words used by supporters online as Scarborough Athletic sign an ex-League One player.

The man is former York City captain Simon Heslop, joining the Northern Premier League Premier Division outfit with an eye for promotion.

He is coming to the latter stages of his career, which has seen him play in the English Football League, but for most of it it’s been in non league.


“Vastly experienced midfielder Simon Heslop is the latest player to commit to Jono Greening’s Scarborough Athletic squad for the new season.

“The 34-year-old former Oxford United, Mansfield Town, Torquay United, Wrexham and York City man will add yet more nous to the Boro line-up in the Northern Premier League.

An overjoyed Greening said: “I’m delighted to have Hessy on board, he’s turned down bigger offers from the league above to come in to help us push for promotion.

“He brings to the table bags of experience and can play numerous positions which will be vital throughout a long season.”


Heslop started his career at Barnsley, where he progressed through the youth team and signed his first professional contract with the club in 2005.

He made just one first-team appearance during his six-year association with the club. During his time at Barnsley, Heslop was loaned out to then-Conference National club Kidderminster Harriers during the 2005–06 season, and spent the following season on loan with Tamworth.

He then spent time on loan with Northwich Victoria and Halifax Town during 2007–08, before having further loan spells at Grimsby Town, Kettering Town and Luton Town respectively.

He was released by Barnsley in May 2010, and signed for then-League Two club Oxford United shortly after. Heslop made over 100 appearances for Oxford during his three-year stay there.

He was released at the end of 2012–13, and subsequently signed for League One club Stevenage on a free transfer in May 2013.

This was the highest level within English football that he had played at, making his debut for the club on the opening day of 2013–14, playing the whole match as Stevenage lost 4–3 to Oldham Athletic at Broadhall Way.

He scored his first league goal for the club away to Gillingham on the 26th of November 2013 before being released on the 12th of May 2014.

He has since gone on to make appearances for Mansfield Town, Torquay United, Wrexham, York City, Eastleigh, Boston United and Blyth Spartans.

As mentioned, Heslop was at York, which is his hometown club. They were newly relegated into the National League, joining them on the 20th of June 2016 on a two-year contract.

He captained York as they beat Macclesfield Town 3–2 at Wembley Stadium in the 2017 FA Trophy Final on the 21st of May.

Take a look at how the played out with these highlights below, along with the trophy lift from Heslop himself…

Heslop requested a transfer in early November 2017, with manager Martin Gray dropping him from the team as a result, so he then joined National League club Eastleigh on the 16th of November 2017 on a one-month loan, making his debut two days later, starting in a 2–0 home defeat to Barrow.

Heslop scored his first goal for Eastleigh in a 3–3 draw away to FC Halifax Town on the 25th of November 2017 with a shot from Chris Zebroski’s cross. He made five appearances and scored one goal for Eastleigh, with the club opting to not extend his loan. York manager Martin Gray reiterated that Heslop would not be considered for selection upon his return to the club.

Heslop was ruled out for the rest of the 2018–19 season in February 2019, with a knee injury that required a second operation and he was not offered a new contract at the end of the season but was invited to return for pre-season training.

He then went on Boston United, followed by Blyth Spartans, and has now ended up at Scarborough Athletic, the lowest level of football he’s played at in his career.


Youth career
–2004 – Barnsley

Senior career
2004–2010 – Barnsley
2005–2006 → Kidderminster Harriers (loan) – 22 games (1 goal)
2006–2007 → Tamworth (loan) – 27 games (1 goal)
2007 → Northwich Victoria (loan) – 6 games (0 goals)
2007–2008 → Halifax Town (loan) – 30 games (5 goals)
2008 → Grimsby Town (loan) – 8 games (0 goals)
2009 → Kettering Town (loan) – 8 games (0 goals)
2010 → Luton Town (loan) – 11 games (1 goal)
2010–2013 – Oxford United – 91 games (7 goals)
2013–2014 – Stevenage – 27 games (1 goal)
2014–2015 – Mansfield Town – 25 games (2 goals)
2015–2016 – Torquay United – 20 games (0 goals)
2016 – Wrexham – 20 games (3 goals)
2016–2019 – York City – 84 games (9 goals)
2017 → Eastleigh (loan) – 5 games (1 goal)
2020 – Boston United – 3 games (0 goals)
2020 – Blyth Spartans

Fans reacted as Scarborough Athletic sign up the ex-League One player, see what they said below…

@wallybasoum: The gaffer is going about team building q̶u̶i̶e̶t̶l̶y̶ stealthily. Jury out on the young lad ATM but trust the gaffersTrade mark sign judgment. And have HIGNFY on Heslop? What a signing. His industry well be overlooked by most but it’ll be central to our pr******* push. Keep ’em peeled

@iAmRadioAnt: Loving @JonoGreening8 just quietly going around doing business & shaping his team. He got Hutton and youth signed up, let’s get an experienced midfielder to get the dirty work done. Most fans won’t appreciate Heslop’s work and may go unnoticed, but I will be

@Wessiewhite: Superb addition, brilliant Jono 💪👏 #seadogs

@dyncudd: Sounds like a great signing! #UTB

@jbusby21: Me old mate from school finally joins the ranks after 20 years of pestering!

@nickfinch14: Brilliant signing. That’s another missing piece sorted.

@jamiecr05489374: Spot on jono. Buzzing for basford away now, it will be one of the toughest games of season, but I think we’ll do it! Plenty of competition in middle, superb signing!

@WardellDick: We seem to be edging towards a decent side. All we need now is a big centre forward and I thing we are there. Cannot wait for the season to start UTB.

@roydrunner: Great addition

@MeFootieSeadog: Sounds like a really good signing,things looking promising for the new season.

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