IN 2003, almost 5,000 votes were cast on the British American Football website, www.britballnow.co.uk, to find out who the greatest teams, coaches and players in UK American Football history were. We list the top three in each category below:
Greatest Senior Kitted Team
1. London Ravens 1983-1987 51%
2. London O's 1997-2003 24%
3. Leicester Panthers 1996 season 8%
4. London Olympians 1992-1994 5%
5. Birmingham Bulls 1988 4%
6. Manchester Spartans 1989-1990 4%
7. Birmingham Bulls 1991 2%
8. Birmingham Bulls 1986 1%
9. Birmingham Bulls 1995 1%
No surprise here. The London Ravens were the dominant force in British American Football in the mid 80's. They were unbeaten from their creation in 1983 through to 1988. Recently, their British record of most consecutive wins against British opposition was broken by the seven time British Champions, the London O's. The O's came in second in the poll, with the 1996 British Champions, the Leicester Panthers third.
Greatest College Team
1. Hertfordshire Hurricanes 1998-2000 35%
2. Hull Sharks 1986-1989 22%
3. Loughborough Aces 1997 13%
4. Stirling Clansmen 2003 7%
5. Southampton Stags 1992-1993 7%
6. Oxford Cavaliers 2001 5%
7. Cardiff Cobras 1988-1989 3%
8. Leeds Celtics 1996 3%
9. Teesside Demons 1990-1991 3%
10. Glasgow Tigers 1994 2%
Jim Messenger's triple College Bowl winning side deservedly won the title of the Greatest College team. Three consecutive championships between 1998 and 2000 is a feat that is unlikely to be matched.
Hull Sharks were the College powerhouse from 1986 and 1989, and they won 2 Bowls and tied another to finish second on our poll.
Loughborough Aces perfect season in 1997 was enough for them to be voted third.
Greatest Senior Flag Team
1. Leicester Eagles 2002 35%
2. Fen Harriers 1999-2000 22%
3. Bournemouth Raiders 2002 17%
4. Leicester Eagles 1998 11%
5. Peterborough Centurions 1997 7%
6. West Coast Offense 2001 4%
7. London Gators 2001 3%
Leicester Eagles went through the 2002 BSFL season unbeaten and took the lion share of the vote to win the greatest senior flag team category. Fen Harriers back to back titles in 1999 and 2000 meant they were voted in second, with Bournemouth Raiders, the BSFL 9man runners up and 5man champions in 2002 taking third spot.
Greatest Youth Kitted Team
1. Southern Sundevils 2001-2002 16%
2. Farnham Knights 1996 14%
3. Southend Sabres 1991-1992 13%
4. Tiptree Titans 89-90 (20-1-1) 12%
5. Lancashire Wolverines 97-99 (21-1) 12%
6. Leicester Panthers 89 (8-0-0) 10%
7. Northants Storm 90-91 (21-0-2) 9%
8. London Capitals 1995 (9-0-0) 5%
9. London O's 2000 (5-0-0) 4%
10. Birmingham Bulls 1994 (11-0-0) 4%
The Southern Sundevils Youth team won the category of the greatest Youth Kitted side of alltime, after their back to back BYAFA titles in 2001 and 2002. Farnham Knights’ perfect season in 1996 earnt them second place, and the Southend Sabres who won the Youth Kitted title in 1991 and 1992 came in third.
Greatest Youth Two Touch Team
1. Tiptree Titans 1988 26%
2. Kent Rams 1989 15%
3. Glasgow Diamonds 1986 15%
4. Fen Harriers 1992 15%
5. Ealing Eagles 1993 15%
6. Crawley Pirates 1994 8%
7. Acorn Lasers 1988 7%
8. Kent Rams 1987 2%
Tiptree's exceptionally coached youth two touch team still stands out in many people's minds who remember them. Just a single regular season tie was their only blemish as they won every other game and the final 10-6 when this form of the game was at it's strongest.
Kent Rams 28-0 thrashing of Shropshire Giants in the 1989 final after an unbeaten regular season enabled them to be voted in second place, with the Glasgow Diamonds 1986 title winning side in third.
Greatest Youth Flag Team
1. Leicester Eagles 2001-2003 49%
2. Plymouth Commodores 1995-1996 10%
3. Fen Harriers 1996 8%
4. Brighton B-52s 1997 6%
5. Doncaster Wildcats 1997 6%
6. Milton Keynes Pathfinders 1999 6%
7. London Os 2000 5%
8. Hull Rockets 1996-1997 5%
9. East Grinstead Knights 1994-1997 4%
10. Kirkcaldy Bulls 2003 2%
Leicester have always ground out good youth flag sides, but their sides between 2001 and 2003 were exceptional winning consecutive national titles. They polled nearly 50% of all votes cast in this poll. Plymouth Commodores, the 1995 champions and 1996 runners-up, were second, with the Fen Harriers their conquerors in 1996 third.
Greatest Junior Flag Team
1. Eastbourne Eagles 2001-2002 41%
2. Leicester Eagles 2002-2003 19%
3. Leicester Eagles 1999 11%
4. Heathrow Jets 1989-1992 8%
5. Doncaster Wildcats 1994-1996 5%
6. Birmingham Bulls 2000-2001 5%
7. Grangemouth Broncos 2001-2003 5%
8. Crawley Pirates 1993 4%
9. Selhurst Snipers 2002-2003 3%
Eastbourne Eagles were voted as the greatest junior flag side after becoming NFL Junior champions of England in 2001. Leicester Eagles were voted second and third with their BYAFA Championship winning sides.
UK Born Players
1. Adam Heirons (PA Knights) 16%
2. Chaz Jasicki (Brighton B-52s) 15%
3. Richard Large (Staffordshrie Surge) 12%
4. Ashley Heath (PA Knights) 7%
5. Junior Price (London Os) 6%
6. Jason Elliot (London Olympians) 6%
7. Stuart Franklin (London Os) 5%
8. Dave Stanton (Birmingham Bulls) 4%
9. Luke Sanders (London Blitz) 4%
10. Jeff Rutter (Washington Presidents) 3%
Other votes for: Mike Astle, Paul Ashton (Manchester Allstars), Gary McNey (East Kilbride Pirates), Cliff Boddington (Southern Sundevils), Simon Kucia (Cambridge County Cats), Mark Spong (Portsmouth Warriors), David Drane, Brett Lewis (Chelmsford Cherokee), Andy Jefferson, Jonathan Adam, Nick Hewitt, Gavin Meredith (Crewe Railroaders), Ben Moore, John Iddon
Adam Heirons was voted the top UK born QB after a number of top performances playing for the PA Knights. An extremely accurate passer, his TD to INT ratio was second to none. He retired after leading the PA Knights to the BSL Division Two title in 2000.
Chaz Jasicki, is a legend on the South Coast, and was the talisman for the Brighton B52s and the Sussex Thunder throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. Jasicki and his brother, Jim, were a feared combination to opposition defenses. Chaz played for GB between 1987 and 1989, and was the backup QB for the Lions successful European campaign in 1989.
Richard Large, the current QB of the Staffordshire Surge came third. Large possesses a great arm and also is an effective runner. He led the BSL in passing yards in 2003.
Greatest Running Back
1. Victor Ebubedike (London Ravens 27%
2. Richard Dunkley (London Olympians) 9%
3. Trevor Carthy (Birmingham Bulls) 8%
4. Warren Keen (London Os) 8%
5. Jim Burns (Glasgow Lions) 8%
6. Joe St Louis (London Ravens) 8%
7. Tiggy Bell (Leeds Cougars) 5%
8. Monty Lewin (Ealing Eagles) 5%
9. Warren Sweetman (Leicester Panthers) 4%
10. Tam Smith (Woking Generals, Kingston Pirates, West London Aces, Thames Valley Aces, Randburg Giants (SA)) 4%
Other votes for: Justin Oke (London Os), Duncan French, Paul Duncan, Stephen Hutchison (London Os), Gladstone McKenzie (Milton Keynes Bucks), Laurence Dinham (Bournemouth Bobcats), Paul Bailey (Manchester Spartans), Dennis Walker, Fitzroy Miller (Crawley Raiders), Winston Moven, Mark Williams (Birmingham Bulls), Craig Broughton, Ryan Holness, Les Slinn (Swindon Steelers)
Victor X Ebubedike was the resounding winner of the greatest UK Born running back category. Arguably the greatest player produced by the UK domestic game, he played for the London Ravens between 1986 and 1989 running for 3,770 yards and 66 TDs (with a spectacular 8.9 yards per carry average). He received the Budweiser National League's MVP award three times and won four National Championships with the Ravens. In 1989, as team captain, he led GB to victory in the European Championships and was named the "European Most Valuable Player"
Victor played six seasons for the London Monarchs, after attending Harper College in Chicago. He almost broke into the world of professional American football with the help of the World League and the Operation Discover program. In 1990 he was signed by the New York Jets, but was released during preseason.
Richard Dunkley broke into the GB Lions squad in 1989, and stayed there until 1995. A cornerstone of the highly successful London Olympians side of the early 90s, he won two Eurobowl winners medals, scoring two TD's in the 42-21 win over Amsterdam Crusaders in 1993.
Trevor Carthy was the star RB for the Birmingham Bulls for many years. In 1986 he rushed over for 1,300 yards and led the Bulls to 3rd place in EuroBowl I. Starting RB for the GB Lions between 1986 and 1989, he scored 2 TD's in the 1989 semi-final win over Germany, and a TD in the final against Finland to round off his Lions career. Voted the leading RB in the 1990 NDMA Coca Cola League, he was selected for the London Monarchs for their 1991 WLAF campaign. Played on for the Bulls for a few more years, before moving onto become their Head Coach.
1. Lloyd O'Neill (Birmingham Bulls) 19%
2. Mark Wynnick (London Ravens) 18%
3. Collis Seale-McConnie (London Os) 14%
4. Matt Townsend (Southern Sundevils) 12%
5. Cliff Morgan (Brighton B-52s) 11%
6. Earl Livermore (London Olympians) 7%
7. Ian Derbyshire 5%
8. Charlie Cornelius (Leicester Panthers) 5%
9. Scott Miller (Winchester Rifles) 4%
10. Nick Whitford (Colchester Gladiators) 2%
Other votes for: Martin Hohn (West Brom Fireballs), Andy Spratling (Hereford Chargers)
Lloyd O'Neill was voted as the greatest fullback to have played in the UK. The Birmingham Bulls legend's career highlight was in 1991, when he was an integral part of the GB Lions squad that successfully defended the European Nations Championship in Finland. He scored a hat-trick of TD's in the semi-final against the Netherlands.
Mark Wynnick was some blocker, and despite retiring in 1988 he is still fondly remembered as one of the greats and he comes second in this poll.
Mark Wynnick blocking for Victor X
The late London O's fullback, Collis Seale-McConnie comes in third. Collis made his debut for GB in 1995 against Ireland.
Greatest Wide Receiver
1. Scott Couper (Glasgow Lions) 24%
2. Mark Cohen (Birmingham Bulls) 12%
3. John Williams (PA Knights) 12%
4. Clive Palumbo (London Os) 9%
5. Jon Wyse (PA Knights) 8%
6. Allan Brown (Nottingham Hoods) 7%
7. Leroy Innes (London Ravens) 6%
8. John Anderton (Manchester Allstars) 3%
9. Harvey Culver 2%
10. Scott McReady (Scottish Claymores/New England Patriots) 2%
Other votes for: Sean Airlie (Glasgow Lions), Jim Jasicki (Brighton B-52s), Bruce Gemmell, Maverick Logan (Milton Keynes Bucks), Mark Delaney (London Olympians), Rowelle Blenman (Scottish Claymores), Jeremy Sims (Oxford Saints), David Drane, Jason Byworth (London Olympians), Pat Miller (Bournemouth Bobcats), Mike Price, A Okiwee (Nottingham Hoods), Tony Taylor (London Ravens), Sean Valentine (Crewe Railroaders), Mike Ashby
Scott Couper was voted the greatest UK Wide Receiver, and for good reason. He set numerous records in eight seasons with the Glasgow Lions. His 5,000 career receiving yards with the Lions placing him second on the all-time list. He was selected for the Scottish Claymores in 1995 before retiring at the end of the 2001 season after seven years in the NFL Europe League. During that time he made a record 67 NFL Europe League appearances, amassed 1002 yards, 93 catches and 10 touchdowns to make him the most successful national player in league history. He was selected to play for Chicago Bears against Pittsburgh Steelers in American Bowl in Dublin on July 31 1997, thus becoming the first Scotsman to play in the NFL. Scott returned to the Claymores in 2003.
The only receiver with more BAFA yards than Couper is Mark Cohen, who has played for many years for the Birmingham Bulls and also for the London Monarchs. He also played for GB Lions between 1995 and 1998, and scored the winning TD in the 1997 qualifier in Madrid against Spain. Mark was voted second in this poll.
Jon Williams started his career with the Farnham Knights Youth team, and went to the States to play for Bethany College, Kansas and St.Josephs, Wisconsin. He was a key part of their 2000 Division Two winning side, and in that year caught 556 yards and 8 TDs, as well as scoring 3 TDs in the final. He retired after 2000, but returned in 2002 and retired after that campaign.
Greatest Tight End
1. Scott Miller (Southern Sundevils) 39%
2. Gerry Anderson (London Olympians/Os) 25%
3. Calvin Holder (London Ravens) 14%
4. Mark Penfound (Winchester Rifles) 12%
5. Mel Thomas (Leicester Panthers) 4%
6. Andy Earle (London Os) 4%
7. Gary Chalmers (East Kilbride Pirates) 4%
8. George Skidmore (Washington Presidents) 2%
9. Clevant Christian (Birmingham Bulls) 2%
10. George Newton (Portsmouth Warriors 2%
Other votes for: Martin Fisher (Leicester Panthers/Milton Keynes Pioneers), Stephen Ward (Staffordshire Surge), Huw Chapman (Manchester Spartans), Paul Scott (Brighton B-52s), Maverick Logan (Milton Keynes), T Casey (Leeds Cougars/Nottingham Hoods), Darren Cooper (London Os)
Scott Miller was a resounding winner of the best Tight End poll, polling nearly 50% of the vote. Scott was a star performer for the Winchester Rifles in their 1996 title winning season, where they won the BAFA Division Three final 48-0 against the Redditch Arrows. Scott also played for the Portsmouth Warriors, Brighton B52’s and the South Coast Raiders. He went onto play for the Southern Sundevils.
Gerry Anderson is a legend of the British game. He started his career with the Streatham Olympians in 1984, and continued to play at the highest level through to 2000 where he helped the O's win another title. He scored a TD in the Olympians 20-12 Budweiser Bowl I defeat to the London Ravens in 1986, represented the GB Lions in their 1991 European Championship winning side and played for the London Monarchs for a number of seasons. Currently a NFL Development Officer for the UK.
Calvin Holder was the Tight End for the London Ravens in their early days, and played for Great Britain in their first ever international (against France) in 1985. He is still remembered as one of the great Tight Ends this country has produced.
Greatest Offensive Lineman
1. Mark Hopkins (Bristol Aztecs) 17%
2. Dean Locke (London O's) 17%
3. Cameron Dundas (Manchester Spartans) 9%
Other votes for: Les Tuitt, Gavin Collins, N Thompson, Joe Richardson, Don Edmonson, Chris Day, Stuart Gallacher, Ian Smith, Errol 'Big Bird' Phillips (London Ravens), James Ganter, Ian Smith, Gary Mills (Birmingham Bulls), Paul Boothroyd, Paul Cox, Peter Higgins, Warren Billingham (Manchester Spartans), Ian Campbell
This country has produced so many good linemen, and they can without doubt be known as the unsung heroes of the game. With so many players to vote for, the votes were spread amongst them, but the three who came out on top were as follows:-
Mark Hopkins who had spells at many clubs from 1986 onwards including the Cotswold Bears, Gloucester Boars, Birmingham Bulls, Severn Vale Royals, Manchester Spartans, Milton Keynes Pioneers and now at the Bristol Aztecs. Mark also played for the Sacramento Surge in the World League of American Football in 1991 and 1992 as part of Operation Discovery.
Dean Locke came joint top of the poll. Having played for the GB Lions since 1995, he has an integral part of the London O's line as they have swept all before them over the last seven years.
Cameron Dundas comes in at third, as the cornerstone of the great Manchester Spartans team of the early 1990s. Cameron starred for GB Lions in their 1989 European Nations Championship win in Germany.
Greatest Defensive Lineman
1. Matt Barrett (Birmingham Bulls) 21%
2. Tony MacKenzie (PA Knights) 16%
3. Paul Evans (London Os) 14%
4. Tom Tovo (London Monarchs) 7%
5. Nigel Hoyte (London Ravens) 6%
6. P Wood 4%
7. Robert Flickinger (Scottish Claymores) 4%
8. Dave Samuels (Thames Valley Chargers) 4%
9. Les Jackson (Thames Valley Chargers) 3%
10. Gerry Anderson (London Olympians) 3%
Other votes for: Delton Anderson (London Ravens), Lewis Capes (London Monarchs), Stevie 'Duck' Collins (Glasgow Lions), Danny Berry, D Glover, C Lambert, JJ Baptiste, M Connelly, Gareth Alyson (Bournemouth Bobcats), B Earnshaw, J Adams, Errol 'Big Bird' Phillips (London Ravens), Mark Pearce (Kings Lynn Patriots), Gary Thomas, S Leatham, D Cawthorne, Wayne Benstead, Warren Billingham (Manchester Spartans)
Matt Barrett came top of the defensive linemen category. Matt is still in great form for the Birmingham Bulls in BSL Division One, and is also a regular for the GB National team. He recorded 34 tackles and 3 sacks in the 2003 season.
Tony MacKenzie came second in the poll. After a stunning Youth career in the UK, rounded off by starring for the GB Crusaders Youth team, he attended Hastings College in Nebraska for four seasons between 1991 and 1995. On his return to the UK, Tony won a national title with the Winchester Rifles, before joining the London Monarchs and started nine games in his rookie season. Tony moved onto play for the Southern Sundevils, and now currently plays for the PA Knights where he again led the team in tackles in 2003.
Paul Evans came third, and he is really one of the great stalwarts of the British game. Starting his career in the 1980s with the Brighton B-52s, he played for them for many years, and then for the Sussex Thunder when the 52s merged with the Crawley Raiders. He has moved onto continue playing at the pinnacle of the sport with the best team in the country, the London O's. Paul scored a TD on an interception return for the O's, in their Britbowl 2003 triumph over the East Kilbride Pirates.
1. Dave Chambers (Birmingham Bulls) 34%
2. Robert 'Bob' Dean (London Olympians) 14%
3. John Aska (London Ravens) 8%
4. Shola Goppy (London Os) 7%
5. Colin Nash (Birmingham Bulls) 7%
6. Paul Newey 5%
7. Karl Goodwin (Portsmouth Tridents) 5%
8. Simon Newnham (London Os) 4%
9. Danny Martin (Wolverhampton Vipers) 4%
10. John Parker (Nottingham Hoods) 3%
Other votes for: John Lambert (Bournemouth Bobcats), Leroy Slue (London Ravens/Os), AJ Taylor, K Ballard, S McMenemy (East Kilbride Pirates)
Dave Chambers only played until 1989, but it is a testament to his superb play for the Birmingham Bulls and the London Olympians that he won the greatest linebacker poll by a landslide. The first name on the team sheet in every game he played, including for the GB Lions between 1985 and 1989. Chambers played in Eurobowl I with the Bulls, and later moved into coaching with the Lancashire Wolverines and the Birmingham Bulls.
Robert Dean (below) came in second on the poll. Once described as the "Best British player bar none", Bob played for the London Olympians for many years. He also played for the GB Lions between 1989 and 1995, and was a key member of the 1989 and 1991 European Championship winning sides.
John Aska was a founding player of the London Ravens, and started with them in 1983. An outstanding athlete, he represented GB in their opening games from 1985 to 1987, and caught an interception in their first game against France in 1985. Played for the Ravens in Eurobowl II in 1988, and retired shortly afterwards.
Greatest Defensive Back
1. Scott Rowe (London Os) 27%
2. Nigel Dias (Manchester Spartans) 17%
3. Mike Taylor (London Os) 10%
4. Mark Williams (Birmingham Bulls) 8%
5. Ahmed Hashim (Nottingham Hoods) 6%
6. Ian Nelson (East Kilbride Pirates) 6%
7. P Roberts (Birmingham Bulls) 5%
8. C Loftman (Birmingham Bulls) 2%
9. F Hatega (London Os) 2%
10. G Gonsales (London Capitals) 2%
Other votes for: Wes Roach (London Os), Adrian Piggott (Leicester Panthers), Derrick Brown (London Os), David Prince (London Ravens), Rowelle Blenman (Scottish Claymores), N Edwards (London Os), S Mason (Manchester Spartans), Steve Raven (Nottingham Hoods), Phil Rudder (Portsmouth Warriors), L Burnett (Brighton B-52s), L Knight (London Os), M Duncan (Brighton B-52s), Neil Jenkins (Birmingham Bulls), E Taylor
Scott Rowe was voted the greatest UK born defensive back, after a superb career. Selected for the London Monarchs in 1995, he played for them for four seasons, and now plays in the BSL for the London O's. Scott has also played for GB since 1995.
Nigel Dias was voted in second place with great reason. He was a key defensive performer for GB in their back to back European triumphs in 1989 and 1991, and was still playing with tremendous influence for the Birmingham Bulls in the 2003 season.
Mike Taylor was the star cornerback for the London Olympians in the late 80's, before moving to the Manchester Spartans. He is best known for being one of the first British players to be signed by the WLAF, when in 1991 he was signed by the NY/NJ Knights along with Les Jackson as their operation discovery talents. He was also a starter for GB in their 1989 European win. He came in third in the poll.
1. John Smith (Manchester Allstars) 24%
2. Phil Alexander (Farnham Knights) 19%
3. Rob Hart (Southern Sundevils) 17%
4. Mick Luckhurst (Atlanta Falcons) 11%
5. Jon Wyse (PA Knights) 7%
6. Andy Boyle (London Os) 6%
7. Steve Belcher (PA Knights) 5%
8. Kevin Hurst 3%
9. Richard Meanwell (Birmingham Bulls) 2%
10. Paul Norland (Brighton B-52s) 2%
Other votes for: A Flippant (Lincoln Saints), Mark Webb (Birmingham Bulls), Paul Cooper (Bournemouth Bobcats), Willie Cark (Strathclyde Sheriffs)
John Smith was voted as the greatest kicker. John played for the Manchester Allstars between 1985 and 1990. He kicked 24 of 25 PATs (96% kicking percentage - a UK record) in 1989, and also had trials for the New England Patriots, and the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the CFL.
Philip Alexander was the kicker for the Farnham Knights in the BNGL. In 1989 he kicked 22 of 23 extra points and 19 of 20 field goals. In 1990 he tried out with the Chicago Bears and was offered a try out with the Dallas Cowboys. Phil joined the London Monarchs in 1991 as part of Operation Discovery. He kicked 8 of 13 field goals and added 37 extra points to be voted kicker and Operation Discovery player on the All-World League First Team, and also led the league's kickers in scoring. Alexander also kicked for the Monarchs in 1992 and added another nine field goals to finish with a career total of 110 points.
Rob Hart was voted into third place in this very tight poll which also featured Mick Luckhurst, Jon Wyse, Andy Boyle and Richard Meanwell. Rob began playing in 1990 for the Eastleigh Devils. In the British college league, he starred for the Sheffield Zulus and also played for the GB national youth team. In 1995 Rob attended Murray State College in Division 1-AA. At Murray State he became the first kicker in the conference to score over 100 points and in 1996-97 he was voted an All-American in the Ohio Valley Conference. In 1998 he made his first appearance for the GB Lions, and also made his NFLE debut for the England Monarchs where he scored 28 points. He moved to the Scottish Claymores in 1999, where he netted 56 points, and then a further 55 in 2000 where he struck 34 out of 34 PATs. In 2001, he led the league in points scored (64), and in 2002 he had a try out with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, before recording a perfect season with the Claymores with 20 out of 20 PATs and 10 out of 10 field goals. He had a try out with the Miami Dolphins in 2003.
1. Steve Belcher (PA Knights) 54%
2. Toby Hester (London Ravens) 15%
3. Nick Joslin (London Ravens) 12%
4. Richard Meanwell (Birmingham Bulls) 12%
5. Steve Raven (Nottingham Hoods) 8%
Steve Belcher comfortably won the greatest punter award. Steve is now with the PA Knights after a spell with the Oxford Saints. In his two years with the Knights he has a very healthy punting average of well over 35 yards.
Toby Hester was voted into second place. Toby was the punter for the London Ravens, and also played for GB in 1989.
Nick Joslin was voted into third place, after starring for the London Ravens in EuroBowl II.
1. Russ Jensen (Birmingham Bulls) 15%
2. Albert Higgs (Bournemouth Bobcats) 13%
3. Sean Payton (Leicester Panthers) 9%
4. Leonard Valentine (London Olympians) 9%
5. Johnny Atlas (Northants Storm) 8%
6. Hazen Choates (Manchester Spartans) 7%
7. Bo Hickey (Fylde Falcons) 6%
8. Darren Trainor (Glasgow Lions) 6%
9. Milton Myers (Colchester Gladiators) 6%
10. Al Penn White (Glasgow Diamonds) 4%
Other votes for: Mike Hasskamp (Glasgow Lions), Rick Bolen (Manchester Allstars), Bob Johnson (Oxford Bulldogs), Ron Dubie (Thames Valley Chargers), Mike Grossner, Ron Periera, Rod Moors (Gateshead Senators), Mike Culver, Mark Schrater (Luton Flyers), Pat Brennan (Fylde Falcons), Ken Suhl (Nottingham Hoods)
Russ Jensen is arguably the greatest QB to have ever played in the UK. The ex-LA Raider came to these shores in 1988, and turned around the Birmingham Bulls to become one of the best sides the land has seen. The Bulls scored over 500 points that season, with Jensen throwing for almost 3,000 yards and 37 TDs. Come the playoffs, he was electric and instigated two demolitions over Fylde and London Ravens, before inflicting a huge defeat on the London Olympians (30-6) in the final.
Albert Higgs was an entertainer. Nothing less. The finest scrambling QB that has played in the UK. When it looked like he was going to be tackled for a huge sack, he would spin away and then hit either Pat Miller or Anthony Johnson on a bomb for a TD. 1991 was Higgs' stellar season when he delighted the 2,000+ crowds in Bournemouth with 2,528 yards passing and 35 TD throws. That season he passed for 8 TDs in one game against Portsmouth.
Sean Payton played the 1988 season with the Leicester Panthers. Payton had probably the best credentials when coming to the UK out of any other US QB. At the time, he was the NCAA Division 1-AA's all-time leading passer and also played for the Chicago Bears in the 1987 strike season. Payton put in some superb performances that season to take the Panthers to the quarter-finals. He is currently the Offensive Co-Ordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.
Greatest Running Back
1. Anthony Stitt (PA Knights) 43%
2. Clifton Stroughter (Nottingham Hoods) 21%
3. Cliff Reid (Brighton B-52s) 17%
4. Mel Moore (Colchester Gladiators) 8%
5. Kip Brady (Oxford Bulldogs) 2%
6. Denny Walker (Leicester Panthers) 1%
7. Lloyd Queen (Birmingham Bulls) 1%
8. Buddy Zachary (Brighton B-52s) 1%
9. Troy Hunter 1%
10. Von Sheppard (Walsall Titans) 1%
Anthony Stitt was the comfortable winner of the best import running back category. Stitt was a trialist with the San Francisco 49'ners in his early days, and played the majority of his career in France and the Netherlands. He moved to England, and played for the Sussex Thunder in 1998 to 2000. In 1998 he ran for 1,687 yards and 22 TDs. In 2001, he moved to the Southern Sundevils, where he turned an ordinary outfit into National Champion contenders. He ran for over 1,000 yards again, and the Sundevils made it to the semi-finals. After two seasons with the Sundevils, he moved onto the PA Knights where he ran for 565 yards (at almost 7 yards a carry) in 2003. At the age of 38 he shows no signs of stopping.
Clifton Stroughter (below) played for a single season, in 1986 and destroyed the opposition with his powerful running. The University of Illinois product ran for an amazing 3,104 yards and a stunning 51 TDs. No running back has even got close to those numbers, and none is ever likely to. His Nottingham Hoods team, that he also coached that season, were eventually stopped by the Glasgow Lions in the playoffs.
Cliff Reid was the star running back of the Brighton B-52s in the 1990's, and set many team records. He was voted into third place in the poll.
Greatest Wide Receiver
1. Greg Harris (Birmingham Bulls) 22%
2. John Jeub (Leicester Panthers) 18%
3. Jerome Erdman (Glasgow Lions) 17%
4. Bob Shoop (Birmingham Bulls) 14%
5. Cliff Walker (Fylde Falcons) 10%
6. Paul Shorten (Gateshead Senators) 10%
7. Sammy Pryce (Leeds Cougars) 4%
8. John LaFleur (Leeds Cougars) 4%
9. Anthony Johnson (Bournemouth Bobcats) 3%
Greg Harris played the 1988 Budweiser League season for the Birmingham Bulls and put up some amazing receiving numbers. He was the goto receiver for star QB Russ Jensen, and caught 2,056 yards on a stunning 122 catches - both Britball records. He also caught 22 TDs as the Bulls romped their way to the national title.
John Jueb played the 1990 season with the Leicester Panthers, and caught 16 TDs and over 1,100 yards to rank him second on the greatest list.
Jerome Erdman came in third in the poll, and for good reason. His 1991 season with the Glasgow Lions, with Darren Trainor pulling the strings at QB, was one the greatest wide receiving performances in Britball history. He caught 82 passes (second on the alltime list) for 1,637 yards (second behind Harris on the alltime list) and 28 TD's (the current Britball record).
Greatest Defensive Player
1. Ron Riley (Northants Storm) 42%
2. Jeff Christmann (Fylde Falcons) 19%
3. Malcolm Townsend (Manchester Allstars) 8%
4. T J Flugel (Brighton B-52s) 8%
5. Vic Quirolo (Northants Storm) 6%
6. Kevin Allen 6%
7. Dan Moore (Leeds Cougars) 5%
8. Dave Lawrence (Bournemouth Bobcats) 3%
9. Dale Speckman (Fylde Falcons) 2%
10. Jeffrey Shervington (Brighton B-52s) 1%
Ron Riley played for the Northants Storm in 1988 and Leicester Panthers in 1990, but it is at the Storm where he performed exceptionally and is the main reason why he is remembered as the greatest defensive import to have played in the UK. The middle linebacker made 125 tackles that season, as he led the Storm to the playoffs.
Jeff Christmann came in in second place. A firm favourite with the Fylde Falcons fans, he gave many years loyal service to the club, and many outstanding performances in the late 1980s.
Malcolm Townsend came third in the poll. Townsend was the defensive kingpin for the Manchester Allstars 1987 national runners-up side. He won MVP honours in the Budweiser Bowl loss to the London Ravens.
1. Jim Roberson (Southern Sundevils) 13%
2. Tariq Ayub (London Os, GB) 12%
3. Steve Rains (PA Knights) 12%
4. Jim Messenger (Hertfordshire Hurricanes) 10%
5. Brian Smallworth (Bristol Aztecs) 7%
6. Lance Cone (London Ravens, GB) 6%
7. Terry Smith (Manchester Spartans, GB) 6%
8. Beau Riffenberg 4%
9. Ron Roberts Snr (London Ravens) 4%
10. Phil DeMonte (Oxford Cavaliers) 4%
Other votes for: Mo Myers, Andy Sweeney, Don Markham, Tony Allen, Dr Kurt Smeby, George Baldwin, Andy Capp, Tyrone Lindsay, Chuck Brogdon, Wayne Hardman, Bruce Cannady, Warren Tate, Don Anderson, Andy Whalley
The poll for the greatest coach of alltime was the closest of all the polls. Twenty four coaches were voted for in total, and Jim Roberson came out on top. After a 19 year playing career, Roberson had stints in the UK with the Portsmouth Warriors, Brighton B52’s, London O’s and Winchester Rifles. With the Rifles he took them to the BAFA Division Three title. He moved onto the Southern Sundevils, where he changed the culture at the club to make them more professional.
He installed winter training camps, and changed them from being also-rans to national contenders in a very short space of time.
Tariq Ayub is one of the great coaches in the UK. He has won seven consecutive national championships with the London O's - more than any other coach, and unlikely to be bettered. He is the GB Lions Head Coach, and also is the National Programme Director for BAFA. He polled in second place.
Steve Rains is the current Head Coach of the PA Knights. A fourteen year coaching veteran of clubs such as Wight Rhinos, Southern Seminoles, he has been with the PA Knights from 1997 to the current day. With the Knights he has helped move them up from Division Two, where they won the championship in 2000, to one of the best teams in the country. They were Division One runners-up in 2002, and he took them into European competition in 2003. Steve is also the current coach of the PA Surrey Stingers University side, and also coached England between 1998 and 2000.