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1990-1993 - The Early Years
Writing about Keith Ryan is a bit like writing about Adams Park. You suddenly realise that they've been around for ten years, then when you look back in more detail you think - bloody hell!
Three Wembley visits (and victories), promotion to the Football League, promotion to Division Two. With the risk of sounding like Alan Parry, Wycombe fans were spoilt with success in 1990's and Rhino was there all they way.
Although Ryan was one of Martin O'Neill's first signings as Wycombe Manager when he took the Northampton born lad to Adams Park in August 1990, it was as a 19 year old that Ryan first appeared in a Wycombe shirt. On trial from Berkhamstead Town, Ryan turned out for The Wanderers in a midweek Capital League game against Colchester United at Loakes Park in April 1990. Playing up front, the enthusiastic youngster had scored within 18 minutes. Two more Capital League games before the end of the season had impressed O'Neill enough to sign him on for the first season at Adams Park. He joined his cousin, Steve Whitby, who like Ryan had come on a free from Berkhamstead.
Ryan got his first taste of First Team football in the Conference game with Northwich Victoria at Adams Park on 8th September 1990. He came on as sub for Mark West and marked his debut with a goal.
Wycombe's wide array of talented forwards at the time forced O'Neill to push Ryan into a midfield role and it was in this position he excelled - never giving short of 100% and always willing to fight for the cause. The season ended in style for the now christened 'Rhino' with a place in the victorious 1991 Wembley winning side versus Kidderminster.
The following season will always be remembered for the head to head battle with Colchester for the Conference title. It was a major disappointment for everyone connected with the Club to miss out by such a small margin but it only gave added strength to the following season when Keith and the rest of the Wycombe lads took the non-League world by storm.
Part 2 - Rhino Retro - 1993-1995 Coming of Age >>>
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