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David Laws

Biography:

Laws was born in Sunderland on 13th November 1968 and was signed by Graham Carr in July 1995 for a fee of £9000, he joined the ‘Terras’ from Bishop Auckland – for whom he had scored 36 goals in 1994-95. He had had trials for Wimbledon, Rotherham and Stockport – for whom he appeared in 1993-94. He had previously played for Murton Colliery Welfare for two seasons, finishing as top scorer in both seasons.

At the time the fee was thought to be quite a high price to pay for a player joining a club playing in the lower levels of the Southern League. Questions were asked about the wisdom of such an outlay, but they were quickly answered as ‘Lawsie’ scored twice on his debut – in a friendly, at the Wessex, against Rushden and Diamonds.

The game finished in a 2-2 draw and the 344 spectators at the Stadium witnessed the start of a goal scoring career that was to put Laws at the forefront of the many players who have graced the club in it’s existence.

Although failing to score on his competitive debut, at Braintree on 19/08/1995, he was on the score sheet 3 days later, on his home debut – a 1-2 defeat by Havant.

As that season closed he had finished well clear in the goal scoring charts, something he was to achieve in every season he spent with the ‘Terras’, prior to 2002-2003.

At the end of the 2001-02 season, as Weymouth’s financial problems reached their peak, Laws moved to Newport (IOW) for a loan spell.

Laws – as the records show – was one of the most prolific goal scorers in the club’s history, scoring 12 hat-tricks (of which 7 have been in the league matches) and a brace in a game on 34 occasions (26 in league action).

Whichever way one looks at the situation David Laws has more than repaid the £9000 spent on obtaining his services, before signing for Eastleigh early in the 2002-2003 season.

However Laws’ stay at, Wessex League, Eastleigh was not to last the season as he returned to Weymouth on a free transfer in February 2003, following his release from the Hampshire club. There had been problems in his getting enough time off to attend training on a regular basis and the Southampton based club decided that Laws was better off their books.

For Weymouth this was a bonus as they had transferred him for £6000 – plus extra monies if he scored 25 goals and if Eastleigh won promotion to the Southern League. Whilst Laws’ leaving prior to the end of the season prohibited the “Terras” claiming the extras the original selling price had proved a real bonus!

As well as playing Laws has been caretaker manager at the club, having been appointed in November 1997 and holding the role until the arrival of Fred Davies a few weeks later.

“Lawsie” was voted Player of the Year in 1995-96, he won he Southern League Golden Boot winner 1997-98 and was selected for the Doc Martens League squad to play the Football League in November 2001.

At the end of the 2002-2003 season Laws left Weymouth and signed for Portland United – back in the Wessex League. However he did not remain the season as the lure of joining Dorchester Town (and a return to Southern League football) was too strong for him.

Eventually he decided that his family and work commitments had made it too difficult for him to continue in football and Laws announced his retirement from the game in September 2004. However he did return to play for Holt United later in the 2004-05 season.

He also made a single appearance – as a loan player – for the Terras in 2003-2004 when he led the attack against Bath City in the Doc Martens Cup on 20 January 2004 – like any good story he managed to score Weymouth’s first goal in a 2-0 win over the Somerset club.

As a Weymouth player he made 383 appearances (17 of which were as a substitute) and scored 219 goals. For the statistically minded Laws is the third highest goalscorer in the club’s history (Lutor Pitman 268 and “Farmer” Haines 264) being the only men to have bettered his record.

Position: Striker

Date of Birth: 13th November 1968

Previous Clubs: Bishops Auckland, Newport (IOW) (loan), Eastleigh, Portland United, Dorchester Town, Holt United

Debut: Braintree (A), 19th August 1995

Last Game: Bath City (H), 20th January 2004

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