Double dose of Wembley woe for ex-Hucknall striker Hearn

FLASHBACK to August 2006 and Liam Hearn wheels away after scoring for Hucknall Town against Nuneaton Town at Watnall Road.
FLASHBACK to August 2006 and Liam Hearn wheels away after scoring for Hucknall Town against Nuneaton Town at Watnall Road.

Highly-rated Hucknall and Bulwell footballer Liam Hearn was dealt a double dose of Wembley woe last weekend.

For not only did the injury-plagued Hearn fail to make the FA Trophy final, he also had to sit and suffer as his Grimsby Town teammates suffered a heartbreaking defeat.

The 27-year-old striker, who hails from Bulwell and played for Hucknall Town, is widely regarded as one of the best non-league players to emerge from the Dispatch district in recent years.

He joined former Football League club Grimsby in the summer of 2011 for £30,000 from Alfreton Town.

Last season was a revelation as Hearn plundered 27 goals in 42 Blue Square Bet Premier games and was voted supporters’ player of the year.

But this season has been a disaster as he ruptured his Achilles tendon in August and has been out of action ever since.

With Grimsby marching to Wembley, Hearn made a desperate attempt to get himself fit.

But despite 60 minutes of action for the reserves, he wasn’t picked for the final squad of 16.

“I had a dream to come back and score the winner at Wembley,” said Hearn.

“But this has been the worst injury of my career.

“At one stage I questioned whether I’d ever play again.

“I’ve not had an easy life. I’ve had it tough from a young age. So this is just another obstacle I have to overcome. It’s hard but I have to keep working.”

Grimsby were beaten 4-1 on penalties by Wrexham in the Trophy final -- after the match had finished 1-1 at the end of normal time and extra-time.

Hearn’s consolation was that he was part of the Mariners’ official travelling party and had his photo taken on the Wembley pitch and also inside the dressing room, wearing his club suit next to the number 10 shirt that bears his name.

“This is something else -- a proud moment,” he wrote on Twitter, where he has more than 4,000 followers.

“I am gutted for the boys. What a horrible way to lose. But our fans were different gear as always.”

Hearn first made his name at Hucknall Town in the 2003/04 season when he was top scorer in Kevin Wilson’s team with 16 goals from 31 games.

A dip in form coincided with a turbulent spell in his personal life, which included two months in prison for assault.

But he bounced back in anamazing 2007/08 season for Bulwell Sunday side Scots Grey, firing 67 goals, including six hat-tricks. And he was soon snapped up by Alfreton, where he netted 45 times in 76 appearances.

Now Hearn hopes he will be fit for Grimsby’s run-in and push for promotion back to the Football League.

Who knows? It could mean a second chance at Wembley -- this time in the play-offs.