Richard Garfield Flash
(born 8 April 1976) is an English former footballer
. He made eleven appearances in the Football League
, Lincoln City
and Plymouth Argyle
, before retiring due to injury in 1999.
Flash was born in Birmingham
. As a schoolboy he was scouted by Liverpool
, Aston Villa
and Manchester United
; Manchester United scout Geoff Watson persuaded him to sign schoolboy forms, and he went on to captain United's West Midland youth team, the Manchester Eagles
, for three years, winning the Keele Classic at under-14 level. In 1990, he turned down the opportunity to move to the F.A's National School of Excellence at Lilleshall to train locally with Aston Villa and Birmingham City, in addition to Manchester United. However, an injury to his right knee at age 14 hampered his development.
In 1992, he joined the ranks at Manchester United with Michael Appleton
, Terry Cooke
, David Johnson
and Jovan Kirovski
. During his seven-year club career, he played at youth team and reserve level and was roommates with David Beckham
and Terry Cooke. However, another knee injury sustained early in his Manchester United career, this time a dislocated right patella, forced him onto the sidelines for two years.
In 1995 Flash was signed by Graham Taylor
and moved to reserve team level at Wolverhampton Wanderers
. Graham Taylor re-signed him at Watford
, where he made his senior debut as a substitute on 5 May 1997, but this was his only appearance for the club. After a brief spell on loan at Lincoln City
he was injured again and sidelined for 6 months. Graham Taylor released him in 1998 but recommended him to Kevin Hodges
at Plymouth Argyle
, where he suffered a career-ending dislocation of his left patella in the 1998–99 season.
Flash has a master's degree and has been manager of a branch of Goals Soccer Centres, a five-a-side football
company; he is head of the academic department at UCFB