Thanks to Dave Rowntree for many of the player images after 1984.
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Born: 07 January 1959
Came from: Cardiff City Went to: Shrewsbury Town
First game: 22 December 1984 Last game: 22 September 1990
Appearances: 163 (141/22) Goals: 34
Summerfield joined West Bromwich Albion as an apprentice in 1976 and featured in the FA Youth Cup winning team in his first season. This brought him to the attention of the England Youth selectors, and he won six caps in 1976 and 1977. With first-team chances limited at the Hawthorns, he signed for Birmingham City in 1982, and a few months later, moved to hometown club Walsall. He enjoyed a successful 18 months at Fellows Park, scoring 17 goals in 42 appearances, before a transfer to Cardiff City. Just six months later, Dave Smith brought him to Home Park.
Despite a slow start, 'Summers' soon made his mark as an unorthodox yet effective player. A forward for most of his career, he moved deeper into midfield, where his ability to turn a match with a single pass or make a run past opponents without them noticing made him the rock around which the midfield was built. He enjoyed five successful years at the club and played an important part in the 1985-86 promotion season. A broken leg, sustained in the FA Cup replay at Everton in January 1989, was the start of a year on the sidelines, and despite returning to full fitness, he never regained his earlier form. A change of management led to a move to Exeter City on loan, and then a permanent transfer to Shrewsbury Town, where he played over 150 games and became club captain. He played his last game six years later, at the age of 37, and then joined the Shrews' coaching staff.
Summerfield returned to Home Park in 1997 as youth team coach, and three years later began his first spell as Argyle's caretaker manager after the dismissal of Kevin Hodges. Paul Sturrock's subsequent appointment, with Summerfield as his assistant, heralded one of the most successful periods in the club's history. Four years later, after briefly holding the fort for the second time, he followed Luggy to Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon Town. In November 2007 he returned for two more years at Home Park, once again as Paul Sturrock's right-hand man before leaving in a shake-up, which saw Paul Mariner return as Head Coach. Summers had found his niche as a trusted second-in-command and joined Tranmere Rovers in 2010 as assistant to Les Parry, before taking up a similar role in 2012 at Burton Albion under Gary Rowett.
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APPEARANCE DETAILS [reselect competitions]
The details below reflect appearances in all first-team competitions.
We're grateful to Andy Chapman, Paul Roberts, Steve Rhodes and Mark Lovell for their help in writing GoS-DB's player pen-pictures, and to the PAFC Media Team and Colin Parsons for their help with photos. Thanks also to staff at the National Football Museum, the Scottish Football Museum and ScotlandsPeople for their valuable assistance.
The following publications have been particularly valuable in the research of pen-pictures: Plymouth Argyle, A Complete Record 1903-1989 (Brian Knight, ISBN 0-907969-40-2); Plymouth Argyle, 101 Golden Greats (Andy Riddle, ISBN 1-874287-47-3); Football League Players' Records 1888-1939 (Michael Joyce, ISBN 1-899468-67-6); Football League Players' Records 1946-1988 (Barry Hugman, ISBN 1-85443-020-3) and Plymouth Argyle Football Club Handbooks.
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