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Matt Smith pays homage to Paul Dickov after reaching 200 professional appearances

Oldham Athletic manager Paul Dickov celebrates at the end of the game

You've got to start somewhere. For Matt Smith, that was right near the bottom of the footballing pyramid until Paul Dickov gave him a shot at the big time.

Oldham Athletic manager Paul Dickov celebrates at the end of the game

Fulham striker Matt Smith has thanked his former Oldham Athletic coach Paul Dickov on Twitter for giving him a chance in football after he marked his 200th professional appearance in Saturday’s 4-2 win away at Barnsley.

Smith was plucked from non-league outfit Solihull Motors by the former Manchester City striker in 2011 after netting 12 goals in just 14 appearances in the Blue Square Bet North.

And the 6ft 6 ins targetman’s dream start to life in the professional game took an even more surreal twist sooner after, with Smith netting twice to inspire Oldham to a famous 3-2 win against Liverpool in the FA Cup third round.

Picture Supplied by Action Images

The Birmingham-born striker also netted a dramatic 95th minute equaliser against fellow Merseyside giants Everton in the following round, earning himself a career changing move to Leeds United the following summer.

Oldham Athletic's Matt Smith celebrates after scoring the second goal for his side

And Smith, currently plying his trade at Craven Cottage, has paid homage to his former gaffer after reaching the personal milestone of 200 appearances in professional football.

 

Smith has netted two goals in six league starts this season for Fulham.

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