He was something of a cult hero at Brentford .
But whatever happened to Jay Tabb?
The diminutive midfielder was beset by injuries during the early part of his career. He was released from the Crystal Palace youth set up because he was too small, but was picked up by Brentford, where he could not string a run of games together because of persistent injury problems.
He played just 13 games in his first three season as a professional at Griffin Park, but the Bees saw something in him and kept him at the club.
And he rewarded the club for that faith in him by playing a starring role in the 2003/04 campaign, scoring 11 goals in 40 appearances.
Tabb then played a whopping 53 games in the 04/05 League One season, scoring six times.
Another 50 games followed in 05/06, which was to be his last for the Bees, as, after defeat in the play-off semi-finals, he wanted to test himself at a higher level.
And that was another decision that appeared to be vindicated. He moved to Coventry City and in his second season was named the club’s player of the year in the Championship.
A move to Reading in January 2009 meant for more play-off heartbreak for Tabb as he once again missed out on a Wembley showpiece with Steve Coppell’s side beaten in the semi-final by Burnley.
There was yet more play-off disappointment in 2010/11, but Reading did not need the use of the play-offs in 11/12 as they won the Championship title, with Tabb playing a bit-part role.
He remained with the club for the first half of their first season in the Premier League, playing 12 top flight games before a loan move to Ipswich Town.
Tabb had a reasonably successful two-and-a-half seasons with the Tractorboys, but his career effectively ended in 2015/16 when he played just four times for Ipswich – all cup appearances.
At the age of 32 he was released, although manager Mick McCarthy said he could have won the “most selfless player award” despite not featuring in league competition.
Tabb went on trial with Burton Albion, but could not earn a contract and his football career was over.
But, such is the competitive nature of a professional sportsman, Tabb was not done. Amazingly he decided to take up a different sport and joined rugby union side Old Wimbledonians in 2017, playing in Surrey One.
It is a relatively low level, and as such there are not many match reports around, but he scored a try on his debut for the club in February of last year and has been playing at full-back ever since.
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