Chopra, Davies, King, Clarke. Cardiff have been blessed with strikers who know where the goal is, but as it’s Jay Bothroyd week here at VFTN, we wondered where the Englishman would rank up against the other prolific frontmen for the Bluebirds over the years.

One of Cardiff’s most complete forwards ever, Bothroyd could score from in or outside the box, knew how to hold the ball up and wasn’t afraid to get stuck in if needed. Fans were sceptical of his signing back in 2008 but what a player he would turn out to be, going on to hit double figures in each of his three seasons with the Bluebirds.

The relationship he had with Michael Chopra in particular lit up the football league, the perfect big man, little man combination that had them challenging the reputations of ex City duos such as Phil Stant and Carl Dale, John Toshack and Brian Clarke or Peter Thorne and Robert Earnshaw.

Bothroyd is regarded as loyalty amongst the other Cardiff hitmen over the years, but who are some of the others?

Len Davies

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There’s no better place to start than with the all-time top goal scorer Len Davies. Cardiff through and through (born in Splott), Davies scored 179 in 371 games during arguably the clubs most successful period, between 1919 and 1931, where City were regulars in the first division, and of course won the F.A Cup in ’27.

With a record that is unlikely to ever be beaten, Davies will go down in history as one of the men who helped take the F.A cup from England for the first time ever.

Peter King

Another notable mention from years gone by is Peter Charles King, Cardiff’s one club man, who played 477 times between 1960 and 1974, scoring 111 times. King won the Welsh Cup seven times during his career with Cardiff and has the sixth highest number of appearances in the club’s history, here’s one of his best finishes…

Robert Earnshaw

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Zambian born ‘Earnie’, most well-known for his extraordinary goal celebrations like the somersault, was a Cardiff City legend by the time he left for West Bromwich Albion in 2004. Officially ‘one of our own’ he joined the academy aged 15 and would go on to break numerous club records whilst scoring 35 goals to fire City to the first division in 2003. Another who knew where the goal was, Earnshaw scored over 30 goals in the top flight, helping him to become the 3rd highest goal scorer in Cardiff history (where he remains to this day with 109 in 227 games), before going on to enjoy a multinational football career, playing in England, Israel and Canada in the latter stages of his playing years.

A true resident of the Cardiff hall of fame, his partnership with Peter Thorne is another example of the beautiful striking duos the club has seen over the years.

Here’s Earnie grabbing his 100th goal against Ipswich Town in 2004.

Michael Chopra

Whilst on the theme of partnerships, Chopra is a name we can’t leave out, as undoubtedly one of the Bluebirds best ever finishers, he passed into Cardiff folklore when he scored the winner against the Jacks in April 2010. The partnership ‘Chops’ and Bothroyd had is still regarded as one of the clubs best, with the two becoming the key to the club’s success under Dave Jones, but as we know the success lasted until the words ‘play-off final- came into play. Either side of a failed move to Sunderland, Chopra scored 65 goals in 165 appearances before he finally left for Ipswich.

Many fans (including myself) look back on that relationship and wonder whether Niasse and Reid could become even half of that (optimism is key), but what is inevitable is that Michael Chopra will be remembered in Cardiff for years to come.

Here’s ‘that’ goal.

Brian Clarke

Back to a time when I was just a sparkle in my fathers’ eye now, and a true Ninian Park hero, most famous for his historic winner against Real Madrid (we never mention it) in 1971 as he formed yet another legendary strike force with fellow cult hero John Toshack.

Scoring twice on his debut against Derby in 1968, he would end his first season with 17 goals and a Welsh Cup winners medal around his neck, before going on to be Cardiff’s top scorer for three successive seasons – ending with 108 goals in 268 games – and was subsequently sold to Bournemouth for an impressive £100,000.

It was Clarke’s presence on and off the pitch which made him such a special character, which was highlighted by friend and strike partner Toshack when he passed away in 2013 at the young age of 67.

Here’s his most famous moment…

Ivor Allchurch

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Seen as the ‘Golden Boy’ of Welsh football, Ivor Allchurch spent three years playing for the Bluebirds during the 1960s and was one of the most gifted footballers ever to emerge from Wales. With his wide range of passing and deadly shooting he thrilled the Ninian Park crowds weekend after weekend. It is no exaggeration to say he would be one of the top players in todays game, as many football experts have pointed out over the years.

Allchurch signed from Newcastle in 1962 for a bargain £18,000 and scored on his debut, ironically, in a 4-4 draw against the Magpies. He went on to score 39 goals in 109 Cardiff appearances, and received praise from the highest of football royalty, including Sir Bobby Charlton who said he was ‘a great player with footballing presence and charisma’. (Just don’t mention he played for Swansea).

Jay Bothroyd

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The man himself , Jay Bothroyd , a surprise signing for many fans at the time, but those feelings of surprise would turn to feelings of overwhelming excitement in the years that followed.

Bothroyd would go on to – along with chopra – fire Cardiff to the Play Off Final in the 2009/10 season, scoring 13 in all competitions along the way including one against Scunthorpe United in the first league game at the new Cardiff City Stadium.

Bothroyd also took over the captaincy when Mark Hudson was injured, which just shows the leadership qualities he had as a player , as well as the trust that manager Dave Jones had in him. Unfortunately, as we all know City fell to 3-2 defeat to Blackpool at Wembley, but that did not stop Bothroyd, who was rampant again the following season, scoring 20 goals in 41 appearances. He would leave that year following the Bluebirds humiliating 3-0 defeat at home to Reading in the Playoff Semi-Final, which would spell the end of Dave Jones as-well.

No doubt about it though, Bothroyd will go down in history as one of the fans favourites.

Looking back up the list, and thinking of the names that have been left off (notable mentions list below), it’s pretty extraordinary how many top class strikers/forwards Cardiff have had in their history, and it’s save to say that Jay Bothroyd would give all in that list a good run for their money when it comes to scoring goals. Let’s just hope its not too long before we have another goal scorer of that quality…

Notable mentions list: Carl Dale, Peter Thorne, Jimmy Gilligan, Stan Richards, Leo Fortune-West, Hughie Ferguson, Derek Tapscott. All of whom will go down as some of the greatest strikers Cardiff have ever seen.

Who do you think is the best striker to ever play for the Bluebirds? Or have I missed someone on the list? Let us know down below or tweet us @VFTNinian.

By Dan Moffat.

*Goals/Game stats include all competitive games.