Stuart Naylor, a vastly experienced goalkeeper who had made over 350 league appearances for West Bromwich Albion, appeared for Exeter City towards the end of his career. He signed from Bristol City and later joined non-league Rushden and Diamonds.
After an unsuccessful trial with Leeds United as 15-year-old, Stuart started playing adult football with Yorkshire Amateurs before turning professional with Lincoln City in June 1980. Following spells on loan at Kettering Town, Peterborough United and Crewe Alexandra (twice) Stuart eventually established himself at Sincil Bank and, in February 1986, moved to West Bromwich Albion for a £110,000 deal.
In ten years at the Hawthorns, Stuart made 355 league appearances and represented England B on three occasions before moving to Bristol City in August 1996. Playing 37 league games for the Ashton Gate club and, with time on loan with Mansfield Town, Stuart was also briefly registered with Walsall towards the end of 1998/99.
Then, aged thirty-six. Stuart arrived at St James’ Park in August 1999 and made his debut on the opening day of the season against Hull City. Playing regularly until January 2000, Stuart put in an inspired performance in the FA Cup tie at Everton before injury started to hamper his time with the Grecians. In total he made thirty-nine appearances in all competitions with the last occurring against Southend on 7 March 2000 at which point, with Jason Matthews and Danny Potter also on the scene, Stuart was to finish the season on loan to Rushden & Diamonds.
Stuart soon joined Rushden permanently and, after becoming the club’s goalkeeping coach, followed manager Brian Talbot to Oldham Athletic in a similar capacity. He later worked with the goalkeepers at Bristol City and, from 2013, Bristol Rovers.
League 30; Cups 7 (37)