This week in the Cutter we’ll be concentrating our attentions on that rarest of beasts – the goal-poacher. Tomorrow we highlight a forgotten master of the art from football’s distant past, on Thursday we will expose the worst ten practitioners since the formation of the Premier League (and thank you to all the Cutter twitterers who helped compile the list) whilst this Friday we try to understand why these goal-hogging glory-hunting predators who only come alive from five yards out are a dying breed.

We will begin our week’s celebration at a gentle pace however, looking at the poachers who turned game-keeper, left the striker’s union and reverted to defence.

Here are five such end-to-end virtuousos and one who bucked the trend and sought out the glory.

John Charles

The most famous practitioner of alternating between defence and attack and, as with so many other aspects of the game, Charles was the govnor. The Gentle Giant began his career at centre-back for Leeds before being moved up front. Thus sparked a huge local debate about his best position – a genuine conundrum when you consider he was awesome at both. In the event his marauding forward play won out and 150 goals in 297 appearances more than justified the decision.

Often included in the pantheon of all-time legends in the foreword to his autobiography Sir Bobby Robson noted that Charles was the only football great in such company to be world class in two very different positions.

Chris Sutton

Okay so after Charles we’re taking a little drop in class here but Sutton did share the Welshman’s ability to be equally as adept at shackling a centre-forward as being one himself. Would usually only be employed at the rear through injuries to others but in truth could have easily carved out a successful career there were it not for his goal-scoring prowess.

Dion Dublin

As his long career drew to a close Dion was regularly employed to great success as an accomplished stopper, drawing on all his vast experience to know what runs strikers liked to make. Often before they did. Pity the poor young forward thinking he was being crafty by drifting across the box only to check suddenly and find Dion there waiting for him. As a centre-back Dublin was – to use Ferguson’s description of his manhood after walking into the Man United showers one day – ‘magnificent’.

Gary Doherty

The Ginger Pele fell between two stools throughout his career in that he was only quite good up front and marginally better in defence. As a result he went back and forth at each club putting in decent shifts but never really distinguishing himself in either position. The Irishman is a pertinent example of the importance of a player establishing themselves in a role first before they move elsewhere. Unless you’re John Charles of course.

Christopher Samba

Thrown up front initially in desperation by Allardyce at Blackburn following a raft of injuries in the midst of a relegation battle Samba briefly became a scoring sensation. Most surprising of all was the variety of his finishes – in among the inevitable thundering headers were some calm clinical strikes of such quality arch-poachers looked on with admiration. With a big money move in the offering this January it is doubtful we’ll see the like again but for a while back there the man who Paul Robinson calls ‘Big Un’ bordered on the prolific.