Wisbech Town goalkeeper Paul Bastock was given a guard of honour at Thetford Town as he broke his hero Peter Shilton’s long-standing appearance record on Saturday.
The Fenmen won 4-1 (Alex Beck, Josh Ford, Michael Frew and Billy Smith) in the Buildbase FA Vase second round tie, with Ford also sent off.
The 47-year-old made his 1,250th appearance at Mundford Road, beating former England goalkeeper Shilton’s long-standing record.
Bastock was denied a clean sheet with an 85th minute penalty by Tanner Call.
The 47 year-old Bastock said: “On Saturday I went to bed at 11.15pm and I was shattered, I woke up at 3am and the realisation started.
“I went out and played golf on Sunday and my head was buzzing. Everyone’s been fantastic. I never thought it would lead to this exposure.”
Bastock confirmed that legend Shilton was his childhood hero: “Absolutely. Playing on the local pitch with ‘jumpers for goalposts’ you end up commentating on the game, and saying things like ‘...and Shilton has turned it around the post’.
“Everything about Shilts was my hero. It’s a shame he never made the trip across.”
Making his Football League debut as a 17 year-old with Cambridge United, Bastock said if he had been told then that he would still be playing 30 years later and breaking a world record, his younger self’s reply would have been: “You’re having a laugh.
“I’ve been trying to retire in the last 10 to 15 years.”
He added he has been overwhelmed by the response and publicity: “It’s so surreal now the way it’s happened. It’s gone around the world.”
One online researcher reckons that as far as Shilton is concerned when you tally the shot-stopper’s league games (from Leicester City in 1966 to Leyton Orient in 1996/97) the figure is 1,005; with cups it’s 1,249; and including international games 1,375.
Tonight’s (Wednesday, Nov 15) Cambs Invitation Cup tie with Soham Town Rangers has been postponed as Wisbech were unable to raise a team and they forfeit the tie. On Saturday they entertain Kirby Muxloe in the ChromaSport UCL Premier.
Picture: Mecha Morton