Harvey hits 500 mark for Salvation Army

MARK Harvey last Saturday completed his 500th game for Metaltec SIL Division Two Salvation Army - and immediately set his sights on reaching 600.The 36-year-old right-back has no thoughts about hanging up his boots.

By Elvin King

MARK Harvey last Saturday completed his 500th game for Metaltec SIL Division Two Salvation Army - and immediately set his sights on reaching 600.

The 36-year-old right-back has no thoughts about hanging up his boots.

A one club man, Mark said: “It has always been enjoyable playing with my mates and two brothers and I have had no thoughts about going anywhere else.”

He played his first game in 1988/89 and has helped Salvation Army move up the league from Division Eight to Division Two.

His most memorable game was the Suffolk Primary Cup final against Bacton in 1999. “We drew the first game 1-1 and lost the replay 3-2 playing at Old Newton and Haughley,” recalled Mark, who installs large power electric metres.

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“Apart from missing around half a season in total because of an ankle injury I have remained fit, and can see myself playing for another two or three years - and reaching 600 games.”

His appearance record includes league and Suffolk County Cup matches only with club secretary Adrian Moye saying: “It is an outstanding example of commitment and loyalty.

“Mark made his debut when Salvation Army played their first game at Dennington on September 10 1988, and his 501st appearance will be against the same opponents this month.”

As an 18-year-old Mark was a striker, but scored only one goal and moved back to defence to make right back his own.

He has played alongside his two younger brothers Kevin, who clocked up 90 appearances, and Dean, who still plays in midfield for the first team and has made 321 appearances.

“As with many football clubs the friendships made are a special part of the social make up of any team but Mark has got more than just good friends from the club,” added Moye.

“One of the players introduced him to Jane who is now his wife and their family has been extended with the birth of Freya.”

To mark the event former Ipswich Town stalwart Allan Hunter watched last Saturday's 4-0 win over AFC Hoxne at Chilton Fields, Stowmarket.

He made a special presentation to Mark with SIL officials Keith Norton and Linda Norton also in attendance. SIL referees' secretary Daryl Butcher took charge of a game watched by many of Mark's close friends and family.

He captained the side for the day and Michael Walsh bagged a hat-trick.

It also proved a special day for Mark's brother Dean, who had been stuck on 99 club goals all season and notched the other goal to bring up his century.

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