Two hundred up

SIMON Goldsmith became the first player with Flare Recruitment Sunday League Playford to reach 200 games.He completed this feat at the weekend - and then set himself a target of 500 games.

By Elvin King

SIMON Goldsmith became the first player with Flare Recruitment Sunday League Playford to reach 200 games.

He completed this feat at the weekend - and then set himself a target of 500 games.

“I have worked it out and that it will take me to around 49,” said 33-year-old Goldsmith.

He was one of the founders of the club in 1997, and has played in every position, making national headlines in 2001 when he missed a penalty on purpose because 'We were 5-1 up and didn't need another goal'.

Playford, who are currently third in Division MB2, began life in Division 12 in 1998/99 - and it was not a happy baptism.

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“We won one match, drew one and lost 18,” recalled Goldsmith.

“Our goal difference was minus 100.

“I can remember playing in goal in one game and letting in seven, including an embarrassing own goal when I forgot I could pick the ball up and booted it high into my own net.”

But success on and off the field soon came for Goldsmith and his fellow founders and they finished third the following season to begin a steady move up the divisions.

A scorer of six goals in his 200 games, Goldsmith was part of a team that beat Alderton 4-1 in his landmark match on Sunday.

He was manager until a couple of years ago, and is rightly proud of how the venture has worked out.

“Just as pleasing as winning trophies and gaining promotions has been gaining Fair Play awards,” said Goldsmith, a delivery driver who has no chance of playing on Saturdays because of work commitments.

“In 2000 we won a Suffolk FA Fair Play award - and the £300 that went with it bought us some new kit.”

Recalling his well-publicised penalty miss in 2001 when he calmly rolled the ball to the Maypole 88 keeper, Goldsmith said: “The referee made the right decision, but it led to some debate and as we were 5-1 up and didn't need another goal I decided to miss for the purpose.

“It kept the peace and I was applauded by players from both sides.”

His act of sportsmanship attracted the attention of the Evening Star, the Sun and TalkSport. Club statistician Chris Jones is only a handful of games from joining Goldsmith on 200 games, while Ross Leeks tops the scoring charts with 127 in 150 games.

Goldsmith, who normally plays at the back but can fill in as emergency striker, has two brothers - Stuart and Neal - also in the team.

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