Bastock on brink of world record

The fans, players and officials of EVO-STIK League Corby Town are looking forward to congratulating veteran keeper Paul Bastock on equalling and then breaking one of the greatest records in world football.

The 47-year-old, who's been turning out for Wisbech Town on a dual registration deal since September, is set to match former England stopper Peter Shilton's 1,249 appearances in senior football on Wednesday night against Sleaford. Bastock, pictured, could then make appearance number 1,250 if he plays at Thetford Town on Saturday in the United Counties League.

The veteran stopper - who kicked off his career at Cambridge United in 1988 before spells at a host of clubs, including Boston United where he made over 600 appearances to become a Pilgrims legend - has been inundated with messages of support during his record-breaking week as well as being bombarded with interview requests from the media.

On Wednesday he told “It’s hard not to think about the record, what with all this media attention! I’ve been speaking to a lot of journalists and I’m doing a piece for Radio Coventry this week so it’s been pretty busy. The record has definitely been at the forefront of my mind but hopefully the football will do the talking and we’ll get good results.”

In another interview for BBC Sport, 'Bazza' admitted he almost hung up his gloves a few weeks back before crediting his wife and Fenmen boss Gary Setchell for changing his mind and keeping him on course to break one of the game's oldest records.

Bastock, who grew up idolising Shilton as a young player, said: "It's been a rollercoaster ride. I never reached the heights of what I wanted to in football. But to reach this level now where I'm getting close to his record - it's something I never dreamed about.

"I was going to retire the other week because I was just fed up with football in general. I'd helped out with Wisbech and the manager is just a breath of fresh air, really. He got into my head and said this record needs beating because I was going to stack it.

"I said: 'Well, it's only a record, who's going to know about it?' Unbeknown to me, it's gone absolutely crazy. But it's down to Setch - and obviously my wife, because she's on my back all the time to try to beat Shilton's record!"

As well as once enjoying a brief spell in Malaysia, Bastock's long list of former clubs also include Aylesbury United, Bath City, Dagenham & Redbridge, Dunstable Town, Fisher Athletic, Kettering Town, Royston Town, Rushden & Diamonds, Scarborough, Stamford, St Albans City, St Neots Town and Worksop Town.

Image courtesy of @corbytownfc/Twitter

Follow us: @evostikleague on Twitter | Facebook

Where next?

Champions signing senior stars Cleethorpes Town became the latest EVO-STIK League club to embrace Walking Football on Wednesday.
Tuesday's North Division action review Hyde United were back on EVO-STIK League North duty on Tuesday night following their run to the first round of the Emirates FA Cup, writes Pitchero's Steve Whitney.

Latest photos

The Evo-Stik League newsletter

Keep up-to-date with our exclusive email newsletters.