Football was the one sport in which I did not harbour a sibling rivalry with Rich. I knew he was a better player than me and used that to push me harder and to learn from. This made it very easy for me to play alongside him, make him club captain under my management, and hand over the First Team reins when I moved to the Reserves.
So how do you sum up a Player like Rich? How do you thank a supporting manager like Rich? How do you show your appreciation for being able to play football alongside your brother for 16-plus years and what that means to you?
"Life is a series of moments", I think that is very true of Rich and I's Playford kinship and I will use a series of moments to try and sum up that kinship.
- His debut, against TXU, when I stopped chasing a winger back, knowing Rich would get there first and knock the ball back over the forward's head allowing me to instantly be on the attack. Almost brotherly telepathy.
- His first goal for the club, a ridiculous long range effort and a game in which both of us scored.
- The 5-3 win against Leiston when the pair of us started on the bench and would both come on and score goals turning a losing position into victory.
- Scoring a hat trick against Copleston in, possibly, the first game I'd played him up top and I believe he opened the scoring from my cross.
- The long-range effort against Kitchener Taverners, scored straight from the kick off after they had celebrated my own goal a moment before, ruffling their feathers after they thought they had just got the upperhand against nine men.
- The 3-2 win against Worlingworth, where he and I were the only scorers.
- The crazy 6-4 night game against Pauls in 2013. He and Mark Busltrode scored twice a piece and almost exclusively from set-pieces as we looked like we would score from every corner or free-kick.
- Playing with him as the pair of central midfielders on his Reserve Team debut.
- Witnessing his hat-trick from centre-back before departing Chilton Field after 55 minutes to hospital with an injured Greg Songer.
- His long-range goal against Shotley Rose.
- His long-range goal that earned the Reserves a point against Rosary CC.
- Playing alongside him in central midfield whilst he nursed a hang-over against Felixstowe Athletic.
- His mocking of Holbrook Swan Reserves "togetherness" after knocking home from a corner.
From his debut at 18 to his final game at 37 I have enjoyed playing with him and for him in every game.
See you next season?
- 301 Games
- 71 Goals
- Over 95% penalty record
- Most games as captain.
- He managed the First Team to the Division Two title.
- He was voted Player's Player of the Season in 2009/2010.
- The only defender to score a hat-trick.
See Rich's Profile