Goalscoring midfielder comments on Rich's Playford career
Writing this has given me the perfect excuse to revisit one of my happy places - playfordfc.net (now with a co.uk in place of the net)
Firstly Rich, I need to pay tribute to the fact youíre one of the Jones of Martlesham clan - the family that gave us Chris, who gave us an amazing website with more stats than you could ever need or wish for. Every fixture recorded, with every goal and man of the match award listed. Amazing.
Chris is also due credit for getting you involved in Playford at such a young age. I canít remember how old you were when you first played for us but in my head you were about 19/20.
Right from the early days, it was clear you were going to add something to the party. Whether midfield or defence, you always looked in control. I remember the match Chris mentioned when you played up front at Copleston. The one where you got a hat-trick. Although wasnít that match scratched off for some reason? Chris will know.
Anyway, it was around that time that I became aware of your scoring prowess and the fact you were rising quickly through the goalscoring rankings. A series of clinically converted penalties, plus the occasional goal from open play, had put you hot on my heels.
I knew it was only a matter of time before you overtook me and it became a topic of banter between us as I tried to fend you off in my final few seasons at Playford. I should probably credit you with providing the motivation for improving my heading ability at corners. Pinpoint deliveries from your brother, Stu and Jem kept me in business for a while. I canít remember when you finally overtook me. It might have been when I was still playing. But, as I say, it was always going to happen.
Anyway, back to playfordfc.co.uk, the numbers speak for themselves. 301 games, 71 goals, 26 man of the match awards. For someone who spent a lot of time in defence, thatís a very impressive goal tally. Equally impressive is the man of the match total of 26, which thanks to your bro's wizardry, I can tell you places you second only to the great goalscoring sensation Nick Bingham in the rankings. Impressive stuff.
But itís not all about the stats. You were always a great team mate, calm on the ball and an excellent captain/manager too. A true Playford legend. Enjoy retirement. If vets football tempts you, give me a shout. Just promise you wonít score more goals than me!