Wisbech Town goalkeeper Paul Bastock reflects on ‘emotional’ day he broke Peter Shilton’s world record
PUBLISHED: 16:58 13 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:57 14 November 2017
Wisbech Town goalkeeper Paul Bastock admits breaking the world record for the number of competitive appearances is finally beginning to sink in.
The 47-year-old broke Peter Shilton’s 20-year record by taking his place between the posts for the 1,250th time in Wisbech’s 4-1 FA Vase victory over Thetford Town on Saturday and the ‘keeper known as ‘The Cat’ has been in the media spotlight ever since - and has likened the experience to winning the X Factor.
“I said to the wife that I have not had a minute to myself since last Wednesday,” he said.
“I’ve had my head in the phone, texting and on Twitter and the problem is everybody wants to speak to you at the same time.
“I’ve said it to a few others but it feels like coming from nothing and winning the X Factor.”
Both teams welcomed Bastock to the pitch with a guard of honour on Saturday and the veteran stopper admitted that the support he received in Norfolk brought a lump to his throat.
“The guard of honour was special – especially the way both teams got involved. Thetford didn’t have to do that, especially as they were focusing on the game but it was a nice moment,” he said.
“I got a little bit emotional at the end looking around the pitch and seeing people from all over the country. I just thought wow, it’s pretty special that my story has touched this many people to come and stand in the bitter cold.”
Saturday’s game will undoubtedly stay in Bastock’s memory for years to come – but not just because of his record-breaking exploits.
Striker Tanner Call netted Thetford’s consolation goal from the spot with Wisbech four goals to the good – and then went and apologised to Bastock for denying him a clean sheet on his big day.
“They had a few chances during the game and a few of their players came up to me and said ‘well done,’ but having someone apologise for scoring has never happened to me before!” Bastock said.
“The game was won anyway and I just think it proves he was a genuinely nice lad – you don’t get many of those in football anymore.”
And now that the dust is finally beginning to settle on Bastock’s superb achievement, the former Boston United legend, who plans to retire at the end of the season, can begin to think about what the future holds – starting with a week’s holiday in Turkey.
“I’ve got a week away with my son and then hopefully it’ll be straight back into the starting line-up,” he said.
“I’ve had a lot of people trying to coax me out of retirement but nothing will change my mind.
“It’s not just thinking about what I can offer football but it’s also about what can motivate me to keep playing every week in the cold and rain.
“If we can do well in the FA Vase and get a good league finish then it will be an absolutely perfect end to my career.”