Stalwart servant reaches 400 milestone

METALTEC SIL Salvation Army celebrated another major player milestone on Saturday when reserve team manager and vice chairman Paul Salmon made his 400th appearance for the club.

Elvin King

METALTEC SIL Salvation Army celebrated another major player milestone on Saturday when reserve team manager and vice chairman Paul Salmon made his 400th appearance for the club.

Only fellow stalwarts Mark Harvey and Mark Cross have played more matches for the Stowmarket-based club.

And Paul celebrated in style by becoming the first team to defeat Woolverstone reserves since February and taking the first points off them this season at Woolverstone Park.

His record of appearances stands at 279 for the first team (17 goals) and 120 for the reserves (nine), and he played his first match on September 26 1992 in a 9-1 demolition of the now-defunct Melton Utd Res.

As reserve team manager, Paul secured the SIL Kitz 'N' Pieces Cup by beating Stowupland Falcons 'A' 2-0 in the final at Framlingham.

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After Saturday's match former first team manager Darryll Knock presented Paul with a silver salver.

Much respected by Paul, Darryll was an obvious choice to present the salver as Paul had asked for no legends from the professional game but a club legend like Knock was an apt choice.

Paul did not rest at the weekend as on Sunday he started a UEFA B Level 2 coaching course and then played the second half for his veterans' team.

He 'played away' from 1994-95 to 1996-97 but then returned to Salvation Army and explained: “Without Salvation Army FC I would have missed out on some of the happiest and proudest moments of my life.

“They are moments that I have shared with people who have become my closest friends. Who said football's only a game - it's far more important that that.”

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