Yarmouth Town’s marathon man Mark Vincent to mark 750 milestone
An extraordinary local football milestone will be reached this weekend when Mark Vincent makes his 750th appearance for Yarmouth Town's first team at the age of 49.
The Bloaters man for all seasons has been playing for the club's Reserves this term but was recently called up to inject a touch of experience into the youthful first team's defensive ranks.
And manager Mike Derbyshire will once again turn to his trusty warhorse as the rejuvenated Bloaters entertain Cornard in a Thurlow Nunn Division One encounter at the Wellesley.
It will be Vincent's second first team appearance in a campaign which has seen success-starved fans at long last given something to cheer about after last season's relegation nightmare, when the 115-year-old club's future hung in the balance until a new main sponsor and volunteers stepped forward.
Len Beresford, who took up the club secretary's post in February, paid his own tribute to the never-say-die Vincent.
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'It's amazing. I don't think you will see it again, certainly not at this level, probably not at any level.
'The guy is an absolute legend. He is polite, down to earth, and an all-round top guy.
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'He has lost some pace, as you would expect and when he comes off the pitch at the end he looks absolutely knackered.
'But his leadership skills are still there – young players raise their games when he is on the pitch. He is still very good in the air and rarely gets beaten, and still weighs in with the odd goal. He is constantly talking on the pitch. He is the oracle.'
The Bloaters are planning a presentation for Vincent, who has already had three testimonial games in his honour – against Norwich City to mark 250 games and Rushden and Diamonds and Peterborough to celebrate 500 matches.
Vincent played his first senior game for Yarmouth in 1984-85 and scored his first of 78 goals in season 1986-87.
The stoic central defender has been team captain and held managerial roles.