As an up-and-coming young goalkeeper, Paul Bastock idolised everything Peter Shilton did – now the 47-year-old has broken his hero’s world record for senior club appearances.
The long-serving stopper, who is still turning out for ninth-tier Wisbech Town almost 29 years after making his senior debut for Cambridge United, chalked up his 1,250th appearance when he took to the field for their FA Vase tie with Thetford Town on Saturday.
That feat saw Bastock breaking Shilton’s tally, which has stood since 1997 when the former England goalkeeper made his last ever career appearance for Leyton Orient.
And the significance of passing a legend who inspired so many young goalkeepers to don the gloves isn’t lost on Bastock.
‘As a young boy, I’d try to emulate everything that Peter Shilton did,’ said Bastock before breaking the record.
‘Because I’m not the tallest, I even used to hang off the crossbar to stretch out my body like he did.
‘When I was young, there were the likes of Ray Clemence, John Burridge and Joe Corrigan, but Shilts was always the one I aspired to be like as a kid whenever I was wearing the yellow England goalkeeper jersey in the park with my mates. I can’t believe that I’ll be passing his record.’
A lot has changed in the three decades since Bastock started out on his record-breaking career as a trainee in Coventry City’s youth team, where he was part of the the Sky Blues’ FA Youth Cup winning team of 1987.