Former skipper Paul Abbott has called time on his Haverhill Rovers playing career after almost nine years at the club.
The 32-year-old defender has been a stalwart of the club since joining from Newmarket Town at the start of the 2006/7 season and served as skipper for three years prior to last August.
He played a huge part in Rovers’ famous FA Cup run in 2006/07, in which, as a Ridgeons League First Division side, they defeated five teams from at least one division higher to reach the fourth qualifying round, where they lost 4-0 at home to Conference side Aldershot Town in front of a record attendance of 1,730.
Sadly for Abbott, he missed the Aldershot match having suffered a broken leg during their 2-1 victory over Kidsgrove Athletic in the third qualifying round.
Opportunities to start games have been limited this season for Abbott, leading him to call it a day at Rovers, although he still intends to carry on playing elsewhere.
He said: “It’s been working and family commitments taking precedence really, but it’s the right time in my opinion to step away for myself and the club, more importantly.
“I have reluctantly come to the decision that it was best for both parties.
“It’s been a big part of my playing life. I’ve had some fantastic times at the club and have some fantastic memories, not just during games but of some of the people, whether it’s the playing staff or the back room staff, there’s been some tremendous people there.
“It is a little bit sad. The last thing I wanted to do is stand in the way of the youngsters. There’s some really good youngsters coming through and they are the future.”
Unsurprisingly Abbott ranks the 2006/07 FA Cup run as the highlight of his time at Rovers, but also rates their promotion that season to the Ridgeons Premier Division as another high point.
He said: “That amazing cup run, with all the supporters there, it was such a buzz around the club and the town as well.
“That will definitely stay with me.”