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All Time XI - Richard Nettleingham

Our All Time XI series provides ex-players, coaches, and stalwarts of the club a platform to share their all time Saxmundham Sports FC XI, with a goal of promoting our clubs rich history, whilst enabling those connected with the club to reminisce and share nostalgia.


Next to make their selection is ex-player Richard Nettleingham.

Just like Chairman Pagey, my playing career spanned both Sax Juniors and Seniors and so my selection blends a few eras including some phenomenal junior talent who unfortunately didn’t pursue football into adulthood. During my 18 years at Sax I was privileged to play with many good players, but these are the greats


GK - Adie Brown

Older brother Bronc was good but Adie was the best keeper I’ve ever played in front of. Fingertip saves were a specialty as well as his catchphrase “stand up/stay on your feet!” Took a few big hits in his career but was always prepared to put himself on the line when it mattered. We were also a defensive pairing at Grundisburgh and during the 1997/98 Treble Winners season he was absolutely outstanding. Player of the Year in 1994/95.


DR - Carl Page

Not his favourite position (sorry Pagey!) but with his technical skills and footballing brain, Pagey could play anywhere, always keep possession of the ball and deliver a killer pass which would lead to many a goal. These days he is known as Mr Chairman and a stalwart at the club but in his playing days he was a very talented and highly rated player. Player of the Year in 1989/90.


DL - Ian Morphew

Excellent reader of the game and a class player. Always composed and he could strike a dead-ball effortlessly with his cultured left foot. Over the years Sax has been blessed with several gifted natural left-footers and Morph was amongst the best. Always upbeat, he enjoyed his football and this positive attitude rubbed off on others.


DCR - David Brown

His ability to ‘hang in the air’ and win a header was astonishing. Fiercely competitive and super fit he would always battle to the end of every game. A senior member of the team when I joined as a youngster, he would “encourage” me through each game during my early career! Player of the Year in 1981/82 and 1985/86.


DCL - Karl (Bugs) Goddard

Strong in the tackle and great in the air, ‘Bugs’ hated losing and would challenge for every ball and give his all in every game. A great talker on the field with a never say die attitude, he was never better than when competing in a physical battle with a strong centre forward. Player of the Year in 1995/96.


MR - Dale Walker

Apart from Zippy, Dale was the most gifted Sax player I think I have ever played with. Another Sax Juniors star who didn’t pursue football into adulthood, I remember him as a huge local talent with almost a mythical status.


ML - Phil Stone

On his day, Stoney could leave anyone for dead, turning defenders inside out with his left footed wizardry. Sometimes I was convinced that our opponents we’re as much dazzled by his dashing good looks as his fancy footwork! A real character in the dressing room and great at lifting players up and motivating the team. Player of the Year in 1980/81.


MCR - Richard Nettleingham

Admittedly I was a better defender than midfielder but if Zippy is there as our playmaker then someone has to be alongside him to do his running and tackling for him! I loved playing and enjoyed every single game at the club resulting in many happy memories. I’ve taken the liberty of retaining the captain’s armband - just to have the huge honour of leading another great Sax team out on to that glorious pitch again. Lucky enough to be voted Player of the Year in 1988/89, 1990/91 and 1992/93.


MCL - Ivan (Zippy) Fryer

His headed goal in the Junior Cup Final (from a right foot cross from Stoney), along with his first half hat-trick against Mildenhall during our Senior Cup Final run, are the stuff of local legend. Having played both against Zippy and also alongside him for many years at junior and senior level (we’re the same age), for me, he’s the most naturally talented player this area has ever produced. Player of the Year in 1993/94


ST - Shane Gissing

Fast, strong and a scorer of fantastic goals, Gissy was a goal machine for Sax Juniors. His playing days were brief and although the exact numbers escape me, his goal stats at that level were remarkable.


ST - Simon Ford

Like Pagey, Fordy was another player who could play anywhere, keep the ball and do something special. I’ve pushed him upfront as on his day he was superb in the air, strong, fast, technically brilliant and could score wonder goals. In full flight, he was an exceptionally exciting player to watch.


Sub 1 - Chris (Hop) Kitson

A superb athlete and gymnast, Chris was an all round great player. Quick, strong and could run forever, he was deservedly our Player of the Year in 1986/87.


Sub 2 - David (Woody) Blades

A legend and the only reason he is not in my starting lineup is because I’d have to sit on the bench! A leader and mentor for many young players, the rustling sound of the bin liner he often wore under his football shirt as he strode across every blade of grass on the pitch struck fear into the opposition! Player of the Year in 1991/92.


Sub 3 - John (Bert) Andrews

Another senior player nearing the end of their playing days who looked out for me when I joined the First XI as “Young Dick” - Bert played alongside my father (Dick) as a youngster when Dad was in the twilight of his career. Quick and skilful, Bert was also tough in the tackle, scored great goals and gave his all in every game. I don’t remember him ever having a bad game and his attitude was always positive. Player of the Year in 1977/78.


If you are interested in taking part and choosing your own All Time XI, please contact Martin Salter at martinjsalter@hotmail.co.uk


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