A NON-LEAGUE footballer is set to break Peter Shilton’s appearance record after equalling the great’s 1,249-tally on Wednesday night.
Paul Bastock levelled the England legend when he started for Wisbech Town against Sleaford Town in the United Counties League Premier League.
Amazingly Bastock, who called Shilton his “hero” revealed he almost didn’t make the record-setting game after a recent car crash.
On his incredible achievement, Bastock said: “It’s been a rollercoaster ride. I never reached the heights of what I wanted to in football.
“But to reach this level now where I’m getting close to the record… it’s something I never dreamed about.
“As the games tick by you just think, ‘don’t get injured, don’t get injured’.
“On Tuesday I was involved in a minor car crash, which was my own fault – I pulled out on a lady.
“My first thought was the lady – she was fine – but then I thought, ‘Oh my God, is my body all right?’ So it’s just trying to get over that final line.
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“Next Wednesday I take my boy away for his 21st birthday present – we’re going to Turkey golfing.
“So it’s just trying to get everything in place because this week could be, apart from last night’s accident, one of the best weeks of my life.”
Bastock also revealed he nearly called it quits recently, saying: “I was going to retire the other week because I was just fed up with football in general.
“People just muck people around in football all the time and there’s no respect.
“I’ve known that for years, but when it starts happening to you, you start questioning: ‘Is it worth it?’
“I’d helped out with Wisbech and the manager is just a breath of fresh air, really.
“He got into my head and said this record needs beating because I was going to stack it.”
On breaking Shilton’s record, Bastock added it’s a “shame”, as the England man was his “hero” growing up.
He claimed: “It’s quite a shame really because he was my hero as a young boy.
“Like him, not being the biggest, I used to spend ages hanging on the crossbars trying to stretch myself as a 15, 16, 17, 18-year-old lad.”
Former Boston United No1 Bastock can break Shilton’s record if he make it to the pitch against Thetford Town on Saturday.