Amateur footballer, 64, celebrates playing 1000th game in Norfolk league

Stephen Hagon poses for a picture on his special day.
Stephen Hagon poses for a picture on his special day. Credit: Susan Ledger

A 64-year-old amateur footballer has played his 1000th game in his local league.

Stephen Hagon, who's from Aylsham, reached the milestone playing for Erpingham Reserves against Hemsby Reserves on Saturday.

That was the 1000th time he'd played in the North East Norfolk League, having also represented clubs like Aldborough and Corpusty and Aylsham A.

Stephen was named captain for the day, and was presented with a signed ball and special shirt to mark the occasion.

He also entered the pitch to the Match of the Day theme tune.

Stephen with his Erpingham Reserves teammates. Credit: Susan Ledger

As for the match itself, it didn't exactly go according to plan as Erpingham lost 9-2, but this was a day when in many ways the result was largely irrelevant.

Stephen's first game in the league came in 1974 when he made his debut for Marsham as a 17-year-old in a 6-0 defeat at Trunch.

Since that day, he has kept a detailed record of all his matches, and has only ever been sent off once - that was against Sheringham Reserves in 1999.

Stephen was a gardener at Blickling Hall for more than 40 years. Credit: ITV News Anglia

His biggest win was a 15-0 triumph for Aldborough against Marsham in 1977, but his biggest defeat was by an even wider margin as his Erpingham Reserves team lost 25-1 to Cromer Reserves back in 2017.

Overall, he's scored 41 goals in the league - not bad for a winger who converted himself into a defender as he entered his more 'mature' years.

'Huby', as he's known on the local football circuit, says that his long-term job as a gardener as Blickling Hall for more than 40 years is the secret to his longevity and he's got his sights set on playing well into his 70s - if his body allows.

Outside of football, he's a Status Quo superfan and has attended more than 100 gigs.