Simeon Bambrook had a brilliant career, according to the man who discovered him.
Bambrook recently retired from semi-professional football after a glorious 19-year-career which began with Garforth Town under Dave Parker in the mid-1990s.
Fireman Bambrook had left the British Army and joined his local team Garforth in the Northern Counties East League.
He went onto be their all-time leading goal-scorer before going onto greater heights with Emley, Worksop Town and Farsley Celtic.
It was at Farsley where he enjoyed his greatest moment by scoring the last minute penalty to take the Village team into the Football Conference in 2008.
And from the day he signed for Garforth, Parker knew he had a top player on his books.
“Simeon’s granddad was watching us on the old ground and I used to be in the Army,” Parker said.
“This chap came up to me and said to me ‘my grandson is coming out of the Army and he lives round here and I’m wondering if he can come up’.
“I asked him who he had played for and it was the Combined Services and if you play in that you’re playing at a good level.
“I knew he was a good player. Unfortunately in his first appearance he got a back spasm and I had made a big thing about him.
“I had said to the chairman Stephen Hayle that ‘this lad will be a good player’ and then he went off after ten minutes.
“But, he was tremendous. He could have played a lot higher and I’m chuffed about what he has achieved.
“He’s one of the best Non League players have ever seen – certainly who I have managed or seen play.”
Bambrook was unable to play in Garforth’s Legends’ Day on Sunday afternoon.
Parker’s old boys pitted their wits against players from Steve Nichol’s era and the game gave Parker the chance to return to the dugout he vacated 14 years ago.
Parker is regarded as Garforth’s most successful manager having won promotion along with the Wilkinson Sword Trophy and West Riding County Cup.
He was also in charge during the move from Brierlands Lane to Wheatley Park in 1998.
Garforth is his one and only period of first team management having previously being the manager of Farsley and Guiseley’s reserve teams.
Looking back at his reign which began in 1994, Parker said: “I enjoyed my time at Guiseley, but, Mike Popplewell who worked at the Evening Post, rung me and told me that this job was coming up.
“I had done the reserves for long enough and at Guiseley we had been successful and I had a niche of young lads like Chris Sullivan and Damian Holmes.
“It took a bit of blending in during the first year. We didn’t so well, but we started to flourish.
“The best moment was winning promotion. We also did well in the Cups.”
Painter and decorator Parker stepped down in 2000 after six years at the helm and passed the reins to Dave Harrison and he has never returned to management.
But, it is not something he regrets.
“Work was taking on and I work for myself and my grandson had also come along,” he said.
“I just felt that I had had enough. The hunger had gone and sometimes to come here from Pudsey was becoming a long way to come.
“I thought if I can’t gee myself, how can I gee the players up?
“I had a word with the chairman and said ‘look it’s the end, I think I need a break’.
“Not getting back in has never bothered me. I do five-a-side with some lads and that’s it.”