'I feel like an X Factor contestant'! In-demand world record breaker Paul Bastock is preparing to hang up his gloves - but not before he plays at Wembley
The 47-year-old broke Peter Shilton’s club appearance record yesterday as he played his 1,250th match, helping Wisbech leave Thetford Town with a 4-1 FA Vase win.
And now Bazza is desperate to keep the cup run going and cross out one more entry on his bucket list.
“The gloves are coming off at the end of the season, no matter what,” said Bastock, who almost retired earlier this season before being talked round by his wife Ann and Fenmen manager Gary Setchell.
“They nearly came off for good a couple of weeks ago.
“But Wisbech are fourth and we’re still in the Vase. So as long as I’ve got something to motivate me I’ll keep going.
“I’d love to go on a run and get to Wembley.
“I’ve never played at Wembley and it’s always been the dream, the reason I first put the gloves on as a kid.
“Finishing all this - my career and the record and everything - with an appearance at Wembley would be the icing on the cake.”
Bastock’s three-decade career has included appearances for 17 English clubs, including Cambridge United, Boston United, Kettering Town and St Albans.
Yesterday’s game may have been his 1,250th club outing, but the keeper - nicknamed the Old Cat - discovered you’re never to old to see something new.
“It was the first time I’ve had someone score against me and apologise,” he said after Tanner Call’s spot kick earned the hosts an 85th-minute consolation and robbed him of a clean sheet.
“They had a penalty and he tucked it away and said ‘sorry for spoiling your day’.
“That was a first.”
Bastock says relief was the overwhelming feeling at full time.
But as his new-found fame is making him a man in demand - he is booked in for a string of radio interviews tomorrow, beginning at 5.45am - the Leamington-born stopper admits he is not sure he could get used to life in the spotlight.
He added: “I slept like a baby on Friday night but it was different last night. I think it was the realisation of everything that had gone on.
“My Facebook and Twitter has gone crazy so I had to have a day off from it all today.
“I feel like an X Factor contestant who came from nowhere and did alright and suddenly everyone wants to know them.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved every minute of it - but I’d rather be Paul Bastock than Paul Gascoigne any day.
“It’s been bonkers all week.”