Paul Bastock may have broken a world record just last month, but he says he felt like a ‘fish out of water’ as he strolled down the red carpet at last night’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony.
Goalkeeper Bazza more than earned his invitation to the star-studded event at Liverpool’s Echo Arena after eclipsing Peter Shilton’s 1,249 competitive club appearances.
But while the 47-year-old Boston-based Wisbech Town stopper has written himself into football folklore, he still feels more at home between the sticks than lapping up the celebrity lifestyle.
“I felt like a fish out of water to be honest,” he said.
“I felt intimidated enough just going down the red carpet.
“I thought to myself ‘just keep walking’ but a few photographers took my picture, which was a nice gesture.
“It was an unbelievable experience just to be there amongst so many great sports people.
“The atmopshere was electric and the after party was incredible.”
It may have been one of the few times in Bastock’s 30-year career that the thrill was in the taking part and winning didn’t matter.
But on this occasion it was just that for the former Cambridge United, Boston United and Rushden and Diamonds number one.
“I never thought I’d be invited,” he said.
“Just to be asked to go was the cream on the cake for me.
“From the first five minutes I knew I wasn’t going to be on the TV.
“There were many people there who have done things far greater than myself who weren’t getting a mention.
“But just to be asked there was humbling and and incredible for me and my family.”
The invitation to join British sport’s great and good at the event - which saw athlete Sir Mo Farah take the top award - hasn’t been the only mail dropping onto Bastock’s mat since last month’s feat.
“The FA wrote to me to congratulate me on the record and I’ve had letters from lots of other clubs congratulating me on the record,” he added.
“I’ve even had letters from fans all over the country, and some asking me to sign things and send them back.
“It’s an honour, but it feels a bit strange for this to all start happening now I’m 47.”