WISBECH Town Hockey club stalwart James Sheppard reaches an amazing milestone in his career this Saturday with his 350th consecutive league appearance for the first team at St Ives.
He has not missed a league match for Wisbech first since 1996 and the 41-year-old modestly said: “I just love playing hockey. I am big and tough and have played through pain a few times and suffered gout a couple of days before but have still got out and played.”
To put Sheppard’s achievement in perspective not one player at Wisbech Town Football Club has played in every game this season.
The goalkeeper first joined the Wisbech club in 1989 as an 18-year-old and started playing as a centre forward.
“About two years later I helped out in goal having played the odd game there at college and have stayed between the posts ever since. I do have the occasional game on the pitch but not many.”
One player who has shared a lot of games with Sheppard is defender Nick Osborn who commented: “James has shown unrivalled dedication to the club with his appearances. As a defender you would not want anyone else behind you in goal.”
When he is not playing hockey, Sheppard switches to cricket with Wisbech Town.