THERE aren’t many people who can end their football career with a man of the match performance in a cup final at Wembley.
But that was the case for Whitley Bay FC’s Terry Burke, who retired from football after the FA Vase final victory over Coalville on Sunday.
Burke made the announcement in the post match press conference.
“I am retiring, that was my last game today, and there’s no better way to go than man of the match at Wembley,” he said.
And it wasn’t an easy exit for the keeper, who admitted it was the toughest game out of the three cup finals he has played in.
“That was a hard shift,” he said. “It was a hard game and I did not think we played that well, to be honest.
“I thought we worked hard, but I do not think that we particularly played that well.
“Coalville were very good, and I am just relieved that we won.
“It was tough out there, there was a lot of pressure on the back, and we felt it because those guys knocked the ball about well.
“But with Paul [Chow] and Sparky [Lee Kerr] up front, you know that you always have a chance.”
Whether it was luck or experience that gave Whitley Bay the momentum to win, the keeper still praised the performance of the opposing team, who were unlucky not to put away their chances.
“From the start you would have thought it was our first time there, they really came out flying and they were consistent the whole game.
“Maybe in the end that bit of experience did count, it’s hard to say, but that was the hardest out of the three finals.”
Despite the performance and strength of Coalville, Burke was always confident Bay would win.
He added: “At no point did I think we would get beat.
“I know that sounds strange because we had the pressure, but I always had the confidence in the team that we would get the victory.”