Tony’s service marked with a testimonial

ON Saturday Percy Main Amateurs will stage a well deserved testimonial game for long serving Tony Browell.

The centre half has clocked up 500 appearances for the club since signing as a teenager back in September 1995.

Few players in local football have played so many games for one club and the loyalty and dedication of Browell over the years will ensure a healthy turn out at Purvis Park.

Over the years Browell has been a model of consistency at the club and has won player of the year and players’ player of the year awards on numerous occasions.

In the process he has gained the respect of his fellow and opposing players, club committee and supporters alike and has always set a positive example to younger players in the game.

A player, known as a no nonsense defender, who is rarely beaten in the air, has also weighed in with his fair share of goals for the Main over the years.

He actually led the goal scoring charts for some months last season, scoring nine times mainly from corners and free kicks.

Browell had a spell at North Shields in the mid-2000s and suffered an horrific leg break in a FA Cup qualifying round game at Winterton Rangers in August 2005.

But thankfully his love of the game and determination to carry on meant his playing days were far from over.

Main’s current team, who have just completed their Northern Alliance premier league season in style, having recorded three consecutive victories over Murton, Hebburn Reyrolle and Harraby, will face a squad of Percy Main ‘Old Boys’ managed by Bob Rodgerson, who as manager of the club from 1993 to 2008.

He astutely brought Browell to Percy Main as a promising youngster, who has more than fulfilled his early potential.

The Old Boys XI will be made up of players who have lined up alongside Browell during this time at the club.

Many have long since moved on while others have played for the Villagers recently.

Among those who will be playing for the opposition will be the likes of Brian Smith, Ian Hall, Jason Ritchie, Robbie and Denis Livermore, Chris Locke, Lee Gray and many others.

A keenly contested game is expected.

The match will be refereed by an experienced team of Northern Alliance officials in Keith Scoffham, Tony Cash and Terry Lloyd.

Admission is £2 and a souvenir programme is to be produced. Browell has also kindly requested that the day’s proceeds go towards replacing the roof on the club’s pavilion.

Kick-off is 2.30pm and following the game, the celebrations will continue at the Victoria in Tynemouth Road, North Shields – formerly the Tap and Spile – where all are welcome to attend.