Record-breaker Paul Bastock not ready to hang the gloves up just yet

Paul Bastock. ENGEMN00120130222115859
Paul Bastock. ENGEMN00120130222115859

Paul Bastock is happy to keep breaking his own world record - admitting the gloves aren’t being thrown away just yet.

The Boston-based goalkeeper broke Peter Shilton’s world appearance record more than a year ago, before calling time on his career in the summer.

However, that love for the game still hasn’t left 48-year-old Bazza, who has already come out of retirement to play three games for three different clubs this season.

Appearances for Grantham Town, Pinchbeck United and King’s Lynn have seen him take his tally to 1,280 matches - a feat that looks unlikely to be beaten anytime soon.

“I joined Ian Culverhouse at Grantham as goalkeping coach at the start of the season, not expecting to play,” said Bastock, whose 30-year career has also included stints with Boston United, Cambridge United and Coventry City.

“Then one day I got a call saying the keeper’s broken his knuckles and I’m in the team.

“But we lost that game so I wasn’t happy.”

When former Norwich City defender Culverhouse left the Gingerbreads Bastock followed him out of the Meeres, returning to playing with Pinchbeck and preparing for a stint with Stamford-based Blackstones.

But he never pulled on a Stones shirt, because Culverhouse convinced him to become his number two at the Linnets.

“I ended up playing a cup game for King’s Lynn and that was another game to the list,” added Bastock.

“Not bad for someone who thought he’d retired.”

While Bastock is still donning the gloves when called upon, he has discovered that life in the dug-out can be a perfect replacement for the highs and lows faced by players.

“I’m getting a real buzz from it,” he added.

“I never thought I could replace what it felt like to play.

“But If anything I hate losing even more more these days. There’s nothing you can do, you can’t kick anyone.

“I know that once the lads cross the white line there’s nothing you can do anymore, but working on shapes in the week and seeing patterns of play starting to unfold is a really great feeling.”

And working with Culverhouse is also giving Bastock additional insight into the game.

“He’s one of the most knowledgeable football people I know,” the former Rushden & Diamonds and Dagenham and Redbridge keeper continued.

“I’m on the sidelines being vocal then he’ll come over and start talking about things that you hadn’t even thought about.

“It’s a great experience.”

But while Bastock’s loving life as a Linnet, he confesses that he’ll probably still find an excuse to sneak in a few more club games in 2019.

He added: “I’m fully committed to King’s Lynn, but if there’s a blank week and someone wants a keeper I’m sure I could be convinced.

“Let’s just hope our keeper stays fit.”