By James Grayson (Twitter - @jamesAgrayson)
Non-League Football legend Mark ‘Willy’ Wilson is set to make his 900th semi-professional appearance on Thursday night.
Wilson is due to appear for AFC Emley against Bottesford Town in the Northern Counties East League Division One.
Wilson, 42, has enjoyed a memorable career that started at Frickley Athletic in 1991 before moves to places such as Farsley Celtic, Bradford Park Avenue (three spells), Harrogate Town, Worksop Town, among others.
Arguably his finest moment came when he played in Emley’s famous FA Cup Third Round game at West Ham United in 1998 – during one of three spells with the team now known as Wakefield FC.
‘Willy’ went onto play for Worksop Town in Conference North, becoming a popular figure with the Tigers’ supporters.
Wilson returned to the reformed Emley side this season to bring experience to Darren Hepworth’s young side.
But, Wilson has been a fantastic and ambassador for the local game.
He always has time to talk to supporters and those who have encountered him over the years have their own personal memorable ‘Willy’ story – whether that’s from a goal, a red card or a stand-up routine on the team bus on the way home from a game.
To reach 900 games takes some dedication and ‘Willy’ deserves his moment in the spotlight.
Sports Performer will be bringing coverage from ‘Willy’s’ big night on Thursday.
If you want to share your memories of ‘Willy’, either leave a comment at the bottom of the page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.