07:30PM, Thursday 18 February 2021
Former Maidenhead United players have been reminiscing about their time at York Road as the club marks its 150th anniversary of playing at the famous old ground.
In the build up to Tuesday’s 150th anniversary match with Stockport County, ex-players and famous faces from the world of football and media took to social media to congratulate the club on reaching the milestone and encourage people to livestream the contest.
The club were hoping to break their record attendance for a home game, albeit virtually.
Of those wishing the club well were former players Christian Smith, Sean Marks, Harry Pritchard and Max Kilman, who all played a part in getting the club promoted from National League South and establishing it in the National League.
Smith said: “It was a great time in my life, those three or four years. There are many, many memories, some that can be mentioned, others which can’t. Personally, my favourite goal was my last minute one against Truro and my favourite celebration would be the one against Bromley in the last game of the season. It came around from an away trip where Harold (Odametey) was shadow boxing in the mirror for ages and it just something that always stuck with us.
“Our favourite goal as a squad would be Tarps’ against Dartford and favourite celebration was Marksy’s away at Hartlepool with the mask. Christmas time, what a journey, what a win. It was a great time and I’m not sure the team spirit and squad we had then will be beaten for some time. Happy anniversary.”
Sean Marks formed a lethal partnership with Dave Tarpey in the club’s promotion season and was a player manager Alan Devonshire was very sorry to see leave York Road after the following season. His best game saw him score a hat-trick of headers in a crucial win over closest rivals Ebbsfleet.
He said: “Hello, all the Maidenhead massive. It’s Marksy. The head on a stick original. I just want to congratulate the club on its 150th year. It’s one of the favourite times I’ve had as a player and that was one of my favourite seasons. Obviously, the standout moment is the hat-trick against Ebbsfleet, a hat-trick of headers, the day the head on a stick truly came to the game. If they win on Tuesday night, I might even get another mask on.”
Home grown player Harry Pritchard spent six years with the club and was on target as the club sealed promotion to the National League as champions with a 3-0 win at Margate on a gloriously sunny late April afternoon in 2017. He’s since played league football for both Blackpool and Bradford City.
“Hopefully, these will bring back some good memories for you,” he said in his message. “In third position would be the Port Vale game away when we played them in the first round of the FA Cup. We drew 1-1 and James Mulley scored for us in the 95th minute. The scenes were incredible. All of us, as you could tell, were really excited, running to the away end where the fans were going mental. Getting the replay back at York Road was a very special moment for me.
“My second favourite moment on a personal level was the goal I scored against Bath. Tarps flicked it up to me and I took it on the knee and hit it as sweetly as I could and luckily it went into the top corner. If you weren’t there check it out on Youtube because it’s a good one.
“But the standout moment for me and everyone involved with the club would be getting promoted to the National League. What a season that was, the team that we had then were brilliant and the fans were turning up every week. It’s like a blur now, but I still look back on matches from that season, especially the last 10 games when we managed to get nine wins from 10. To do that, it was an incredible run and the team we had was special. I’m glad Maidenhead are still competing in that league at a good level.”
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