Sunday proved to be a momentous day down in the Cornish non-leagues, as one of their greatest exponents first reached and then subsequently passed a truly inspiring milestone.
Having first entered the fray as a spindly adolescent in 1981, Mark Rapsey – known to all and sundry as ‘Rappo’ – came on for Wadebridge Veterans against Lanreath and promptly scored the 2,000th and 2,001st goals of his 36-year football career, almost 19 years after he first passed the 1,000-goal mark!
You could almost feel the hushed awe as Rappo stuck away goal no. 2000 from the penalty spot…
— Willow Tree (@thewillowtree01) February 19, 2017
Speaking to the Falmouth Packet newspaper after the game, Rappo described the gamut of emotions he experienced:
I was a bit nervous taking the penalty to be honest. I hadn’t been on the pitch so I wasn’t really warmed up and I didn’t want to make myself look an idiot because there were a few people watching.
The goalkeeper was former Brentford player Dave McGhee, who I haven’t seen for 15 years since we last played for Cornwall together in Devon. He was giving me a bit of banter but luckily I stuck it away.
Having turned out for a long list of teams across Cornwall and Devon over the years, Rappo is now planning on seeing out the remainder of his career at Wadebridge Vets, where he hopes to retire at the end of the current season.
I’ll be 50 in April and Wadebridge only have four games left, so I’ll finish the season then probably just play a few charity matches.
Thanks Rappo, and well played that man!
After a trying few days, consider out faith in the sanctity of non-league football restored.