It was a case of welcome back, but also goodbye, when Belper Town staged a nostalgic end-of-season match in the Bank Holiday sunshine on Sunday.
For a Legends team, spearheaded by the Nailers’ former striker and manager Jon Froggatt, took on the current Belper side in a game that gave the club and fans a chance to bid farewell to chairman Alan Benfield and club director Chris Balls, who are stepping down after 25 years’ service.
The players gave a guard of honour to Benfield and Balls as they came out on to the pitch to receive mementoes from Dave Bennett and Paul Bennett.
As well as Froggatt, the Legends side contained many players who helped to steer the Nailers to promotion to the Premier Division of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League in 2014.
The line-up included another ex-manager in Andy Carney, plus Jas Colliver, Richard Adams, Mark Barnard, Lee Thompson, Kieran Wells, Bradley Wells, Sam Duncum, Dan White, Damien Magee and Mark Ward. The Legends won 3-2 thanks to a last-minute goal from Froggatt.
Fans enjoyed a family day out and although admission was free, a collection ws held to support the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.
After the match, the club’s end-of-season presentation ceremony saw Dominic Allen sweep the board by taking the manager’s, players’ and supporters’ player-of-the-season accolades.