Testimonial for long-serving defender Steve Shipley in aid of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices announced by Norwich United
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Long-serving Norwich United defender Steve Shipley has been granted a testimonial match as he steps into retirement after 12 seasons and more than 500 appearances as a Planters player.
Shipley joined United at the start of the 2005-06 campaign and made 562 appearances, scoring 29 goals, helping the club make the successful transition to step four of the non-league pyramid.
His first club, Cambridge City, will provide the opposition for the testimonial at Plantation Park, on Tuesday, August 8, kick-off 7.45pm.
Shipley, who was on the books at Norwich City as a youngster, made 49 appearances last season as Steve Eastaugh's side finished ninth in Isthmian League Division One North.
The 31-year-old has decided to end his playing career though, having helped the Blofield-based club win the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties Premier Division title in 2015 and 2016 ahead of promotion to step four for the first time in the club's history.
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Planters chairman, John Hilditch, said: 'Not only was Steve a great player for the team, but also a great ambassador for the club. 'As captain he looked after the teams subs to enable trips abroad and numerous get-togethers at the races etc. He was always reliable and seldom missed a game through his many years at the club.'
Shipley has decided to donate the money raised from the game to East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).
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Cambridge City were relegated from the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division last season and manager Robbie Nightingale will be bringing a full-strength side for the game as preparations for Southern League Division One Central continue.
City vice-chairman, Terry Dunn, said: 'We are delighted to be asked to be opponents for the testimonial match of Steve Shipley. 'Many of our supporters will remember him from his time at City and I know that many of them will be keen to make the trip to recognise his achievements for Norwich United.'
Shipley was also part of the team which won the Eastern Counties Knockout Cup and reached the fifth round of the FA Vase in 2015, with the club also reaching three Norfolk Senior Cup finals during his time.
In a statement confirming the details of the testimonial, a Planters spokesman added: 'The club would like to thank Steve for his long service to the club, Plantation Park will never be the same again.
'We hope that the Norfolk footballing public will turn out in big numbers on August 8 to give Steve the send off he deserves and help raise money for an excellent cause.'