Meet the 50-year-old one injury away from playing in the National League

King's Lynn Town assistant manager Paul Bastock

King's Lynn Town assistant boss Paul Bastock - Credit: Ian Burt

Goalkeeper Paul Bastock already has one footballing record to his name – and should yet more misfortune befall King’s Lynn Town, he might well be in for a new entry. 

At 50 years old, Bastock was named on the King's Lynn Town subs' bench for their game at Notts County on Tuesday night. 

Bastock was one of only four subs named by Lynn, whose resources have been stretched by injury and the placing of six players placed on furlough during their financial crisis. 

He’s been on the bench before – and might well be there a lot more after Saturday’s game at Woking when more players are expected to be taken off the payroll to ensure the club gets through the National League season. 

Manager Ian Culverhouse smiled when Bastock’s name was mentioned after the game, but that’s as far as it went: for the manager - it’s tough trying to name a competitive squad and then have people joke about one of your subs. 

Culverhouse has always been happy to have just one goalkeeper on the books – currently it is on-loan Norwich City youngster Archie Mair, who replaced Alex Street at the beginning of the season. 

Bastock was a regular name on the subs’ bench during the previous two seasons when Lynn won consecutive promotions, but Tuesday night’s was his first of the current National League season.  

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For those who don’t watch Lynn it might look a little odd, but those who saw Bastock in action as a player and now see him warming up Mair, 20, before a game, know he would jump at the chance to live up to his ‘cat’ nickname again, despite the self-deprecating attitude towards playing. 

Paul Bastock playing for Wisbech at Thetford

Paul Bastock during his world-record appearance for Wisbech Town in an FA Vase game at Thetford - Credit: Denise Bradley

Bastock - having retired as a player in the summer - joined Lynn as assistant manager when Culverhouse returned in November, 2018. By that time he had broken Peter Shilton’s club appearances record while playing for Wisbech in an FA Vase tie at Thetford a year earlier - appearance number 1,250. 

His only appearance for the Linnets came soon after his arrival when he started a Norfolk Senior Cup tie at UEA - who won 1-0. 

If he does appear for Lynn, he would smash the record for this season’s oldest player – that is currently held by the whippersnapper that is Sutton United striker Craig Dundas, a mere 39 years 11 months and 28 days old when he played last month.