'˜We're over the moon': Football team reunited with 89-goal-a-season striker 40 years after he moved to Waterlooville

THE missing puzzle piece of a north east football team from the 1960s has been reunited with the rest of his squad.

Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 11:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 3:22 am
Back row from left, Fred Langley, Bill Robson, Jack Kasher, Jeff Reid, Joe Coates, Alan Kell. Front row, Terry Langley, Dennis Lovelass, Ian Melvin, Kevin Bibby, John Graham

Keith Summers, 68 from Waterloville, played for Newton Aycliffe FC in the 1966/67 season, moving down south in 1978.

The team, which has met up on numerous occasions, hadn't heard from Keith since then, and launched an appeal through The News to be reunited with the prolific striker '“ who scored a staggering 89 goals in all competitions.

Keith said: '˜There were only 12 of us in the squad but it was a superb team.

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'˜The camaraderie was there all the time '“ we were all good mates and got on great on and off the pitch.

'˜I can remember all their names and everything. It's such a nice feeling to know you'll be reunited with people you haven't seen for 40 years '“ I'm really looking forward to it.'

Keith carried on playing football when he moved down to Waterlooville '“ but never reached the dizzying heights of almost 90 goals in one season.

He said: '˜I played until I was about 36 years old, but never scored that many goals again.

'˜Maybe the competition is a bit tougher down south.

'˜My playing days are certainly long gone now but it will be great to catch up with all the other players.

'˜It's a long trip up to the north east but it will certainly be worth it.'

Ian Melvin, 67 from County Durham, played alongside Keith at Newton Aycliffe FC.

He said: '˜When Keith rang me it was a very special moment indeed.

'˜He has spoken to almost everyone from the team now, and we're all just over the moon to have heard from him.'

According to Ian, Keith will be meeting his old team mates for the first time in 40 years by the end of this year.

He said: '˜We just can't believe it '“ everybody is so chuffed to all be reunited.

'˜By the sounds of it he'll be coming up for a do in December.

'˜I don't think there'll be a kickabout when we all see each other though '“ all of us are on some sort of medication nowadays!'