Shilton vows to keep on saving

Mike Rowbottom joins the masses at Brisbane Road yesterday to watch the former England goalkeeper set a record which will surely stand forever

Peter Shilton added four vital noughts to his career statistics yesterday, taking his number of League appearances to an unmatched 1,000 and - most important of all for this perennial perfectionist - maintaining another zero in the goals against column.

That perfect circle has obsessed Shilton in a goalkeeping career that stretches back 30 years, taking in two European Cup victories, a League title and a record 125 caps for his country. It was fitting that, at the age of 47, he should mark his millennium with another clean sheet as he helped his current club, Leyton Orient, earn a 2-0 home win over their Third Division opponents, Brighton.

In truth, Shilton was hardly troubled by the troubled side currently bottom of the league. On a crisp, sunny afternoon he did not need to make a save of any description until the 28th minute in front of live television cameras, an unusually large gathering of reporters and photographers, and a 7,944 crowd at Brisbane Road desperate to cheer his every contribution.

When Orient were presented with the chance to go two up through a penalty after 65 minutes, many in the crowd chanted for the keeper to be allowed to take it. He remained coy afterwards about whether it had been an option. As it was, the kick was converted by the scorer of Orient's first goal, Dominic Naylor - a full-back whom Shilton had himself signed in a previous incarnation as player-manager of Plymouth Argyle.

It was the collapse of that particular ambition, amid publicity about his problems with drink, gambling and debt, which caused Shilton to concentrate on his playing career.

Before the inevitable post-match press conference, Shilton's agent stressed that questions should be about football, a clear warning to steer clear of questions relating to what Shilton termed his "bad publicity." He need not have worried - there was nothing but goodwill for his client yesterday.

"I was a bit overwhelmed, to be honest," Shilton said. "I've played in front of bigger crowds, but it was just the atmosphere today... I am an emotional person sometimes but I don't always show it." He gave something away as the final whistle blew, standing with both arms aloft as a big smile spread across his face.

The second-longest serving League player, Terry Paine of Southampton, retired many years ago on the figure of 824. Shilton's grand looks unlikely to be surpassed in the modern era - and he has not finished yet.

Characteristically, Shilton had wanted to see out his 1,000th game at the highest level, but he became impatient waiting for his opportunities. Now that he has seized his chance, he is not ruling out playing on until he is 50. But he confirmed that he wants eventually to return to management.

Asked to recall some of his best memories of his career, he mentioned, inevitably, playing for Brian Clough and Nottingham Forest in the years when they won the League and two European Cups in successive seasons. "They were a superb side, and I don't think they got sufficient credit for what they achieved," he said.

But his memories are dominated by a kind of internal audit which recalls with peculiar sharpness goals conceded which should not have been - the shot on his England debut which deflected off Bobby Moore, the goal he let in for Forest in the European Cup semi-final against Cologne. The pain seems almost as great in recollection.

But this footballer has always been a special one. When Shilton described his early years at Leicester City, whom he signed for as a 15-year-old, he revealed the kind of loyalties which have motivated him throughout his long career.

"I had just played for England Schoolboys. We had beaten Scotland 3-0 in front of 90,000 people at Wembley, and there were several scouts interested in me. I could have gone to Arsenal or Manchester United, but I had trained at Leicester since I was 11 and I wanted to be at a club that had given me something. My father said: "Let's do it the right way. When you are 17, you will get a decent contract."

So he signed, for the standard apprentice wage of pounds 8 per week. His subsequent career was determined by similar factors. "I played for men I could get on with and respect," he said. "It happened that way."

He feels he is a more relaxed character nowadays than the beetle-browed perfectionist he was in his early years. It comes, he says, from a broader perspective. But the intensity is still there on the field, as he stares fiercely at the action in front of him, endlessly clapping his hands and bawling out urgent instructions at even the most apparently relaxed moments. It patently means so much to him.

"When you are at the top, you take it for granted," he said. "You think it's going to go on for ever. But, when the time comes for you to stop, then it hits you. You realise that you don't want to give up."

SHILTON'S RECORD

Total appearances: 1,372 (British record). League 1,000. FA Cup 83. League Cup 102. Other 45. Full England caps 125. Under-23 13. League XI 4.

Leicester City 326 games (286 League, 1 goal). Stoke City 121 games (110 League). Nottingham Forest 272 games (202 League). Southampton 242 games (188 League). Derby County 211 games (175 League). Plymouth Argyle 43 games (34 League). Bolton Wanderers 1 game (1 League). Leyton Orient 4 games (4 League).

Honours (with Leicester City): 1969: FA Cup finalist. 1971: Second Division champions. (With Nottingham Forest): 1978: League championship, PFA Footballer of the Year. 1979: European Cup winner, League Cup winner. 1980: European Cup winner, League Cup finalist.

Top 10 League appearances: 1 Peter Shilton 1,000; 2 Terry Paine 824; 3 Tommy Hutchison 797; 4 Robbie James 782; 5 Alan Oakes 777; 6 John Trollope 770; 7 Jimmy Dickinson 764; 8 Roy Sproson 762; 9 Billy Bonds 758; 10 Ray Clemence 758.

Goals: Naylor (59) 1-0; Naylor pen (65) 2-0.

Leyton Orient (4-4-2): Shilton; Hendon, Martin, Joseph, Naylor; Ling, Channing, Warren, Heidenstrom (Chapman, 88); West (Inglethorpe, 86), McGleish. Substitute not used: Howes.

Brighton and Hove Albion (4-4-2): Rust; Smith, Allan, Hobson (Johnson, 30), Tuck; Storer, Parris (Peake, 71), Mayo, McDonald; Mundee (Baird, 65), Maskell.

Referee: G Singh (Wolverhampton).

Man of the match: Naylor.

Attendance: 7,944.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices