BARRY Hopkins has marked his last-ever appearance for Sinkums Football Club with two goals and an assist.
The 35-year-old, known as Mr Sinkums, has quit the Hereford club after leading them to 16 titles in nine years.
He says Sinkums are likely to run just one team next season managed by Colts’ boss Tony Chadwick.
But Hopkins, Sinkums’ founder, says he has suffered ‘volunteer burn-out’ and wants to take a break from football.
He has even dipped into his own pocket at times to pay players’ fines and match-day expenses.
“I devoted nine years of my life to Sinkums and I have run it on my own,” said Hopkins, Sinkums’ former player-manager, treasurer and secretary.
“I think everyone is a bit shocked because the club has been my life - but I feel I have done enough.
“I sat down with the players and told them that I wouldn’t be carrying on.
“I have been doing almost all of the jobs at the club - and it has been very hard.
“Reg Prosser has been helping me this year by collecting in the subs from the players.
“I used to rope off the pitch, put up the nets, roll the pitch and sometimes even cut the grass.”
Sinkums won 3-1 at Lads Club Reserves in their final match of the season last Saturday.
The Widemarsh Common outfit are almost assured of a top-three finish in their maiden season in the Herefordshire League Premier Division.
“I made a statement around eight years ago, that my aim was to make Sinkums as big as Westfields,” said Hopkins.
“We have won six league titles and 10 cups - so it’s not been too bad.
“Finishing in the top-three was our target this season and we have finished above Westfields Reserves.
“We have thrown away the league title this year and I even had to play some matches in goal. “It was emotional playing my last match for the club and scoring two goals.”
Hopkins thanked the club’s main sponsors, J-Mart, and says he is very proud of his players and what they have achieved.
He added: “My daughter Dali and I have taken up Brazilian jiu-jitsu and we have got some big competitions coming up.
“If a big football club from around here came in for me I would look into it, but I need to take a break.”