300 not out for Hawick football stalwart Jamie Richardson
It’s unlikely that too many comparisons between Hawick Waverley defender Jamie Richardson and AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been drawn over the years, but they do have one thing in common – they’re both still going strong on the football field at the age of 40, though admittedly more so in the case of the latter than the former.
That’s pretty much where any similarity ends between the pair, but though the Borderer’s sporting CV might lack 100-plus international caps and stints at top-flight clubs such as Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester United, it’s equally fair to point out that the Swede can’t boast of 14 years’ loyal service to the same club side – and he’s never been Hawick cornet either, a role conferring near-superstar status in the town on its holder for several weeks each summer.
Richardson has now made more than 300 appearances for the Border Amateur Football Association A league side since joining them in 2007, that three-century milestone being marked by a 10-0 demolition of his old club Hawick United, as reported in the Southern.
Telling of his pride at keeping going long after less-resilient souls would have thrown in the towel, he told us: “Playing football is just something I enjoy doing, but it’s nice to be recognised for the 300 appearances.
“I played for Hawick United before I was at the Waverley, so to get my 300th game against them was pretty good as well. Leading the team out and winning 10-0 helps as well.
“As long as you keep yourself fit and healthy, there are players who have played a lot longer than me and been a lot better players than me as well, to be honest.
“I’m still enjoying playing, training and keeping myself fit, or at least trying to anyway.
“Luckily I’ve been mostly injury-free during my career so I’ve not missed many matches that way.”
Paying tribute to the 2009 Hawick cornet’s contribution to the Waverley cause over the years, a club spokesperson said: “After joining the club in 2007, Jamie quickly became a regular in the team, mainly at centre-half or either of the full-back positions. He has weighed in with goals every season too, including reaching double figures in a single season despite playing in defence.
“By his own admission, Jamie isn’t the silkiest of players, but he more than makes up for that with his solid determination and will to win. He’s been with the club through thick and thin and has been rewarded when part of the squad that went through a real purple patch in recent years with league and cup wins.
“300 matches at an amateur club is a fantastic achievement by anyone’s standards, putting him in seventh place in all-time Waverley appearances.
“Jamie is still a very popular member of the squad despite threatening to retire on several occasions.
“Hopefully we’ll get a few more performances out of those old legs yet.”
Richardson, boss of a printing business in Hawick established in 1946 by his grandfather, has won 10 trophies – including the prestigious South of Scotland Amateur Cup – as a Waverley player over the past eight years.
This year hasn’t been as successful so far, though, with Waverley currently sitting fifth in the table with 12 points from 10 games.
Richardson, who married his partner Laura last summer, says he expects this campaign to be his last before he retires from football.
“The last few years it’s been stop-start so it’s been difficult to keep going,” he said.
“After I retire, I probably wouldn’t go into coaching with running the business, and I’ve been trying to play golf, but I would always help with the Waverley whenever I could.”