Legend Shoemake awarded a Poppies testimonial

Kevin Shoemake has been awarded a testimonial by Kettering Town
Kevin Shoemake has been awarded a testimonial by Kettering Town

Kevin Shoemake has been awarded a retrospective testimonial by Kettering Town.

The legendary goalkeeper, who is now the chief executive of the Northamptonshire Football Association, was a popular figure with Poppies supporters during his spells with the club during the late 1980s and 1990s.

Despite spending 10 years with the club over a number of spells as well as being a coach and assistant-manager for a time, he was never recognised for his contribution.

But following a chance conversation with current Poppies chairman Ritchie Jeune and vice-chairman Neil Griffin, Shoemake has now been awarded a testimonial, which is likely to feature two matches over the next year as well as the possibility of another “local fundraising event”.

And he has already confirmed he will donate 40 per cent of any surplus back to the Poppies with 10 per cent going to the Dale Roberts Memorial Fund and a further 10 per cent to the NFA’s Swain Benevolent Fund.

In a statement released this morning (Tuesday), Shoemake said: “After speaking to Ritchie and Neil in recent months, the topic of testimonials was mentioned.

“They were surprised to learn that I’d never been offered a testimonial after nearly 10 years of service, albeit in four different spells and after raising it with two previous chairmen of the club.

“I thought nothing more of it until Neil contacted me recently to say that the club’s directors had discussed it and agreed to offer me a retrospective testimonial in recognition of the service given.

“I was somewhat surprised to learn that a testimonial had been discussed at Board level let alone the outcome of the Board’s deliberations but I was absolutely delighted to accept this very kind gesture by the directors and also the sentiment behind it.

“We see this as a way of raising money for the club but it is also an opportunity for me to say thank you to the supporters, many of whom remain friends to this day.”

Read more from Kevin Shoemake in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph