THE 1874 COLUMN – With club media officer, Matt Waters

IN our short history, there aren’t many players who have managed to acquire the status of ‘club legend’.

However, one that has, is former right-back Paul Connor.

After signing for the club in 2014, Connor was with 1874 for five successful years and became an instant fan favourite.

After catching up with Connor, who made 222 appearances for the club, in the past week he told me that it was ‘very special’ to play for 1874.

“I’m proud to say I’ve played for the club and been part of its journey to where it is today,” he said.

“I met a lot of great people and have made a lot of close friends through being there and will be forever grateful for that.

“Not many people will know this but when I decided to leave the club, I received a letter from the chairman, Brian Edge, accompanied with end of season review, thanking me for my time at 1874.

“Then you have people like Vicki England who epitomise what the club is all about. She’s hard working and extremely dedicated to the cause and it’s crazy to think the work that Vicki, and other volunteers do, behind the scenes to ensure a successful, sustainable football club for people to enjoy.

“It was special to be a part of it for five years and I’ll be forever grateful to the club for how they treated me in the time I was there, and since, and I’ll now be a fan for life!”

When asked what his favourite memory was of playing for 1874, it’s no surprise it involved the 2017-18 FA Vase run.

“The FA Vase run was amazing, but it was bittersweet to be honest,” he said.

“To go so far was an incredible experience, but to fall short at the final hurdle before reaching Wembley was absolutely gutting!

“Looking back, getting to the semi-final of a national competition and being able to bring over 1600 fans through the gate to put ‘74 on the map both in non-league, and especially back in Northwich, was a great achievement and something I’ll always remember!”

Connor, who currently plays his football at Congleton, paid tribute to our late chairman Paul Stockton.

He said: “Paul was a great man and exceptional chairman for 1874.

“I really enjoyed my football conversations with Paul and know how sorely missed he is around the place.

“It was a tough yet honourable experience being a pallbearer at Paul’s funeral and again something which will stick with me while being at 1874.”

With 1874 heading into Christmas top of the North West Counties, Connor agreed that we have a strong chance for promotion.

He said: “I really believe 1874 can win the league this season.

“The team looks unbelievably strong and I know first-hand how difficult a side they are to play against and would love them to get the promotion they deserve!”