Adam Yates reflects on Matlock Town career after hanging up his boots
Twenty four hours after his final appearance in a Matlock Town shirt, legend Adam Yates said “it has finally sunk in.”
Yates was of course referring to the end of his playing career in which he made in excess of 500 appearances for the Gladiators before announcing his retirement during the summer.
That game was the Wirksworth Centenary Cup victory over Wirksworth Ivanhoe to celebrate Ivanhoe’s 100th birthday which Matlock won 9-0.
“I think everyone will agree that it was a special evening and I’d like to thank everyone at the club and the players of both sides who were magnificent,” he said.
“I kept saying last night it hadn’t sunk in but now it finally has. I got a bit emotional as it was the last time I’d be playing at The Lane.
“I’ve been listening and looking to lots of messages on social media and by text from current players and those I’d played alongside in the past, it was really nice to get them.
"It’s now sinking in as I start a new chapter in my life with my family.”
Yates will remain with the club in a role still to be confirmed, so it won’t be the last Matlock supporters will see of one of their favourite sons.
Yates added: “All of the fans were fabulous last night and it was great to play in front of a good crowd particularly with our last competitive game when it wasn’t a great night for us getting knocked out of the FA Trophy at Coleshill with hardly anyone in the ground due to Covid.
"We all know Matlock have some very loyal fans, some have supported me wholeheartedly during all of my twelve years at the club rain or shine.
"It was great to have the fans there at the game and it was particularly nice that I could say my thanks at the end of the game.”
But he admitted to feeling a sense of sadness in quitting playing.
“Of course it’s a sad time also, it’s not as if my body’s packed in or I don’t feel mentally right,” he said.
"“It’s just a case of other things in my life now taking priority, at home and also in the next step of my career in my nine to five job.”
The former Gladiators club captain paid tribute to his family as he looked back on his time at Causeway Lane.
He said: “I certainly wouldn’t have made it to 500 games without the backing and love from my Dad and my wife Rachel, they’ve been two constants in my life.
"They’ve given me great support, especially my Dad who in the early days ran me about and has attended most home games and a good number of Matlock away games.
"It goes without saying the support I’ve had from Rachel, there’d be no chance of me making 500 appearances without her always being there for me and giving me her full support.”
Yates believes he has stopped playing with the club in good hands.
He said: “Phillo (Paul Phillips) is putting a decent squad together with possibly one or two more additions to come so things are looking encouraging on the field.
"Behind the scenes Bryn the Chairman is doing a fantastic job and the committee and all of the volunteers continue to do what they’re all so good at in keeping the club going, I take my hat off to you all.”