NON-LEAGUE legend Mark Newell racked up his 1,700th career game as a physio/medic at the weekend – 45 years after his first, writes ANDY SCHOOLER.

Mr Newell, of Kings Road, Dovercourt, carried the physio bag for Harwich and Parkeston Women’s match against Colchester United on Sunday to hit the landmark.

The 68-year-old volunteer is also currently working with the club’s under-23 men’s team having previously held the same role for the first XI for the best part of 30 years, a period which ended due to a cancer scare a few years ago.

Mr Newell has also worked with Little Oakley, Clacton and Weeley Athletic, as well as Sunday Shrimpers and Harlequins in Sunday football.

A former care worker, he started out in the football physio role while visiting friends in Belgium in 1979.

Chief among his highlights in football is shadowing the Arsenal physio Gary Lewin for a day when the Premier League club was based at their former Highbury ground.