Simon praises stalwart!

Shawbridge favourite Gregg Anderson, pictured in action for North Ferriby United

Shawbridge favourite Gregg Anderson, pictured in action for North Ferriby United

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Blues boss Simon Garner has paid tribute to club stalwart Gregg Anderson after injury forced the defender to announce his retirement from football.

The 30-year-old, in his second spell at Shawbridge, fell awkwardly on his shoulder at the weekend as Clitheroe were thumped 5-0 away at Warrington Town.

Anderson, a landscape gardener by trade, switched to the Ribble Valley from Tadcaster Albion ahead of the 2006/07 campaign and his performances would go on to attract the attention of Buxton.

After several years at the Silverlands, where he won promotion to the NPL Premier Division, he went on to make 130 appearances, scoring eight times, in the Conference North with Halifax Town and North Ferriby United, winning the FA Trophy with the latter.

“He’s a really close friend so I’m gutted for him,” said Garner. “Getting him back to the club in the first place was a massive plus because there’s a reciprocated fondness.

“We were really fortunate to get him in. He’s been a great character on the pitch and in training. Hopefully the qualities and attributes he’s brought to the club will rub off on the players.

“I hope the lads have learnt from him and they become better players themselves for it. He won’t have wanted to hang his boots up on the back of a defeat but there’s nothing we can really do about that.”

Garner added: “He’ll be a big loss for us because he’s a great character and he’s got a lot of experience of non-league football. He gets the rest of the lads up and at it because he’s a winner.

“He goes about everything in the right way and he would run through a brick wall for you. There’s not many like him about any more.

“He’s been a great servant for the club and for the sport. He’s had a great career and he’ll always be welcome at Shawbridge.”