Congratulations to Marc Weatherstone who has become Wingate & Finchley’s all-time record appearance holder since the clubs merged in 1991. Weatherstone achieved this feat on Saturday as he played his 452nd match in a Wingate & Finchley shirt away to Potters Bar Town.
The centre-back began his footballing career at a young age, playing for West Ham United for 8 years until the age of 15. After a short break from the game, Weatherstone started playing again and spells at Luton Town and Barnet led to Dagenham & Redbridge signing him in the early 2000s.
At the age of 19, he made the move to Wingate & Finchley – the club which he would go on to play for over a 10 season period (and counting) and in doing so, become a club legend.
As a Blues player, Weatherstone has seen the highs and lows of non-league football. In the 2010-11 season, he was a regular at the heart of the Blues’ defence as they went on to win the treble of the playoffs, the London Senior Cup and the League Cup - he describes this superb achievement as his “highest point” of his time at Wingate & Finchley thus far.
In contrast, Marc has experienced the lowest feeling that a footballer can experience – relegation. In his first season as club captain, Wingate & Finchley finished 21st – the last relegation spot – however were reprieved due to Worksop’s resignation from the league. Weathers recalls that relegation was a “big weight to carry”, but more significantly that since the reprieve of 2013-14, the club has never “looked back”.
After a nine-season-long stay at Wingate & Finchley, Weatherstone was signed by Dulwich Hamlet prior to the 2016-17 season. He helped them to two consecutive playoff finals, the first of which saw Dulwich suffer defeat to Bognor Regis Town, who incidentally got to the final through victory over Wingate & Finchley, and the second of which resulted in promotion for the Hamlet.
After his return to Summers Lane at the beginning of this season, the 30-year-old hopes that he can draw on his experience of winning the playoffs with Dulwich and help Wingate towards the same fate. Since his return, Weatherstone has played in all 18 of Wingate’s matches so far scoring 4 times as well.
He has also spoken of his desire to go into management, especially at Wingate & Finchley, and in doing so follow in the footsteps of the previous holder of record appearance holder - Daniel Nielsen.
When asked about his fellow defender, Nielsen had plenty of praise for Weathers; he describes himself as “lucky” to have worked with him both on the field as a player and off the field as a coach, in addition to his “professionalism and dedication” being evident throughout his career: "Massive congratulations to my mate Weathers on breaking the appearance record! He truly is a club legend and deserves to hold the record now. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Weathers as both a player and a coach, and his professionalism and dedication have always shone through. It was a nice moment for me to pass him the captain’s armband when I retired and moved onto the coaching staff.
We have had some great times together both on and off the pitch but I think my favourite is when the final whistle blew in the playoff final, Weaths was the first player I got to and we started our celebrations!
It’s great to see Weaths playing alongside Ahmet again and I’m sure the two of them will be playing at Wingate & Finchley for many more seasons, and will set records that no one will get near! Congrats Weaths, true Wingate legend!"
Again, congratulations to Marc on the impressive achievement and good luck to Wingate & Finchley for the rest of the season.
WingateTV also spoke in-depth with Weatherstone, and the interview can be found HERE.
Written by Jamie Grossman