Dean Carden’s presentation celebrates his 500 YM appearances

Martin Read – Sports Reporter
Photo by Tim Hewlett

With players flitting from club to club almost at a whim, 500 appearances is a remarkable achievement, requiring exceptional dedication and commitment, very rarely to be overtaken again. So, to mark their indebtedness to Dean Carden’s loyalty and perseverance, Horsham YMCA made a special celebratory presentation to Dean before Tuesday’s game against Alfold at Gorings Mead

492 YM first team games, plus 5 U21 and 2 reserve appearances, with his defensive skills as senior player displayed for the U23s earlier this season, Carden told us: “I started at YM as a centre forward under legendary manager John Suter and, like so many of the players, I moved on when John stepped down. I went to Three Bridges then, a brief stint at Lingfield followed, but I didn’t know anyone there and it wasn’t the same, so, after a game against YM I returned to Gorings Mead – and I’ve been here ever since!”

Acting YM Chairman Mike Whiteford says: “Dean first pulled on a YM shirt on August 10th 2002, against Burgess Hill in the cup, and has now made more than 150 appearances than anyone else in the club’s official records. He’s a tough defender, a dressing room leader, a keen penalty taker – and, most importantly – a friend of the club, and an inspirational coach for young talent on the playing field.” Mike presented Carden with a commemorative shield to mark his outstanding milestone, together with engraved pint glasses recording his games for each of the teams that he has represented – plus a bottle of bubbly

While fondly recalling YM’s back to back titles, a tweaked knee prevented Dean Carden from taking the field against Alfold, but, rest assured – he’ll be back, saying: “I want to keep going as long as I can,” continuing: “And, I’ll definitely stay in football when my playing days are over.” Fortunately for Horsham YMCA, Dean Carden is soon expected to be back marshalling their defence

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