Local legend Colin Hunter set for final Harrogate Railway bow

Colin Hunter
Colin Hunter

Harrogate Railway will pull out all the stops to give veteran winger Colin Hunter the send off he deserves, according to boss Billy Miller.

Hunter will retire from football after Railway’s final match of the season at home to Warrington Town on Saturday.

Hunter indicated his intentions to call it a day earlier this season, but boss Billy Miller stretched his stay at the club until the campaign ended.

And, despite hanging up his boots, he hinted he could pull on a Railway shirt again should Miller’s squad be stretched next term.

“I have had a good run at it,” said Hunter, who turns 38 on Sunday.

“It’s a combination of reasons. I have had a little one recently and my wife needs to get back to work, so I’m needed to look after my daughter on Saturdays.

“I wanted to bow out feeling good. It’s the right time to stop now.”

Hunter started his Railway career in the 1994/95 season when Graham Shepherd brought him to Station View from Pannal Sports as a fresh-faced 17-year-old.

The local legend went on to represent Harrogate Town, Guiseley, Gainsborough Trinity, Histon, Morecambe in an playing illustrious career.

He then re-joined Railway after a stint at Buxton in 2010. In his final season, the left-sided midfielder has scored six goals for the Red and Greens.

“He has a glittering career. The list of clubs he has played for is phenomenal,” said Railway boss Billy Miller.

“It’s a career most players should aspire to have.

“The hardest decision is to decide when the time is right. But he has a young family, and it’s Col’s time now.

“We will celebrate his achievements on Saturday, but we will do it in our own way. I’m not sure just how yet.

“We could give him the captaincy, but for Colin, the main thing would be to finish off with a win. We need to make a big effort to make it special for Col and we hope the supporters will come out and celebrate too.”

Warrington are pushing for promotion in Evo-Stik First Division North and have already booked a play-off date when the season finishes.

And Miller said they would present another opportunity for Railway to showcase themselves.

The Station View outfit matched seventh-placed Farsley for 90 minutes in the Yorkshire derby on Bank Holiday Monday as the two sides played out a goalless draw.

It capped a weekend of positives for Miller’s young guns, after they thrashed Cammell Laird 4-1 at home on Saturday.

The two results meant Railway will finish their season 13th.

On-loan Bradford City man Louis Swain opened the scoring against Cammell before Steve Bromley found himself in the right place to double the advantage.

Red-hot hitman Nathan Cartman made it three after the break before Fatlum Ibrahimi’s bullet completed the rout.

Miller added: “We were absolutely first class in the finishing department.

“We actually played better against Farsley. We matched them in every area. We looked neat in possession and comfortable at the back.

“Over the 90 minutes, a draw was a reflection of the game. It’s another point on the board.”