"A part of me will always be a Streeter"

Streeters legend Rob Elkington is moving on to Northgate, and we caught up with him before Saturday's testimonial...

Rob Elkington has been a terrific servant of the club, having played with the Streeters since their inception back in 2009. He is one of the longest serving players Kay Street have had. However, his involvement with the club didn't start then, it goes back further. Rob explained to us how his deep history with the club makes his move to Northgate tinged with sadness.

"Kay Street was the church I grew up in since I was 5 years old. Many of us grew up together playing football in that back hall, our original pitch which seems so small these days. The same pitch where as future stars of the SMCCFL we honed our skills, only interrupted by the occasional Sunday school worker making a scurried dash across the pitch, evading the skills of a Pickup, an Argile or a Davies' to get to a craft cupboard. So when the opportunity presented its self to enter an 11-a-side team together in 2009, it was a dream come true! I am very sad to be leaving but a part of me will always be a Streeter!"

It was Elkington's idea to set up a club website and he has tallied up 110 appearances on the pitch. He has enjoyed his time with the Streeters and been a part of some unforgettable moments. Players and fans will remember him fondly, but what highlights will he remember?

"Being there from the birth of the club it has been such a privilege to witness the journey we've been on. My partnership in midfield with Luke in the first season is a fond one. In the days before he'd mastered the thunder-whack mis-hit 'cross-come-goal' and instead found his forte as go-to penalty maestro!

Winning the league in 2011 is an obvious highlight. But more recently this last season playing for United stands out as a season where we've established our United team as a force to be reckoned with and have produced some of our hardest fought and grittiest performances.

I can still claim to have scored the clubs first ever competitive goal in what turned out to be our first ever taste of a win in the opening game of the opening season."

As Rob points out, he was there at the very beginning and leaves the club eight years on. He believs the club has made great progress in that time.

"Even without the competitions and trophies that have been won, Kay Street has built one and now two strong teams from a vast squad of quality guys. It's clear to see the levels of commitment, determination and team spirit have all grown since we started. I think there is a great expectation of things still to come!"

Though the club don't want to see Rob go, the move has come about because of exciting developments in his own life and also the life of the SMCCFL. Having recently married Holly, Rob has begun a new chapter in his life which lands him towards Chester. That has meant he has discovered and help found a new club in the area. Elkington is signing for new team Northgate who join the SMCCFL this year.

"For me it's the excitement of being able to be there at the birth of yet another team. Northgate FC have only just formed and are looking forward to their own rollercoaster experience in the SMCCFL."

The moe came about following a string of events which include another former Streeter, Jonny Clark.

"Last season I invited Jonny Clark out of his retirement from football by bringing him along to a KSB United match. He quickly established himself as a key player for both teams and his passion for the game was reignited. Having led teams in his former days as a Cardiff man, Clark was keen to establish a team closer to home tapping into the Cheshire talent. Discussions with myself began in early May and after meeting the release clause Clark swooped in and made an offer of a contract."

So it is bitter-sweet for Elkington and Kay Street and a tough decision. However, when asked if he ever had to consider stop playing football since his move to Cheshire, Rob was pretty defaint.

"It's funny you should ask that because this is exactly what happened at the beginning of the last season. I work many Saturdays and other weekends off are very precious, so I had pretty much decided not to enter another season. However I found myself with a free Saturday on the opening day of last season in which we ground out a 2-2 draw, I was hooked! Life outside of the SMCCFL would not be for me!!"

Although wwe are sad to lose Rob, the club is equally excited for his move and the future that lies ahead for him and the club. The Streeters wish to thank Rob for his dedication to the club and pray for a bright future at Northgate.

KSB United take on Northgate in a testimonial for Rob this Saturday. Find out the squad and details on our home page.