Glenn Ferguson scored twice as Linfield FC beat Crusaders FC in Saturday's Northern Irish League Cup final to take his career total to 501 goals.
A quick-fire double ensure 'Spike' of his place in the club's history, but at 38 he believes he has plenty more goals in him. Asked about retirement, he said: "There are no such thoughts in my mind - but you'd better speak to the manager. I'll know when that time has come." However, he said that results and performances like Saturday's "make you want to carry on".
Certainly his manager David Jeffrey does not doubt Ferguson's ability to continue at the top level of Northern Irish football, explaining: "I've set no limits on how long Glenn can keep playing and anyone who writes him off would be silly. I still believe he has more of a contribution to make at Linfield but, at the same time, he knows he has to keep performing."
Ferguson did exactly that at the weekend though he started on the bench, having been waiting for more than a month for his 500th goal since getting his 499th against one of his former clubs, Glenavon FC, on 22 December. "I'm just a wee bit disappointed it didn't come a bit quicker but for it to come at Windsor Park, in a cup final and as a header, that's really special and memorable," he said. "You can't really ask for anything better than that. And it was live on TV as well."
That 500th career goal was also a special one for Linfield, as it was Ferguson's 250th in 454 games since signing for a Northern Irish league record fee of £55,000 (€75,000) from Glenavon in 1998. The strike levelled matters at 2-2 five minutes from time, and just over a minute before the end of normal time, the venerable striker stuck the winner.
Reaching 500 goals puts Ferguson in select company in Northern Irish football, along with two greats of the game. "Joe Bambrick and Jimmy Jones were legends who achieved this landmark many years ago," he acknowledged. "It's an achievement that's only been done twice before so for me to become the third person, I'm obviously really delighted."
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