Published: 05:00, 14 October 2021
Lee Worgan treasured the chance to say a proper goodbye to Maidstone fans - three years after leaving the club.
Worgan played at the Gallagher for the first time since joining Dover in 2018, keeping a clean sheet in a 2-0 victory for Eastbourne Borough last weekend.
United’s biggest crowd of the season - 2,382 - were there as Worgan returned to the club where he made 289 appearances in five years, winning two promotions.
The old Worgan songs were dusted down as the 37-year-old goalkeeper was given a great reception by Stones fans.
“It was brilliant,” said Worgan. “Put the result aside, I was just looking forward to coming back.
“Although I left a few years ago now, I’ve not had the opportunity to come back and play and almost thank everyone and have that goodbye. I loved it.
“I’ve got to thank the fans. I thought they were absolutely outstanding.
“They’ve given me a fair bit of stick when they needed to during the game but it was nice to see so many people.
“The club’s in my heart so it was really nice to come back and get such a good reception.
“You don’t forget what it’s like with the atmosphere and the noise but when you haven’t been here for a long time you tend to lose how impressive it is and how every game is such an occasion.
“I said to our boys, you won’t go anywhere else, probably up to League 1, where you’re going to get this sort of atmosphere, this kind of experience and for some of our young players it was brilliant.
“Result aside, I’d have taken anything today, I loved the occasion and thank you to everyone for making it so special.
"It was brilliant for the club I play for but it was just a great day for me personally.
“I’ll always love this place to bits. I’d love to see the club get promoted back to where it deserves to be just for the fans. It’s such a special place to me.”
Worgan, who started this season with Dorking, turns 38 in December and knows the clock is ticking on his career.
He has half an eye on playing at 40 but will know when the time is right to call it a day.
“I’ve been getting into ice-baths and taking these shakes that I used to hammer the younger players for,” he said.
“I’m trying everything because you want as many days like today as you can.
“I’m not stupid, I know it’s coming towards that time, but I’ve probably got a year or so left, this season and maybe another one.
“All the time I feel fit and able, I’ll keep playing.
"You do think about playing at 40. Funnily enough, I spoke to Stuart Nelson who’s just signed for Dorking.
“He’s 40 and in much better shape than me, he’s in phenomenal shape, he could run a marathon twice a week.
“You think, could I do it at 40? But what I don’t want to do is be that person who’s trying to cling on to something.
“I’d like to finish my career with some self-respect and leave it with a legacy that I’ve built.
“I don’t want to try and play at 41/42 and be having nightmares every week.
“I’m pretty honest with myself, I’ll know when the time is right to finish.”
Management and coaching also interests Worgan, who suffered a nasty facial injury towards the end of Saturday's game.
It’s a path he’s likely to take when he hangs up his boots.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to dip my toe in the water, just to see what it’s like,” he said.
“It might be something I like, it might be something I think it’s not for me, but when you've been involved in this level of football for as long as I have, I think going shopping with the family every Saturday, she’ll probably get sick of me after two weeks.
“I’d love to dip my toe or be involved in some way in a club because I think I’d miss that on a Saturday.”