NON-LEAGUE stalwart Justin Bennett has called time on his career – after 667 goals and 20 years of action.

Defenders from the National South down to the Wessex Division One have struggled to thwart the now 40-year-old. Once subject to a £10,000 bid from Havant & Waterlooville when he was ripping up England’s sixth tier, Bennett began his goalscoring exploits in the Wessex League with nearby Andover.

Highlights of Bennett’s career include an appearance at Wembley with Gosport in the FA Trophy final. The former Salisbury and Poole Town man left his mark at Gosport, becoming the club’s record goalscorer.

His record for Bemerton is also impressive, with the ex-Oxford City striker producing a record of 129 goals in 114 games since arriving in the summer of 2019.

This campaign, Bennett plundered 55 goals as Bemmy lifted the Wessex Division One title, receiving the first league title medal of his career in his final game.

Reflecting on his career, Bennett took to social media to announce his retirement: “After a 20-year career and 667 goals, it’s time to hang the boots up!

“Football has been everything to me, it’s given me so much and I’ve had the pleasure of playing and making friends with unbelievable people at brilliant football clubs.

“The work that people behind the scenes (mostly volunteers) put into making non-league football clubs what they are is pretty amazing.

“And what a way to bow out, with a league winners medal (my first one ever) after a great season with a top bunch of lads.

“Thank you to anyone I crossed paths with over my years, you’ve all played a part in making it a very memorable experience for me.”