Ex-Eastbourne Borough striker Andy Atkin has called time on his successful non-league football career to spend more time with his family.
The 32-year-old striker announced his retirement this week after playing for Rye United in their last gasp FA Vase defeat against East Preston on Saturday.
Atkin said, “I’ve got three young children and it’s got to the stage where I’d rather spend time with them now.”
Atkin grew up in Bexhill and progressed through Little Common Football Club’s youth system before joining Sidley United under-18s.
His first foray into adult football came in conjunction with his return to Little Common.
He signed for County League outfit Eastbourne United, where he enjoyed a fruitful three years, before moving on to Conference South side Eastbourne Borough in March 2005.
Atkin went on to make more than 200 appearances for the Sports and achieved promotion to the Conference Premier in 2008 when Borough saw off Hampton & Richmond 2-0 .
The big number nine enjoyed a further three seasons at the club, memorably scoring a hat-trick of headers away to Woking in January2009.
Atkin, who constructs tennis courts for a living, had a short spell at Bexhill United before moving to Redhill at the start of the 2011/12 campaign.
He joined Rye the following season, helping them to reach the last 32 of the FA Vase and secure a top four finish in the league. Atkin went on to make 61 appearances for The Salts-based club, scoring 35 times along the way.
His former Borough boss Garry Wilson said, “Andy was in midfield for United when we spotted him and he stood out like a sore thumb. We had to convince him to join Borough becuase he felt he was not good enough.
“Andy was a fantastic striker and one of the best to have ever played for Eastbourne Borough.
“He was such a handful for defenders and the season we got promoted he was the man for us, he was absolutely unplayable.”
“I’m sure if Andy had been spotted at a younger age and perhaps kept off the fags, he would have played league football no doubt about that.”