From the factory to Wembley: Newport County veteran Kevin Ellison heads to the League Two final after becoming the oldest EFL play-off scorer at 42
- Kevin Ellison, 42, became oldest playoff scorer during Newport’s semi-final win
- Exiles beat Forest Green 5-4 to set up final vs Ellison’s old club Morecambe
- In August the veteran was ready to start work at a factory before joining Newport
- He joined the side after Morecambe release following nine years at the club
Last summer, Newport County player Kevin Ellison was about to start shifts at a factory. Last week, he became the oldest player to score in an EFL play-off game at the age of 42. Today he is going to Wembley.
Ellison became the oldest EFL play-off goalscorer at 42 years and 89 days old during Newport’s semi-final second leg against Forest Green.
He broke the record previously held by Kevin Phillips at 39 years and 306 days.
Kevin Ellison, 42, plays at Wembley today after becoming oldest ever playoff scorer
‘It’s a bit surreal if I’m honest because if you think back to where I was going to be at the end of last August, to say tomorrow I’m going to play at Wembley, it’s a bit mad,’ he said.
‘I’m just trying to soak it all in. But at the same time, I’m going to go out there and enjoy it.
‘I’m 42 and I still dream like I did as a young kid, why not? Why can’t I go to Wembley? Why can’t we win it at Wembley?’
The 62nd-minute substitute scored from 25 yards helping his side to a 5-4 win on aggregate to set up a Wembley final clash against Morecambe, his former club of nine years.
Veteran struck from 25 yards out to earn Newport County 5-4 aggregate win vs Forest Green
‘I think it’s going to be tough. It’s a bit emotional. I was there for nine years, so for me, it’s impossible to close off ties and feelings with regards to a club I’d done so well at but I’m going to do my upmost to win,’ he said.
Ellison is the highest scoring player in EFL meetings between Morecambe and Newport with six goals for Morecambe and one for the Exiles.
The midfielder scored against the Shrimps earlier in the season during Newport’s 3-1 league win and is looking to repeat the performance when the two sides face each other at Wembley.
‘Would I like to score? Of course, it would be unbelievable,’ he said.
‘But if I didn’t kick a ball again and that was my last goal last week then so be it. If I don’t get involved tomorrow, yet we still win I’ll be over the moon.
Ellison will face former side Morecambe in the League Two playoff final after nine years at club
‘Last time earlier in the season, there was a build up of about nine months of emotions, so it was good to get that out because it’s not going to affect me now going into today’s game.
‘It’s a massive game for both clubs and hopefully I’m the happy one at the end of it.’
The veteran has made over 600 league appearances, including a Premier League outing for Leicester City against Manchester United in 2001, but has no intention of looking towards retirement.
‘I definitely want to continue to play next season, so I’d like to think I added a little bit to my CV last week showing people I can still impact games and hopefully I can do that tomorrow,’ he said.
‘I was talking to the lads and they asked if I’ll be nervous and I think I will be a little bit.
‘Those butterflies and feeling a little bit nervous are what drive me on. When they go, I’ll know it’s finally time for the R-word.’
The midfielder admitted it would be ‘unbelievable’ to score against his former side at Wembley
Ellison kept the secret to his record-breaking success close to his chest.
‘I might reveal my secret when the R-word creeps in, because if tell it now there might be lads trying to break my record,’ he joked.
‘I look after myself a bit better today. I try and recover properly, which I don’t think I did in the younger years of the game,’ he said.
Ellison might not want anyone else to break his record but the evergreen player admitted he would love to do it himself.
Ellison has made over 600 career appearances for clubs including Hull City and Leicester
OLDEST SCORERS IN OTHER COMPETITIONS
PREMIER LEAGUE: Teddy Sheringham, 40 years 268 days, West Ham United vs Portsmouth
FA CUP: Teddy Sheringham, 41 years 09 months 03 days, Colchester United vs Peterborough United
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Francesco Totti, 38 years 59 days, Roma vs CSKA Moskova
‘They’re there to be broken aren’t they, and if I get another one tomorrow and add to the record I hold at the minute that would be great,’ he said.
‘But tomorrow is not just about Kevin Ellison, it’s about Newport County. And for me, it probably will be the highlight of my career.’
The Liverpool native completed his coaching licence at St George’s Park last week as he looks to keep football in his future but he has also done a PFA counselling course driven by his own ‘dark days’.
‘I’d like to stay in football because it’s given me so much and I want to give back to football what it has given me.
‘Either way I’ll be trying to make an impact and change somebody’s life and if my story can maybe help another person, great, job done.
‘Football was my medication at the time. Me stepping over that white line on a Tuesday night or a Saturday afternoon for those 90 minutes I’d forget about all my troubles.’
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