Sid Nelson is another player in our list who may not have always been at the forefront of people’s minds when they try and cast a list of top appearance makers.
He made his debut for Leyton Pennant aged just 16, on the 25th of April 1996, a 6-2 Essex Thameside Trophy victory over Thurrock. It proved to be a good day for Sid as he was one of the goal scorers in that victory.
Sid was limited to only appearances in the 95-6 and 96-7 seasons, but really cemented his place in the first team in the next two campaigns, making a total of 49 starts between 1997 and 1999.
It would be another two years before Sid returned for his second spell at the club. Playing under Colin Richards, Danny Honeyball and then Hakan Heyrettin, he made 38 starts in two seasons, scoring twice.
Sid seemed to get better and better with age, and more than ten years after his debut, he was brought in by Danny Honeyball to anchor the midfield. Playing the “holding role” in a midfield five, Sid broke up opposition play effortlessly, and covered an incredible amount of ground.
He remained with the club after Victor Renner’s departure to Potters Bar Town, but only managed 9 appearances before a house move cut short his playing time.
Sid really was one of the most genuine, honest non-league footballers we have seen at the club. Far from being the most technically gifted, his workrate and commitment made him a real supporters’ favourite.
In total, sid made 134 starts for the club, spread over twelve years, putting him 7th on our all-time list.