150 up for Luke

Luke Stanley has become only the eighth player to reach the milestone of 150 appearances for the club (since the merger in 1995).

Stanley joins illustrious names like Paul Salmon, Billy Read and Simon Ticker on the 150+ list, a result of great commitment and loyalty at a time where there is very little in the non-league game, especially in east London and Essex.

Luke first signed for the club during the 2008-9 season by Tony Ievoli, having previously been had spells at Barkingside and Tilbury.

His debut came on the 25th of October 2008, a 4-2 defeat to Ware.

In his first season for the club, he made 31 appearances, scoring one goal. He stayed with the club through the summer, and made 34 appearances the following season, scoring twice, and even managed to get himself sent off once.

Once Tony Mercer was appointed as manager, Stanley left the club and linked up with Spencer Harrison at Aveley. But before long, Stanley returned to Forest, and made 17 appearances in the tail end of the 2010-11 season.

He came to the club as an out and out winger, but Wale Ojelabi clearly saw the defensive part of his game as a great asset, and began to play him in the centre of the pitch.

After returning from Aveley, Luke’s 2011-12 season was cut short by injury, though he still managed 14 appearances, scoring once, in a 1-0 victory over Waltham Abbey.

He was a near ever-present the following season though, making 39 appearances and scoring three goals.

After spells with various clubs around the east London and Essex borders, Luke returned to the club a few weeks ago. He made his 150th appearance in the Gordon Brasted Trophy semi-final defeat to Stansted on the 16th February 2019.

He’ll no doubt be looking to climb the appearances table further – next in his sights is Andy Silk, in 6th place with 174 appearances.

Congratulations Luke!

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