ONE of Cornwall's most popular footballers donned his goalkeeper gloves one last time on Saturday, bringing to an end almost three decades in the game.
Looking back on a career spanning 28 years, Dennis Annear admits he has achieved everything he wanted to in football – from representing the county on more than 20 occasions, winning cups and league titles, to playing in the same team as sons Tom and Jordan.
But all good things come to an end, and at the age of 43, Annear, quite fittingly against his hometown club Truro City, played his final game at the weekend for Porthleven.
A guard of honour welcomed the veteran goalkeeper onto the Treyew Road pitch, though there was no room for sentiment once the game kicked off as Truro won the CSWPL division one west clash 3-1.
Nonetheless, it was a special occasion for Port's player-manager, who still remembers his first game like it was yesterday.
He recalled: "I was just 15 at the time and my dad (Dennis Annear snr, a former keeper himself) knew Dave Fisher at Perranwell. Dave gave me my debut against Holmans.
"We went on to reach the Supplementary Cup final that season, where we lost to Mullion at Truro."
The following season Annear joined Harold Richards' Truro City in the Combination League, before stepping up to Morrish Truscott's first team.
Annear said: "I made my debut in the FA Vase and it was one of those games where everything went right."
After a couple of seasons at Truro, Annear moved on to Newquay, spending four years at Mount Wise, helping the Peppermints to the South Western League title.
More success was to follow, on his return to Truro, winning the Cornwall Senior Cup and the South Western League.
Graham Nicholls brought Annear back to Newquay for one season, before Gary Marks tempted him to Penzance for four seasons.
By then Annear was 31 and following a couple of injuries he contemplated hanging up his gloves.
It was only after playing for a South Western League XI against a Cornwall select side that his performance prompted Trevor Mewton to sign him for St Blazey.
Annear enjoyed three seasons at Blaise Park, winning the Cornwall Charity Cup and the South Western League.
But after suffering cruciate ligament damage playing for Penryn, Annear took four years out of the game.
Yet again, though, he was tempted back when son Tom was playing for Hayle. And after helping them out, he then agreed to turn out for St Day.
A return to Penryn then followed, as player-manager of the second team.
And in 2012 he was appointed player-manager of division one west Porthleven.
Looking back on his career, he said: "I've been lucky enough to work with some really good people and I've made many friends.
"I will miss it, but there comes a time when you know it's time to jack it in."
Annear will remain at Porthleven as manager, but he insists there is no chance of him coming out of retirement.
He said: "I've made sure I've not signed myself on for next season, so I think we can safely say that's it now.
"Fortunately my missus (Tracy) has been excellent down the years and it will be nice to have a little bit more time to spend with the family now."