As well as being a momentous afternoon last Saturday for the whole club, it was also a special day for coach Michael Meaker who officially retired from playing competitive football and handed his boots into the crowd before the game.

The 50 year old has enjoyed a long career in the game, starting off as a 17 year old youth player at Queens Park Rangers where he played in the FA Premier League. He went on to represent a number of League clubs including Reading, Bristol Rovers, Swindon Town, and Plymouth Argyle before dropping into non-league football and going on to play for several clubs such as Southall, Hounslow Borough, Mangotsfield United and Yate Town. He has also made several appearances internationally for Wales Under 21’s and B team.

Although primarily fulfilling the role of either assistant manager and more latterly coach during two spells with the Peacocks, Meaks has still laced up his boots to feature occasionally since first joining in 2015, having made 4 full and 9 sub appearances including one this past season when he came off the bench against Paulton Rovers in the Southern League Challenge Cup.

He told” What a fantastic day and no better way to end such an amazing career than before a 2000+ crowd and with all my family there. I’ve been lucky to have enjoyed such a long career when I’ve played in all divisions of the Football League apart from League 2, and have been involved in winning league titles, play-offs and various sausage cups. It was also an incredible day when I was selected for my country.”

Despite his time spent in the professional game, Meaker has loved his time with the Peacocks. He continued:” I’ve had a superb time at Taunton where we’ve won two league championships and getting to the National League South is very special and an amazing achievement for our managerial group who have all been brilliant carrying out their respective roles. Now we’ve got there we want to push on and do well, and it will be great to put my UEFA A coaching qualifications to good use at that level. I want to thank the amazing fans along with Kev, the Board and all the staff who all make it such a special club. Everyone behind the scenes does a fantastic job and people shouldn’t forget that.”

The news season will be here before we know it and Meaks can’t wait. “It has been the best season ever and I hope the good times continue,” he said. “For the Meaks it is a new challenge and one I’m really looking forward to. I would like to thank my wife and family for supporting me throughout a very special career which I hope will continue for a long time yet (sorry Abby haha).”

Meaks is pictured being presented with a bottle of champagne by Chairman Kevin Sturmey before the Farnborough game to commemorate his long career as a player.