OXFORD City striker Steve Basham has admitted he will be emotional when he hangs up his boots on Saturday.
Basham, who joined Mike Ford’s side in 2011, feels the time is right to call it a day, so the final Skrill North game of the season at home to Bradford Park Avenue will be his last.
The 36-year-old started his professional football career in 1996 at his hometown club Southampton and later signed for Preston from where he joined Oxford United in 2002.
Basham, who is a trainee accountant with the Mgroup in Witney, was released by the U’s in 2007.
He later had spells at Exeter, Luton, Hayes & Yeading and Brackley Town, from where he signed for City.
Basham said it was around Christmas he decided this season would be his last.
“When I was playing I had things that I wanted to do in my head, but the legs wouldn’t do it,” said Basham.
“Work started to get very busy and I wanted to spend more time with my family.
“I wasn’t able to watch my son play football on a Saturday morning, so it all made sense.”
But Basham, who lives in Woodstock with wife Laura and children Joseph (9) and Phoebe (8), will not be cutting himself off from football entirely.
“I hope to do some media work and scouting, but at the moment I’m just thinking about Saturday,” he said.
“It will be an emotional day, but I am mentally prepared for it. I’ve had a great career in football, with a number of promotions.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at City and I feel I can be proud of my career.
“It would be nice to go out with a win and get a couple of goals.”
Basham said there had been many highlights in his 18-year career, 14 of those as a professional.
He added: “With City it has to be winning promotion to Conference North. That was a difficult season, but really enjoyable. I had three great years there.
“The lows were breaking my leg while playing at Preston and being relegated at Oxford United.
“There is going to be a big hole – that feeling you get on a Saturday at 3pm.