Paul Foley Benefit Match: The moment I walked in that changing room and all the great memories and banter came flooding back, says Dean Bowey
DEAN BOWEY says he enjoyed playing his part in Paul Foley’s Benefit game in Maidstone last Saturday.
The 52-year-old striker rolled back the years by scoring once and setting up two goals as Ramsgate’s double-winning side from the 1998-99 season drew Maidstone United’s double-winning side (pictured below, Ramsgate in red, photo: Twitter) from 2001-02 3-3, before the Stones won the game 12-11 on penalties.
“Foe’s condition is in decline, he’s now wheelchair bound. To see a team mate and pal and have to go through this is heartbreaking. He’s in good spirts though and is one tough cookie,” said Bowey, who lives in Westgate-on-sea and runs his own plastering firm.
“I got the Gofundme link come through. On receiving this I was torn as to how much to donate and any amount I could afford wouldn’t have seemed enough.
“That’s when I decided to give Jim Ward a ring to try and sort out a game, involving our Ramsgate double winning side. That’s when Jim suggested a game between Ramsgate’s and Maidstone United’s double winning sides and that would be a fitting tribute and fund raiser.
“We managed to get most of the Rams side back and Danny Ward sorted out the Stones’ side.”
Reflecting on the day itself, Bowey said: “The moment I walked in that changing room and all the great memories and banter came flooding back. It was quite emotional. There were some great players in there and it was like we’d never been away. It was great team spirt and we were a band of brothers.
“What a day! What a game! The first 10 minutes I don’t think we touched the ball. I thought we were in for a long afternoon and it was sweltering hot.
“We got ourselves into the game. Timmy Dixon and Browny (Neil Brown) were pulling the strings in the middle, young Edd Vahid, well he’s young to me, was commanding at the back and his brother Stuart was up top with me.
“I was able to set him up with two goals, brilliantly finished by Stuart.
“I managed to get on the scoresheet myself, rolling back the years from a 40-yard ball from Russ Wilson to curl the ball into the far corner, giving the keeper no chance!
“It was great to silence the wife because she kept saying leading up to the game that I had no goals left in me. She knew I had really!”
Bowey revealed that he met up with Foley last Monday because he was working nearby.
“He was in good spirits. We spoke about the game and football in general, reminiscing for about two hours,” said Bowey.
“I’d like to say thanks to everyone involved in the day. It was an amazing turnout for a great cause and a brilliant team mate and pal.”
Bowey scored 345 goals in 509 games during his semi-professional career and when asked about his career highlights, he replied: “Wow! Great question! There have been so many! Double winning season at Ramsgate and winning the golden boot has got to be up there and winning promotion and the Kent Senior Trophy at Dartford. Also, coming from park football to play for the mighty Dover Athletic but to end my semi-pro career scoring 345 goals in 509 games meant a lot.”
Ramsgate: Micky Simmons, Darryl Stacey, Mark Harrop, John Munday, Edd Vahid, Steve Coatham, Neil Brown, Martin West, Peter Hansen, Stuart Vahid, Dean Bowey, Tim Dixon, Dave Ward, Russell Wilson, Martin James, Robbie Summers.
Manager: Jim Ward
Maidstone United: Kevin Hudson, Jamie Kempster, Aaron Lacy, Nick Davis, Simon Glover, Anthony Hogg, Jodie Kempster, Neil Davy, Steve Marshall, Richard Sinden, Nick Hegley, Terry Cordice, Simon Austin, Simon Pettit, Steve Hogg, Tony Reynolds.
Manager: Danny Ward