By Brian Bennett | Photo: Ian Brodie

Gary Ormston not only made his debut for Ashington in Saturday’s match against Liversedge at Woodhorn Lane – but also made his bow at Northern Premier League level.

An FA Vase winner with Whitley Bay and a league winner with North Shields, Ormston admitted that it is those ‘buzzes’ which drive him on.

Last week he signed for the Colliers from Newcastle Blue Star – a move which he says was a ‘no brainer’ and one which left him excited: “When I spoke to manager Ian Skinner, it was a no brainer,” he said, “Ashington are a top club with top people around. I’m really excited to be honest and now that I’m 40, to get excited again is quite a good thing!”

Benwell-born Ormston was named in the starting line up and he gave his reaction: “You are always trying to prove yourself in football but especially when you get a little bit older,” he added, “All I wanted to do today was to hit the ground running and do myself justice – and I thought I did that. The lads took to me quite well – I know most of them after playing against them for years – and I thought I fitted in quite well. I enjoyed it and hopefully my experience will help the team.”

Ashington lost the game 2-0 and Ormston said: “We huffed and puffed but Liversedge are a big strong side We played some football which was half decent and made some good chances and openings and I thought we were quite unlucky.”

Ormston – a builder – reflected on his successes beginning with Whitley Bay’s 3-2 triumph over Coalville Town in the 2011 FA Vase final at Wembley “Whitley had already won the competition the previous two years and we went on this unbelievable run,” he said, “We had lads in the side like Paul Chow, Lee Kerr and Paul Robinson and I literally just shored everything up. To win it was a dream and a fantastic experience.”

He continued: “To lift the Ebac Northern League first division title with North Shields at the end of the 2021/22 season was a memorable occasion too – and that’s why I’m still playing now – for those little buzzes. My best game of football was also for North Shields in the final of the Northumberland Senior Cup at St James’ Park in 2016 when we beat Blyth Spartans 4-3. I scored the opening goal with a curler from the outside of the box at the Gallowgate End and we clinched victory in the last minute.”

Ashington boss Ian Skinner said: “Obviously Gary is someone who I have known a long long time. We were preparing for the game against Liversedge and knew we potentially had nine players unavailable – four of which were central midfielders. We heard the news that things had changed at Gary’s club and we went through the formal procedures – and I thank Newcastle Blue Star for their co-operation in waiving the seven days notice. We spoke to Gary and joining us was something which he was keen to do -certainly in the short term to come and help us out on Saturday. We are having some discussions about potentially getting him to stay until the end of the season and hopefully we can come to an arrangement which will suit both parties. He arrives with a wealth of experience and also adds some height to the squad but I love the fact that he just keeps the game so simple and retains the ball – and I think he’ll be a fantastic addition for us.”