EX-Cherries pair Dave Puckett and Mark Whitlock have reunited as team-mates after 20-years apart – thanks to a chance meeting in a supermarket.
Striker Puckett and defender Whitlock helped Cherries win the Division Three championship in 1987, their first season with the club after leaving Southampton.
The duo were signed by Harry Redknapp as part of a deal that took prolific Cherries marksman Colin Clarke to the Dell for a club record £400,000 fee in July 1986.
Puckett and Whitlock, who both served their apprenticeships with Saints and helped them finish second in the top flight in 1984, also played together at Aldershot before the Hampshire club went under in 1992.
Having lost touch, Puckett, 51, and 50-year-old Whitlock recently ran into one another at Tesco in Bursledon and have since started playing together again.
Puckett told the Daily Echo: “I live in Hamble and he lives in Sholing and I bumped into him in Tesco. I hadn’t seen him for 20 years and it was great to see him again.
“Our careers followed a similar path from the time we first started playing for Hampshire boys as 14-year-olds. We were both apprentices at Southampton, we went to Bournemouth at the same time and ended up at Aldershot.
“I told him I played for a veterans’ team on Sundays and invited him along. We have ended up being team-mates again. We play for Solent Vets, we play every Sunday and it is just a bit of fun against other teams.”
Puckett, who also plays five-a-side with his 24-year-old son George every Friday, last month hit the headlines when he became the oldest goalscorer in Wessex League history.
Playing for Lymington Town, where his younger son Bill is also on the books, Puckett came off the bench to net in a 3-1 defeat by Totton & Eling.
Puckett said: “I’ve played six times and scored a couple of goals.
“More importantly, it gave me the chance to play up front with my son Bill. We had 30 minutes together against Bemerton a couple of weeks ago and it was the best 30 minutes of football I have ever had.
“We linked and passed well and it was a wonderful partnership. It gave me a massive thrill.”