Darlington legend Ron Greener never really got the chance to say goodbye to Feethams last time around and today he hopes to do it properly.

After a club record 490 appearances for the club, Greener, more affectionately known as "The Man Mountain" during his 12 years at Feethams, slipped out the back door almost unnoticed when he was given a free transfer by manager Jimmy Greenhalgh back in 1967.

A sad end to an otherwise distinguished career for the Easington-born defender, who was part of the famous Lol Morgan side which gained promotion for the second time in the club's history only a year earlier.

"We had our moments and our disappointments of course, but more than anything I have many happy memories of Feethams," said Greener.

As well as being part of the all-conquering promotion winning side, Greener also played a major role in some of the club's most memorable cup upsets.

Greener was at the heart of the Quakers defence which humbled First Division giants Chelsea in an FA Cup replay in 1958.

"We went to their place and held them to a 3-3 draw and then took them back to Feethams and beat them 4-1 which was marvellous," said Greener. "It was the week before Chelsea put four past Newcastle, so it was a massive achievement for us."

Today Greener returns to Feethams for a final farewell before the club moves to its brand new 25,000 all-seater stadium on Neasham Road.

And while Greener, now aged 69, will find a quiet moment to reflect amid all the hype this afternoon, he feels the club can look forward to a bright and exciting future at their new home.

"I don't know whether I'm looking forward to it or not," admits Greener. "Leaving Feethams will be a big wrench even though I don't play there now. I have so many happy memories down there and they will take some wiping out.

"Everything has to come to an end and hopefully they will do very well at the new ground.

"I've only seen it from the outside although I'm looking forward to going in it of course.

"I'm sure it will be magnificent and I would have loved to have had the opportunity to play there myself.

"It was always my ambition to play at Wembley and I'm sure plenty of young footballers would love the opportunity to play at the new ground."

The state-of-the-art complex, just a couple of miles down the road from Feethams, is a far cry from the days when Greener and the rest of his teammates had more than just opponents to tackle.

"When we came home on the bus from away games we used to have to stamp our feet at the doors of Feethams before we went in because of the rats," said Greener.

"Every now and again you would go into the changing room and see that the rats had been in the bath eating the soap because there were teeth marks in it. I've often trained on an afternoon at Feethams and the rat-catchers would be there around the ground.

"They were as big as cats!

"Dickie Deakin was the cleaner at the time and he had one hell of a job. He was well liked though because he was the only one who could light the boiler to get the bath on!"

Greener and the rest of his former teammates made an emotional return to Feethams earlier this season when they were honoured for their achievements 37 years ago when they were paraded before the Kidderminster game in January.

"I came back not so long ago with the rest of the lads from '66 and had a magnificent day," said Greener. "It was lovely to see all my old teammates who I hadn't seen for years.

"It will be nice to see them again on Saturday along with everybody else. I'm sure it will be a day for everybody to remember."

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