IMPERIAL footballer Ash Temby has broken the River Murray Football League games record, playing his 429th senior match in his 26th season of football.
On Saturday, July 25, at Johnstone Park, Temby eclipsed the 428 record held by Alan Rickaby, of Jervois.
And, Temby did it in style, kicking a goal and among his team's best players in Imperials' big reserves win over Mypolonga.
To date, Temby has played 107 games for Mypolonga where he started his career, 319 games for Imperials and three association matches.
The humble midfielder - who has been a star in the Imperial league side since coming over from Mypolonga in 2003 - is playing reserves football nowadays, and continues to excel, winning the Lokan Medal as the reserves best and fairest in 2019.
Temby is a two-time league premiership player, winning his first flag in 2009 and then again in 2011 as the club's league captain.
The consistent performer put down his longevity in the game to a simple love for the sport.
"I just love doing it, its never been a chore ... I enjoy running around with the younger lads and the camaraderie side of it all," Temby said.
"And I've been very lucky, I've only missed a handful of games through injury ... I do think you have to be lucky,"
"Obviously personal achievements aren't what you play for but these sorts of things don't come around very often so it is nice."
The veteran shows no signs of slowing down and said he had not yet thought about the day when he would stop playing.
"I'll try go on for as long as possible ... I'll keep going as long as I can while I'm still enjoying it," he said.
Imperial Football Club president David Schenscher said Temby was a star footballer and a great person off the field to go with it.
"26 years of playing senior footy, that's a big achievement," he said.
"We had Tony Fielke who coached him for nine years come in and talk about him before the game and it was all about how he is a great bloke on and off the field," Schenscher said.
"He still never misses a training ... he is a credit to himself."
River Murray Football League president Terry Connolly also paid tribute to the Imperial stalwart.
"The RMFL acknowledges the tremendous contribution Ash has made to community football ... his impact on country football has been extensive and should not be underestimated," Connolly said.
"His elite skills, athletic superiority, intuitive game sense and consistency has been there for all to see over a long period of time.
"But above all, Ash, to my mind, personifies everything that is wonderful about football. A courageous player, but never combative and unpleasant, skillful, great leader, calm, and most of all, he played the game fairly."
Temby thanked his family, the Imperial Football League, the River Murray Football League and all the volunteers