Ian Brown is hanging up his gloves after some 600 games in non-League football.

The Biggleswade Town goalkeeper said he couldn’t have asked for a better send off than the one he received from The Waders’ players, staff and supporters on Saturday, with the club having beaten Frome Town 4-1 at home in their final Southern Premier match of the season.

And the goalkeeper almost had the perfect ending to his playing career as he saved a penalty, only for the ball to rebound out to the taker who denied Brown a clean sheet in his final game.

Brown began his football career at Bedford Town in the club’s youth set up before joining Birmingham City’s academy, but after taking three years out of the game between the ages of 18 and 21 he returned to Bedford in 2002.

He spent five years with the Eagles before making the switch to Hemel Hempstead Town. He then took a year out before returning to Bedford for a three-year spell ahead of him joining Biggleswade four years ago.

Speaking about his retirement, Brown told the Comet: “I always said I wanted to go out on my terms and I have been lucky with injuries so it was just with a young family and football being so time-consuming that it just felt right.

“Strangely enough it’s probably the best I have felt on the pitch but I am happy with my decision.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better send off and I have to thank everyone at Biggleswade. They have been so good to me and I can’t praise them or thank them enough.”

Brown, who has already made the move into coaching, leaves the game having won a number of awards during his career.

“Most of my achievements of any note are individual apart from winning promotion with Bedford Town in 2005-6 to the Conference South and winning two Beds Senior Cup and one Herts Senior Cup prizes,” he said.

“Individually I have been lucky enough to win a clean sweep of awards (Players’ Player of the Year, Fans’ Player of the Year and Manager’s Player of the Year) at three different clubs: Biggleswade, Hemel and Bedford.

“Saturdays without football will be hard as it’s all I have known but I was lucky enough to start my coaching career about nine months ago thanks to a friend, Lee Allinson, who runs LAFA Academy in Stevenage.

“I am also hoping to set up my own goalkeeper academy in Bedford, but that will take time. Hopefully I can train and mentor some future stars between the sticks.”