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Sonny puts in the Miles for Angels

Sonny Miles record breaking appearance at Havant & Waterlooville 18.03.23. by Dave Couldridge

He smashes the all time 1st team appearance record

Tuesday 2nd December 2008 saw the Angels play an Isthmian League Cup 2nd round tie away at Merstham and for those few Tonbridge supporters in the sparse crowd of just 87 they were witnessing history in the making although they could be forgiven for not realising it at the time.   The game marked the 1st team debut for Sonny Miles with then manager Tommy Warrilow deciding it was time for this youth player at the club to make his first step up into senior football.      

Fast forward to Saturday 18th March 2023 and the somewhat more palatial surroundings of Westleigh Park, home of Havant & Waterlooville and we see Sonny, now club captain, leading the team out for a game that would mark his 520th appearance for his boyhood club.  Its particular significance was that it marked the record number of appearances for any Tonbridge Angels player during the entire history of the club dating back to 1948.   The late Geoff Truett made 516 appearances while Mark Gillham, a little later, chalked up 519.  

Sonny embodies the true spirit and character of semi-professional non-league football.   A leader both on and off the pitch he manages to successfully combine his club duties with, outside football, a responsible career in the construction industry together with his family life.   He has been part of two promotion winning Angels squads but through those successes he always has time for the supporters young and old and of course his team mates many of whom have been incredibly grateful for his help and advice over the years. 

After his 521st appearance on Saturday 25th March in the 4-3 defeat of Hungerford Town, his current manager, Jay Saunders said:  "This is a fantastic achievement particularly in this day and age when players do tend to move clubs quite frequently.  He is just simply a great lad but also a very good player.  You simply don't play those number of games by chance, you have to earn the right." 

Well done Sonny!  You truly are an Angels Legend!  

Photo top right:  David Couldridge.  Smile please ! Sonny Miles(left) performing his captain's duties prior to kick off at Havant & Waterlooville on his record breaking 520th appearance 18.03.23.    

Pictures below: Wes Filtness www.wezpix.com  : Sonny in action at Havant & Waterlooville  


Published Monday 27th March 2023