When they write a history of Hanworth Villa Football club there will no doubt be a chapter on goalkeepers.
At this point in time the club, founded by Jimmy Connors, is 45 years old and that chapter on Hanworth Villa goalkeepers would be quite thin. From my recollection, having been involved with the club since 1977, if you were to add up the number of keepers with over 80 appearances, it would make a very short list; indeed, made up from Nick Godfrey, Alan Routledge, Martin Riley, Dave “Peasy” Farrow and, of course, Terry Buss. Maybe it is because the Villa defences over the years have been so good that they stick around or is it the general atmosphere about the place that they enjoy and want to be a part of it.
Whatever the reason, today Terry has notched up 800 competitive games for Hanworth Villa, something that is probably unique, given that the total is for one club.
In addition to these 800 games Terry briefly played for CB Hounslow and Bedfont Sports and spent some time not playing, so potentially he could have got close to one thousand first team appearances.
Terry is part of the ‘Buss Clan’ which, for those in the know, was the bedrock of many Villa sides and, with the Buss/Silbery alliance, the providers of many great players who represented the Villa over the years, and hopefully for many years to come.
Terry started as a player for Hanworth Villa as part of our U18 side, managed by his Uncle Tony, when he was 16 and is now in his 20th season. That U18 side provided the bulk of the Middlesex County FL side that secured promotion to the Combined Counties Football League (CCL) in 2005, again with the team managed by Tony Buss and with Terry playing alongside his cousin Mark Buss. It was the 2002/03 season in the Middlesex County Football League under the management of Mark Wilson that Terry made his debut for the first team, displacing Dave Farrow, and then becoming ever present in goal.
It must be said that during his early career in the CC FL he was considered one of the best, if not the best goalkeepers in the CCL; recently one of our opponents again said that Terry, in his opinion, is still the best and most consistent keeper at this level of football.
If the truth were known he could have gone further up the pyramid, but like so many long serving and loyal Villains, although courted and at times and had his head turned, he always came back to the Villa and the club thank him for not only the performances over the years but his loyalty to the cause.
Once again, this season, he is having a superb run of clean sheets, having only conceded 11 goals in 17 league fixtures, which is even more remarkable when you consider that 8 of those goals were conceded in 3 games.
With the team at the top of the CCL Premier North Division, it would be a fitting tribute to Terry should they clinch promotion to Step 4 during this record-breaking season, which would take the club to the highest level of football they have played in.
To do justice to the career of Terry Buss, you only have to look at the list of honours he has whilst representing Hanworth Villa FC shown below. But it should also be recorded that Terry played in our very first and most memorable FA Cup campaign in the 2011/12 season under the management of the late Bobby Dawson. Against all the odds and with some luck along the way the team reached the 4th Qualifying round of the competition; just one win away from the 1st Round proper and a live broadcast against Bradford Park Avenue; it was sadly not the case as the Villa went down 3-2 to AFC Totten, a team some three divisions above us in the pyramid. However, the cup run was immortalised by ESPN and the memories will always remain of that great achievement.
So, what is next for Terry, probably 820 odd appearances by the end of the season and at his age he could go on for a couple more seasons and get to 900?
Who knows, but should he hang up his gloves his two boys are waiting in the wings to take over and continue the dynasty?
Whatever happens, the club thanks you Terry, for your loyalty and the many games you have won for us by being such a great keeper, and we all hope that this season ends up being a record-breaking season for you and the club.
Terry Buss – Honours with Hanworth Villa
2002/2003 Middlesex County League Champions
2003/2004 Middlesex County League Champions
2002/2003 Alec Smith Premier Division Cup
2002/2003 Middlesex Federation Football League cup
2006/2007 Middlesex County League Division One Challenge Cup
2007/2008 Middlesex County League Division One Challenge Cup
2011/2012 Southern Combination Cup
2013/2014 Southern Combination Cup
2015/2016 Middlesex Senior Charity Cup
2015/2016 Middlesex Senior Charity Cup