ONE of Cornish football's most likeable and recognisable characters, Mark Rapsey, has reached a milestone that strikers everywhere could only ever dream of.

The 49 year-old, affectionately known as Rappo, notched his 2,000th goal on Sunday when he came on to despatch a penalty for Wadebridge Veterans against Lanreath.

In typical Rappo fashion, he then scored another goal later in the game - a 25-yard chip - to celebrate the rarest of achievements.

"I was a bit nervous taking the penalty to be honest. I hadn't been on the pitch so I wasn't really warmed up and I didn't want to make myself look an idiot because there were a few people watching.

"The goalkeeper was former Brentford player Dave McGhee, who I haven't seen for 15 years since we last played for Cornwall together in Devon. He was giving me a bit of banter but luckily I stuck it away."

Rapsey first made his debut in men's football as a "skinny left winger" for Malabar in 1981. In 1998 he reached the 1,000 mark and a further 19 years later, he's doubled that incredible tally.

"I've probably missed around four seasons in total through injury over the years, so I'm delighted to have finally reached 2,000. I haven't played since October 2, so it was starting to prey on my mind a bit and it was total relief when I scored."

Rappo was a crowd favourite at Falmouth Town in several spells in the 1990s. He scored 144 goals in four seasons in the early part of the decade, before returning to win his fifth South-Western League medal in 2000.

He picks out two goals as his favourites.

"One would be scoring after only seven minutes of my debut for Exeter City Reserves against Bournemouth, who had come down with a very strong team.

"The other would be the winner in the SWL Cup for Falmouth against a really strong St Blazey side at Truro. It was the only goal of the game and it was the first trophy that Trevor Mewton won as manager after losing his previous 12 finals," said Rapsey, who lives in St Austell.

The big target man - known for his searing pace and predatory instincts in his pomp - is almost certain to retire at the end of the season.

"I'll be 50 in April and Wadebridge only have four games left, so I'll finish the season then probably just play a few charity matches," he said.

He may be hanging up his boots soon, but he will not be forgotten as one of Cornwall's greatest ever goalscorers.