Exeter’s director of football grew up in the stadium’s shadow and retires after the League Two play-off final against Coventry
“A40, Hanger Lane, turn left on to the North Circular, past Stonebridge Park and over on my left was Wembley,” says Steve Perryman, recounting his journey from Northolt to training at Tottenham Hotspur as a teenager, a drive he could do with his eyes closed these days. “I would go past it twice a day, there and back, usually sat in traffic, and you conjure up images and think: ‘I hope I play here again.’ And now we are back there with Exeter.”
The League Two play-off final against Coventry City on Monday will be particularly pertinent given it is Perryman’s final match before retiring – after 51 years in the game. He grew up in the shadow of Wembley, going to the dogs on a Friday night with his older brothers and playing on Ealing Common. “It is extraordinary and, if I could have written it, I guess this is how it would have finished,” he says.