Chris Swailes completes remarkable FA Vase hat-trick with Morpeth
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 22/05/16 4:53pm
Chris Swailes became Wembley's oldest goalscorer, and won the competition for a third time, as he helped Morpeth Town beat Hereford 4-1 to win the FA Vase on Sunday .
The 45-year-old, who played for Ipswich, Bury and Rotherham among others during a lengthy Football League career scored Morpeth's equaliser just over two years after falling ill while playing for Dunston UTS and having to have his heart restarted three times.
Swailes, who has since undergone four lots of heart surgery, returned to the playing ranks earlier this year after ending a spell as assistant manager to Martin Canning at Hamilton Academical.
Victory for the Northern League Division One side looked to be a long way off when Rob Purdie put Hereford, backed by nearly 20,000 fans, in front after less than two minutes with a 20-yarder.
Sirdic Grant had two chances to add to their lead, hitting the crossbar with one of them, before Swailes bundled the ball home from close range after former Torquay 'keeper Martin Horsell failed to deal with a high cross.
Morpeth were buoyed by that goal and almost grabbed a lead before half-time through top-scorer Michael Chilton, but they did go in front two minutes after the break through Luke Carr.
Keith Graydon played a big part in Morpeth's second goal, and he also set up the third on 59 when a through-ball made it all the way through for Sean Taylor to sidefoot past Horsell.
By now Morpeth were dominant, and they had few problems dealing with Hereford's desperate attacks before adding a fourth goal two minutes into added time through substitute Shaun Bell.
For Swailes that meant time to celebrate a third Vase final victory, after lifting the trophy as a 22-year-old with Bridlington Town in 1992 and again with Dunston UTS in 2012.