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(Saturday 5th May 2001)
Jamie Bates - a last goodbye - picture Paul DennisJamie Bates has played his last game for Wycombe after announcing the shock decision to retire from the professional game. The 33 year old informed Manager Lawrie Sanchez before the final game of the season against Colchester. Sanchez promptly made the central defender Captain for the day and his day nearly ended on the ultimate high after a thunderous last minute free-kick was just tipped around by U's 'keeper Andy Woodman.
The ex-Brentford hero wanted to keep news of his farewell low key but news spread quickly before and after the game with Colchester and there were emotional scenes after the final whistle as he walked off the Adams Park pitch for the last time. The modest Bates then attended the shirt sponsor presentation in the Vere Suite before quickly departing.
It's been no secret this season's FA Cup run has ranked at the top of Bates' long career in the professional game and he was keen to go out on a high rather than become surplus to requirements.

Bates has only been at Adams Park for just over two years after being salvaged from Brentford but he quickly built up a reputation as reliable defender and established a special bond with the fans. You could always tell that no matter what, playing for Wycombe actually meant something and you could never doubt that he gave 100%. The game against Colchester was his 100th appearance since his move from Griffin Park and this season he's chipped in with six goals - his best ever seasonal total during 15 years at both Brentford and Wycombe. Only striker Andy Rammell and fellow central defender Paul McCarthy have got more goals for Wycombe during the 2000/2001 season.

What ever Bates decides to do after retiring from the professional game, Chairboys on the Net wishes him well. From Brentford cast-off to Wycombe legend in the space of two years, Bates will go down as one of the all-time great central defenders and general all round decent blokes in the history of the Club.

Also see a tribute to Jamie Bates from 'Badger' >>>

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Chairboys on the Net 2001 - all rights reserved - picture with kind permission of Paul Dennis
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