NOT many professional footballers can say they have played at Wembley twice.

But non-League stalwart Clive Dunn has great memories of his two games on the hallowed turf -- which mean even more now he has been forced to hang up his boots.

The 38-year-old midfielder was told two weeks ago that cruciate ligament damage in both knees will mean his 22-year semi-professional career is over.

And it finished where it all began -- at Great Harwood.

"I'm absolutely gutted. It's only just beginning to sink in," he said from his home in Clayton-le-Moors. "I've been involved with football almost every Saturday for over 20 years and now I'm having to find other things to do.

"But I've had a good innings. I've known lads who have had to pack in in their early 20s and I've had eight good years after hitting 30. I've done all right."

Dunn's trips to the Twin Towers came with Colne Dynamoes and Clitheroe -- both times in the FA Vase final.

He celebrated victory with Colne thanks to a 1-0 win over Emley in 1988 but it was disappointment with the Blues following defeat to Brigg Town in 1996.

"When I look back, playing at Wembley for Colne was the highlight of my career.

"It was brilliant. Coming out of the tunnel, it was unbelievable. I remember there were 17,000 people there filling one side of the stadium. You can only imagine what the professionals feel like when they are coming out to a full house.

"I remember Stuart Anderson scoring the winner but it was also over much too quickly," he said.

And while the Clitheroe trip was good, it wasn't as memorable for Dunn. "I'd done my cruciate ligaments about seven weeks before so I only came on as a sub.

"That wasn't as enjoyable as you want to be part of the full team. It's not like being involved from the start. And I'm not a good loser. I tend to sulk!

"But I did remember to do some things the second time which I forgot the first.

"I remembered to take photographs and keep my shirt. With Colne, I put it down and never saw it again."

With ten years service in at Clitheroe and Harwood -- "I should get a testimonial" -- his other clubs have included Rossendale, Darwen and Accrington Stanley.

"I've been to a few and played in every position -- defender, midfielder, striker, left or right side, even goalkeeper!

"That was at Harwood, we lost 6-0 and I let three in. I wouldn't go in goals again after that!"

While he has played all his career in non-League, there have been opportunities to give the professional game a go.

"When I was 16, I played for Bury's A team and then moved up to the reserves under Wilf McGuinness in the Central Lancashire League," he explained.

"Wilf was a great motivator and I remember playing at Old Trafford and Liverpool. It was great at the time.

"I was offered an apprenticeship by Bury but I also had a job as an apprentice joiner.

"At that time there was not a lot of money in football and it was considered good to get a trade behind you.

"So I decided to follow my trade and sign up part-time with Eric Whalley at Harwood.

"I do look back on it with regret, especially with the money now. I could have given it a go."

More chances did come his way with scouts coming to his various clubs.

"The problem was once someone told me a scout was watching I lost the plot. I heard Wolves, Liverpool and Leeds were at one time tracking me and I just went to pieces once I knew they were there," added Dunn.

Instead, he stayed on the local scene, working as a self-employed joiner.

"I love playing football, I love the social life connected with non-League and there are plenty of characters. It's such a wrench although I will still watch."

Unfortunately Dunn has one non-League ambition he won't be able to fulfil.

"I hope Great Harwood survive in the First Division. I just wish I could help them out of this one as I've been part of them being there," he said.

And Harwood boss Denis Underwood is equally sorry as the Reds continue their quest to move out of the bottom two at Glossop tomorrow.

"It's a disappointment to lose Clive," said Underwood. "He has that bit of quality that we need."

But he came to watch on Wednesday when we beat Stone in the Cup and that has given the lads that bit of confidence."