With 536 appearances and 102 goals to his credit “Bainer” was a massive crowd favourite during his three spells with the Dragons. As a 16 year old he had a brief flirtation with a Professional club by playing a handful of matches for Colchester United’s Youth Team under Brian Garvey. Work commitments put paid to regular Saturday football and it was only after a change of job that Keith was able to play for Lawford Lads in the Colchester & East Essex League and for Prettygate on Sunday mornings.
It was as an 18 year old that Wivenhoe first signed him when they were competing in the Essex & Suffolk Border League Premier Division and he made his first team debut on 30th October 1976 in an away fixture at West End United. He went on to become an ever present in the Dragons line up for the next twelve months, scoring his first goal on 20th November 1976 in a 5-1 victory over Shalford Rovers. His best goalscoring feat in a Wivenhoe shirt came on 4th February 1978 when he netted four times in a 5-1 win over Parkeston Railway. That match also marked the beginning of his longest unbroken run in the first team as he made a total of 94 consecutive appearances between that date and 17th May 1981. During that time he gained an Essex & Suffolk Border League Premier Division Championship medal in 1978/79, and then helped the Dragons to the Runners-up spot in the Essex Senior League the following season. “Bainer” also had the honour of scoring Wivenhoe’s first goal as a Senior club in August 1979 in a 2-0 victory over Brentwood at Broad Lane.
Blessed with electric pace Keith played on both wings, in midfield and as a centre forward before his first spell with the club came to an end in 1983 when he left to link up with Tiptree United. A back injury put him out of the game for two and a half years and it was not until the summer of 1986 that he started training again with former Dragons team mate Neil Partner over at Stanway. It was in November 1986 that he was re-signed by Manager Mick Loughton and he continued to operate in a familiar midfield role until being moved to the right back position for the 1987/88 campaign by Boss Geoff Bennett. “Bainer” adapted and was outstanding in our Isthmian League Division Two North Championship and Essex Senior Trophy “Double” winning side and was voted “Player Of The Year” by the supporters and Club Officials alike. Returning once again to a wide midfield role, his surging runs down the right resulted in some spectacular solo goals before departing for a season over at Sudbury Town in 1991/92.
Returning again in July 1992 “Bainer” made 56 appearances during the course of the 1992/93 campaign and played in his last ever game for the club in a tension filled 0-0 draw at Yeading which ensured the Dragons escaped relegation from the Isthmian League Premier Division on the very last day of the season. Leaving Broad Lane at the age of 35 in May 1993 Keith went on to have a successful time with Heybridge Swifts, eventually becoming captain and ending his career playing at centre half.
Chairman Dave Whymark presents Keith Bain with an Award to mark his 400th appearance.