Phil started his career at Hartlepool, and had a loan spell at Gateshead in 2005. He turned pro in July 2006, but only played one first team game for Hartlepool before going out on loan to Blyth and then being freed in May 2007.
He joined York, but then a shoulder injury sidelined him for six months, and when he recovered, he signed for Gateshead in March 2008. He helped Gateshead win promotion from the EvoStik Premier to the Conference North that season, and again the following season to the Conference Premier.
He went on to establish himself as a regular at the club, and went on to make 362 appearances for them, including one in the Conference play off final at Wembley in 2014. He was also on the losing side against Quakers in the FA Trophy semi final in 2011.
Last season he never missed a game for the Heed until a foot injury in February forced him to sit out the rest of the season.
He turned down a new contract at Gateshead in favour of a teaching job, and he joined Darlington, for whom he made 42 league appearances last season, even though he suffered a broken jaw, because of postponements, he only missed one league game.
Many thought that Phil was outstanding enough to win the league’s player of the year award, but was only selected for the team of the year.
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