Royal Mail are often blamed for losing everything from letters to parcels – and now Hanworth Villa have lost their number one keeper to them.
Terry Buss, who has played more than 500 games for the club, works as a postman, but has had his shifts changed by his employers, ruling him out of most Saturday games.
The good news for Villa is that Buss will be back between the sticks for Saturday's crucial FA Vase fourth round tie at home to Eastbourne United.
With his replacement, former Staines Lammas keeper Josh Richardson, cup tied, Buss has taken some holiday leave especially to reclaim his old jersey for the big game.
Villa secretary Dave Brown said: “It is a real shame for Terry, but Josh has been excellent since he came in. If we make further progress in the Vase, Terry will probably take some more holiday leave to play in the later rounds too. He might still be able to play the odd league game, but he best we can hope for is he is there for the Vase games.”
Indeed, the Vase is fast becoming the focus for the Rectory Meadow side's season as they have fallen out of the Combined Counties Premier title race.
Having been as high up the table as third, a run of five league games without a win has seen then slip down to 11 place, 21 points off leaders South Park.
Brown said: “We're not exactly pulling up trees in the league, and whereas you would not write off a title challenge, there is a significant gap now, and South Park are in a strong position.
“But we are where we wanted to be when we made our five year plan four years ago, and in the summer we will sit down and talk about where we want to go in the next five years.”
For a club who have made a name for themselves as cup giant-killers in recent years, and who knocked last year's finalists out in the last round of the Vase, Villa will, for once, not be the underdogs on Saturday.
Eastbourne, despite being an Isthmian League side in the 1980s, now ply their trade in Division Two of the Sussex County League – a level below Villa – but Brown warned that they still have pedigree.
He added: “They have already knocked South Park out of this year's Vase, along with another Combined Counties Premier side in Chessington & Hook, so they will fancy their chances. They are also top of their league – but then so were East Grinstead when we played them.”