DAVID Laws was signed for the Terras from Bishop Auckland by Graham Carr in July 1995 for a fee of £9,000.

At the time the fee was thought to be quite a high price to pay for a player joining a club playing in the lower levels of the Southern League and questions were asked about the wisdom of such an outlay.

But they were quickly answered as Lawsy scored twice on his debut - a friendly, at the Wessex Stadium, against Rushden and Diamonds.

The game finished in a 2-2 draw and the 344 spectators witnessed the start of a goalscoring career that was to put Laws at the forefront of the many players who have graced the club over the past 100 years.

Although failing to score on his competitive debut, at Braintree on August 19, 1985, he was on the score sheet three days later in his home debut, a 1-2 defeat by Havant.

The team at Braintree was: Martin Peters, Stuart James, Nicky Limber, Alex Browne, Andy Turrell, Ian Hutchinson, Darren Campbell (John Waldock 35mins), Lee Congerton (Simon Dyer 62mins), Martin Shepherd, David Laws, Neil Housley.

As that season closed he had finished well clear in the goalscoring charts, something he was to achieve in every campaign he fought for the Terras, prior to this season's interrupted efforts.

To enable one to fully appreciate David Laws' contribution to the club it pays to look at his scoring record in Southern League fixtures.

In a total of 264 Southern League appearances (of which nine saw him join the fray from the bench) he has scored 149 goals, which is a record of a goal every 157 minutes played! This makes him the top scorer in Southern League fixtures in the club's history. Only Dave Massart 114 goals in 156 appearances (1951-56) and Marcel Gaillard with 111 goals in 219 appearances (1953-60) have topped the 100 mark in this competition.

No player scored 100 plus goals in Weymouth's stay in the Conference league, but three players did top the century in the Western League - Farmer Haines 215 goals in 164 appearances, Tony Hobson (senior) 107 in 106 and Arthur Herridge 106 in 193.

As a matter of note no player topped 100 goals when the club's senior football was played in the Dorset League, in the dark distant past.

In the 100 seasons that Weymouth FC have completed only three players have scored in excess of 200 goals for the club - the legendary Lutor Pitman, who made 456 appearances between 1919 and 1931, scoring 255 goals and Farmer Haines whose 254 goals were scored in 253 games between 1932 and 1938 have scored more than David Laws.

In the appearance charts David Laws lies in 15th place in our all time records, amongst those above him are Ian Hutchinson, John Waldock and Alex Browne from this year's squad. In the case of the former two they are only just above Lawsy and I suspect that there would have been even less separating them if David had not moved to Eastleigh, back in August.

As for milestones that David achieved, his 100th appearance, in all competitions was on April 5, 1997 in a home Southern League match with Waterlooville - he scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 win. Number 200 came in the FA Trophy tie with Forest Green Rovers, again at the Wessex, on February 6, 1999 - sadly he did not score and the Terras lost 2-1.

He notched up his 300th game on February 16, 2002 when he came on as a substitute in the 7-1 Southern League defeat at Moor Green.

If we confine ourselves to Southern League appearances then his 100th was against Fareham Town on February 14, 1998, again at the Wessex, when he scored in a 2-1 win. This was followed, on December 23, 2000, by number 200, which came at Stafford Rangers in a match which Weymouth lost 3-2.

Obviously goalscoring is David Laws' forte and we can look at some records of his achievements in this file, too. His 100th goal, in all competitions, came on April 28, 1998 as Weymouth won 3-0 at Clevedon.

The next milestone came in the derby with Dorchester Town, at the Wessex, on March 30, 1999, when he scored both goals in a 2-1 Southern League win - goal number two his 100th strike in the Southern League.

The 200th goal scored by Laws, in all competitions, came in the 4-0 defeat of Salisbury (Dr Martens Cup) on November 13 2001 - again Laws recorded a brace.

Still on the subject of goals, Laws has scored 12 hat-tricks (of which seven have been in league matches) and managed two goals in a game on 34 occasions (26 in league action).

Whichever way one looks at it David Laws has more than repaid the £9,000 spent on obtaining his services seven years ago