Worthing will remember one of their finest players and their greatest ever team.

But they hope those enjoying a reunion of the 1982-83 side also witness another step in the right direction for the current set-up.

The Rebels team who reached the second round of the FA Cup, as well as finishing second in the Isthmian League, will get together at the club’s home Bostik premier clash against Harlow.

Barry Lloyd, the Worthing manager who went on to take charge of Albion, will lead them on the pitch at half-time.

Then they will pause to remember Steve Piper, pictured, the former Albion and Worthing player who died on Boxing Day.

Ex-Rebels skipper Geoff Raynsford was best mates with Piper and is delighted the idea of a reunion in his honour has captured so many imaginations.

He told The Argus: “I’ve been gobsmacked by it all.

“We’ve got the whole team, which is fantastic.

“Barry Lloyd will walk us out with his assistant Keith Rowley.

“We were discussing it 18 months to two years ago but for various reasons it never took off.

“When Steve passed away at Christmas a lot of us went to the funeral and we were saying, ‘We’ve got to get together’.

“I contacted everyone and they said yes straight away.

“I’ve not seen some of them for 35 years.

“It will be so nice to get the lads together.”

Rebels held Oxford goalless for an hour before losing 4-0 in their best ever cup run.

But many also recall those days for their pursuit of the title in what was then the sixth tier.

Raynsford said: “Sutton won the title and didn’t want to go up.

“We were asked and the players wanted to go up but the club declined.

“We were a good side. We used to pull Barry Lloyd’s leg, telling him we got him the Brighton job!”

Piper is well remembered for his days in the Football League with Albion and Portsmouth but he also gave great service in non-league football.

Raynsford said: “I met Steve when we were youth players at Brighton.

“I was 17, he was 16.

“He went on to play for Brighton and I didn’t but we stayed friends.

“After his knee injury he came to play for Worthing.

“Then we played in the same team at Arundel.

“We had played golf together twice a week since.

“I’ve known him for 48 years.

“He was a close personal friend of mine and I miss him so much.

“He was a terrific player, and hard as nails, but a gentleman off the pitch.”

Raynsford has fond memories of his Woodside Road days and is thrilled to see owner George Dowell turning their fortunes around.

Having looked adrift at one stage, boss Adam Hinshelwood has guided his side to six points clear of the drop zone and they are playing some great football.

Raynsford said: “They were the best football times off my life.

“It’s a great club and George seems to have transformed the place.

“Not everyone will know us when we walk out - but I think a lot of people will.”

Worthing’s line-up at Oxford was Alan Dovey, Paul Flood, Martin Cox, Bruce Aitken, Geoff Raynsford, Paul Lelliott, Steve Gill, Trevor Dove, Mike Cornwell, Mick Edmonds, Kevin Foreman and substitute Russell Barnard.