KELLY NEWTON insists being persuaded to sign for Lewes when she was halfway up a mountain was the best decision she has ever made.

The former Albion midfielder will celebrate 13 years with the Rookettes on Tuesday when the Dripping Pan hosts a testimonial game against an All Star side featuring England international Naomi Cole.

Newton admits she is flattered to become the first Lewes player ever to receive a testimonial and cannot wait to be reunited with some of the friends she has played alongside since being ambushed on Ben Nevis.

Newton said: "I was playing for Brighton and had a little bit of a fall-out with the manager so I dual-signed with Lewes. I went to a couple of training sessions and got talked into climbing Ben Nevis by director Ron Moore with a few of the other girls.

"He waited until we were halfway up so there was no escape and then started pestering me to sign. It was a bit unusual but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

"I was dropping down three or four divisions but I just wanted to start enjoying my football again. The club were a good fit for me and we went from strength to strength to get up to the same level as Brighton."

Newton's first game was away to Chichester but it was the Sussex Senior Cup final against Whitehawk that same season which remains one of the highlights of her career.

She recalled: "I'd clashed heads with someone and had a massive egg on it. Everyone was telling my to go off but I refused and I ended up scoring the best goal I have ever scored in extra-time to win the cup.

"That is right up there with winning promotion to Premier League south four years ago. We went through the whole season undefeated which was one of those seasons which only come around once in a lifetime."

Newton made her 325th appearance for Lewes in the 2-1 victory over C&K Basildon at the Dripping Pan last Sunday, with Natasha Wells and Danielle Lane both on target.

The result lifted Lewes to seventh place in the table and the 35-year-old is undecided whether it will turn out to be her final outing for the club.

She said: "I am finding it really hard juggling work and football so it's something I'm going to have to think about over the summer.

"John (Donoghue, manager) and the other players keep telling me not to retire but I am one of those players who if I commit to something I do it 100 per cent and I've found it really tough this year.

"It will be hard to walk away as I've been playing football every Sunday since I was nine. It would leave a massive void so we'll just have to wait and see."