Wingers beware: Stuart Pearce is coming back out of retirement at the ripe old age of 53.
Hoping to transform the fortunes of a non-league outfit dubbed the “worst in the UK”, the veteran, now of course much closer to 60 than 30, will be turning out for Gloucestershire-based Longford AFC; a team that's lost all of its 18 games this season, scoring a solitary goal and conceding 179.
Nicknamed Psycho during his playing career due to his combative nature, you can’t imagine the veteran would have any issues dealing with the rougher tactics of the lower tiers, but given the obvious challenges (read: his teammates) it’s still quite a turn up for the books.
In fact it’s the sort of move more readily associated with crocked Premier League stars who can’t quite call it a day as opposed to former players who went on to manage Manchester City, the England U-21s, and as late as February last year, Nottingham Forest - that also being one of the clubs he represented during a glittering playing career which saw him win 78 England caps.
Pearce - who's been drafted in to help 'fix' the team with the support of Direct Line as part of the insurer's #directfix campaign - seems confident his knees can still handle it:
"I started out in non-league football playing for Wealdstone before joining Coventry City," he told reporters. “So I'm looking forward to working with manager Nick Dawe, and helping a group of talented young footballers achieve their dreams and, hopefully transforming both the dressing room confidence, as well as the on-the-pitch performance, and seeing how far they can go up the league."
Dawe, who was probably still pinching himself, spoke of his delight over his marquee signing: "A year ago we were playing in front of one man and his dog and now we are set to [attract] hundreds for Stuart Pearce's debut."
But not before reminding the former England star just what humble comforts await him: "Stuart knows that there will be no special treatment, he will still need to pay his £5 a game subs."
If he's half as fiery as his glory days, we wouldn't want to be the quivering teammate who asks him for any late payments.
We're pretty sure Direct Line would take care of those anyway.
[Via: The Guardian]