Saturday 21 October 2017

Stuart Pearce's Longford debut delayed by waterlogged pitch

Stuart Pearce is unveiled by Longford AFC manager Nick Dawe after Direct Line stepped in to help fix the fortunes of the team dubbed the worst football club in England
Stuart Pearce is unveiled by Longford AFC manager Nick Dawe after Direct Line stepped in to help fix the fortunes of the team dubbed the worst football club in England

Rod Minchin

Former England captain Stuart Pearce's debut for a non-league side dubbed the worst in the UK has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Pearce - nicknamed Psycho - was coming out of retirement at the age of 53 to play for Gloucestershire-based Longford AFC.

The club have lost all of their 20 games this season in the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Division Two after the manager and first team all left.

They scored their first goal of the season on January 13 in a 9-1 defeat by Abbeymead Rovers - with their current goal difference standing at minus 187.

Longford AFC are rooted to the bottom of the league having secured no points all season and conceding an average of just fewer than 10 goals per game.

Pearce, who won 78 England caps and retired from professional football in 2002, had planned to return to action with the club in a deal arranged as part of a Direct Line marketing campaign.

He was set to play for Longford AFC against Smiths Athletic on Saturday, but the game was called off due to the council-owned Longford Lane pitch being waterlogged following heavy rain in Gloucestershire.

The news of Pearce's appearance had gone global, with people from Holland, Spain and the United States contacting the club to ask about the new signing.

Pearce's playing career took him from non-league Wealdstone to the Premier League with Nottingham Forest, Newcastle and West Ham. He later went on to manage Manchester City and Nottingham Forest.

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