Waterlogged pitch damper on football legend Stuart Pearce's comeback
Published 06/02/2016 | 11:21
England legend 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 has lost all of its 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 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 US 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 United and West Ham United. He later went on to manage Manchester City and Nottingham Forest.
One of his most famous moments came during the 1990 World Cup when he missed a penalty in a semi-final shoot out with West Germany.
Six years later he made up for that miss when he scored in a quarter final shoot-out against Spain in Euro 96.