Former Nottingham Forest and England legend Stuart Pearce is coming out of retirement at the age of 53 to try to help shore up the worst defence in the UK.
Longford AFC, rooted to the bottom of the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Division Two, have lost all 18 games this season, scoring one goal and letting in 179.
So it came as a shock to the football world this week to hear that Pearce, who played in a World Cup semi-final in 1990 but started out in non-League playing for Wealdstone, was going back to the grassroots game.
And he will still be expected to fork out his £5 subs every week.
‘Psycho’ has plenty to try to help sort out as Longford’s results already this season have included a 17-0 home loss to Bibury. A 16-0 thrashing at Lydney Town Reserves, a 14-0 drubbing at Woolaston and a 15-0 home defeat by Quedgeley Wanderers.
Pearce said the grassroots game was ‘essential’ to the sport’s lifeblood.
“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,” he said.
Longford boss Nick Dawe said the opportunity would give the side the best chance possible to go further than they ever have done before.
“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,” he said.
“Stuart knows that there will be no special treatment, he will still need to pay his £5 a game subs.”