International

Former England star returns to aid 'Britain's worst team'

2016-03-13 13:00
Soccer ball (File)

London - Former England captain Stuart Pearce came out of retirement at the age of 53 on Saturday to help out a non-league team dubbed "the worst in Britain".

Left-back Pearce came on as a second-half substitute for Longford AFC, who went into Saturday's match having lost 22 out of 22 league games, with a goal difference of minus 190.

The beleaguered club brought in Pearce -- nicknamed 'Psycho' for his tough-tackling style -- in a bid to boost morale and help turn the tide.

Performances have improved since Pearce's signing was announced in January, but the defeats kept coming.

And despite the England legend's appearance for Longford in the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Division Two, the 13th tier of English football, they still lost 1-0 to visitors Wotton Rovers, thanks to a penalty.

"It was great to be back on the pitch," Pearce said afterwards.

"The lads were brilliant and really gave it their all. The result was unfortunate, but it was always going to be a difficult task.

"They've got the players to turn this around, and now that we've seen a real improvement in their confidence, hopefully they'll push on and start climbing up the table."

Pearce was part of the England squad that reached the last four of the World Cup in 1990, and the side that was eliminated at the same stage of Euro 1996.

Capped 78 times by England, Pearce started his career in non-league football with Wealdstone.

He made more than 500 appearances for Nottingham Forest in a playing career that took in Newcastle United, Manchester City, West Ham and Coventry.

He went into management following his retirement and has coached Forest, Manchester City, the Great Britain Olympic team, England's under-21s and a caretaker spell in charge of England following Fabio Capello's resignation in 2012.

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