Stuart Pearce dusts off boots to help 'worst team in England'

Former England left-back Stuart Pearce is dusting off his boots to help a non-league side dubbed "the worst in England".

Stuart Pearce

Source: Getty Images

The 53 year-old, who was capped 78 times by his country after starting out at Wealdstone, will roll back the years to try and reverse the fortunes of a team rock-bottom of the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Division Two having lost 19 out of 19 games with a goal difference of minus 180.

Results may have picked up in recent weeks for Longford AFC with back-to-back 2-1 defeats, but Pearce has dampened expectations of a great escape.

"Direct Line are running the Direct Fix campaign and they asked me if I'd help a team christened the worst in England, from a playing point of view and helping with morale around the place," Pearce said.

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"I've not played a competitive game since I left Manchester City 14 years ago so it'll be quite interesting to see how it goes. I think the adrenaline will get me through it.

"The manager is fairly upbeat. He thinks he can get out of the relegation problem they're in, bearing in mind they've got no points and the average goals they ship per game is 10. 

"They've got the second-from-bottom team twice and are six points adrift of them so they fancy their chances of avoiding relegation. I didn't want to burst his bubble to suggest that, in my opinion, that probably wouldn't be the case."

Pearce is set to make his debut against Smiths Athletic at Longford Playing Field on February 6 and he revealed he will have to fight the butterflies that were a feature throughout his 20-year career.

"People ask me if I get nervous playing football and the answer is yes, I've always got nervous," Pearce, who made over 500 appearances for Nottingham Forest, said.

"They'll be expecting me to do things I probably can't do anymore. I'll have to manage the expectations of the manager and the rest of the boys."

The move sees Pearce's career come full circle, and he admitted he owes a lot to grassroots football but Longford manager Nick Dawe has told Pearce he will need to pay his $10 subs like everybody else.

"We needed a decent left-back so Stuart Pearce is perfect," Dawe said.

"It'll be a huge boost to the players' morale. They've been through the mill this season so if nothing else, it'll make their day."


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3 min read
Published 29 January 2016 at 3:32am
Source: PA Sport