Gloucestershire

Weather delays Stuart Pearce Longford AFC comeback

Stuart Pearce with Longford AFC manager Nick Dawe Image copyright PA
Image caption Pearce has been told he still needs to pay his £5 a game sub

Former England legend Stuart Pearce's pitch return - for a team dubbed "the worst in the UK" - has been called off due to a waterlogged field.

Nicknamed Psycho, the former Nottingham Forest defender signed for struggling non-leaguers Longford AFC last month.

The luckless Gloucestershire squad had hoped Pearce's appearance would turn its season-long losing streak and 178-goal deficit on its head.

But bad weather meant the game was postponed until a later date.

Pearce, 53, said the grassroots game was "essential" to the sport's lifeblood.

Image copyright Getty Images/Google
Image caption Stuart Pearce could turn round the fortunes of Longford AFC who have conceded 179 goals this season
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pearce was part of the England sides knocked out of both Italia 90 and Euro 96 in the semi-finals

"I started out in non-league football playing for Wealdstone before joining Coventry City," he said.

"So 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."

Longford AFC's biggest losses

2015-16 season

179

goals conceded

  • 0-17 Loss at home to Bibury

  • 16-0 Loss away to Lydney Town Reserves

  • 0-15 Loss at home to Quedgeley Wanderers

  • 14-0 Loss away to Woolaston

Longford AFC are rooted to the bottom of the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Division Two.

With an awful record and a growing interest from the media, the side has been dubbed "the worst team in England".

Pearce, a winner of 78 England caps, was part of Sir Bobby Robson's squad that reached the last four of the World Cup in Italy in 1990, and the Terry Venables-led side that was eliminated at the same stage of Euro '96.

He retired from playing six years after that, having enjoyed spells at Newcastle United, Manchester City, West Ham, Coventry and non-league Wealdstone as well as captaining Forest under the management of Brian Clough.

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