A team that has been dubbed, the ‘worst team in England’ have signed former England player Stuart Pearce in the hope that this might improve their prospects. Here we look at the man himself and how his coming out of retirement can help the game at grass-roots level.

According to the BBC former England player Stuart Pearce has come out of retirement at 53 to try and revive the fortunes of Longford AFC, a club who have lost every game they have played in the 2015/16 season and are currently at the bottom of the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Two. Unfortunately Pearce’s debut for the club on the 6th February was delayed due to the club’s pitch being waterlogged. This is unfortunate as the club had already seen some benefits to the signing with more people wanting to turn out and play, as well as watch.

Who is Stuart Pearce?

Stuart Pearce was part of the England team who reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1990 and who agreed to take a penalty before failing to score. Before making his debut for Coventry City Pearce starting playing at non-league Wealdstone in 1978. Over a career spanning 24 years, he went on to play for England 78 times as well as playing for Notts Forest, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Manchester City.

What His Comeback Could Mean for Football

The return of Stuart Pearce to football, at the age of 53, should have a positive impact on football at grass-roots level. Having started his career playing non-League football he will have some empathy with the players at Longford. The club will be hoping that his appearances will help revive their fortunes in terms of attendance as well as people wanting to play. The impact on the wider community will hopefully be that young people will want to give football a chance and start training and practising soccer drills such as those from http://www.sportplan.net/ and others. Additionally, it may give some of those who may have thought they were ‘past it’, the confidence to either return to football or give it a go for the first time.

Hopefully Pearce’s debut for Longford, when it finally comes, will have a positive impact for both the club itself as well as the people of the local community.