Stuart Pearce fails to inspire 'worst team in England' to first victory


Former England football star Stuart Pearce came out of retirement to play for a team dubbed the worst in England - and lost his debut match.

The 53-year-old - nicknamed Psycho in his playing days - joined non-league side Longford AFC but failed to secure them a win.

The club has lost all its games this season after the manager and entire first team left, conceding nearly 200 goals in the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Division Two.

Despite manager Nick Dawe introducing Pearce in the second half against Wotton Rovers, they lost 0-1, letting in a penalty.

Pearce, who won 78 caps for England and left professional football in 2002, was signed by insurer Direct Line for one game only, to fix the team's confidence.

After the match, Pearce said: "It was great to be back on the pitch. 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.

"I want to thank the players, the coach and everyone that turned up to watch today. It was great to be given the opportunity by Direct Line to come in and help fix the morale here at Longford AFC."

Pearce's career took him from non-league Wealdstone to the Premier League with Nottingham Forest, Newcastle United and West Ham United. He later went on to manage Manchester City and Nottingham Forest.

One of his most famous moments came during the 1990 World Cup when he missed a penalty in a semi-final shoot out with West Germany.

Six years later he made up for that miss when he scored in a quarter final shoot-out against Spain in Euro 96.