By Chris Wright
“For me, Manish, the guy’s too old to be effective at this level”
The Beeb are reporting this afternoon that mumbly pundit and Football League hipster (the Premier League is soooo mainstream) has come out of retirement at the grand old age of 45 to sign on as a player and coach for Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South & West side Gosport Borough – his 25th contract in a meandering pro career that both began and ended at Bournemouth (1984-2006), with a smattering of non-league appearances and managerial posts thereafter.
Said Gosport manager Alex Pike:
“There are not many signings that excite me but he can only be an asset. Steve’s arrival has already had a great effect in the dressing room as the whole squad at Thursday’s training session raised their game.
“It was a great session and I’m glad Steve was very impressed by the quality of our players and the club.”
Claridge will apparently go straight – shinpad-less and with socks rolled down – into the Gosport side for their South Hampshire FA Trophy tie against Sholing on Saturday.
For those of you who are beginning to fret, never fear – Claridge has confirmed that he’ll still be able to fulfil his media commitments with Auntie.
Hosannah! Saints be praised.