Retro Football: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Scores Against Non-League Heaton Stannington On A Pitch Behind The Local Fish & Chip Shop, 2012 (Photo)

Chris Wright

1st, June 2017



Today he may be on the verge of a €70million move between Dortmund and PSG, but just five short years ago Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang found himself in altogether less salubrious circumstances.

Indeed, on 22nd July, 2012, Aubameyang travelled to the suburbs of Newcastle with the rest of his Gabon teammates to play a friendly against non-league opposition on a pitch tucked behind a chip shop and a Chinese takeaway.

Grounsell Park was the pitch in question, home ground of Heaton Stannington FC, who provided the opposition for Gabon’s Olympic team as they warmed-up for a competitive match against Switzerland at Newcastle United’s St. James’ Park the following week.


Photo: @MarioMelchiot/Twitter

Despite being newly-crowned champions of the Pin Point Recruitment Northern Alliance League Premier Division, poor old Heaton Stannington were powerless to stop Gabon running roughshod, Aubameyang scoring twice in a 4-0 victory for the African pros.

Gabon were however kind enough to donate a signed shirt to their hosts, which we’re reliably informed still hangs in the club house to this very day.

Auba was playing his club football for Saint-Etienne at the time, having signed for the Ligue 1 side just seven months prior after struggling to make any kind of impact at AC Milan. He’s now within a whisker of landing himself a £168,000-a-week contract at PSG.

As Mario Melchiot (yes, *that* Mario Melchiot) so eloquently puts it, he really has come a long way in the interim.

Posted in Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Non-League

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  1. Archer says:

    That’s a great story for the Heaton team to tell their grandkids…

  2. Jimmy says:

    An incredibly gifted player considering he only ones one leg (See picture above) :)

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