(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
By Matt Bishop
Southern Combination Football League side Wick have completed the signing of former Premier League striker Marcus Bent, who has scored over 100 professional career goals.
The prolific frontman, 39, has played for the likes of Charlton, Everton, Wigan and Birmingham in the top-tier, and joins the Wickers subject to international clearance having most recently played in Indonesia during the 2011-12 campaign.
Bent has joined Wick due to his friendship with chairman Rodney Lampton and, while he might not grace the Crabtree Park turf every week, the ex-England under-21 star will offer manager Lee Baldwin a wealth of advice and experience by taking on an advisory role, as well as a playing role.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Lampton told the Littlehampton Gazette: “Myself and Marcus grew up together in Hammersmith and we’ve remained great friends ever since.
“When I took over as chairman I had a chat with Marcus and he said he’d be interested in joining the club.
“He’s got great pedigree in the game, I’m hoping his addition will be the first of many great things to come at Wick.”
A club statement on Wick’s website predicted this transfer will send “shockwaves around the footballing world”, and boss Baldwin is understandably delighted with his club’s latest recruit.
“He’ll be a great help for the players, helping them on the pitch and for me as a young manager.” said the manager.
“I feel this is a statement of our intent on the direction in which we want to take this football club.
“The facilities here are already of a good standard, but we plan to improve further on what we have and make this club a real force, and getting Marcus on board is just the beginning.”