(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
By Jon Couch
FORMER England ace and Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson is ready to make a playing comeback – at the age of 49!
The Arsenal legend is set to turn out for Welsh League Division Three club Caerau FC next Wednesday after striking up a friendship with club secretary David Hooper.
Merson has not played since turning out for National League North side Tamworth, while his last appearance came for Welshpool Town in 2012 alongside fellow Sky Sports pundit Chris Kamara in a Spar Mid Wales League game.
But, subject to international clearance, the former Arsenal, Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Portsmouth man will dust down his boots for Welsh fourth-tier side in their fixture with Pontyclun on Wednesday in a game which is expected to attract a bumper crowd at the club’s Riverboat ground.
Merson, who won 21 England caps, first met Hooper at a Bridgend & District Football League dinner and still regularly visits the area to sign autographs for young fans as a result of his relationship with the Caerau official.
Confirming his attendance, Hooper said: “Having got to know Paul Merson even better last year – through attending his stag night and wedding – I’ve found him to be a very genuine and down to earth person.”