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Boss Steve Claridge pulls his boots back on for Salisbury aged 51

Pic: Paul Paxford/Pitchside Photo

SALISBURY boss Steve Claridge was given a rousing reception after playing 81 minutes of the Whites’ pre-season friendly against Portsmouth.

With three of his strikers on holiday, the 51-year-old took centre stage and worked tirelessly against his hometown club, who he represented 116 times.

The veteran striker was playing his first game since scoring for Gosport Borough in their Southern South & West play-off final win over Poole Town in 2012.

The Whites, who started their pre-season schedule earlier than most, put on a good showing but ultimately lost 3-0 to the League One newcomers.

A crowd of 1,766 joined in applauding Claridge’s efforts when he was withdrawn in the 81st minute as the Whites continue their preparations for the new Evo-Stik South West campaign.

After the game, Claridge joked: “The legs are fine but don’t ring me up in the morning, though!

“The pace was alright but I did so much chasing of the ball and when you get it you are knackered so normally games wouldn’t be like that. I did what I had to do and I didn’t get embarrassed.”

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