Former Arsenal playmaker Paul Merson has made his playing comeback for Welsh fourth-tier side Caerau, but the evening did not all go according to plan for his newly adopted side.
The 49-year-old saw his return to the pitch halted after his side had taken a 3-2 lead against Pontyclun due to faulty floodlights at Caerau Athletic Ground.
The 21-cap England international agreed to sign for the Welsh Division Three side, situated in the Welsh town of Maesteg, eight miles away from Port Talbot, after accepting an invitation from Dai Hooper, the club’s secretary.
Caerau went 3-2 up against fellow Welsh Division Three side Pontyclun on Wednesday
But due to faulty floodlights, the match was abandoned before the 90 minutes were up
1987 → Brentford (loan)
1998–2002 Aston Villa
2012 Whitton Athletic
2012 Welshpool Town
Merson, who lasted 65 minutes in the tie, last donned his playing boots when he made a brief comeback five years ago in a one-off match for fellow Welsh outfit Welshpool, but he insisted his career at Caeurau would not be fleeting.
The former Walsall manager said he is committed to playing midweek fixtures for the side, but won’t be able to turn out on the weekend due to punditry commitments.
‘I didn’t play very well but the team were winning which is the main thing,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘It’s a great crowd — and so far so good, except the floodlights have gone off.
‘It’s not a one off. I said I’ll sign and I’ll play midweek. I love playing and if I can keep on playing then I will.’
Caerau are 12th in the 16-team league and face third-placed Bridgend Street on Saturday.
Merson claps the Caerau faithful as he leaves the field after playing 65 minutes
He has committed to playing for the side in midweek games but will not play on weekends