Stan Collymore has had several offers to try to tempt him out of retirement, but none as ambitious as the one made in the past week by Tiptree United. The Essex village club, who have reached the quarter-finals of the FA Carlsberg Vase, wanted to include the former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker in their side for tomorrow's tie at Burgess Hill Town. The incentive that they hoped would interest the 31-year-old was the venue for the Vase final: his old home ground, Villa Park.
Collymore has not played football since he unexpectedly announced his retirement when with the Spanish club, Real Oviedo, last season. Boston United are among the teams who have tried to hire his services this term. They failed – and so did Tiptree. Collymore, who is now working for a radio station, is apparently still registered with Oviedo, and that was the hurdle Tiptree were unable to clear. "The language barrier was a bit of a problem," John Wibsey, Tiptree's secretary, admitted, "but eventually we spoke to their secretary, who said he didn't see it as a problem.
"Their director of football didn't see it as a problem either but, when it got into the hands of the club's legal department, they basically didn't want to know." So Tiptree will rely on their unsung stalwarts, such as the veteran centre-forward Steve Parnell, at Burgess Hill.
"We haven't got one superstar, no ex-professionals, just a bunch of local lads who enjoy playing with each other," Wibsey said. Tiptree, whose nickname the Jam-makers reflects a major local trade, were not expected to make progress when they could only draw at home to the Vase holders, Taunton Town, in the last round, but they won the replay in Somerset 2-1.
Two of Tiptree's Jewson Eastern League rivals have also reached the last eight of the Vase. Sudbury take on Lewes, while Wroxham tackle Durham City. Clitheroe entertain Whitley Bay in the other quarter-final.
Stevenage Borough, having sacked Paul Fairclough for the second time in four years this week, have quickly appointed a new manager. Wayne Turner, who left his post as assistant manager at Peterborough United last week, is now in charge. His No 2 will be the ex-Barnet manager Gary Phillips.
Barnet also have a new man at the helm, the former Tottenham and Sheffield Wednesday manager Peter Shreeves.Reuse content