Waddle's wiles inspire Worksop

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The Independent Football

The enduring quality of Chris Waddle, still full of talent at the age of 39, has helped Worksop Town climb to the top of the UniBond League.

The enduring quality of Chris Waddle, still full of talent at the age of 39, has helped Worksop Town climb to the top of the UniBond League.

At the peak of his career, which took him to Tottenham, Newcastle and Marseilles, the former England winger played in front of full houses at some of the best stadiums in the world. On a wet Tuesday night this week in South Yorkshire, just 305 people turned up at Frickley Athletic to watch another Waddle master-class.

Despite falling behind to a sixth-minute goal by Glenn Wilson for the home side, Worksop romped to a 5-1 win which moved them from fifth to first place in the Premier Division, a point ahead of Emley and Accrington Stanley.

Waddle was in irrepressible form, making four of the five goals. Lyndon Whitehead helped himself to a hat-trick while Steve Johnson and Kirk Jackson were also on target as frustrated Frickley had no answer to Worksop's wily veteran and his eager team-mates.

Waddle started his long career in his non-League football with Tow Law Town, while famously working in a sausage factory. Last season he combined a coaching job at Sheffield Wednesday with occasional appearances for a Sunday league team. "I just want to play football," he says. "I can still pass and create. That's my game."

Worksop's manager Paul Mitchell, who was once an apprentice at Hillsborough, does not mind that his star player is only at the Nottinghamshire club on a non-contract basis, and that his media commitments mean that he will not be able to turn out every week. "It's refreshing to see a top player who wants to put something back into the game," he adds.

At the top of the other two Nationwide Conference feeder leagues, Canvey Island are two points clear in the Ryman League while Crawley Town are ahead of Welling United on goal difference in the Dr Martens League.

Canvey, under their long-serving manager Jeff King, won 2-0 at Maidenhead United on Tuesday. The veteran striker Francis Vines came off the bench to score two goals in two minutes as Crawley drew 2-2 at Dorchester Town on the same night. The Sussex side were denied maximum points by a last-minute home equaliser.

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