Thompson steps up for Stamford debut

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The Independent Online
Non-League football

Tonight's encounter between Stamford and Stewart's and Lloyd's, a Corby team, should draw a larger than normal crowd to the the Wothorpe ground, Stamford's home, thanks to the striker who will be making his debut for the Hereward United Counties League side.

Stamford's new boy is not young, but he is famous. The former Olympic and world decathlon champion Daley Thompson, now 37, signed for the Lincolnshire side earlier this month and will be making his first appearance tonight. "We normally draw crowds of about 200," Phil Bee, Stamford's secretary, said yesterday, "but we're expecting at least three times as many to see Daley."

Last season, Thompson played for the reserve teams of Stevenage Borough and Wimbledon, and this term he has turned out for Leicester City's second string. "He trained with us for the first time last week," Bee said, "and he's been training with Leicester all week. He makes it all look easy, and the other players are over the moon to have him with us."

Stamford's manager, Steve Evans, said: "If he wasn't a good footballer we wouldn't want him. People don't think of him as a footballer - after all, if you're a world champion at chess, people don't care if you're half decent at draughts."

Two other veterans more familiar to football spectators have teamed up at Droylsden, of the Northern Premier League: Paul Futcher and his twin brother, Ron. It is the first time they have played for the same team since they were together at Manchester City in 1978/79. Another Northern Premier League club, Witton Albion, have signed the experienced goalkeeper John Burridge - who ended last weekend's game against Blyth Spartans playing as a forward after Witton's substitute goalkeeper came on for their third injured outfield player.

VS Rugby, the struggling Beazer Homes League Premier Division team, have named Stewart Robson, the former Arsenal, West Ham and Coventry midfielder, as their new manager.

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