Matt Le Tissier (Age 44) – Guernsey (2013)
The Southampton legend answered a desperate call from his hometown club Guernsey to relieve their outrageous schedule of 20 games in 36 days. Even less mobile than he was in his playing days, his substitute appearance and silky style could not prevent a 4-2 loss.
Ferenc Puskas (Age 40) – South Liverpool (1967)
Why one of the World’s greatest players was sunning himself on Merseyside is anyone’s guess but he dutifully turned out for amateurs South Liverpool to a packed-to-the-rafters crowd of 10,000.
George Best (Age 37) – Osborne Park Galeb (1983)
The mercurial Northern Irishman fancied a taste of the Australian amber nectar as he wound down his career and would be seen necking Fosters to his heart’s content. He also found time to appear just once for Osborne Park Galeb in Perth’s State League.
Paul Merson (Age 43) – Welshpool Town (2012)
Following his sacking as Player/Manager of League One Walsall Town, Merson limped to two games for non-League Tamworth. Six years later after vowing that would be his last game, the ex-Arsenal star scored a header for Welshpool Town to ensure a 100% goal to game ratio.
Socrates (Age 50) – Garforth Town (2004)
With the club almost bankrupt Garforth Town’s Chairman called former Brazil star and now academic. Affectionately known as “Doctor Socrates” the attacking midfielder performed what was described as magic, lifted the mood of the club to gain promotion and played once to an adoring crowd.
Henrik Larsson (Age 41) – Råå IF (2012)
The ex-Barcelona, Manchester United and of course Celtic club legend returned to his homeland to make a substitute appearance for a Swedish Third Division team. He would just a year later go on to play twice for his first club and the club his son Jordan now plays for, Högaborgs BK.
George Best (Age 36) – Hong Kong Rangers (1982)
Before his ‘Walkabout’ adventure in Australia, Best would stop in Asia and sample the delights of Hong Kong. After two games for Sea Bee, he would make a cameo for another First Division team, Hong Kong Rangers, both teams now defunct.
Bobby Charlton (Age 43) – Blacktown City FC (1980)
Whilst Down-Under the World Cup winner and Manchester United great made a guest appearance for the Western Sydney based club to draw the curtain on an incredible career. Such was the power of this short-lived coup, Kevin Keegan managed two games and a goal for Blacktown five years later.
Chris Waddle (Age 52) – Hallam (2013)
In 2002 after turning out locally for Stocksbridge Park Steels before retirement, he would enjoy an 11-year hiatus before donning the shirt of Sheffield non-league side Hallam. Coming on as a substitute at half-time he ambled around the field making little impact and is still waiting by the phone for a second run-out.
Various – Wembley FC (2012)
As part of a promotional stunt Budweiser drafted in several ex-professional stars to play in the very real FA Cup for non-League Wembley FC including Claudio Cannigia, Ugo Ehiogu, Martin Keown, Terry Venables as manager and David Seaman as coach. Graeme Le Saux, Ray Parlour and Brian McBride managed a game a piece in a 3-2 victory before the club’s exit at the next round courtesy of a 5-0 defeat at the hands of giants Uxbridge FC.