Paul Merson has been cleared to play for third-tier Welsh side Caerau.
Merson just so happens to be mates with Caerau’s secretary, Dai Hooper. And it turns out that Hooper has managed to convince the ex-Gunner to return to action for his club.
“The international clearance has just come through. I tried to text Paul, but he was busy at work. I have spoken to him and he is over the moon,” Hooper said.
“Paul said he is having a little run out in a friendly game for someone to get himself a bit of fitness and is really looking forward to it.
“We are a very small club moving forward, but we have got some marvelous things happening.
“Our chairman Steve Williams has been really working hard to raise funds for a new 4G pitch, stand and academy for the kids, so I am hopeful with the help of people like Paul, we can raise the profile a lot.”
The former midfielder, who was at Arsenal from 1982 to 1997, has gotten clearance to play and could make his debut against Pontyclun on 18 October.
During Merson’s time at Arsenal, he made 327 league appearances, scoring 78 goals. He also played for Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Portsmouth and Walsall later on.
The 49-year-old won the Football League First Division title twice with the Gunners (1988/89, 1990/91), as well as the FA Cup and League Cup.
He played in a one-off for Welshpool Town against Newbridge-on-Wye in 2012. Sky Sports pundit Chris Kamara also featured and Merson scored his side’s one and only goal during the 4-1 defeat.
Caerau are in the Welsh Football League Division Two – the third tier of Welsh football. Last season, they finished fifth but have been pretty terrible so far this term. In fact, they’ve won just one point from seven matches and are currently bottom of the table.
It’s unclear how often Merson will be playing for the Welsh side since he’s also a pundit and obviously has other commitments. However, hopefully when he does he can help them out. It sounds like they need it.