Ex-England football star Chris Waddle scores wild 'worldy' for Long Bennington team
Ex-England international footballing legend Chris Waddle proved he has not lost his touch when he turned out for Long Bennington Veterans on Sunday and scored a stunning 35-yard world-class goal against nearby East Midland Veterans League rivals Bottesford.
The trademark, mighty mullet hairstyle was gone, but the footballing flair had clearly not abandoned the fleet-footed flanker.
Capped 62 times for England, 59-nine-year-old 'Magic Chris', who played for teams including Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Marseille and Sheffield Wednesday during his long career, had been guest of honour at last year's Bennington end-of-season awards.
Long-standing Bennington centre back Owen Wainwright said: "He did mention he would like to play for us next season.
"We weren’t sure whether he was serious, and left it at that. He got back in touch at a time with frequent postponements due to the weather.
"Thankfully, the game versus Bottesford was moved to the 4G YMCA pitch in Newark."
The game Waddle starred in was indeed a special one, a memorial match called the Olivia HintonTrophy, played to honour the daughter of Bottesford player Scott Hinton who was tragically killed in a car accident in December 2018, aged just 18.
Owen said: "This made the game an extra special occasion for both teams in our memorial game."
In a tightly contested game in the wind, Bottesford took the lead with a soft goal from Simon George, with Ian Le Man equalising from a great free kick for Bennington to make 1-1 at half time.
Bennington fittingly went ahead when Waddle stepped up to score his 'worldy' from 35 yards, lobbing Scott between the sticks, although Sam Winter also really warranted credit for his slide-rule pass for the assist.
The goal can be viewed again on YouTube at tinyurl.com/WaddleWorldy
Bottesford went back in front with another goal from George who headed well whilst unmarked in the six-yard area.
Bennington went closest to win it with a Mike Manley effort on the four-yard line, after some wizardry and a pinpoint delivery from Mr Waddle on the left wing.
With the final whistle blown, honours even at 2-2 was perhaps a fitting result for such a fitting occasion.
Post-match celebrations were held in The Bull, Bottesford, and then moved on to the Royal Oak in Long Bennington for a detailed match debrief from a true legend of the game.
More by this authorJohn Burgess