Tag Archives: stanley

League Two round-up: Gillillingham stay top as Burton Albion enjoy home sweet home

League Two round-up: Gills stay top as Burton enjoy home sweet home

By
Andy Hampson

PUBLISHED:

19:28 GMT, 23 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:28 GMT, 23 February 2013

Cody McDonald scored the only goal as
Gillingham maintained a two-point lead at the top of npower League Two
with a 1-0 win at Chesterfield.

McDonald headed home from close range
five minutes into the second half at the Proact Stadium, extending the
Gills' unbeaten run to four games.

Burton brushed aside Exeter 4-2 to
record a seventh successive home league win and move into the automatic
promotion places in third.

Sweet home: Burton's Marcus Holnes celebrates his goal

Sweet home: Burton's Marcus Holnes celebrates his goal

Michael Symes, Marcus Holness,
Jacques Maghoma and Lee Bell struck for Albion before Guillem Bauza and
Scot Bennett restored some respectability for the Grecians.

Second-placed Port Vale were also victorious, winning 1-0 at Torquay courtesy of a Calvin Andrew strike.

Northampton moved up two places to fourth with a 1-0 win over Plymouth, who dropped to the bottom.

Clive Platt scored the Cobblers' winner after 72 minutes.

AFC Wimbledon took advantage of the Pilgrims' loss, and the failures of Accrington Stanley and Barnet to win, to climb off the bottom and out of the relegation places.

Kevin Sainte-Luce scored the only goal 10 minutes from time as Wimbledon won 1-0 at Dagenham and Redbridge.

Accrington, however, still claimed a creditable 2-2 draw against play-off contenders Cheltenham at home.

Cheltenham twice led through Marlon Pack, the first from the penalty spot, but former England international James Beattie responded to both goals for Stanley.

Barnet played out a goalless draw with Rochdale while another side in trouble, Aldershot, won 2-0 at home to a Fleetwood side who ended the game with nine men.

Danny Hylton struck twice for Aldershot before the dismissals of Jamie McGuire and Alan Goodall.

Craig Reid also missed a penalty for the hosts.

Goals from Barry Corr and Britt Assombalonga saw Southend come from behind to win 2-1 at Wycombe, who had led early through Dean Morgan.

Oxford's clash with York ended 0-0 while Morecambe and Bristol Rovers drew 1-1. Rovers' Eliot Richards cancelled out a second-minute goal from Jack Redshaw.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang warms up for Saint-Etienne in 2,500 crystal Nike boots

What would Stanley Matthews say in crusty boots from his greatest game as French star wears 2,500 diamond encrusted boots

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UPDATED:

13:03 GMT, 12 December 2012

Footballers are well known for shamelessly flaunting their wealth, whether it be the latest Lamborghini, clothes straight from the catwalks of Milan or a million carat pair of earrings.

But rarely does such bling make it onto the field – until now.

Saint-Etienne's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set the bar pretty high on Monday when he warmed up for a match with Lyon in an outrageous 2,500 pair of boots encrusted in Swarovski crystals.

Outrageous: The 2,500 customised Nike Vapor boots worn by Saint Etienne's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Monday, encrusted with 4,000 Swarovski crystals

Outrageous: The 2,500 customised Nike Vapor boots worn by Saint Etienne's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Monday, encrusted with 4,000 Swarovski crystals

Sparkling: The boots took designers at Orravan 50 hours to create and the design incorporated Aubameyang's initials, shirt number and the club logo

Sparkling: The boots took designers at Orravan 50 hours to create and the design incorporated Aubameyang's initials, shirt number and the club logo

It took more than 50 hours to customise the striker's pair of Nike Vapors with 4,000 tiny jewels in a design which incorporated the player's name, number seven and the club crest and colours.

Sadly Saint-Etienne didn't produce a sparkling performance to match, going down 1-0 in the derby.

Earlier in the year, Aubameyang received a pair of similarly blingy boots in the national colours of Gabon as they took part in the African Cup of Nations as co-hosts.

Impressed: Aubameyang was delighted when presented with his new boots before training

Impressed: Aubameyang was delighted when presented with his new boots before training

King of bling: Aubameyang playing in some more conventional boots against Zlatan Ibrahimovic and PSG last month

King of bling: Aubameyang playing in some more conventional boots against Zlatan Ibrahimovic and PSG last month

Golden Boot: An earlier Orravan Design creation to mark the match between France and Brazil

Golden Boot: An earlier Orravan Design creation to mark the match between France and Brazil

Gabon international Aubameyang isn't shy of drawing attention to himself – after scoring in a 2-0 win over Rennes in October, he celebrated by producing a Spiderman mask from behind the advertising hoardings, put it on and pretended to spin webs.

Newcastle's Jonas Gutierrez set that trend two years ago, marking a goal against Blackburn by pulling a similar mask from his shorts.

Aubameyang was linked with a move to St James' Park in the summer and perhaps it's just as well he stayed put, otherwise the Toon would be swinging with comic book characters.

P.S. It's all a far cry from this!

These heavy boots were worn by Stanley Matthews in the 1953 FA Cup final, when his inspirational performance enabled Blackpool to beat Bolton Wanderers 4-3.

The final is often referred to as 'The Matthews Final' because the 'outside right' hauled his team back from 3-1 down with just 20 minutes to play. Stan Mortensen scored a hat-trick for the Seasiders.

The design of boots from that era may have been primitive compared to what we're used to today, but they carried Matthews through 783 Football League appearances and 54 England appearances in a playing career spanning nearly 35 years.

These boots were sold at auction at Bonhams in Chester two years ago, fetching 38,400 – five times the estimate.

How it used to be: The boots worn by Stanley Matthews in the 1953 FA Cup final alongside a programme and ticket from the match that is often called 'The Matthews Final'

How it used to be: The boots worn by Stanley Matthews in the 1953 FA Cup final alongside a programme and ticket from the match that is often called 'The Matthews Final'

Brighton fans are poshest in Football League ahead of MK Dons and Oxford City

Brighton supporters top posh list… as 90% of football fans class onion in pie as one of their five a day

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UPDATED:

13:18 GMT, 30 November 2012

Brighton and Hove Albion supporters have been voted the poshest in The Football League by their fellow fans, according to a survey conducted by Bet Butler.

Two thousand fans were polled to discover just which supporters prefer their tea and scones to their pie and mash.

It was The Seagulls faithful who were named the League's high-class collection, while 11 per cent of Albion's own fans agreed their club was 'very posh' by suggesting the team bus should be replaced with a stretch limo.

Posh: Brighton topped the Football League poll

Posh: Brighton topped the Football League poll

THE RESULTS

1,959 Football League fans were polled
to find out which club had the poshest supporters.

Championship Winner: Brighton and Hove Albion (12.8%) Relegated: Barnsley (0.1%)

League One Winner: MK Dons (7.9%) Relegated: Oldham Athletic (0%)

League Two Winner: Oxford United (6.5%) Relegated: Bradford City (0%)

* Peterborough United
were omitted from the vote due to the fact they are nicknamed The Posh,
which skewed results in their favour.

More than 25 per cent of Brighton fans opted for 'quite posh,' in contrast to Accrington Stanley fans, who didn't consider themselves posh at all.

Ninety per cent felt the onion in their matchday pie counted as one of their five a day.

In League One it was MK Dons who got the nod for having the third tier's most upmarket support, with 7.9 per cent of the total vote, while topping the League Two poll were Oxford United with 6.5 per cent.

Flying high: MK Dons topped the League One table

Flying high: MK Dons topped the League One table

Proud not to be posh were Barnsley, Oldham Athletic and Bradford City spanning the three football league divisions, with 0.1 per cent of the total votes between them.

Eighty-five per cent of Tykes labelled their club 'not posh at all,' while not a single Bantam or Latic could bring themselves to call their beloved side 'very posh.'

HOW 'POSH' IS YOUR CLUB SEE THE FULL TABLE HERE…

Brighton & Hove Albion 12.80%
Milton Keynes Dons 7.90%
Oxford United 6.50%
Cheltenham Town 6.20%
AFC Bournemouth 4.80%
Wycombe Wanderers 3.80%
York City 3.60%
Torquay United 2.20%
Yeovil Town 2.00%
Crystal Palace 1.90%
Watford 1.90%
Ipswich Town 1.70%
AFC Wimbledon 1.50%
Charlton Athletic 1.40%
Crawley Town 1.40%
Millwall 1.40%
Nottingham Forest 1.10%
Shrewsbury Town 1.10%
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.10%
Portsmouth 0.90%
Crewe Alexandra 0.80%
Leeds United 0.80%
Coventry City 0.70%
Stevenage 0.70%
Accrington Stanley 0.60%
Dagenham & Redbridge 0.60%
Derby County 0.60%
Leicester City 0.60%
Blackburn Rovers 0.50%
Brentford 0.50%
Cardiff City 0.50%
Colchester United 0.50%
Gillingham 0.50%
Plymouth Argyle 0.50%
Swindon Town 0.50%
Barnet 0.40%
Exeter City 0.40%
Fleetwood Town 0.40%
Leyton Orient 0.40%
Preston North End 0.40%
Sheffield Wednesday 0.40%
Aldershot Town 0.30%
Birmingham City 0.30%
Blackpool 0.30%
Bolton Wanderers 0.30%
Bristol City 0.30%
Bristol Rovers 0.30%
Burnley 0.30%
Burton Albion 0.30%
Doncaster Rovers 0.30%
Hartlepool United 0.30%
Morecambe 0.30%
Northampton Town 0.30%
Rotherham United 0.30%
Walsall 0.30%
Bury 0.20%
Carlisle United 0.20%
Chesterfield 0.20%
Hull City 0.20%
Middlesbrough 0.20%
Notts County 0.20%
Sheffield United 0.20%
Southend United 0.20%
Tranmere Rovers 0.20%
Barnsley 0.10%
Huddersfield Town 0.10%
Port Vale 0.10%
Rochdale 0.10%
Scunthorpe United 0.10%
Bradford City 0.00%
Oldham Athletic 0.00%

Lionel Messi deserves Ballon D"Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, say football greats

Football greats say Messi deserves Ballon D'Or ahead of rival Ronaldo

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UPDATED:

16:44 GMT, 27 November 2012

Lionel Messi should be crowned the best footballer in the world for the fourth consecutive year, according to some of the game’s greatest players.

In a poll of 13 of the Ballon D’Or’s past winners, Messi beat his greatest rival Cristiano Ronaldo by seven votes to three with three others claiming they could not choose between them.

France Football, the publication that originally commissioned the trophy back in 1956, spoke to past winners Kaka, Alfredo di Stefano, Ruud Gullit, Luis Figo, Kevin Keegan, Karlheinz Rummenigge, Marco Van Basten, Luis Suarez Miramontes, Raymond Kopa, Matthias Sammer, Franz Beckenbauer, Andrei Shevchenko and Gianni Rivera.

Selected: Lionel Messi was picked by more of the former winners than Cristiano Ronaldo (below) was

Selected: Lionel Messi was picked by more of the former winners than Cristiano Ronaldo (below) was

Ronaldo

Ronaldo

Asked to give their choice, former England captain Keegan, who won the trophy in 1978 and 1979, sided with brilliant Barcelona star Messi. His view was shared by Rumenigge, van Basten, Suarez, Kopa, Sammer and Shevchenko.

Surprisingly, former Real Madrid stars di Stefano and Figo plus ex-Chelsea midfielder Gullit all said they couldn’t decide while Kaka voted for his Real Madrid teammate Ronaldo as did Beckenbauer and former Milan midfielder Rivera.

Messi, who first won in 2009, is the favourite to win again at the award ceremony in Zurich on January 7.

On the fence: Ruud Gullit said he couldn't decide

On the fence: Ruud Gullit said he couldn't decide

The golden ball trophy was originally made to recognise the best player in Europe when it was awarded for the very first time by France Football in 1956 to Stanley Matthews and 44 players have won it in total.

It merged with FIFA’S World Player of the Year award in 2010.

FULL LIST OF NOMINEES

1 Sergio Aguero
2 Mario Balotelli
3 Karim Benzema
4 Gianluigi Buffon
5 Sergio Busquets
6 Iker Casillas
7 Didier Drogba
8 Radamel Falcao
9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic
10 Andrs Iniesta
11 Lionel Messi
12 Manuel Neuer
13 Neymar
14 Mesut zil
15 Gerard Piqu
16 Andrea Pirlo
17 Sergio Ramos
18 Cristiano Ronaldo
19 Wayne Rooney
20 Yaya Tour
21 Robin van Persie
22 Xabi Alonso
23 Xavi Hernandez

Worcester 12 Saracens 3: Goode kicks Warriors to victory

Worcester 12 Saracens 3: Goode kicks Warriors to victory

PUBLISHED:

00:17 GMT, 24 November 2012

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UPDATED:

00:17 GMT, 24 November 2012

Saracens missed the chance to go top of the Aviva Premiership as they were deservedly beaten 12-3 by a pumped up Worcester in a poor match at Sixways.

The visitors could have pulled off an unmerited win if Nils Mordt and Sam Stanley had not missed with four routine penalties.

On the charge: Josh Matavesi of Worcester makes a break

On the charge: Josh Matavesi of Worcester makes a break

In a game of stout defence, neither side showed enough attacking nous to threaten the try line but the home pack were the dominant force, which enabled Andy Goode to kick them to victory with three penalties and a drop goal.

Saracens were minus at least eight of their first choice line-out due mainly to international commitments. In contrast, Worcester were only without Samoan captain David Lemi.

The Warriors had the better of the first 10 minutes and were rewarded with the first score when Andy Goode kicked a 30-metre penalty.

Moments later, the visitors had their first chance for points but Mordt was off target with his 45m penalty attempt. Worcester suffered a blow when young centre Joe Carlisle hobbled off in the 14th minute, to be replaced by Alex Grove.

The Warriors suffered another setback when Mordt brought the scores level with a simple penalty.

Then at a ruck 45m out, Saracens were penalised but Goode could not take advantage and the score remained at 3-3 at the end of the first quarter.

Big hit: Saracens Duncan Taylor is tackled by Worcester's Chris Pennell

Big hit: Saracens Duncan Taylor is tackled by Worcester's Chris Pennell

Worcester were denied the first try of the game when, close to the Saracens line, Errie Claassens somehow failed to gather a clever chip ahead from Goode.

However, the hosts were not to be denied points for long as Goode put them back in front with his second penalty. The outside half then missed a 35m drop goal attempt before Saracens lost flanker Jackson Wray to a leg injury.

A poor clearance from Goode allowed Ben Ransom and Duncan Taylor to counter-attack and when the Warriors were penalised for offside, Mordt had a good chance to tie the scores – but his 35m kick was a poor one.

Worcester extended their lead when a Ransom kick was charged down to put his side under pressure.

Warriors won a ruck close to the visitors' line and Goode fired over a drop goal from point blank range, before the outside half added a penalty to give Worcester a deserved 12-3 interval lead.

A general view of play during the Aviva Premiership match between Worcester Warriors and Saracens

A general view of play during the Aviva Premiership match between Worcester Warriors and Saracens

The first 10 minutes of the second half represented the best period of the match for Saracens. The visitors dominated in terms of possession and territory but they were not able to convert it into points as James Percival and Josh Matavesi both stole crucial ball from them at vital stages to relieve the pressure.

After 51 minutes Mordt was presented with another penalty chance but once again he failed as his 30m kick rebounded back off a post.

It could have been worse for Saracens but Goode failed with both a drop goal and a long range penalty.

It therefore remained at 12-3 going into the final quarter and just afterwards the unhappy Mordt was withdrawn.

Sam Stanley was his replacement but he fared no better on the kicking front, with a 30m penalty miss depriving his side of a bonus point.

James Beattie scores for Accrington Stanley, and other League Two results

League Two review: Ex-England striker Beattie ends three-year drought in Stanley win

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UPDATED:

00:36 GMT, 21 November 2012

Target man: James Beattie scored for Accrington Stanley

Target man: James Beattie scored for Accrington Stanley

James Beattie scored his first professional goal in three years as Accrington Stanley beat Lancashire rivals Fleetwood.

The former England international joined the club earlier this month having been released from Sheffield United in the summer.

Beattie blasted home an early penalty after Romuald Boco had been felled, the first time 34-year-old has found the net in 54 appearances.

George Miller and Boco added further goals before Jamie McGuire grabbed a late consolation for the hosts.

The result leaves Stanley 14th in League Two, while their beaten opponents are in fourth.

Elsewhere, Gillingham saw their lead at the top cut to four points after Jamie Cureton's late header handed Exeter a surprise 3-2 win at Priestfield Stadium.

Cureton scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season to grab victory for the improving Grecians despite Chris Whelpdale putting the leaders in front with just four minutes on the clock.

Alan Gow struck a 27th minute equaliser then Cureton hit his first in the 54th minute before Danny Jackman equalised for the hosts on 79. Cureton converted a Liam Sercombe cross from close-range to take the points.

Second-placed Port Vale took full advantage, celebrating coming out of administration this week by hammering Bristol Rovers 4-0 at Vale Park. Tom Pope scored a hat-trick and Ben Williamson also got on the scoresheet.

Third-placed Cheltenham were thrashed 4-1 at Chesterfield, for whom Chris Atkinson and Sam Togwell scored to give them the half-time lead.
Kaid Mohamed briefly reduced the deficit before the hosts scored further goals through Marc Richards and Jack Lester.

Wycombe moved off the bottom of the table with an excellent 3-2 win at Rotherham, who had taken a first minute lead through Daniel Nardiello.

Wanderers responded with a Dave Winfield equaliser and a double from Matt McClure, before Mark Bradley gave the home side a glimmer of hope late on.

A fourth minute goal from Dani Lopez proved enough to give fellow strugglers Aldershot a precious 1-0 win at Burton, sending Barnet back to the bottom despite their 2-2 home draw with Oxford.

Jake Hyde put the Londoners in front in the fifth minute but Sean Rigg quickly equalised and Andrew Whing put Oxford in front, only for Hyde's second of the night to take a share of the points.

Southend eased to a 4-0 win at Wimbledon with two from Gavin Tomlin and further goals from Ryan Cresswell and Barry Corr.

Meanwhile Northampton boosted their play-off ambitions by easing to a 3-0 win over Morecambe at Sixfields. Adebayo Akinfenwa, Ishmel Demontagnac and a Kevin Ellison own goal proved enough for the Cobblers.

Plymouth slumped dangerously back towards the drop zone after a 21st minute goal from Gary Jones gave Bradford a 1-0 win at Valley Parade.

James Beattie enjoying fresh start at Accrington

EXCLUSIVE: Former Southampton and Everton striker Beattie enjoying fresh start at Accrington

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UPDATED:

09:03 GMT, 16 November 2012

'Two boys talking in the famous Milk Marketing Board TV advert of 1989: ‘Milk Urrrggh!’

‘It’s what Ian Rush drinks. He says if I don’t drink lots of milk, when I grow up I’ll only be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley.’

‘Accrington Stanley Who are they’

‘Exactly!’

There are many reasons why James Beattie finds himself in the unlikely surroundings of Accrington Stanley at the moment, but forgetting to drink his milk is not one of them.

A bust-up with Tony Pulis at Stoke, an injury at Rangers, the death of his father while Beattie was on loan at Blackpool and an ill-timed red card at Sheffield United have all contributed to a player who once commanded more than 15million in transfer fees pitching up at the 5,000-capacity Crown Ground, just a few miles from where he was brought up in East Lancashire.

Scroll down for memorable milk advert video…

New start: Beattie (right) with Accrington boss Leam Richardson

New start: Beattie (right) with Accrington boss Leam Richardson

When he was asked by his old Blackburn Rovers team-mate Leam Richardson to help out as player-coach at the League Two club last week, 34-year-old Beattie was only too happy to oblige.

He is one of a number of ex-Premier League players forced to drop down the divisions just to get a game these days.

Tonight the former England striker is in line to make his debut against Edgar Davids at Barnet. Just along the road from Accrington at Fleetwood Town, Barry Ferguson has also popped up in English football's fourth tier.

Beattie recently offered to join Swindon on a pay-as-you-play basis. They said no.

'No offence, but Swindon!' he says. 'The market is dead at the moment. There are so many pros out of a job.

'I know that even people within football say I don't want to play any more. They can think what they want, that's totally wrong. I won't stop because I've been knocked back by a few clubs. As long as I've got that spark to get out of bed in the morning and play football, I will pursue it.

'You're just waiting for somebody to give you a chance. It's a little bit like starting again.

'Realistically, I know I could hold my own at Championship level. The Premier League is probably gone but you never know – I'm a proven goalscorer at that level.

'It's just the match sharpness, which is exactly why I've gone to Accrington.'

Fresh start: James Beattie

Beattie has signed a contract until January 9 and will also help Richardson, even though he previously had few plans to go into coaching.

He remembers the slope on Accrington's pitch from schoolboy cup finals he played there as a teenager. The club have moved on, though, no longer known simply for that TV advert and the two little boys from Liverpool who had never heard of Accrington Stanley.

These days most of the players are from Merseyside and support Everton, as Beattie found out en route to his first training session.

'We were training at my old school,' says the former 6m Everton signing. 'I was following a car full of our lads up the M65 but they missed the turn-off, came off at the next junction and got back on.

'It was only later when they were laughing their heads off at training that they explained it was because the driver had Googled me on his iPhone and was watching my goals for Everton!

'They're saying, “We can't believe Beattie's here”. It's given them a bit of a lift as well. But I've told Leam I want to fight for my place, otherwise it's not fair on the other lads.

'There were a few raised eyebrows when I came in for the game on Saturday. We used to play cup finals at Accy Stanley when I was 14 or 15, and a couple of the older guys have said it's nice to see me. I'm on hardly anything but I'll give the lads my time and put everything I've got into it.

Target man: Beattie has scored goals

Target man: Beattie has scored more than 100 goals

'I was driving over the other morning for my first session and I was excited. That tells me it's the right thing to do. A football club is a unique environment.Many ex-pros miss going in and having the banter. There are a lot of ex-footballers around where I live in Cheshire. I see people like Graeme Souness and they say, “Keep playing as long as you can because you're a long time retired”.

'I'm sure Edgar Davids doesn't need to play football. Why would he be playing for Barnet Because he loves football. Barry Ferguson's another. When it's in your blood, it's in your blood.'

Beattie has been largely out of the spotlight since he left Stoke just over two years ago.

Legal reasons prevent him from talking about the well-publicised dressing-room clash with Pulis in December 2009 which hastened his departure, and a fresh start in Scotland was cut short by injury.

/11/15/article-2233642-03EEE827000005DC-243_634x552.jpg” width=”634″ height=”552″ alt=”National service: Beattie played for England” class=”blkBorder” />

National service: Beattie played five times for England

Just when Beattie looked to be finding his feet at Sheffield United last season, a sending-off against Exeter City cost him a place in the League One play-offs and, he believes, the chance of a contract.

He tried his luck across town at Sheffield Wednesday but a few weeks' training came to nothing. 'They said it was probably to do with the budget but a couple of days later they went and signed Jay Bothroyd and subsidised 25,000-a-week wages!' he says. 'I thought, “I'm a big boy, if you don't want to sign me just tell me”.'

Beattie doesn't need the money. The former Southampton striker has bought a house in Poole and is about to move back to the south coast with wife Sarah and their three children, sons James and George and baby daughter Halle.

One of his other business interests is to act as mentor to young players represented by his agent James Featherstone.

'They don't always get the right advice,' he says. ' “Don't be dazzled by the lights” is one of my favourites because a lot of them do. They don't know how lucky they are to be in that position. You can't abuse the fact you're earning good money.

'Your career earnings should go up and then tail off a bit, but when you retire it's a cliff face. Your salary from football doesn't just slow down, it stops.

'I've been lucky with the people I've had around me. I've got other things in place that can sustain my lifestyle for the rest of my life. I'm not going to say I didn't have fun, but I could retire if I wanted to – I just don't want to.'

VIDEO: Accrington Stanley, who are they EXACTLY!

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Former Southampton and Everton striker James Beattie enjoying fresh start at Accrington

EXCLUSIVE: Former Southampton and Everton striker Beattie enjoying fresh start at Accrington

|

UPDATED:

01:21 GMT, 16 November 2012

'Two boys talking in the famous Milk Marketing Board TV advert of 1989:
‘Milk Urrrggh!’
‘It’s what Ian Rush drinks. He says if I don’t drink lots of milk, when I grow up I’ll only be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley.’
‘Accrington Stanley Who are they’
‘Exactly!’

There are many reasons why James Beattie finds himself in the unlikely surroundings of Accrington Stanley at the moment, but forgetting to drink his milk is not one of them.

A bust-up with Tony Pulis at Stoke, an injury at Rangers, the death of his father while Beattie was on loan at Blackpool and an ill-timed red card at Sheffield United have all contributed to a player who once commanded more than 15million in transfer fees pitching up at the 5,000-capacity Crown Ground, just a few miles from where he was brought up in East Lancashire.

Scroll down for memorable milk advert video…

New start: Beattie (right) with Accrington boss Leam Richardson

New start: Beattie (right) with Accrington boss Leam Richardson

When he was asked by his old Blackburn Rovers team-mate Leam Richardson to help out as player-coach at the League Two club last week, 34-year-old Beattie was only too happy to oblige.

He is one of a number of ex-Premier League players forced to drop down the divisions just to get a game these days.

Tonight the former England striker is in line to make his debut against Edgar Davids at Barnet. Just along the road from Accrington at Fleetwood Town, Barry Ferguson has also popped up in English football's fourth tier.

Beattie recently offered to join Swindon on a pay-as-you-play basis. They said no.

'No offence, but Swindon!' he says. 'The market is dead at the moment. There are so many pros out of a job.

'I know that even people within football say I don't want to play any more. They can think what they want, that's totally wrong. I won't stop because I've been knocked back by a few clubs. As long as I've got that spark to get out of bed in the morning and play football, I will pursue it.

'You're just waiting for somebody to give you a chance. It's a little bit like starting again.

'Realistically, I know I could hold my own at Championship level. The Premier League is probably gone but you never know – I'm a proven goalscorer at that level.

'It's just the match sharpness, which is exactly why I've gone to Accrington.'

Fresh start: James Beattie

Beattie has signed a contract until January 9 and will also help Richardson, even though he previously had few plans to go into coaching.

He remembers the slope on Accrington's pitch from schoolboy cup finals he played there as a teenager. The club have moved on, though, no longer known simply for that TV advert and the two little boys from Liverpool who had never heard of Accrington Stanley.

These days most of the players are from Merseyside and support Everton, as Beattie found out en route to his first training session.

'We were training at my old school,' says the former 6m Everton signing. 'I was following a car full of our lads up the M65 but they missed the turn-off, came off at the next junction and got back on.

'It was only later when they were laughing their heads off at training that they explained it was because the driver had Googled me on his iPhone and was watching my goals for Everton!

'They're saying, “We can't believe Beattie's here”. It's given them a bit of a lift as well. But I've told Leam I want to fight for my place, otherwise it's not fair on the other lads.

'There were a few raised eyebrows when I came in for the game on Saturday. We used to play cup finals at Accy Stanley when I was 14 or 15, and a couple of the older guys have said it's nice to see me. I'm on hardly anything but I'll give the lads my time and put everything I've got into it.

Target man: Beattie has scored goals

Target man: Beattie has scored more than 100 goals

'I was driving over the other morning for my first session and I was excited. That tells me it's the right thing to do. A football club is a unique environment.Many ex-pros miss going in and having the banter. There are a lot of ex-footballers around where I live in Cheshire. I see people like Graeme Souness and they say, “Keep playing as long as you can because you're a long time retired”.

'I'm sure Edgar Davids doesn't need to play football. Why would he be playing for Barnet Because he loves football. Barry Ferguson's another. When it's in your blood, it's in your blood.'

Beattie has been largely out of the spotlight since he left Stoke just over two years ago.

Legal reasons prevent him from talking about the well-publicised dressing-room clash with Pulis in December 2009 which hastened his departure, and a fresh start in Scotland was cut short by injury.

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National service: Beattie played five times for England

Just when Beattie looked to be finding his feet at Sheffield United last season, a sending-off against Exeter City cost him a place in the League One play-offs and, he believes, the chance of a contract.

He tried his luck across town at Sheffield Wednesday but a few weeks' training came to nothing. 'They said it was probably to do with the budget but a couple of days later they went and signed Jay Bothroyd and subsidised 25,000-a-week wages!' he says. 'I thought, “I'm a big boy, if you don't want to sign me just tell me”.'

Beattie doesn't need the money. The former Southampton striker has bought a house in Poole and is about to move back to the south coast with wife Sarah and their three children, sons James and George and baby daughter Halle.

One of his other business interests is to act as mentor to young players represented by his agent James Featherstone.

'They don't always get the right advice,' he says. ' “Don't be dazzled by the lights” is one of my favourites because a lot of them do. They don't know how lucky they are to be in that position. You can't abuse the fact you're earning good money.

'Your career earnings should go up and then tail off a bit, but when you retire it's a cliff face. Your salary from football doesn't just slow down, it stops.

'I've been lucky with the people I've had around me. I've got other things in place that can sustain my lifestyle for the rest of my life. I'm not going to say I didn't have fun, but I could retire if I wanted to – I just don't want to.'

VIDEO: Accrington Stanley, who are they EXACTLY!

James Beattie in Accrington Stanley player coach

Accrington Stanley Who are they Former England striker Beattie is in as player coach

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UPDATED:

16:55 GMT, 9 November 2012

Former England striker James Beattie has joined League Two side Accrington as a player-coach, as revealed in Sportsmail.

The 34-year-old, who was released by Sheffield United in the summer, played with new Stanley manager Leam Richardson at Blackburn Rovers.

'Leam has taken over as manager and asked me to come along and play some games and do a little bit in a coaching role,' he told the club website.

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Beattie signs for Accrington

Beattie signs for Accrington on Friday and holds his No21 shirt

Scoring for Everton... Beattie hits the target against Wigan

Scoring for Everton… Beattie hits the target against Wigan

Jumping for Sheffield United... Beattie avoids the challenge of Middlesbrough's Emanuel Pogatetz.

Jumping for Sheffield United… Beattie avoids the challenge of Middlesbrough's Emanuel Pogatetz.

On the ball for England... Beattie joins Sven Goran Eriksson's squad in 2003

On the ball for England… Beattie joins Sven Goran Eriksson's squad in 2003

Beattie, who won five England caps, has signed a contract until January.

He continued: 'I'm delighted to be here and can't wait to get started.

'The coaching role has put another angle on things for me, but I've signed a playing contract so I want to get involved in that as soon as possible.

'If there's anything I can lend to Leam and the coaching staff here then that'll be great.'

Sportsmail's David Lloyd is a director, shareholder and fan of the club. They were famous for the milk advert, when the child says: 'Accrington Stanley Who are they.' James Beattie looks like he knows the answer.

James Beattie in Accrington Stanley talks

Beattie in talks with Accrington Stanley over player-coach role

PUBLISHED:

22:18 GMT, 7 November 2012

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UPDATED:

22:18 GMT, 7 November 2012

Former England striker James Beattie is in talks over a player-coach role at League Two Accrington Stanley.

Free agent Beattie, 34, could link up with his former Blackburn team-mate Leam Richardson who is Accrington's manager.

On the ball: Beattie is in talks with the League Two outfit

On the ball: Beattie is in talks with the League Two outfit