DCSIMG

Posh diary: the Posh Legends team

AT the age of 65 Tommy Robson has started a new career selling life insurance. That's an open goal for the likes of Jack Dee, or even Jack Carmichael.

AT the age of 65 Tommy Robson has started a new career selling life insurance. That's an open goal for the likes of Jack Dee, or even Jack Carmichael."He'll probably become an undertaker when he's 70," Carmichael suggested, thus fulfilling his role as jester to the Posh team that came so close to glory in the Northants FA Legends tournament at Rushden & Diamonds this week.

Over 1,500 Posh appearances were on view in the four-team tournament – more if you include those of Kevin Shoemake and Dale Watkins who were slumming it with the host club – and Robson and Carmichael were responsible for more than 1,000 of them.

Robson, who falls over rather than dives these days, is the driving force behind the Posh Legends team that regularly turns out in charity matches in the area.

But this was serious stuff. Arch rivals Northampton were among the opposition in a four-team round-robin event, as well as the Diamonds and leading Northants amateur side Harpole who replaced Kettering Town as they couldn't find seven players prepared to admit they once played for 'The Poppies'.

It didn't matter that the Posh side included players who were barely leg- ends in their own lunch-time. Local pride was at stake for a team of club giants (Robson and Carmichael), Wembley heroes (Marcus Ebdon and Lee Howarth), locally-reared stars (Jackie Gallagher), journeymen (Ian Benjamin & Dave McVay), occasional players (Ashley Carr) and youth team products (Darrin Clarke and Ian Pledger).

Ebdon still plays at a reasonable level with Atherstone United. Carr still plays at a dreadful level for a seven-a-side team called Ding-a-Ling, but they were united for this seven-a- side event which thankfully allowed for rolling substitutions, apparently

at the insistence of the nervous St John's Ambulance crews, who for the first time in football history looked younger than the teams.

Harpole were despatched 4-0 with Lee Howarth quick to point out that he'd just netted the second and third goals of his Posh career and Northampton were hammered 5-1, a margin of victory kept sensible by the brilliance of the Cobblers' keeper.

Rushden also romped through their first two matches to set up a thrilling decider for the 30-strong crowd.

Apparently even Coronation Street had been moved from Wednesday to

Thursday to avoid clashing with this feast of football.

Posh started well, but with Benjamin displaying his Posh form rather than his Northampton form chances came and went and Rushden went 2-0 ahead with a free-kick deflected in by Ebdon and a Watkins strike. Ebdon, who is the proud father of eight-week old twin boys, pulled one back in the second half, but despite much late pressure Posh couldn't find an equaliser.

The disappointment was soon washed away by a post-tournament shandy and tales from the old days. There was a theme to the stories as it became abundantly clear that football drinking cultures didn't start with Paul McGrath and Bryan Robson.

Scores: Posh 4 (Howarth 2, Ebdon, Carr), Harpole 0; Posh 5 (Gallagher 2, Ebdon, Benjamin, Howarth), Northampton 1; Posh 1 (Ebdon), Rushden & Diamonds 2

Next page: the teamLegends team:

MARCUS EBDON

Age: 38

Posh years: 1991-97

Posh apps: 190

Posh goals: 16

Posh highlight: Created Wembley winner in 1992.

Now: Playing for Atherstone United, working as a coach at Moulton Academy.

Can he still hack it? Oh yes, played and moaned at the the refs like a real pro.

LEE HOWARTH

Age: 41

Posh years: 1991-94.

Posh apps: 78

Posh goals: 1

Posh highlight: Scoring on Posh debut.

Now: Managing Bedford in the Southern Premier League, top sports coach at Moulton Academy.

Can he still hack it? Definitely, looks fit, scored loads of goals and made numerous dirty tackles.

IAN BENJAMIN

Age: 48

Posh years: 1982-84.

Posh apps: 93

Posh goals: 15.

Posh highlight: Moving to Northampton where his career took off again.

Now: Managing Soham in the Southern League.

Can he still hack it? Occasionally, but missed far more than he scored.

JACK CARMICHAEL

Age: 60

Posh years: 1970-83

Posh apps: 420

Posh goals: 7.

Posh highlight: Player of the season in 1974-75 & 1975-76.

Now: Retired from everything except making wisecracks.

Can he still hack it? No, but he still talks a good game.

TOMMY ROBSON

Age: 65

Posh years: 1968-1981

Posh apps: 559

Posh goals: 128

Posh highlight: An entire career, the legend of legends.

Now: Charity footballer who sells life insurance.

Can he still hack it? Remains twinkle-toed and light on his feet.

JACKIE GALLAGHER

Age: 51

Posh years: 1979-81 & 1985-87.

Posh apps: 112

Posh goals: 24.

Posh highlight: Two goals in an opening day 4-2 win at Preston.

Now: Runs his own courier business in Wisbech, watches son Joe play for Wisbech under 18s.

Can he still hack it? He's impossible to knock off the ball, finished well.

DAVE MCVAY

Age: 54.

Posh years: 1979-81.

Posh apps: 62

Posh goals: 1

Posh highlight: A member of the side that reached the FA Cup fifth round in 1981.

Now: Football writer for the Daily Telegraph.

Can he still hack it? He has presence, but watched most of the tournament.

ASHLEY CARR

Age: 41

Posh years: 1986-89.

Posh apps: 23

Posh goals: 1.

Posh highlight: Came on as a sub against Cardiff once and inspired a Posh turnaround from 2-1 down to 4-3 up.

Now: Plays seven-a-side football for Ding a Ling, works for Pearl.

Can he still hack it? Smooth runner with the ball.

IAN PLEDGER

Age: 38

Posh years/apps/goals/highlight: Youth team only.

Now: Manager of Quorn FC, a real team from Leicestershire.

Can he still hack it? Very safe, filled the goal.

DARRIN CLARKE

Age: 37

Posh years/apps/goals/highlight: Youth team only.

Now: Plays for Powerleague in Peterborough League Division One.

Can he still hack it? Very competitive as you'd expect of Colin Clarke's step-son.

Former Posh youth team coach John Walker (1989-93) acted as Posh cheerleader.

 

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