Author: Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rüdd

Former Jamaican hot-shot set to tackle English non-league

Ricardo Fuller, a former Jamaica international striker, has come out of retirement to play non-league football In England.

The 39-year old, who last represented Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz in 2012, is a former English Premier League star but will now tackle the National League North for the rest of the season.

Plying his trade in the sixth tier with promotion-chasing Nantwich Town, after signing on Wednesday evening, won’t be easy for the Kingston-born veteran.

Nantwich manager Nathan Jones, who knew Fuller while at Charlton Athletic during the 2012-13 campaign, explained: “Ricardo came to see me.and he wants to play. This is no stunt, he’s desperate to play and desperate to win.”

Fuller kicked off his career at Tivoli Gardens in Jamaica’s Red Stripe Premier League 20 years ago, before making eight appearances for Crystal Palace in 2001 and then returning to Tivoli Gardens for part of the 2002 season that included a loan spell with Hearts in the Scottish top flight.

He became a journeyman in England, representing Preston North End, Portsmouth,.Southampton and Ipswich Town before clicking at Stoke City, where be became a cult figure with 50 goals over six seasons.

He proved an inspiration at Stoke, helping them gain promotion to the Premier League in 2008 and reach the 2011 FA Cup final – although he missed out on the glory of playing at Wembley Stadium due to injury.

Fuller never recovered from thia dislocated shoulder injury and his career subsequently took a nosedive, released by Stoke in 2012 and in the same year he fell off the international radar.

He notched just 10 goals from 77 international matches, and was part of Jamaica’s unsuccessful World Cup Qualifying campaigns in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

Single season stays with Charlton, Blackpool, Millwall and Oldham Athletic followed until he hung up his boots in January 2016.

But he aims to be back in business on the pitch, and could be given a shot to show what a marksman he still is when Nantwich tackle Matlock Town on Saturday.

Jones added: “He told me he’s got his mojo back. Having a player of his ability will be a massive lift for the lads.

“He might put a few more on the gate and we know he’s unlikely to start game after game, but he can be an important player for us.

“He’s kept himself in good nick as he’s been playing in exhibition games and looking after himself – he’s as fit as a butcher’s dog.”

Ricardo Fuller via Youtube

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Former Jamaican hot-shot set to tackle English non-league Ricardo Fuller, a former Jamaica international striker, has come out of retirement to play non-league football In England. The 39-year old, who last represented Jamaica's Reggae Boyz in 2012, is a former English Premier League star but will now tackle the National League...

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