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Ex-Premier League player extends stay with Maidstone

An ex-Premier League player extends his stay with National League South club Maidstone United for the upcoming 2020/21 season.

It’s something that we are seeing happen a fair bit recently with these ex-topflight professionals, as they continue to play for the love of the game no matter what tier in the English football pyramid they’re at.

This footballer is George Elokobi, who made 58 top flight appearances for Wolverhampton Wanderers between 2009 and 2012 after winning the Championship with them in 2009.

Previously to that he won promotion from League One in 2006 with Colchester United, making 17 appearances in all competitions and scoring twice that season, then 29 appearances across the following two seasons, getting on the scoresheet once.

He handed in a transfer request, which then caught the eye of Wolves, who signed him on the 31st of January 2008 for an undisclosed fee on a ​2 1⁄2-year deal, later revealed to be £500,000.

He ended his seven year stay with the West Midlands outfit and within in that time, he had loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Bristol City, playing 13 times in total for the two Championship clubs.

He joined Oldham in August 2014, who at the time were in League One, then went on to score 3 times in 27 appearances for the Latics. The club offered Elokobi a new contract on reduced terms, but after rejecting the offer, he decided to leave the club.

He re-joined Colchester in July 2015 after a seven-year absence, and stayed with them for two seasons, each of them were spent in League One and League Two, making 48 appearances and scoring three times.

After becoming out of favour under new Colchester manager John McGreal, who more recently was sacked, Elokobi was made available for loan in August 2016. before joining National League side Braintree Town in a month-long loan deal on the 4th of October 2016, making 7 appearances. Elokobi was recalled on the 22nd of November, before leaving at the end of his contract after failing to agree a new deal.

In July 2017, Elokobi signed a two-year contract with National League side Leyton Orient, made 24 appearances and scored twice, then on the 31st of January 2019, it was announced that he had left the club by mutual consent having been placed on the transfer list ten days earlier.

Just twelve days later, Aldershot signed him on a deal until the end of the season, though only played 13 times and then left at the end of the season for his current club Maidstone on a 1-year contract, where he has been the captain and made a total of 38 appearances during his debut season, helping them to a 9th place finish with the standings based on PPG, and had nine left to play.

George has also signed up to coach at the club’s football academy, where his unique and infectious leadership will help the next generation with football and life skills.

Club chief exec Bill Williams said: “Every team I’ve managed or been involved with has always had a natural leader and George is up there with the best of them.

“Not only will we continue to benefit from his leadership and experience on the field, we’re delighted he will be involved with our academy this season.

“Those lads can learn a lot from someone like George, who’s played at the highest level but went through the school of hard knocks to get there, which made him into the man we know and love today.”

Footage emerged during the 2019/20 season appearing to show Elokobi jump into a crowd to confront a fan at a non league game.

The incident came after in a National League South match, Maidstone conceded a last-minute equaliser to his former club Braintree to draw 1-1.

In the video posted on Twitter, Elokobi can be seen wearing the number six shirt as most of the Maidstone team jumps into the crowd with him.

He makes way from the scene after some persuasion from his team mates and members of the support.

One supporter can be heard saying: “Don’t lose your head, George. You’re better than that, George.”

Twitter user @AlmanaccoCalcio posted the video stating: “Elokobi has just jumped in the stands after the game and gone for a Braintree fan. Everyone’s rushed over to break it all up, absolute scenes.”

Elokobi reportedly came out before the game in the warmup claiming that “This is my town!”, which may have riled sections of the home support.

It was later confirmed on Twitter that the confrontation was not the result of racist chanting.

The Twitter user said: “I just wanna clarify that there were NO monkey chants. The fan made a comment about his wage and that was it.

“Me and many other witnesses will testify to that should any of these claims be taken further.”

After reading that the ex-Premier League player extends his stay with Maidstone, fans took to give their reaction…

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