Joe Cole signs for non league club Belstone FC with his appearance leaving fans stunned on social media, but he did forget his own boots.
The experienced former Premier League footballer turned BT Sport pundit rolled back the years by turning up for the Herts Senior County League outfit last weekend.
Cole, 39, called time on his career three years ago following a final swansong with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, where he then became an assistant, before becoming an academy coach at Chelsea.
The midfielder recently emerged as a surprise contender to be the next England Under 21 boss, according to reports, though he’s not in the top six favourites with the bookies.
Cole as UEFA A licence and is keen to make a move into management and he is known to be passionate about England, visiting the Three Lions’s HQ at St George’s Park to study training sessions and give talks to youth players.
However it would seem for the meantime that he will be helping out Belstone FC, guiding them to a win during his first game.
Cole, who earned 56 caps for the Three Lions, left his opponents with a tinge of nervousness when he was asked by his friend and manager Aaron Lincoln to play in a cup tie.
According to the Watford Observer, Cole played the first half and helped inspire the side to a 2-1 victory.
The report adds how Cole’s arrival has gone on to create a ‘real buzz’ around the club, which is based near St Albans.
It’s amazing to have an England legend playing in our league.
— HSCL (@hscfl) April 16, 2021
Cole went on his Instagram account after playing in the game, revealing how delighted he was to dust off the cobwebs while hinting at making more appearances for them going forward.
He said: “I’ve always loved playing and a big thank you to Aaron and @belstonefc for letting me play again on Saturday.
“Good to dust the cobwebs off and my Sunday league team stood me in good fashion for this one.
“Can’t wait to play again, if you’ll have me and I’ll even remember my own boots next time.”
Cole didn’t score but he did show a glimpse of what he learned from back in the day, curling an effort off the post.
View this post on Instagram
The ex-playmaker also played for Liverpool, Lille on loan, Aston Villa and Coventry.
He won three league titles with Chelsea, two FA Cups and the League Cup.
JOE COLE’S CAREER:
1990–1998 – West Ham United
1998–2003 – West Ham United – 126 games (10 goals)
2003–2010 – Chelsea – 182 games (28 goals)
2010–2013 – Liverpool – 26 games (3 goals)
2011–2012 → Lille (loan) – 32 games (4 goals)
2013–2014 – West Ham United – 31 games (5 goals)
2014–2016 – Aston Villa – 12 games (1 goal)
2015–2016 → Coventry City (loan) – 7 games (1 goal)
2016 Coventry City – 15 games (1 goal)
2016–2018 – Tampa Bay Rowdies – 82 games (20 goals)
2021- Belstone – 1 game (0 goals)
Total – 514 games (73 goals)
1997–1998 – England U16 – 4 games (0 goals)
1999 – England U18 – 5 games (0 goals)
2000–2003 – England U21 – 8 games (2 goals)
2001–2010 – England – 56 games (10 goals)
2018 – Tampa Bay Rowdies (assistant)
2019– Chelsea (academy coach)
West Ham United
UEFA Intertoto Cup: 1999
Premier League: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2009–10
FA Cup: 2006–07, 2009–10
Football League Cup: 2004–05
FA Community Shield: 2005
UEFA Champions League runner-up: 2007–08
West Ham United Hammer of the Year: 2002–03
Premier League Player of the Month: March 2005
PFA Team of the Year: 2005–06 Premier League
Chelsea Player of the Year: 2007–08
NASL Best XI: 2016
Fans reacted after seeing that Joe Cole signs for the non league club…
@mattyday2015: Rumours are @WayneBridge is next 👀
@thecoldend: Absolutely brilliant!
@LewHawkins92: No way 😂😂 wish I’d gone to train with them now!
@AlfieFlaherty: One of the most random things ive ever seen
@AFCKieran: Cannot wait to get spun by this prick
@LondonLegacyFC: 🤣🤣🤣 surprised to see Joe Cole playing grassroots football
@harrycollison2: That is a joke
@JDoubleN_: Fucking hell, rocking up after a stinking hangover and seeing this baller on the opposite team 🙃
@ConnorPerl: Imagine you went to Radlett today for a game of 11 a side and you end up marking joe Cole 😂😂😂😂😂
@YoursTrulyMrMac: If Belstone can get Joe Cole, surely @London_Tigers can try and sign Per Mertesacker??? @mertesacker how about a game of tennis? If I win, you play a game for London Tigers? If I lose… well, I’ll let you decide the stake.