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Former England player Stuart Pearce signs for UK’s ‘worst’ football team

Ex-England footballer Stuart Pearce is coming out of retirement – at the age of 53. And he’s going to be paying to play.In a clever stunt from Direct Line, piggybacking on recent headlines condemning Longford AFC as the ‘worst football team in the UK’, the man they call(ed) Psycho is making a comeback.

Now, I hear on the grapevine that some people involved with the local (to me – I live in Gloucester) non-league team weren’t best pleased with their new-found infamy, owing to the fact they’ve lost all of its 18 games this season, scoring just the 1 goal and conceding 179. But, apparently, not so much so that they wouldn’t agree to having Pearce turn out for them.

The story, which I’d love to see the spend on given Pearce is unlikely to need the money, was picked up by the BBC, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Mirror, Sun, ‘practically every football website going’ according to the team behind it, and trended on Twitter for much of yesterday.

It’s part of a bigger #DirectFix creative campaign – Pearce, capped 78 times by England, is in to help ‘fix’ the team with the support of Direct Line. Geddit?

Whereas quotes very often add nothing to a story, fair play to the PRs that wormed this in ‘from’ the Longford coach:

“Stuart knows that there will be no special treatment, he will still need to pay his £5 a game subs.”

It made me smile anyway.

Involved agency: Unity

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Rich started PRexamples.com in January 2012. It has been named Vuelio's top PR blog. He runs consumer PR agency Radioactive PR, which has two offices in the UK. He also wrote 'Myths of PR', which went on to become Amazon's best-selling PR book within days of release. In March 2013, Rich co-founded blogger outreach service bloggabase.com. He tweets about PR stunts, campaigns and other media bits and pieces @RichLeighPR

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