Former Newcastle United Striker Nile Ranger Signs For Sunday League Team
Former Newcastle United striker Nile Ranger has signed for a Sunday League team in Barnet, joining A.C United for the season.
Ranger played 52 times in all competitions in four seasons for the Magpies, between 2009 and 2013, including two appearances in the Premier League, before moving to Swindon Town in League One.
He had a spell at Blackpool back in the Championship before moving to Southend United in the third tier for two seasons.
He left the Shrimpers in 2018 when his contract was cancelled for "recurring disciplinary issues," and he's not been in football since.
His move to A.C United was actually confirmed last month on Twitter but it went largely unnoticed by the football world.
.@BarnetLeague has just got even more tastier with A.C. United snapping up ex-@NUFC forward @NilePowerRanger @RisingBallers_ @takersfc @Official_HAFC @TrabzonsporUK @acfinchley @ParkRoyals @marcelonafc_ @ACUnitedYFC #grassroots #grassrootsfootball pic.twitter.com/eUlcJOiKoZ- Grassroots Football TV (@Rootz_TV) September 29, 2020
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League secretary John Eager told BBC Sport, "I think the registration secretary must have just clicked approve, not thinking anything of it.
"If you said 'Nile Ranger' to me, I would have told you he was the geezer I used to sign with League Two teams on Fifa when I was trying to get them promoted.
"It slipped through the net. I think it's come off the back of a five-a-side league folding. It was shut down because of coronavirus because you can't have indoor sports anymore. I think the players from that team have joined the 11-a-side team.
"It's really exciting to be attracting these sort of guys that want to play in our league. I think we both know he's probably not going to turn up every week but it just goes to show that Sunday league is going up a level. A lot more people are taking a lot more interest in it."
He's not the first ex pro to drop down a few tiers, and possibly not even the most surprising name. A couple of years back Salford City FC interim manager Paul Scholes turned out for Royton Town in the 11th tier of English football.
Tony Hibbert also dropped down into Sunday League football three years ago and joined an unbeaten side. In hilarious fashion the Evertonian's debut was the side's first loss of the season, oh dear.