Bubble perms, wide lapels and cringing cup final songs, let’s purge them from our memories of football’s golden age. Far better to remember Nayim’s 40 yard lob over David Seaman for Zaragoza to win the 1995 European Cup Winners Cup, or the Wimbledon Crazy Gang, storming the bastions of the beautiful game.

Football’s Coming Home – Or On Holiday

Football will be fun again, in Adeje from November 13 to 15, as great names from football’s past descend on Tenerife to pitch themselves against , mature (what a kind word) local ex pat Brits and Canarians as well as 100 other fun players flying in especially from Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

Spain, Barcelona, Spurs and Real Zaragoza pinpoint passer, Nayim (in red on ball above) is just one of a galaxy of former pros taking part in the third Soccer 7’s event at the Las Torres sports centre in Los Olivos (exit 79 B) . Former Manchester City, Sunderland and Bolton midfielder Nicky Summerbee, is the latest to pledge his involvement, and at 38, he is a spring chicken among the old roosters.

More Football Names Than A London Nightclub

Don’t stop me now, I”M dropping names like a dodgy keeper. Carlton Fairweather played his way from Dulwich Hamlet to Wimbledon, and later even New York Fever. Or how about Dutch midfielder Regi Blinker, a hit at Feyenoord, Sheffield Wednesday, Celtic and Sparta Rotterdam. Marcus Gayle was another all action member of the Wimbledon Crazy Gang as well as a Jamaica international, he headed Manchester United out of the F.A Cup in 1997. The international flavour is further strengthened by Johan Mjallby, Sweden captain in the 2002 World Cup and a solid defender for Levante and Celtic.

The Lure Of The Orient (Not Leyton)

It’s quite an achievement to pull together such players, but for Martin Tierney it’s another chance to give something back to a game that gave him a 20 year professional career in Asia and the U.S.A. “I played youth football growing up in Scotland, and later an ex team mate stopped off in Malaysia on the way to try out for an Australian team, he got a local contract and loved the Malaysian game. I got a call to join him, it was perfect for me, even playing in the evening it was pushing 90 degrees, so you had to pass the ball and let it do the work for you, rather than kick and rush.”

Martin became the Michael Palin of the football world with spells in Singapore, Hong Kong, Mexico, Canada and the fledgling American A League, a forerunner to Beckham’s MLS. After all those hot countries, a return to Scotland to give his daughter a European education, wasn’t too attractive, so Tenerife seemed a good compromise.

Weekly Tenerife Leagues

With the legs tiring by then, Martin had got involved in coaching and running training schools in countries where he had previously played, but he never realised it might take off in Tenerife. “I got involved with odd bits of coaching and it grew, now my company Soccer Experience runs 4 nightly 7 a side leagues at different age levels in Tenerife, including over 35’s. It’s run along professional lines, prompt times, fair play, and strict rules, but always good fun.”

The community side of football features strongly in the Adeje tournament, the 21 teams will play in three round robin groups, each featuring two UK teams, four Tenerife teams (Brits and Canarians) and one ex pro team. “This way everyone gets to play against the big boys, this year we have a CD Tenerife veterans team as well, so we are looking forward to getting a good mix of nationalities watching.”

Are You Watching Tenerife?

All the Soccer 7’s games are FREE to watch, Fridays action(Nov 13) is from 2 pm to 10 pm, Saturday and Sunday is from 10 am to 7 pm. When the games are all over, there is an open question and answer evening at the Bistro del Mar in Puerto Colon, from 7.30 pm. A good chance to tackle the star names with questions like, what happened to that mullet, do you have plans to take up acting like Vinny, or how did it feel to play in the great stadiums of the world? Anyone inspired to pull on their boots again for regular games, can find a team of their age and level through Soccer Experience.

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