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Terry Venables' Wembley FC recruit former stars for FA Cup


Non-league Wembley FC have recruited former internationals Ray Parlour, Martin Keown, Graeme Le Saux, Claudio Caniggia and Brian McBride to play in their FA Cup campaign this season.

The north London side have hired David Seaman as goalkeeping coach and former England boss Terry Venables as technical advisor.

Parlour, 39, said: "I've always believed grassroots football is essential to the lifeblood of the game.

"So I jumped at the chance."

All five players have come out of retirement to play for Wembley FC, who are in the ninth tier of English football. The club have agreed a sponsorship deal with Budweiser, which is in the first of a three-year deal as sponsor of the FA Cup.

International caps

Wembley FC's six new recruits have won 310 caps between them:

96 caps - Brian McBride (USA)

75 caps - David Seaman (England)

50 caps - Claudio Caniggia (Argentina)

43 caps - Martin Keown (England)

36 caps - Graeme Le Saux (England)

10 caps - Ray Parlour (England)

Goalkeeper David Seaman, midfielder Ray Parlour, and defender Martin Keown all played for more than a decade with Arsenal, making 405, 339 and 311 appearances respectively.

The trio all won the league title on three occasions. Seaman and Parlour both won four FA Cups and a League Cup, while Keown won a hat-trick of FA Cups.

Former Blackburn and Chelsea left-back Le Saux won a Premier League winner's medal with Blackburn in 1995 and the FA Cup and League Cup while at Stamford Bridge.

Caniggia played for 10 different clubs, including spells at Dundee and Glasgow Rangers towards the end of his career.

He sprang to international prominence at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, scoring the 80th-minute winner against rivals Brazil that took Argentina into the last eight. Following a drugs ban, the forward returned at USA 94, scoring twice against Nigeria.

After differences with coach Daniel Passarella, he was left out of the France 98 squad but returned for 2002, although he failed to make an appearance and was sent off from the substitutes' bench against Sweden as Argentina exited at the group stage.


Age range

  • David Seaman - 48
  • Martin Keown - 45
  • Claudio Caniggia - 45
  • Graeme Le Saux - 43
  • Brian McBride - 40
  • Ray Parlour - 39

McBride has already worked for an England manager, having captained Fulham under Roy Hodgson. The American striker scored 40 goals in 150 appearances for the Cottagers. He also played for Preston and Everton.

Internationally, McBride played in three World Cups in 1998, 2002 - when he scored two goals as the US reached the quarter-finals - and 2006.

Wembley FC manager Ian Bates said: "The opportunity to learn from ex-professionals like Parlour and Seaman - who have been there and done it - will give us the best chance possible to go further than we ever have done in next season's FA Cup.

"A year ago we were playing in front of an empty grandstand and the clubhouse was falling down. Now the investment means great times are waiting for Wembley FC and we can't wait to kick off our FA Cup campaign."

Chairman Brian Gumm added: "We're not a big club but we have big ambitions. With Budweiser as our sponsor we now have a shot at making those dreams come true."

Despite Budweiser sponsoring both the Cup and Wembley FC, the FA are comfortable with the company's involvement because the two arrangements are separate sponsorship deals and no rules have been broken regarding a conflict of interest.

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Makes sense why I saw parlour in a wembely fc top on ssn

Bit like that pub side advert carling ran

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FA Cup game tomorrow on espn

Doing cross bar challenge on Soccer AM now :lol:

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