This could be the most surprising signing of the season.
Former Wales international Robbie Savage is set to return to playing after signing for non-league side Stockport Town in the 10th tier of English football.
The 45-year-old last played for Derby in the Championship, retiring after his final game against Reading in May 2011 to pursue a career in the media.
Savage, who made 623 professional appearances, came through the ranks at Manchester United and spent five years at Premier League side Leicester City, where he won the League Cup in 2000.
The tough-tackling midfielder also played for Crewe, Birmingham and Blackburn, and won 39 caps for his country in a 15-year playing career.
Speaking about the move on BBC Radio 5 Live 606, Savage, who is also involved with the club’s owners Pro Football Academy, said he wants to help young players to get back into football after they have been released by a club.
“It’s not a PR stunt, it’s me trying to help youngsters progress in the game,” Savage said, after signing for the North West Counties Football League (NWCFL) First Division South side.
“I want to try and give a bit of what I went through in my career with rejection, rehabilitation and the mental side of football.
“I am not going to run games, I will need legs around me. My son had to go out and buy me some boots today – it’s a great opportunity for me.”
He then joked: “What a great opportunity for youngsters to play with a legend like me.”
Savage, who also revealed he will study for his Uefa B coaching licence, is expected to be named in the squad to face Oswestry Town on Monday.
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
Manager Adam Jones said he is trying to “find a blend of hungry young lads and experience” and that there is no-one “better placed” than Savage.
“So when he said he’d be interested in putting his boots on it was a no-brainer for me,” Jones added.
NWCFL referees could be in for a busy time with Savage’s return as his tally of 89 yellow cards is the seventh highest in Premier League history.
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe