1. ITV Report

Ex-England international Paul Merson to play for fourth-tier side Caerau

Welsh fourth-tier team Caerau have signed former England and Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson.

Paul Merson playing in a charity match earlier this year. Credit: PA

Caerau secretary Dai Hooper confirmed to ITV Wales all the required paperwork had now come through which will make the 49-year-old available for the home match against Pontyclun on October 18.

Merson, who won 21 England caps, was part of the Arsenal team which won the First Division championship in both 1988/89 and 1990/91 as well as the 1993 FA Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup in 1994.

The midfielder left Highbury for Middlesbrough in 1997 and also had spells with Aston Villa, Portsmouth and Walsall, going on to manage the Saddlers between 2004 and 2006 before taking up a role as a media pundit for Sky Sports.

Hooper hopes the presence of Merson, whom he got to know after they met at a function, can help raise the profile of the Maesteg side.

Paul Merson played for eight clubs and won 21 caps for England during his playing career. Credit: A/PA Archive/PA Images

Paul said he is having a little run out in a friendly game for someone to get himself a bit of fitness and is really looking forward to it.

We are a very small club moving forward, but we have got some marvellous things happening.

Our chairman Steve Williams has been really working hard to raise funds for a new 4G pitch, stand and academy for the kids, so I am hopeful with the help of people like Paul, we can raise the profile a lot.

– Dai Hooper, Caerau Secretary