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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 12:58 GMT
Claridge ties up Cherries switch
Steve Claridge
I've just got a morbid obsession with football

Steve Claridge
Veteran Steve Claridge could make his 1,000th professional appearance on Saturday after joining Bournemouth - the club where he made his first.

The striker, 40, put pen to paper on a one-month pay-as-you-play deal with the League One side on Friday.

Claridge started out at Bournemouth 21 years ago and has since made 999 appearances for 18 different clubs.

"I've just got a morbid obsession with football, I have done for over 20 years," he admitted.

"It's not a gimmick just for the one game. If I was just coming back for one game, I wouldn't have bothered.

"It's initially for a month, but the gaffer is approaching it with an open mind and hopefully it will be longer.

"People have this idea of me as a journeyman and I rarely get the credit I deserve.

"There's a good squad down here when everyone's fit and there could be some good times ahead for Bournemouth and I'd like to be a part of it.

"And the irony of it all is certainly not lost on me. It's fantastic the way it's all come full circle."

Claridge's last match came in April when he scored the only goal in Walsall's 1-0 win over Gillingham.

He is eight days younger than fellow 40-year-old Teddy Sheringham at West Ham.

SEE ALSO
Cherries sign Arsenal youngster
23 Nov 06 |  Bournemouth
Saints' Gillett joins Bournemouth
22 Nov 06 |  Bournemouth
Claridge on lookout for new club
08 Aug 06 |  Football


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