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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 November, 2004, 18:58 GMT
Socrates braves elements on debut
SOCRATES FACTFILE
Socrates
Born: 19 Feb 1954
Caps: 60
International goals: 22
Position: Midfielder
World Cups: 1982 and 1986
Clubs: Botafogo, Corinthians, Fiorentina, Flamengo and Santos
Facts:
1. Known to smoke a packet of cigarettes every day
2. Did not make his international debut until he turned 25
Brazilian legend Socrates made his long-awaited return to action in the unlikely surroundings of the Northern Counties League on Saturday.

The 50-year-old came on as a late substitute for Garforth Town against Tadcaster United at Wheatley Park.

Having spent much of the game shivering in the dugout wearing a woolly hat and gloves, he came on for his first competitive game in 14 years.

He tested the keeper with a 20-yard shot but faded as the game ended 2-2.

The Garforth town strip of yellow shirts and blue shirts was reminiscent of Brazil, but the great man's trademark beard was as white as the snow-capped Yorkshire hills on the horizon.

When he was introduced after 78 minutes, he shed the overcoat given to him by club supremo Simon Clifford to unveil a rather fuller figure than that which graced the world stage in the 1980s.

Thrust into attack, the maestro had several early touches and that thunderbolt long-range shot which Tadcaster keeper Tom Ryder saved.

A record 3,000 crowd were warmed by the surreal sight of one of the game's most famous players leading the Garforth forward line.

The last time I saw snow was years and years ago.
Socrates

But there was to be no further magic as the game petered out, and there was no Zico, Eder, Falcao or Junior to call on for support.

Clifford revealed that he would have introduced his illustrious replacement in time to take a penalty, but the former Brazilian skipper had mislaid his shin pads.

Speaking through an interpreter after the match, Socrates, who earlier made a personal appearance at the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, said: "It was far too cold.

"The second I got out I had this incredible headache, I'm just not used to it. The last time I saw snow was years and years ago.

"It was much faster than what I am used to. In Brazil games just aren't that fast.

"It was good fun and a good game. Leeds looks a beautiful city and I am enjoying my stay here."


SEE ALSO
Samba stars to join Garforth Town
27 Oct 04 |  Fun and Games


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