Vol. 5 Num 156 Thu. October 28, 2004  

Socrates dons yellow shirt!

Brazilian Socrates is to pull on the famous yellow jersey once more, but this time it will not be for the five-time World Cup winners but for a non-league English team.

The former Brazil captain, who played alongside fellow Latin luminaries Zico and Junior, has agreed to join Garforth Town in the Northern Counties East League.

Teesside businessman and owner of Garforth Simon Clifford persuaded Socrates to join the club -- based in a former pit village near Leeds in Yorkshire -- initially on a month-long deal until December.

"It is a fantastic coup. Our fans will be pinching themselves when they see Socrates running out," he told Britain's Sun newspaper on Wednesday.

Clifford, who names a number of Brazilian soccer players among his friends, owns a string of soccer schools in the South American country.

"I wanted to put the focus on the club (Garforth) so a few weeks ago I started putting out feelers in Brazil," Clifford told The Times.

"This is the result."

Socrates reportedly still has the same slim physique as he did in his prime but Clifford may have to relax his smoking ban as the Brazilian was a heavy smoker even at his peak.

Joining Socrates in the team will be former Manchester United man Lee Sharpe, who has also recently signed for the club.

According to the club website, "the lure of a spell in the Northern Counties East League has proved too much for the 50-year-old (Socrates)."

However Socrates, a doctor by profession, will have to get back to football basics.

Having played in front of 200,000 people at the legendary Maracana stadium in Rio, he will have to get used to playing with electricians and plumbers -- and in front of a capacity 3000 crowd.

The West Yorkshire club, which is based in a mining village, have signed Socrates initially on a one-month deal.

Socrates, who retired from the game 14 years ago having skippered Brazil to two World Cups, will line up for his first game for the club against Tadcaster Albion on November 20.