Evergreen Claridge set for 1,000 appearances

December 6, 2006

Steve Claridge could make his 1,000th professional appearance on Saturday after linking up with League One Bournemouth.

The 40-year-old has been training at Dean Court this week - some 21 years after he left Bournemouth, the club where he started his professional career.

Claridge, who has played for 18 clubs as well as managing Weymouth, Portsmouth and Millwall - the latter for only a month - played his 999th game in April, scoring for Walsall in a 1-0 win over Gillingham.

The striker is expected to sign on an initial one-month pay-as-you-play deal and will be in contention to make his milestone appearance in Saturday's home clash with Port Vale.

Cherries boss Kevin Bond, who had Claridge as a player while he was a coach at Pompey, told the Bournemouth Echo: 'I've spoken to Steve and he said he would like to come on board. He will give us another option.

'I've worked with him before and he's as fit as a fiddle and takes a great deal of pride in how he looks after himself.

'He has trained with us and you wouldn't have thought he had been away. At anything like his best, he's a real handful.'