12th tier club sign ex-Premier League and EFL player

    A club from the 12th tier, Stoneclough FC, have managed to get an ex-Premier League and EFL player to sign a new contract.

    Ex England U21 international Ben Marshall has decided to stay put at the West Lancashire League outfit for another season.

    He has said that he wants to finish what he started when he joined the club back in January 2020 with the ambition of getting them promoted.

    Ben has turned down multiple offers from clubs higher up the English football pyramid to stay with Stoneclough too.

    The 28-year-old has played for the likes of Leicester, Blackburn and Wolves, as well as Norwich, amassing a total of 372 appearances.

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    He had his contract at Carrow Road terminated by mutual consent in July last year and has decided to drop down a staggering 11 divisions – or that’s what the club’s Twitter would have you think.


    1997–2005 – Manchester United
    2005–2009 – Crewe Alexandra

    2009–2012 – Stoke City
    2009 → Northampton Town (loan) – 15 games (2 goals)
    2009 → Cheltenham Town (loan) – 6 games (2 goals)
    2010–2011 → Carlisle United (loan) – 59 games (8 goals)
    2011–2012 → Sheffield Wednesday (loan) – 22 games (5 goals)
    2012–2013 – Leicester City – 59 games (10 goals)
    2013–2017 – Blackburn Rovers – 136 games (16 goals)
    2017–2018 – Wolverhampton Wanderers – 22 games (2 goals)
    2018 → Millwall (loan) – 16 games (3 goals)
    2018–2019 – Norwich City – 4 games (0 goals)
    2019 → Millwall (loan) – 16 games (1 goal)
    2020- Stoneclough

    The West Lancashire League Division One side tweeted a picture of the midfielder alongside three club members and said back when the first signed him: “Stoneclough FC are pleased to announce the biggest signing of their history… Free agent Ben Marshall signs on and the club are delighted to add him to their squad for their promotion push to the West Lancs Prem!”

    He gave an interview, which was posted on Stoneclough’s Twitter page, and gave to his reasons behind joining the non-league club.

    “I had a few offers. I’ve played a few games in my career,” he said. “Obviously, the lads were a big part. The gaffer is a big part of it.

    “The main thing that appealed to me is you can train once a week – and it is optional,” he added.

    “These guys, no disrespect to them, but they’re not on my level.

    “It’s nice to be able to come in and be the top dog. I want the armband, eventually. In a nutshell, I’m really happy to be here.”

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