Brian McBride to Play at Wembley. Sort of.


Brian McBride will play at Wembley.

McBride distinguished himself as a USA international as well as graced the jersey of Fulham Football Club a few miles to the south of the North West London suburb.

However, he will not be gracing England’s national stadium.

Instead, he has agreed to turn out for non League Wembley Football Club.

The Lions, who play at nearby Vale Farm in the shadow of England’s world famous venue, made some news last season when they played in the first ever FA Cup tie to be screened online through Facebook last August.

Vale Farm already has a tangential place in world football history. The England team practised there before the 1966 World Cup.

The idea to recruit some retired internationals is the brainchild of former England manager Terry Venables who also has a long connection with the area having played in one of the best Queens Park Rangers sides of all time.

QPR play in Shepherds Bush in West London roughly equi-distant between Fulham’s Craven Cottage in South West London and the suburb of Wembley.

Wembley FC signed a sponsorship deal with American brewing giant Budweiser and with that finance, they have allowed Venables to attract a range of former international players including Ray Parlour, David Seaman, Graeme Le Saux, Martin Keown (all England) and Argentina’s Claudio Caniggia whose bizarre later career also took him to Dundee FC in Scotland.

Budweiser also sponsor the FA Cup, a competition inextricably linked with Wembley Stadium due to the high profile final which attracts a global audience.

Seaman will act as a goalkeeper coach but the other five, including McBride, have come out of retirement to play for Wembley FC in the ninth tier of English football in a division called the Combined Counties League Premier Division.

Russell Grant paid for the hire of Wembley Stadium

Wembley FC will be featured in a television documentary as they endeavour to play at the nearby more famous Wembley Stadium by reaching the FA Cup Final.

Despite the showbiz aspect of the idea, it wouldn’t be the first time the slightly less than famous red shirts of Wembley FC have graced England’s National Stadium.

On June 2 1988, the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup Final was contested there between Wembley and Hendon FC.

TV astrologer Russell Grant, a proponent of the revival of the historic county of Middlesex which contains Wembley, paid £6,000 to have the final of the Middlesex Charity Cup played there.

Hendon, who coincidentally now share Wembley’s Vale Farm ground, won 3-1 in front of 3715 people with former Northern Ireland international Iain Dowie, a man used to playing at Wembley Stadium, scoring for them.

McBride has never played at the big Wembley but played against England May 28, 2005 in Chicago and had retired by the time the USA played England, coincidentally again on May 28, 2008 at Wembley.

He won 96 caps for the USA and turned 40 last Tuesday. He is set for one last big adventure.

Disclosure: The Editor of Prost Amerika used to go and watch Wembley FC as a youth and has fond memories of Vale Farm.

Hendon’s Neil Henry shoots past a Wembley FC Defender in the Vale Farm Club’s Last Wembley Stadium Appearance



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