Paul Merson, Tony Cottee and comic Russ Williams prove big hit at Wisbech Town dinner

FOOTBALL legends Paul Merson and Tony Cottee enthralled fans with tales of their playing days at Wisbech Town’s sportsmans’ dinner last night.

More than 200 people packed the marquee at the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium to hear the Soccer Saturday pundits talk candidly about their time as professional footballers.

Former Arsenal and England star Merson discussed his much-publicised battles with drink, drugs and gambling while Cottee talked glowingly about the time he spent at his boyhood club West Ham.

The pair also revealed how they became pundits on the cult Sky Sports show after retiring from the game with Merson joking that he’s unable to pronounce a single name in English football now that striker Jeremie Aliadiere has signed for Lorient in France.

Comedian and host Russ Williams also provided laughs throughout the evening as an estimated �8,000 was raised during a night to remember for Fenland’s biggest football club.

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Chris Dear, a former Wisbech Town player and assistant, organised the event and said: “I’d like to thank Snips Parsons who has been extremely helpful, the rest of the directors for their support and I’m really thankful for everyone who supported the evening.

“It was a great night and Paul and Tony’s stories were fantastic. They were massive footballers but they spoke just like they were boys from down the road.

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“The honesty Merson showed throughout his tales was incredible. But Russ made the night in my eyes, he was so funny.

“Dick Creasey was my manager for years and he’s always been called gaffer but thanks to the comedian he’ll now forever be known as Papa Smurf!”

An auction of sporting memorabilia raised thousands of pounds for the club on the night with a golf day for three people with Cottee fetching �520 and a signed print of Manchester United legend Eric Cantona being bought for �420.

• The marquee is available to hire for further bookings. For more information contact Rachel on 01945 581511.

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