April Fools! Leeds United - Matteo set to make amateur debut in Bradford

Dominic Matteo in training at Bradford
Dominic Matteo in training at Bradford
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Seven years after retiring from the professional game, Leeds United legend and former Scottish international Dominic Matteo will make his competitive return to football - in Bradford.

Matteo, who will be 42 this month, will join the development team of Bradford amateurs Campion FC when they play Newsome in Huddersfield on Saturday. (April 2)

The star, who made 115 appearances for Leeds between 2000 and 2004, during which the team reached the semi-finals of the Champions League, said the prospect of playing for Campion was “a massive challenge, perhaps one of the biggest in my career”.

He added: “I just hope that I can put in a performance that will do justice to the rest of the lads.”

Development team manager Mark Palfreeman, said: “It’s exciting for us to have a former Premiership footballer in our ranks. He brings with him a vast amount of experience which will be invaluable for the development of some of the younger players.

“Dom might have played over 350 professional matches for some very big clubs. He might have played against some great players and scored a Champions League goal in the San Siro against Milan. But on Saturday he has to realise that hewill be turning out in Newsome, which is not Milan, and that he is representing Campion, not Liverpool or Leeds.”

Campion AFC are based in the Manningham area of Bradford and play in the West Riding County Amateur Football League.

After retiring, Matteo wrote an autobiography in which he told of running up more than £1m in gambling debts. He was declared bankrupt last year.

His professional career ended in 2009 after a two-year spell with Stoke City. He also played for Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers, and won six caps for Scotland.

Towards the end of his career, he took up racehorse ownership. In recent years he has worked as a TV football pundit, newspaper columnist and as director of Rock Bar, in Call Lane, Leeds.