FORMER Premiership striker Steve Claridge has shocked football by returning to Weymouth on non-contract terms at the age of 43.

The ex-Portsmouth forward has agreed to play free of charge for the cash-strapped Terras and will go straight into their squad for Saturday's Blue Square South clash against Bromley at the Wessex Stadium (3pm).

The sensational news comes just five days after the Terras released a statement announcing that the club could be forced into administration if an investment of £50,000 failed to materialise by September 8.

Claridge, who was last involved in competitive action as a player in 2007 when he turned out for Harrow Borough in the Isthmian League Premier Division, said: “This move is mostly down to Ian Ridley. As ever he has been quite persistent and no matter what has gone on in the past no one wants to see the club where it is and if I can help in anyway then I will.

“The manager Matty Hale has spoken to me and wants me on board and as ever I will do what I have always done and that is run around and give 100 per cent. That is all I can promise and I cannot really say anymore than that."

For full interview and reaction see tomorrow's Echo