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Ex QPR, Man Utd and Newcastle stars part of ‘secret kickabout’ group with £10 forefit



Former QPR, Manchester United and Newcastle United stars are some of the ex Premier League players who now met up for ‘secret kickabout’ sessions in Cheshire to keep their ball skills ticking over.


The Chronicle caught up with former Magpies talisman Papiss Cisse, who told all about the sessions that take place in the North West. Participants,


who were once worth millions and millions of pounds,


now agree to cough up a £10 forfeit to cover costs should they lose the friendly match.


Alongside Cisse are faces that QPR and Chelsea fans will certainly recognise. Danny Simpson, Danny Drinkwater, Joleon Lescott, Antonio Valencia, John O’Shea, Stephen Ireland, Nedum Onuoha, Ravel Morrison, Wes Morgan, Dale Stephens, Emile Heskey and Oumar Niasse are all reported to be part of the group.




Cisse said: “Everyone wants to win the game. It’s like proper football. Sometimes you would think we still have contracts.


It’s a friendly but this mentality comes from when you have been a professional. You have this in your blood. You don’t want to lose.”


The former Newcastle United man is out of contract currently, having left French outfit Amiens at the end of last season.


However, the 38-year-old has admitted he is not retired yet. He said: “I’m going to jump somewhere soon. I know I can continue to play.”



It’s a similar story for Danny Simpson, who made 41 appearances for QPR, as well as over 100 for the Magpies.


The defender, who is 37 years old and famously won the Premier League with Leicester City in 2016, joined Macclesfield last December and is also working as a pundit.


He told The Telegraph last year: “People realised I wasn’t playing, and I think if you’re out of contract, someone will end up trying to recruit you.


“One of the hardest things, I found, was when your mates go back to pre-season and you’re sitting on your


own at home waiting for your phone to ring. Waiting for your next opportunity can be tough.


I miss being around the lads every day. I’ve not been quiet about that.


I do miss walking out on a Saturday but mainly… well, if you’re around 20 lads every day for 20 years, that’s hard to replace.”


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