Lomana LuaLua: Former Newcastle and Portsmouth striker plays for non-league Tilbury

Lualua

He was famous for his trademark backflip celebration at Newcastle and Portsmouth and now Lomana LuaLua has turned out for non-league Tilbury FC – alongside his teenage son.

The former Premier League striker played the second half of Tilbury’s 1-0 pre-season win against YouTube club Hashtag United.

LuaLua, 37, has played for nine clubs since leaving Portsmouth in 2007, including Olympiakos in Greece, and last played for Alsancak Yesilova SK in Cyprus.

“He would have done his celebration if he had scored,” said Tilbury boss Joe Keith.

Essex club Tilbury are in the Isthmian League North Division and Keith is a former team-mate of LuaLua at Colchester United.

Keith told BBC Sport: “There was a lot of excitement. I kept it a surprise from the players until I put the team sheet up and then just watched their faces as they realised.

“In the dressing room after the players were asking loads of questions and he was brilliant with them all.

“Everyone was aware of him because of his celebration, but a couple probably didn’t realise just how good he was.

“They probably went home and Googled him, and it would have opened their eyes.”

LuaLua, who scored 24 goals in 146 Premier League appearances, was signed for Newcastle by Sir Bobby Robson for £2.25m in 2000 and played in the Champions League for the Magpies and Olympiakos.

Keith, 39, says he received a phone call “out of the blue” from LuaLua, who wanted to come and watch his team, who play in the eighth tier of English football.

“He was impressed with the team and I asked if he wanted to play,” added Keith, who played LuaLua up front in the second half, with the player’s 17-year-old son, Keenan, at full-back.

“He could still get away from people and when he wanted to put the after-burners on he was gone.

“He has ambitions to play a lot higher than we are and I hope a club will snap him up.

“I hope we can help him do that without too much impact on our squad – he’s a friend of mine and I want him to do well.

“I don’t know if it will go any further than this, but have left it with him if he wants to play for us again.”

Hashtag United chairman Spencer Owen reacts to LuaLua's inclusion
Hashtag United chairman Spencer Owen reacts to LuaLua’s inclusion
Hashtag United
Source: BBC

About Enoch Ntiamoah

Enoch Ntiamoah Siaw is a Broadcast Journalist, Website Designer and social Media Person

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