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From Milan to Margate

Former Champions League finalist signs for non-league Billericay Town

Jermiane Pennant has agreed to join the Essex part-timers a decade after lining up against AC Milan in the Champions League final

Ten years ago Jermaine Pennant started for Liverpool in the 2007 Champions League final.

This coming season, he’ll be playing for Billericay Town against in the Bostik Premier League — the seventh tier of English football.

Hibs had wanted to sign Jermaine Pennant but he has agreed to join Billericay

The Sun
It’s a harsh blow for Hibs

The 34-year-old has agreed to join the Essex part-timers despite interest from Scottish Premier League side Hibs.

Which says a lot about how domestic Scottish football is perceived these days.

Pennant is due to sign a two-year deal with Billericay after playing for them in a friendly against Leyton Orient tomorrow.

Jermaine Pennant started his career at Notts County before joining Arsenal

Dan Charity - The Sun
Pennant played for Arsenal, Birmingham, Liverpool and Stoke in the Premier League

The Essex club are owned and managed by steel magnate Glenn Tamplin and are something of the Man City of non-league in how they wave their financial might.

Billericay will pay Pennant around £3,000-a-week in a division where the average wage is just £200.

Pennant will be the third ex-Premier League star to join the club following the arrivals of Paul Konchesky and Jamie O’Hara last season.

Tamplin said: “Jermaine will be a great signing and will help us get to where we want to go.

“We all know he is a top player. He is good mates with Jamie O’Hara and when he heard about what we are doing, he let it know he wanted to come here.

Jermaine Pennant played in the 2007 Champions League final for Liverpool

Many Liverpool fans consider Pennany to be their best player on this night

“The fact Jermaine chose us over Hibs shows how much we are growing.

“Jermaine’s ability will make us even stronger and his experience will help our younger players reach the next level.”

Tamplin’s takeover has seen gates rise from 400 to nearly 2,000. He has also signed a dozen top non-league players in a bid to win promotion.

This has led to green-eyed rivals dubbing the Essex club ‘TOWIE Town’ and ‘The  Harlow Globetrotters’.

Tamplin added: “My investment in Billericay has not even got out of first gear yet!”

Can’t imagine there are too many defenders of Paolo Maldini’s quality knocking about for WIngate & Finchley or Dorking Wanderers.

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