Chris Marsden, the midfielder who briefly showed such promise at Molineux a decade and a half ago, has opted for a life in the sun after calling time on his football career.
At the age of 39, the man Southampton fans called The Bald Beckenbauer is now resident in Cyprus and also has a property in Spain – trappings that befit someone who runs an investment company.
“I find Britain too cold to live in these days,” Marsden told www.wolvesheroes.com during a visit back to these shores. “I have basically been in Cyprus for three and a half years but flit between there and Spain.
“My company specialises in construction, so I get over quite a lot to Murcia near La Manga and just return to the UK from time to time.”
Wolves fans have come to regret how little they saw of a player who was sufficiently blessed with natural talent as to have subsequently played five years in the top flight with Southampton and captained them in their FA Cup final defeat against Arsenal in 2003. One Saints goal he scored at Ipswich was described by witnesses as ‘Maradonaesque.’
The sum total of his Molineux career, in fact, was 11 first-team appearances, eight in the League and three in an FA Cup run that ended with a quarter-final defeat at Chelsea.
Signed by Graham Turner from Huddersfield for only £250,000 in January, 1993, he immediately looked a quality act, only to break his leg at home to Grimsby in the first match following the manager’s departure that March.
He never played again and was sold by Graham Taylor to Notts County, from where he rebuilt his career and progressed via Stockport and Birmingham to Southampton. He was taken to The Dell by Dave Jones, who had also helped him flourish at Stockport.
Marsden, captured on this page in photographs taken by his solicitors Edmunds & Co in Walsall, also had a brief spell in South Korea and another with his home-city club and boyhood heroes Sheffield Wednesday before calling time on his pro career.
“Who knows what might have happened to me at Wolves if I hadn’t broken my leg?” he added. “I’ve otherwise been so lucky in my career and find it hard to believe that I was in football for 20 years after leaving school at 16.
“I’ve actually played over in Cyprus as well for a team called Moutalos from Paphos, who are just below professional level. We won the league, which was great fun, but I’ve packed that in now as well. The legs just won’t carry me anymore!”