Yep, it was an April Fool, of course, but the following story gained the Fleet plenty of exposure on websites worldwide…
The Fleet have pulled off a potentially huge summer transfer after 100 metres Olympic record holder Usain Bolt agreed to a trial at Stonebridge Road after competing at this year?s Olympic Games. Bolt has always placed on record his desire to break into football once his sprinting career is over and the Manchester United fan has decided to try his hand in Non-League?s top-flight.
Manager Liam Daish explained ?We received a phone call asking if Usain could come for a trial once the Olympics were over and after the initial surprise we agreed that he could come along and show us what he could do.
?I guess it will all come down to his ability to control the ball because obviously his speed is not in doubt.
?We hear that he is actually technically gifted as well so the combination should mean that he has no trouble fitting into the side as a pacy winger.
?He?ll get no special treatment though, but I guess some of the lads will be in awe of him when he steps out at our training ground. We?re hopeful that he?ll have what it takes to be able to sign for us?.
With Ebbsfleet International station on the high-speed line and just seven minutes away from the Olympic Stadium where Bolt will be in action during the summer, Fleet’s club board said ?It?s the perfect fit for Usain and his people as we are just seven minutes away from Stratford International by train.
?We are also one of the few places locally to be hosting a big screen viewing of the 100 metres final, so Bolt will be performing to a crowd at Stonebridge Road before he even signs.
?We asked his people which shirt number Usain would like and he chose number 58 as it has significance for him due to his 9.58 seconds world record. We?ve printed up a shirt and sent it to him, which he has thanked us for and we look forward to welcoming him to the club for his trial?.
Back in 2010 Bolt told the BBC: ?I always watch football and I think ?I could do that?, it?s definitely something I want to try at a professional level when I finish with athletics?. Blue Square, the online betting company which sponsors the division, have quoted Bolt at 2/1 to score five or more Blue Square Bet Premier goals next season. He is also their 4/7 favourite to retain his 100 metres title on August 5.”
Photo: Paul Jarvis