Best Sunday League team ever? Four ex-Premier League players shared a squad in 2018

  • Kobe Tong

Sunday League football is the institution upon which the English game is built.

Long live Sunday League

Say what you like about the riches and opportunity of the Premier League, but we all secretly love the wild traditions of half-hungover amateurs taking to their local potato field every weekend.

However, what if we were to tell you that the glitz and glamour of England's top-flight can indeed merge with the crushing tackles and dodgy offside decisions of your local Sunday League team?

No, we're not talking about some bizarre Sunday Super League but rather, the fact that several former professional footballers turn their hand to the amateur game when they hang up their boots.

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Best Sunday League team ever?

And power to them, right? They're ultimately in the sport because of their love for it, so fair play for squeezing every year out of your body's footballing ability by playing at the level that suits best.

However, out of all the Premier League to Sunday League switches that we've seen over the years, none of them can possibly compare to the situation that has unfolded at Monica Star FC.

That's because the Mirror astonishingly reported in May 2018 that the local Sunday League team boasted four former Premier League players who had all played international football.

Just imagine rocking up at your local park for another game in the Central Warwickshire over 35s League and watching as players you used to watch on your television line up against you.


Ex-Premier League players

Now, we're not talking about Steven Gerrard or Teddy Sheringham here, but make no mistake that the quartet of ex-Premier League stars make for a menacing challenge in Sunday League.

So, who are the international stars in question? Be sure to check them out down below as well as a brief round-up of their careers in the professional game:

Lee Hendrie

Amassed more than 300 appearances for Aston Villa between 1995 and 2006, even earning an England cap along the way, before moving to clubs including Leicester City and Sheffield United.


Paul Devlin

Became a fans' favourite across two spells with Birmingham City, featured over 150 times for Sheffield United and played 10 times for the Scottish national team between 2002 and 2003.


Darren Byfield

Capped six times for Jamaica, Byfield formed part of Villa's front line between 1997 and 2000 before going on to play for Rotherham United, Sunderland and Doncaster Rovers amongst others.


Lee Carsley

A former Derby County, Everton, Birmingham City and Coventry City player, Carsley played more than 100 times in the Premier League and amassed 40 caps for the Republic of Ireland.


Are the band still together?

At the time of the report, Monica Star's collection of Premier League veterans helped them to reach the final of the Birmingham FA’s Veterans Cup, winning games 7-0 and 5-0 along the way.

But are the giants of Sunday League still packing Premier League quality? Well, it's hard to know for certain, but the official FA website would have you believe that three of them are still at the club.



Byfield, Hendrie and Carsley are still listed as Monica Star players, but the extent to which that can possibly be the case for the latter - given that he's the current England U20 manager - is unclear.

However, even if the entire band has gone their separate ways, the fact that there was ever a Sunday League team with four Premier League and international players is pretty mind-boggling.

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