Ex-Newcastle bad boy Nile Ranger joins non-league side Spalding United on free transfer after 29-year-old quit Southend

NILE RANGER has found a new club in non-league Spalding United – after denying a deadline day move to another minnow.

The former Newcastle striker, 29, strenuously rejected claims he had signed for unknown side AC United before the Spalding move was confirmed.

A small town in the Lincolnshire Fens, Spalding will provide a very different location for Ranger's latest shot in the game, compared to Tyneside and East London.

Most recently, Ranger turned out for Southend in a spell that ended in acrimonious circumstances.

The League Two club tore up the forward's deal in January 2018 over 'recurring disciplinary issues' following a stint in prison for fraud.

But former Peterborough defender Gabriel Zakuani, now the coach of Spalding, says Ranger has 'promised' to turn the page and make use of this fresh chance.

Zakuani told the club media: "I’ve known Nile for many years and we grew up in the same area.

"He has all the talent in the world and knows he has a point to prove. In the conversations we have had, he wants an opportunity to get himself back on the map.

He has promised me he will get his head down and prove to everyone that the penny has dropped.

"I believe he can easily play for any team in League One and most Championship clubs.

"He has promised me he will get his head down and prove to everyone that the penny has dropped. This opportunity will allow people to see he still has the hunger to succeed."

Little had been heard of former England youth international Ranger until the shock move to AC United earlier this month.

He quickly took to Twitter to dismiss the transfer, writing: "I HAVE NOT SIGNED FOR ANY SUNDAY LEAGUE CLUB.. I was only going to play a few games for fitness.. but I have not signed FOR ANY CLUB."

Ranger's career began with over 50 appearances for Newcastle, although he managed only a handful of goals at St James' Park.

And run-ins with the law have been commonplace throughout his time in the game, with a stint in a young offenders institute aged 15 for a street robbery.

Problems have also arisen over homophobic comments on social media and a picture of him posing with a replica gun, before he was fined £1,000 for criminal damage after a taxi incident in 2014.

Ranger was also charged for criminal damage following an incident during his time with Swindon, and he served ten weeks of an eight-month sentence for conspiracy to defraud in 2017.

Source: Read Full Article