The journeyman footballer who has played for 41 clubs in remarkable career, and is still going aged 42 – The Sun

HE just wants to be loved.

In a football career that has spanned 24-years, Jefferson Louis has played for an astonishing 41 clubs, as well as the national team of Dominica.

The striker, who once lined up against Arsenal in an FA Cup third round tie, has bounced around the divisions playing for the likes of Wrexham, Oxford United and Lincoln City.

Louis, now 42, has already played for two sides this season, Beaconsfield Town and North Leigh.

It makes him the ultimate journeyman, usurping legendary goalkeeper John Burridge who played for 29 different clubs.

He told The Telegraph back in 2014: "It's like I'm cursed.

“When I signed for Wrexham, (Manager) Dean Saunders said: ‘I wish I had you when you was young. You’d be a Premiership player now.’

"For them to say this makes me think, wow. Something went wrong for me, innit?”

Louis considers himself a hard-working player, who gives his all. He believes if you show him the love, you'll get the best out of him.

However, he admitted that his journeyman tag has made it difficult for managers to trust him when it comes to giving him a fair crack.

He said: “People say he must be a rebel, Jefferson must have been rude.

"And it’s tarnished me. Some managers think I must be a bad apple.”

Louis was subject to controversy in 2002 when he was filmed nakedly celebrating Oxford United drawing Arsenal in the FA Cup.

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Jefferson Louis had a spell at WrexhamCredit: PA:Empics Sport

Moments earlier he was the hero, netting a winner against Swindon to earn his side a third round birth, but he was soon in hot water.

Around this time, Louis also claimed he was left in the dark when Premier League giants Aston Villa tried to sign him.

He didn't have an agent to orchestrate any deals for him.

Jefferson then prospered under Ian Atkins at Bristol Rovers. However, when Graham Rix took over the reigns at the Memorial Stadium it turned sour.

"Graham Rix came in, and he destroyed me.

"He said if I didn’t play centre-back, I wouldn’t play for the club again. I said no."

Jefferson claimed that other teams were interested in taking him, but he was forced to go into the Conference league with Forest Green.

And the problems continued to mount for Louis. His new boss, Alan Lewer was close pals with Rix and the forward believes the pair had it in for him.

He was soon reunited with Atkins at Bristol Rovers in 2005 before the manager was fired and Louis was released.

He divulged: “It turned out the manager at Forest Green and the manager at Oxford were good friends.

"He was trying to ruin my reputation. I didn’t want to be at a team where a manager’s holding me back."

Jefferson then went to Woking and was reunited with Atkins at Bristol Rovers.

However, when Atkins was fired, a clause in his contract saw him released from the club.

He told The Telegraph: "I wanted a clause in my contract: if he left, I could go with him.

Then they got rid of the manager, and released all the players with that clause in their contract.

"We couldn’t sign for anyone because the window was closed. The only thing we could do was go to lower-league teams to keep fit.

"That’s why I ended up at Hemel Hempstead, Lewes, Worthing."

Despite a career that has seen him struggle to find a settled home, Louis doesn't have any regrets in the game.

Although, he wasn't happy working with Steve Evans during his time at Crawley between 2009-2010.

He said: “I wouldn’t have a lot of regrets in football, but one was working for Steve Evans at Crawley.

"It was the worst thing I ever did. His man-management is terrible.

"We’re playing AFC Wimbledon on the Tuesday. After the game he asked my opinion. I said we went a bit too negative.

"He went mental at me. He started effing and blinding, spitting everywhere. But he asked my opinion.

"On the back of that he went: ‘Right, we’ve got a reserve game tomorrow, you’re effing playing.’

"Then he had me in for a week, every day at 7am. Eventually Rushden & Diamonds came in for me.

"We played against Crawley in a league match, and he was shouting from the touchline, 'kill the b*****d!'"

After his spell at Crawley, Jefferson moved to Rushden and Diamonds where he bagged 7 goals in 26 games.

He said he enjoyed some good times there and the manager Justin Edinburgh wanted to sign him but the club had no money.

He joined Brian Little at Gainsborough in 2010, but realised it was a mistake.

Jefferson revealed: "It was a bit of a s—hole.

"A lot of the players there were tossing it off. That’s when I went to Darlington."

While he was at The Quakers, Louis received some devastating news. His beloved mum was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Desperate to get back to north London, where he's originally from, he admittedly nearly quit the game.

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But when his mum's operation was a success, he returned with Lincoln City in 2012 thanks to David Holdsworth, who was the then Imps manager.

He said David Holdsworth was a blessing in disguise, but when it came to signing him again there wasn't enough money in the pot.

"So I went to Newport, and we were top of the league. I had to make two more appearances to get an extended deal.

"They never played me, innit? They said it was just business.

"At the end of the season, I found a new job working as a teaching assistant in a school, so I wanted to play for a team closer to work.

"So I was at Hendon until Margate came in for me.”

Louis laments the fact that he never got a chance in the Premier League, especially given the fact that his former teammates became top-flight regulars.

After all, he played with Premier League players such as Dean Whitehead and Sam Rickets during his spell at Oxford.

He said: "They was in my team, and I was better than them. They’ve had good careers. And I’ve had a mediocre career, because of something not my doing."

Louis represented the Dominica national team in 2008 in a 2010 World Cup qualifier against Barbados.

The 1-0 loss was to be his only cap, but Louis admitted he is happy with his lot.

He said: “I’m just happy with what I achieved.

"I played international football. I met my idol Thierry Henry. I’ve been back page in a newspaper. That’s what I try and drill into the kids at school. Don’t have no regrets."

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