Gateshead’s Darren Caskey fired up to face West Brom in FA Cup

Former Tottenham Hotspur player once described as a ‘new Glenn Hoddle’ is relishing a fresh glimpse of glamour in third round at West Bromwich Albion

Almost exactly 60 years have passed since Gateshead last competed in the FA Cup third round and, at the time, few could have expected that the then Division Three North club would face such a prolonged spell out of the spotlight. They gave Tottenham Hotspur a fair workout in January 1955, losing 2-0, but five years later they dropped out of the Football League and the climb back to relevance has, to put it kindly, been gradual.

It is a tale that their assistant manager can identify with. Darren Caskey’s past decade can best be described as peripatetic, his list of employers coming as a surprise when cast against his early blossoming at Tottenham. In 1993, Caskey captained England in the Uefa Under-18 Championship final, scoring the winning penalty and looking a prospect as big as team-mates Gary Neville, Sol Campbell, Paul Scholes and Robbie Fowler. The “new Hoddle” comparisons arrived and there were 43 first-team appearances for Spurs, but it never quite happened for Caskey despite his technical gifts. Subsequent respectability at Reading and Notts County felt anticlimactic.

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