Often Partisan

Where Are They Now? Part XII

I was reading this week about Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero being unfit to play for the Citizens because of a “stupid foot injury”, and it set me to thinking about silly injuries that have stopped Blues players from playing – which led me to the subject of today’s piece. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Christopher Wreh.

Christopher Wreh

courtesy Liberiansoccer.com

Signed on loan from Arsenal way back in 1999, Christopher Wreh made seven league appearances for Blues, scoring just once – against Grimsby Town. It’s not the goal that reminds me of him though – but his thumb. Yes, this is the player who couldn’t play for Blues because he’d broken his thumb.

Signing for Blues was the start of a slippery slope for Mr Wreh’s career. Once one of Wenger’s double winners in 1998, scoring the winner in the FA Cup semi final against Wolves the Liberian found himself increasingly on the fringes at Highbury and his loan spell with Blues was sandwiched by spells in Greece with AEK Athens and in Holland with Den Bosch. On leaving Arsenal Wreh made the trek to the middle east to play for Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia but as is common with these sorts of moves, he failed to settle and left after just a season.

Wreh returned to the UK and signed up with AFC Bournemouth but failed to make a league appearance for them before going north of the border to play for St Mirren. Wreh made just five sub appearances for the Buddies, suffering frequent injury problems. There was talk of a move to Darlington but that didn’t happen due to the striker not turning up for a trial organised by his then agent, John Fashanu. At the end of the season the Liberian was released from his contract.

After being a promising player who had signed for Monaco at the age of 14 and had made his international debut for Liberia at 20, the then 28-year-old found himself in the non leagues, playing firstly for Bishops Stortford in the Ryman Premier before finding himself at Buckingham Town in the United Counties League – in the ninth tier of the English football pyramid.

In 2004, at the age of 29 Christopher Wreh retired from football. However, three years later he came out of retirement to play in the Liga Indonesia Premier Division for Perseman Manokwari. After struggling to adapt during the first half the season, Wreh ended up with five goals for the West Papuans – but it wasn’t good enough to see them out of the bottom two of the Eastern Division and six months into a three-year contract, Wreh left football again.

Wreh then concentrated on his musical career, playing drums for his band “The Soul Rebels” but had faded into a life of obscurity before last year it came out he’d applied for the job as manager of United Counties League Premier Division side Newport Pagnell Town. However, Wreh didn’t get the job and is still out of football, living with his wife and kids in Milton Keynes. It’s been a long way down for a bloke who unlike the infamous Ali Dia, really is a cousin of the legendary George Weah.


10 Responses to “Where Are They Now? Part XII”

  • DoctorD says:

    Wow – what a tale. D’you think he ever blames his broken thumb at Blues for the downward spiral? I just can’t see how a member of the double-winning Arsenal team could fall so far. And it wasn’t even as if he got a good run of games at any of the clubs he was at. I know you’re deliberately looking at players who’ve disappeared from the spotlight, but it would be great to know which Blues players really saw their spell at the club as the springboard to success. A kind of “Why did we let him go?” series.

  • Macca Salop Blue says:

    I recall Dele Adebola wrapping himself round the goal post down the Tilton end when attempting to put the ball in the net v Grimsby around 1999, he subsequently missed a large chunk of the following season. Also Keith Bertschin broke his leg when jumping down the stairs when going to answer the phone back in late 70’s for Blues.

  • Polanski says:

    Wreh always did a job for me on Champ Manager!

  • Lee says:

    Didn’t we once loan John Beresford from southampton and his loan has cut short because he fell down the stairs? Or was that at another club?

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