AFC Wimbledon on-loan keeper Neil Sullivan has returned to his old haunt with a dual purpose – and should he ever face his old nemesis again, he has a message for him too.
Sullivan, who answered a call from Dons boss Neal Ardley and made his second debut for the club in the 1-1 League Two draw with Aldershot, has turned out for seven clubs since making his Wimbledon debut in 1988.
While in his first stint between the Dons’ sticks, Sullivan was famously lobbed from the half-way by David Beckham – the moment the 21-year-old protégé became a household name.
Sutton-born Sullivan, pictured below, is currently on Doncaster Rovers’ books but not getting first team action, so at 42-years-old, the former Scottish international is enjoying one last fling and is out to prove he still has what it takes.
“It has been good coming back here, there are still a few old familiar faces that I recognise,” he said.
He added: “It would have been easy for me to stay in Doncaster and just decide to see my year out there. It would have been easy to do that, just sit there and watch games.
“But I wanted to test myself I wanted to play games and then I’d know whether it was time to hang my gloves up or still carry on playing.”
But it is not all about running an MoT on the body for the shot-stopper, Sullivan is also keen to give his all to get the Dons back up the League Two table.
“Although the results have not been great, we’ve been letting in a few too many goals, I know what Neal is trying to do, and we are trying to get it right,” he said.
“That’s why I’m here – to play games and if that helps Wimbledon improve their league position and it helps me get some games under my belt then great. I think I could have gone a little stale at Doncaster and slipped away, at least this way I can try to help a club I love.”
Unfortunately for Sullivan, he is probably best remembered as being on the wrong end of that moment of Beckham brilliance.
“It was a fantastic goal by a player who proved to be one of the greatest in the world. But if I came up against him again, would I stay on my line?,” he added
“No. I’d tell him I would do the same as I always do – sometimes there is no accounting for the things players end up doing.”