Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Metal Detector Is Back with a Bang

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Metal Detector Is Back with a Bang

Article excerpt


He's still searching for treasure but a passion for shooting could inspire a new celebration AFTER his metal detector inspired Dagenham & Redbridge to FA Cup glory last year, Steve West is back on the Cardiff trail with a new club - and a new hobby.

The Hornchurch defender has taken up shooting and has become so adept at gunning down rabbits that team-mates have nicknamed him Elmer Fudd.

Tomorrow his sights will be set on Tranmere as the Ryman League side hunt their second giant-killing of the competition, following their 2-0 victory over Darlington in the first round.

West shot to fame last season when Dagenham players used a toy metal detector as part of an elaborate goal celebration during their successful run through to round four. The idea was to pay homage to the 29-year-old who spent his weekends scouring the fields of Essex for buried treasure.

West left Victoria Road in the summer and the move to nearby Hornchurch triggered his latest outdoor pursuit.

Team-mate John Keeling, who is a farmer when he's not a footballer, invited him to his family's wheat farm in Billericay for a day of shooting "vermin" - mainly rats and wild rabbits.

West, a skilled marksman on the pitch with 20 goals last season, was hooked and soon bought his own gun. Now, following in the Dagenham tradition, his shooting could be the theme for a goal celebration if the Urchins score tomorrow.

West said: "I have always loved the outdoors, I hate being stuck inside. I still do the metal detecting and recently found an Anglo Saxon coin worth [pounds sterling]200, but I have also been shooting a lot lately, mainly on Johnny's land.

"Nothing has yet been planned if we score against Tranmere although the lads have been talking about using the shooting for a routine. I thought we could use the metal detector again but they said it was too closely linked to Dagenham."

At the request of manager George Borg, West has switched from centre-forward to centre-half since arriving at Bridge Avenue.

The move has paid off with the team keeping an impressive 11 clean sheets in their last 13 games. …

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