You might remember that we issued a plea for sightings of Alexei Smertin when he disappeared from the first team under Lawrie Sanchez a few years ago.
The Russian midfielder didn’t really get much of a look in under Roy Hodgson and was disappointed not to find another club after leaving Fulham. He retired, returned to Russia and was elected as a Member of Parliament in his home region of Altai in March. As well as running a football school in his hometown of Barnaul, Smertin advises the Sochi 2014 Education Department and founded the ‘Young and Talented’ foundation which supports young Russians in sport and the arts.
I don’t know quite how all this news passed me by.