THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Soccer 82

harkouk22 June ~ Rachid Harkouk is the only Notts County player to date to have appeared in a World Cup and the first English player to have turned out for an African team at the finals. Born in London to an Algerian father and English mother, Harkouk began his playing career in non-League, joining Crystal Palace as a 20-year-old in 1976. Nicknamed "Spider" because of his ungainly running style, he became an important part of the side that won promotion to Division Two in 1978.

Shortly afterwards, however, he received a suspended jail sentence, alongside team-mate Barry Silkman – now a players' agent – for passing counterfeit money which they had apparently received during a match against a prison team. Harkouk left Palace for QPR before moving on to Notts County with whom he was promoted to Division One in 1981. Harkouk made his international debut for Algeria in the build-up to Mexico 86 and played in two matches in the finals. But an injury picked up in his second game, against Spain, brought about his retirement at the age of 30.

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