Updated: Jul 2, 2020
Back in 2012, Macclesfield Town were sitting top of the Vanarama Conference table and had lofty ambitions of returning to the Football League at the first time of asking. Former Lewes manager Steve King, was the manager of 'The Silkmen' at the time and made an ambitious move to bring former England and Liverpool striker Emile Heskey to the club.
Emile Heskey, 34 years of age at the time, had just left Premier League side Aston Villa at the end of the 2011/12 season. Heskey had a somewhat unsuccessful stint at the 'The Villians', only managing 9 goals in his three seasons at the club. According to the Daily Mirror, Macclesfield were prepared to give Heskey an "open ended deal", ensuring that he could keep fit and put himself in the shop window ahead of the January 2013 transfer window.
Macclesfield were relegated into the Conference in the 2011/12 season, meaning the club dropped out of the Football League since their promotion in 1997. Over the summer of the 2012/13 season, Macclesfield Town had major upheaval both on and off the pitch. Steve King was appointed as 'The Silkmen's new manager ahead of Macclesfield legend Steve Burr, something that caused chairman Mike Rance to leave the club in protest of the decision.
However despite disruption behind the scenes, at the time of the Emile Heskey rumours, Macclesfield were doing well, sitting top of the Vanarama Conference. Only two years before the reports of Emile Heskey signing for Macclesfield, he was playing for England in the 2010 World Cup. Unfortunately for Macclesfield fans, Heskey rejected the advances of the Vanarama Conference side and moved to to Australia to sign for A-League side Newcastle Jets.
Emile Heskey went on to make 42 appearances for the Australian side, scoring 10 goals in the process. In 2014, Heskey moved back to England and managed to gain a move to Championship side Bolton Wanderers. Heskey stayed at Bolton Wanderers for two seasons, however his stint was not exactly a successful one. The former England target-man featured 45 times for the North West side, scoring 3 times in the process.
For Macclesfield Town, despite such a strong start to the 2012/13, they did not achieve their pursuit for promotion. Steve King was sacked by the North West Conference side in March 2013 after failing to make the play offs. He was replaced in the managerial hotseat by club legend John Askey. Fortunately for Macclesfield, they did manage to gain promotion from the Conference into the League Two, but they had to wait until the 2017/18 season where they were crowned champions.
In the 2018/19, Macclesfield Town managed to survive in the Football League with Sol Campbell at the helm. Since then, unfortunately for 'The Silkmen', Sol Campbell has since departed the club and is currently backing up a bid from the HM Revenue & Customs to wind up the club.
We hope that you enjoyed this article on the time when Emile Heskey nearly joined Macclesfield Town. We have already discussed the time when Jamie Vardy nearly signed for Stockport County- Do you know any other shocking transfers that very nearly happened? If so, please let us know on our Twitter account via @TheFootyGang.