Vintage Sheri still young at heart

After signing a new one-year deal at Upton Park, 39-year-old Teddy Sheringham has revealed that enjoyment is the key to his longevity.

The former England striker agreed the third contract of his Hammers career on Friday afternoon and admitted: "This is a bit unusual for me - for the last few years I've had to wait until the summer to get my contract sorted out!

"I'm delighted to have signed for another year, though, and it will be nice to go away on holiday at the end of the season not having to worry about it.

"The manager has stated all along that he wanted me to stay next year and I'm very pleased that will be the case. I'm loving it here, and looking forward to playing a part next season."

Just one month short of his 40th birthday, Teddy has been used to fielding questions about his possible retirement for a good few years now, and the answer to those who wonder what keeps him going is simple.

"I still enjoy what I do," he says. "I think that is the key to everything in life - why stop doing something that you enjoy?

"Things will eventually happen to make me realise it is time to retire but, until then, I'm having fun and want to continue

"You hear a lot of ex-pros saying that they wish they had played on longer and quite a few have said that to me - although I've probably taken it a bit far now!"

Alan Pardew recently suggested that an opportunity for his most senior striker to combine a playing and coaching role may be available next season, but Teddy is making it clear that his new contract is purely a playing one, and that is how it will stay for now.

"I said a little while ago that you've either got to be on one side of the fence or the other in this day and age - if you go down the coaching route then you've got to remain there," he says.

"I don't want to go there yet, I'm happy to stay on the playing side for now and that is all that interests me at the moment."

After helping Hammers to avoid a relegation dog-fight in our first season back in the Premiership, and with a brand new contract under his belt, some may suggest that Teddy will be looking forward to a relaxing finish to the season. No chance.

It's clear that his enthusiasm remains as fierce as ever, and the man who once stepped off the substitutes' bench to help Manchester United to a dramatic European Cup triumph knows only too well that football is often about seizing your moment.

"It's not over yet," he says. "There are still two months of the season left and a lot to play for, so we don't want to switch off.

"Alex Ferguson always used to say that the season didn't really start until February or March, and that's where we are now.

"We're in a lovely position in the league and can push on there, and we've also got a chance to do something in the FA Cup. This is where the season starts for the big boys, so let's see if we're capable of staying up there with them."