A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
21 November 2008 ~
Joe Kinnear claimed that tomorrow would be D-day for Newcastle but it now seems that his proposed summit with Mike Ashley has been postponed. However, Joe is worried about press reports of a meeting between various interested parties. “If I believe what I’m reading, Alan Shearer has had a meal with Kevin Keegan and the new owner.” Whatever they were talking about, it can’t have been anything to do with tactics.
Badge of the week
Leixoes Sports Club, founded in 1907, have just recently clawed their way back into the top stratum of the Portuguese league and I am glad about this because their badge is all about wholesome sporting maleness. One is instantly transported back to the time it was created. Perhaps the club was founded by a small but committed group of ex-pats sharing fond memories of early summer evenings when the ball looped off the bat and a risky single was taken to the verger’s weaker left arm. Then the walk back through lengthening shadows to the Four Horseshoes for a well earned warm beer and I’m not sure if they had crisps in those days. Another clue to the club’s genesis can be found in the big English words on the face of the bat so there was really no need for me to pretend that I had been deductive. As a side issue, the club has two nicknames – the Babies or the Sea Heroes – both of which are more than a little embarrassing. Try shouting “Come awwwn you Sea Heroes” or admitting “I’ll always have a soft spot for the Babies”. Each lacks a modern edge. As a second side issue, one wouldn’t want to head that ball when it’s wet. Cameron Carter
Footballers have various reasons for doing choreographed goal celebrations, from acknowledging the birth of a child to “commemorating” a friend in prison. Now they have a chance to make some money too. Online betting company Betfair says that a £10,000 prize is on offer to the first Premier League player to perform the Takai, named after its new prediction game. Given the typical player’s approach to expressive dancing, there's a fair chance that someone will do this by accident.
Long Players The Glorious History Of Football’s Full Length Recordings
Bend It! 93, Pop Explosion… Football Style Various Artists (Exotica, 1993)
It seems only yesterday that the Bend It! compilations were coming out faster than you could buy them. Too fast for me because I only managed to get this one, and listening to the tape again for the first time in over a decade I wish I’d been more vigilant. Its mixture of oddities (both Frank Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia singing full-length numbers), kitchen sink cut-ups (Hilda Ogden and Diana Dors delivering first-class dramatic football dialogue), absurd commentaries (a nonsensical newsreel summary of Aston Villa v Santos), wild variation of musical styles (Glitterbest’s The Hot Spurs Boogie, The Rosettes’ World Cup Doo-Woop and Johnny Cobnut’s Ipswich Football Calypso, to name only three moments of brilliance), and surreal interviews mean that tuning out’s not an option for fear you might miss something priceless. Like a camping-it-up Brian Clough telling an interviewer how good he is “otherwise you wouldn’t be talking to me”, or George Best earnestly expressing his preference for long-legged girls. The blind passion or commercial drive that sullies most football records is completely absent here. Just exceptional, from start to finish. Ian Plenderleith
Diego Maradona has been in the country this week with his Argentina team. Back in 2005 Paul Virgo reported on an exhibition devoted to his life and career.
from Duncan Palmer
“Some of the Wikipedia descriptions of Rio’s wind-ups seem a tad outlandish.” Here’s just a selection – visit the page for the full list.
WSC Trivia ~ No 42
Some selections from Meeting Players, a feature in which readers told of encounters with footballers:
“Alec Ashworth played for Preston North End in the 1960s including in the 1964 FA Cup final. He laid our lawn. Bloody good job too. Had two sugars in his tea. However the tight fisted sod didn’t have the decency to have his butties in a Tupperware box but in an old Stork margarine container.”
Paul Kellett (WSC 127)
“A fine spring morning in the early Eighties. I lived on a farm. There was a knock at the door. As a Sunderland supporter I was somewhat startled to discover ex-Roker (and Boro) hardman Joe Bolton. He told me he had his whippets with him and could he speak to my Dad because he wanted to help rid his land of rabbits. So we wandered the dew-covered meadows slaughtering the cowardly small mammals. My abiding memory is of a Mixemetosis-ridden beast half-heartedly attempting to escape the jaws of a slavering dog. As it hurtled past, Joe instinctively stuck out his right peg and gave the wee bunny an almighty kick. Its head virtually exploded. Joe gave me £1.20 in 10p pieces before he left.”
Simon Ryde (WSC 129)
“Near where I live, in Huddersfield, is a car parts and accessories shop. Behind the counter works Les Massie. The name won’t mean much but he played in the same Huddersfield Town teams as Denis Law and Ray Wilson before they left for higher things. I got to his shop regularly just to be in the presence of a local historical figure. The trouble is, each time I have to buy something and I’ve more T-cut than I will use in a lifetime, and even some driving gloves (he’s worked there a long time). I remember shouting some abuse at him when he failed to get to an overhit pass that went out of play. An old man standing next to me said ‘Shut up lad, he’s not a bloody greyhound’. One day, I might tell him about this and apologise.”
Steve Ratcliffe (WSC 173)
A mine of information constructed from sticker cards
Edinho, Santos Campeonato Brasileiro 96
Few sons of famous footballers have got close to matching their father’s achievements. Edson Cholbi Do Nascimento had a harder job than most given that his father is Pelé. Born in August 1970 just over a month after his father starred in Brazil’s World Cup-winning team, he sought to avoid direct comparisons by becoming a goalkeeper, with Pelé’s old team Santos. In six years with the club he failed to hold down a place, and was regularly sent out on loan, although he did feature in the 1995 league title-winning side. After failing to restart his playing career in the US he retired in 1999. Later that year he was jailed in connection with an illegal street car race in Santos that led to a motorcyclist being killed, although his conviction was subsequently overturned. He then spent time in custody awaiting trial on cocaine smuggling charges, which were later dropped, and has received treatment for drug addiction. Last year, in what does rather look like a favour sorted out by his Dad, he returned to Santos as an assistant coach, saying: “I have put my nightmare behind me.” Pelé’s second son Joshua, now 12, also hopes to become a footballer – but a job in the civil service might be safer.
Contribute to the Weekly Howl
Thanks to Stephen Burrows