Wheels Wonders #2
This week: How would the young footballers of today coped back in footballing world of the the 1970’s?
I was watching these Euro’s whilst enjoying a bottle or two of finest Jamesons’ Irish & I got to thinking: How would the young players of today coped in the footballing world of yesteryear?
Well, for a start there was non of this rolling around nonsense when tackled. Back in the black n white days it would take more than a knee trembler to knock us off our stride I can tell you.
At Arbroath I had the good fortune to play alongside Nobby Nobson, arguable the hardest footballer of the 1970’s. I remember once against East Fife, I think it was, 63 minutes gone, we’re 2-0 down & Nobby is violently ramming a dead otter up our keepers arse to encourage him not to fumble another cross. All of a sudden a young Italian winger jinked past Nobby and caressed the ball into the onion bag. It was non other than a certain Mr D. Piero making his loan début for Fife. Of course Nobby was livid. ‘I’m not avin’ that from no eye-talian ponce’ he raged before smashing a Manns’ brown ale bottle against the goal post & heading straight for Del-Piero.
Piero thought he’d got one over on Nobby by sprinting into the St John’s Ambulance corner but little did he know they all drank with Nobby down the Faecal Duck after (& before) every game and were more than handy themselves. Suffice to say Del Piero never played for East Fife again, in fact his playing career only recovered once the physio at Grimsby managed to carve his wooden stump into a new type of instep and the rest is history.
I met Georgie best when taking raining with Cobh Ramblers back in ’79, what a legend he was, no-one can touch him even to this day. He turned up on a Friday afternoon at our rough, unkempt training pitch, Miss World Anna Kimberley-Blake in tow & proceeded to dazzle us with his silky drinks mixing skills. 10 Whiskey Sour & a couple of dozen Redditch Sunrises later he flew us all to the Old Bulls Head in Dublin where we drank till we puked up our stomach linings……what a guy.
The trouble with kids today is they go down to easy, one tiny shattered ACL & they’re expecting stretchers, oxygen tanks, trips to the States, absolutely ridiculous.
I was lucky enough to be involved in the Cup final of 1956 – the Stanley Matthews Final – between Torquay Utd & Chesterfield Sofas. Matthews was a good solid old fashioned centre forward – he stood no nonsense from anyone.
He was known for wearing a pistachio nut on his chin for good luck, something he’d got from his dad, Albert Spinney who would go down the pit with a barm cake up his arse as a kind of a lucky charm. Indeed it worked a treat until he was killed in the Great Mine Collapse of ’34 aged 21.
Matthews has been on the piss for 3 days solid before the final (he’d laid off the booze a bit for the big game) & was in fine form, not even spilling his pint when chopped down at the halfway line by Mad Machete Morrison, the maverick centre half & part time morris dancer from Morecambe Bay. It was a game we should have won, George Lardcastle missing a sitter when he stopped to sign a young lads autograph with the goal at his mercy & young ‘Pickles’ Harrison put clean through with just the keeper to beat converting to militant Islam & renouncing all forms of Western competitive sports when it would have been easier to score.
We, in fact lost, to a soft last minute penalty when wee Scots winger Jock McTavish shot their keeper in the neck with an ex WW1 rifle that a tsuicidal groundsman had left lying by the side of the pitch. Unfortunately for us the referee was perfectly sighted and awarded the spot kick – and the rest is history. Bugger that groundsman!