My Sporting Greats XI

[Having a weakness for lists, I compiled the following in response to an invitation from Haaretz sports writer Jerrold Kessel, in his weekend On the Couch column, for readers’ “Dream Teams.” Mine was published in Friday’s paper . . . replete, needless to say, with piss-poor editing – how dare those clowns edit melchett mike! – and typos. The following, with a few additions (essentially photographs and video links), is what I actually sent Mr. Kessel.]

An eleven (plus manager), in more or less chronological order, of sporting characters, events and memories which left their mark on this sports nut . . .

1. Peter Jones  The late BBC Radio football commentator, who always painted the scene so vividly and with such a wonderful turn of phrase, is responsible for my love of the medium (my first career). As a boy, I relished nothing more than listening to Jones’s Welsh brogue, snuggled under the duvet with my ridiculously large first radio. (Listen here to Jones’s report in the immediate aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, from which it is said he never recovered – he collapsed and died, less than a year later, while commentating on the Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race.)

2. Derek Randall  The clown prince of English cricket, and the greatest fielder I ever saw. He will be remembered for his brilliant 174 in the 1977 Centenary Test, featuring his defiant cap-doffing to Dennis Lillee (right) following yet another bouncer. I spotted “Arkle” a few years ago, walking around the perimeter of Lords, and just had to go up and say “thanks.” (View Randall in action here.)

3. World Cup Finals 1978  My ‘first’ World Cup. From the wonderful BBC theme tune, to Peru’s opening game dismantling of the Jocks (whose manager Ally MacLeod had been bigging-up their chances), to Archie Gemmill’s wonder goal against the Dutch . . . everything about the tournament, in Argentina, was pure magic to a 10-year old. And England weren’t even there!

Mario Kempes scores for Argentina against Holland in the 1978 World Cup Final

4. Bjorn Borg  The masterful, ice-cool Swede, who would simply glide across the court, was the nearest I ever came to attraction to a male! And his 1980 Wimbledon final victory over John McEnroe – with its incredible 18-16 tiebreak, lasting 20 minutes, won by the American after he had saved 5 match points – was pure theatre.

5. Miruts Yifter  The Ethiopian, nicknamed “the Shifter,” who won 5,000 and 10,000 metre Golds at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, would sit at the back of the field and only “kick” in the final 300 metres, reducing BBC commentator David Coleman to near-hysteria (listen to final laps in links) and me and my father to tears of joy. Yifter would not reveal his age – guessed to be anywhere between 33 and 42 – telling reporters, “Men may steal my chickens, men may steal my sheep, but no man can steal my age.”

6. Botham’s Ashes, 1981  Dismissed for a “pair” in, and as England captain following, the 2nd Test at Lords (with England one-nil down in the series), his heroics thereafter – including the series-changing 149 not out in the 3rd Test at Headingley, 5 for 1 in the 4th at Edgbaston, and 118 in the 5th at Old Trafford – were the stuff of fairytale.

Ian Botham bags another Aussie scalp, during his spell of 5 for 1 at Edgbaston

7. Rugby League Challenge Cup Final 1985: Wigan 28 Hull 24  If there has been a better match in any sport (never mind either rugby code), I haven’t seen it. Enjoy the highlights, featuring Ray French’s exhilarating commentary (“As they say in the north, he could sidestep a thrupenny bit, this lad!”)

8. Paul Gascoigne  A genius of a footballer (for memorable instance), whose off-field antics – for example (and there are many), telling his new employer, the president of Lazio, that he looked like Russ Abbot – are the stuff of legend. And, of course, he cried in Italy.

Gazza celebrates his goal against Scotland, Euro '96

9. Sid Waddell  The wonderfully entertaining Geordie-born, Cambridge-educated darts commentator. During a match at Frimley Green: “There couldn’t be more excitement in here if Jesus Christ walked in and ordered a cheese sandwich!” Brilliant.

10. Geoffrey Boycott  Like French and Waddell, a northerner “worth the entrance money on his own” . . . not for his scientific approach to batting, but his refreshingly outspoken, no-nonsense views (here on Steve Harmison) and “corridor of uncertainty” insight from the commentary box.

11. FA Cup 3rd Round (3.1.2010): Manchester Utd 0 Leeds United 1  Upsetting the Great Satan, then two divisions above, at Old Trafford was a reminder of the special type of joy that only sport can bring . . . and I never tire of watching this.

Leeds players run to Jermaine Beckford following his winning goal at Old Trafford

Manager: Ian Holloway  The Blackpool boss may be considered a strange choice of Sporting Great, but he is a rare beacon of humour and sanity in a sport – now dominated by money – with precious little of either.

I invite readers of melchett mike to add their own Sporting Greats XI – of anyone and/or anything sporting – by comment below.

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31 responses to “My Sporting Greats XI

  1. Can I recommend Big Bill Werbeniuk, the legendary Canadian lager drinker/snooker player.

    “I think one of his greatest moments was when he broke wind loudly at the Crucible and then turned to the audience and said: ‘Who did that’?” (Steve Davis, in Werbeniuk’s Guardian obituary).

  2. As you asked so nicely:
    1) Anfield 1989 – Mickey Thomas – its up for grabs now
    2) World Snooker Final 1985 – Dennis Taylor on the final black
    3) Liam Brady – broke a 9 year old boy’s heart when he moved to Italy
    4) Ashes 2005
    5) 1980s british middle distance running – Coe, Cram, Ovett
    6) 1979 FA Cup Final – best 5 minutes in a cup final ever
    7) Carl Lewis in the 1984 Olympics
    8) Maradona in the 1986 world cup – even the hand of god was pure genius
    9) Daley Thompson
    10) Isner v Mahut – Wimbledon 2010
    11) Gal Friedman – Israel’s first Olympic Gold

  3. Mike, what about my goal against JFS ???????

    Shuli

  4. dizengoff dave

    nice one, mike. a real trip down memory lane!

    my eleven…

    1. jesse owens sticking two fingers up at hitler at the ’36 olympics.

    2. the “rumble in the jungle” – muhammad ali’s incredible “rope-a-dope” fight with george foreman in zaire in ’74, featuring harry carpenter’s unforgettable “oh my god, he’s won the title back at 32!” it was so big that, like the “thrilla in manila” (vs. smokin’ joe), i remember it despite only having been a toddler.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkZjyWvQmiY (wait a few seconds for ‘arry’s commentary)

    3. isaac vivian alexander richards. that man could bat. for sheer style and arrogance, if not weight of runs, he has few peers.

    4. have to agree re that ’89 michael thomas goal. i was a student at the time and remember leaving my digs in a state of euphoria (and i am not arse), and there was just such a buzz in the streets (probably because it was scumchester and the scousers had blown it!) i also vividly recall steve mcmahon gesturing “one minute to go” to all his teammates. it was just such a sensational end to the season… and don’t forget that, in those days, it was rare for the scousers to lose… never mind on their own patch!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L85wbuePV8w (brian moore on itv) or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM2FLrlnNMc (bbc radio commentary by peter jones, who incidentally mike has in his xi above)

    5. warney’s “ball of the century” to dismiss “fat” gatt in ’93… his very first ashes delivery! pie-eater’s face was a picture. my word that was a sign of things to come!

    6. le c*nt’s kung-fu kick on that palace fan in ’95. another “never-forget-where-you-were” moment… i was watching the 9 o’clock news with my old man and it came up as a newsflash. the crazy french f*ck!

    7. dennis bergkamp’s goal for holland in the last minute of the ’98 world cup quarter-final… and against the argies! frank de boer’s vision, and bergkamp’s instant control and cool finish under such pressure, were footballing perfection. best goal ever in my humble… though bergkamp often blotted his copybook by being such a nasty/dirty c*nt.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc1H2hOHu_s (featuring orgasmic dutch commentary)

    8. the scousers’ comeback from 3 goals down against milan (of all defences!) in the ’05 champions league final. and dudek’s save in extra-time just defied the laws of physics.

    9. ashes 2005. what a summer! what a wait!!

    10. sachin tendulkar. a master. and, unlike “king” viv, a top bloke too.

    11. last but most definitely not least, slovak tennis goddess daniela hantuchova. gives the expression “knock out” a new… or at least DOUBLE meaning!

    sub: david fairclough… who else?!

    manager: avraham grant. dignified to the last in the face of such adversity/provocation. rare positive pr from the holy land!

    dave

    ps raffy, if you are english, you should have your passport confiscated for putting in that cheating little spic bastard… unless of course you are scottish, irish or welsh! 😉

  5. Excellent list, Dave! I will add some relevant links to it later on.

    As for you, Meyers, most of my recollections of you on the football pitch – going as far back as our Menoyrah Primary days – are of you writhing around on the ground like a girl (gay?) following every slightest touch (David Feiner is my “eiyd” on that one). You were a talent, no doubt . . . but a wasted one.

    And I do recall that free-kick against JFS . . . though I believe their goalie was lining up his wall as you took it!

  6. 1. Maradona’s Hand of God goal vs England
    2. F1 Boss Max Moseley taped in underground sex dungeon dressed as German prison guard.
    3. Every second of Ayrton Senna’s career in a racing car except the last 10.
    4. Nelson Mandela celebrating rugby world cup win.
    5. Cantona AKA Kung Fu Panda.
    6. The behind closed doors celebration party for all of Martina Navratilovla & guest’s championship tennis victory.
    7. 1966 England World Cup.
    8. The aerodynamic inducing removal of Lance Armstrong’s testicle and the way it allowed him to decimate the competition in the Alps.
    9. The conception of Anna Becker by Boris Becker’s and Model Angela Ermakova on the back stairs (not broom closet) of Nobu (London).
    10. Jesse Owens vs Germany.

  7. Thank you, Ari. And I hope you will forgive my amusement that the reader who is always first to highlight the stupidity of others considers that “XI” equals 10!

    And, dizengoff dave, I have added links to your XI above.

  8. There is a definite English/Commonwealth bias here which must be rectified.
    Let’s hear it for Willie Mays’ amazing over the shoulder catch as centerfielder for the Giants.
    Or Joe Frazier’s beating Ali in their 1st meeting.
    The Hagler-Hearns 3 round war, not to mention the slug feast between George Foreman and Ron Lyle.
    Or Franco Harris’ 1978(?) catch scooped 1 mm off the ground after a pass bounced off a defender’s helmet, leading to his mad touchdown run, sealing a championship victory.
    Or what about the US hockey team beating the Soviet powerhouse for the Gold?
    Mateys, there is a big world of sport out beyond the cricket field (or is it pitch?)

  9. To be honest Msquared, I didn’t even notice.
    In case you’re being passive aggressive and actually just eager to know my number 11… Here it is!

    11. Late princess Diana and James Hewitt’s 1991 LVMH Invitational Polo “Match”.

    I do agree with the previous commentator. I personally chose to excluded North American sports- kept it to euro/commonwealth sports greats! Maybe another time…

    Here’s 1.
    1. Michael Vick- 2009/10 season at Eagles culminating in Obama calling Jeffrey Lurie (Eagles Owner) to praise him for giving Vick a second chance.

  10. Johnny Most’s call during the final moments of Game 7 of the 1965 NBA Eastern Division Finals (yes, I remember it). The play sealed the victory and the Eastern Division championship for the Boston Celtics. The complete call for that play was:
    “ Greer is putting the ball in play. He gets it out deep and Havlicek steals it!! Over to Sam Jones…Havlicek stole the ball!! It’s all over… It’s all over!! ”

  11. Sorry to drag you Yanks back to a real sport, but perhaps the finest innings I have ever seen ‘live’ should have made it into my XI: Aravinda de Silva’s losing hundred for Kent against Lancashire in the 1995 B&H Cup Final at Lords . . .

    ‘Arry was just awesome, that day (Athers and Boycs know their batting) . . . and if he had been Indian or Pakistani, as opposed to Sri Lankan, he’d have gone down as an All-Time Great.

  12. England vs Windies Test Match at The Oval 1976.

    Michael Holding was bowling to Peter Willey.

    Brian Johnston commenting for the BBC says “The bowler’s Holding, the batsman’s Willey.”

    Not bad for an Israeli product of imperialistic, capitalistic, godless yank parents!!

  13. Not forgetting the greatest moment on Test Match Special: “He just didn’t quite his leg over” (starring Jonathan Agnew and Brian Johnston) . . .

  14. Every time I hear that clip I almost cry with laughter.
    Jonners was a true legend.

  15. Sporting Greats as opposed to Greatest Sporting moments?? Not too sure but it leads me back to some wonderful memories and thank you for allowing me to reminisce….
    1) Daley Thompson….The finest athlete of all time who always performed with a smile on his face….probably because he knew that he was always going to win.
    2) Sevvy Ballesteros….A unique golfer who played every inch of a golf course and displayed sheer unbridled joy when winning the Open in 1984. The polar opposite of many of todays overpaid miseries (Colin Montgomerie?) who do not realise how lucky they are….but I am not bitter, honest.
    3) Allan Wells….1980 in Moscow. Don’t talk to me about the North American boycott….He would have beaten them as well and would have won the sprint double but for Pietro Mennea “doing” him on the dip!
    4) John Arlott….the first reason I fell in love with cricket….many a picture painted and many times spent trying to talk like him too.
    5) Ian Terence Botham….the second reason, enough said.
    6) Sugar Ray Leonard….pound for pound the greatest boxer of all time and many a happy hour arguing so with Zvi Goldberg….(Ali/Clay supporter).
    7) David Webb….(sorry Mike)….but the reason I became a Blue….as he rose like a giant at the far post in extra time. By the way, I read a lovely article about the 1970 Final and David Elleray refereed it from a studio and reckoned that by today’s standards 6 reds and 20 yellows would have been appropriate.
    8) J P McEnroe….no-one before and no-one since has been such a naturally gifted tennis player. An artist with a wooden racket.
    9) Sachin….I know that many will argue whether or not “The Don” was the better cricketer / batsman but the records speak for themselves and the Little Master’s records will stand the test of time.
    10) Italia 90. Not for football as pure and fluent as 1970, 74 or 78, nor for anything as dramatic as 1982 Brazil v Italy or Tardelli’s celebration scoring the winner in the final but at the age of 25 it was our time. It was our one genuine chance to watch our country bring it back home.
    The drama of Platty’s last minute winner v Belgium….Lineker v Cameroon….Gazza etc the list is endless but after “90 minutes of sheer hell” to hear Digger Barnes sing out….

    “You’ve got to hold and give
    But do it at the right time
    You can be slow or fast
    But you must get to the line
    They’ll always hit you and hurt you
    Defend and attack
    Theres only one way to beat them
    Get round the back
    Catch me if you can
    Cos’ I’m the England man
    And what you’re looking at
    Is the master plan
    We ain’t no hooligans
    This ain’t a football song
    Three lions on my chest
    I know we can’t go wrong

    We’re playing for England {En-ger-land}
    We’re playing the song
    We’re singing for England {En-ger-land}
    Arrivederci its one one one”

    It remains for me the last enjoyable World Cup….when playing for your country meant something. Now, unfortunately, it is more about money….SA 2010 and Qatar 2022?? and don’t even get me started on Suarez celebrating his handball v Ghana as if he had scored the winner!
    Nessun dorma, Mike, it was the best of times….

    AndyH

  16. Oh….I forgot the manager! Jocky Wilson….now he would have arranged a proper end of season bash!

  17. No, you got the right idea, Andy: anyone and anything sporting, at your total discretion.

    John Arlott was great. Don’t know if you’ll have a clue what I’m on about . . . but I can still hear him saying “Thank you, Peee-tah” whenever he was handed the commentary by Peter West during a BBC2 Sunday afternoon John Player League game!

    Good that you mention Suarez . . . I felt sick watching that in the square in Yaffo. They should introduce penalty goals, like penalty tries in rugby.

    And, talking of Jocky “he’s feeling cocky” Wilson, this will take you back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzRRf2I3ijg

    . . . Jocky and Eric, each with a fag in their spare hand . . . fantastic! The days when sportsmen really were sportsmen! 😉

  18. Of course I have a clue….and if you ever get a chance to watch Ptang Yang Kipperbang, there are some clips on Youtube….wonderfully narrated by John Arlott….part of our youth and heritage I guess.

  19. dizengoff dave

    got me thinking about a footie managers xi (of english clubs, in ascending order)…

    11. sam allardyce – how did he manage to keep such rubbish in the top flight for so long?!

    10. alan curbishley – ditto… but even bigger rubbish!

    9. jose mourinho – a twat, and one with expensive tools at his disposal… but he does make them work for him.

    8. alex ferguson – rebuilt man utd.

    7. matt busby – built man utd (though he should never have let them get on that plane).

    6. arsene wenger – turns good players (vieira, henry, bergkamp, etc) into great ones, and never compromising on aesthetics.

    5. bill nicholson – took yids to first double of the twentieth century and to first major european trophy for a british club.

    4. bill shankly – built an institution.

    3. don revie – love him or loathe him, he built the most feared club side in europe out of one about to be relegated to the old 3rd division… and around a player about to be put down (bobby collins), one going nowhere (jack charlton), a reject (johnny giles), youth (bremner, gray, lorimer, cooper, reaney, madeley) and shrewd signings (jones and clarke).

    2. bob paisley – took the “bin-dippers” even further, and the only man to win 3 european cups (and when it was still a competition for actual champions).

    1. brian clough – anyone who managed to win 2 european cups with a team based around john mcgovern must, to my mind, have been a genius!

    manager – sir alf.

  20. Honorable mention? US (amateur) hockey team defeats the mighty Russian at the 1980 Winter Olympics.
    A fine how-do-you-do to the Ruskies during the height of the cold war.

  21. Am I too late, oh well here goes
    1 – Bodyline 32/33 – because sometimes it is only the winning that matters. Mr Jardine and “our Harold” will always remain true legends and having visited 3 Aussie test grounds, I feel a part of the history
    2 – Derek Redmond, Barca 1992 – because sometimes it is only the taking part that matters. Well he embodied the true Olympic spirit and will never be forgotten for it
    3 – 2nd Division FA Cup winners (73-80) – Magnificent Sunderland, the 1st Cup final I watched (Montgomery’s miracle save from Lorimer – sorry Mike) / Super Saints stun United / Finally my beloved Hammers stooped to conquer – will we see their like again
    4 – Nadia Comeneci – Montreal 76 .. perfect 10, nuff said
    5 – Stuart Hall – the clown prince of reporters, whose prose and insight keeps us spellbound on Saturday afternoons even to this day (honourable mentions to Arthur Ellis, Eddie Waring, Gennaro and Guido)
    6 – Melbourne – Boxing day test of 1982, England’s famous 3 run win – the finale being the first live coverage of a test down under in the UK ever. In and out of Tavare’s hands and Miller runs round to take the catch – joy!
    7 – France 2 Israel 3 – WC qualifier 1993 – and au revoir it was
    8 – 2001 Goran Ivanisevic wins Wimbledon. OK he destroyed Tim’s dreams, but he was a wildcard, played with a smile and beat an Aussie (Rafter) in the final
    9 – 1986 Dancing Brave’s Arc – the horse who could time his finishes to almost computer like perfection, made up for the Derby travesty by winning Europe’s no 1 race
    10 – 2006 Kelly Sotherton’s Commonwealth Gold .. ok a minor event, but she’s the hottest woman on the planet
    11 – 1991 John Daly’s PGA at Crooked Stick – The stuff of legend, Wild Thing drove overnight as a late reserve, ruffled a few feathers, subsequently won the Open, lost fortunes, drank heavily – but lives to tell the tale.

  22. Knew you wouldn’t be able to resist a good list, Ellis!

    Ellis is the person I most have to thank for not having become an accountant. We used to spend entire lectures and tutorials in the first year of our Accounting & Finance degree in Manchester, way back in ’86, compiling sporting elevens. The writing was on the wall, and the following year I had my feet up on the table in Phil/Pol . . . discussing whether trees that fall in forests when no one is around actually make a noise. Ellis, I am eternally grateful!

    PS Just heard Harry Redknapp’s great comment on Gattuso’s headbutt on Joe Jordan: “The lad obviously hasn’t done his homework.” 😉

  23. And if you think Kelly Sotherton is hot how about Allison Stokke (US pole vault)???? The only female athlete to give Jarmila Kratochvilova a run for her (or his) money!

  24. Yes Andy, Allison is undoubtedly ‘hot’… but maybe Mike would care to allow us a Hot XI in the near future.

  25. Jerrold Kessel, in response to whose invitation I wrote the above piece, passed away yesterday following a long battle with cancer. This morning’s Haaretz published his final article, containing his two Dream Teams . . .

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/sports/on-the-couch-dream-on-1.345556

    Remarkably, the second one, based supposedly “on the political, social and human impact of the selected champions,” features – alongside human beings of the ilk of, inter alia, Jesse Owens – none other than the Scouse, cocaine-sniffing, homophobe, Robbie Fowler. I almost spat out my hafuch (latte)!

    Must have been the painkillers, Jerrold (and, for the record, Fowler did not miss that penalty on purpose). God bless.

  26. Having had my previous entries disallowed, here is another go. Obviously, any time United play is a sporting great moment in itself, but for detail….
    1. United winning European Cup and Treble with 2 last minute goals in 1999. I was in Barcelona with my Dad and 2 brothers. We beat the cheating krauts. Felt like the Moshiach was on his way.
    2. European Cup Semi-Final 1999, United away to Juventus, 2 – 0 down in 11 minutes, playing Zidane/Davids at the peak of their powers, Keane booked so would miss a Final. United win 3-2, Andy Cole slotting in the 3rd with a few minutes left to gloat at the fascist Italians waving their Mussolini flags. Keane totally magnificent. We beat the cheating Zidane.
    3. Giggsy’s run past the whole Arsenal team to win the 1999 FA Cup Semi-Final in Extra time, second leg, after Roy Keane sent off and Schmeichel had to save a last minute penalty from the normally cool Bergkamp. We beat the cheating cockneys.
    4. John “pleasant man” Terry falling on his brains AFTER missing penalty. United winning European Cup in 2008. I was in Moscow with my sister. We beat the cheating cockneys.
    5. United winning FA Cup in 1977 and denying Scousers the Treble with a flukey deflected goal. We beat the cheating scousers.
    6. Ireland beating Italy in New York City in World Cup 1994, and somehow reaching the quarter final! Nobody cheated.
    7. Mike Tyson destroying Trevor Berbick by 2nd round and winning the heavyweight title of the world when he was only 20 years, 4 months and 22 days. Nobody cheated.
    8. Red Rum’s 3rd Grand National win, after 2 second places, following his first 2 wins. No horse cheated.
    9. Altobelli’s celebration after scoring versus der cheating krauts in the 1982 World Cup Final. Still hate Harald Schumacher. Italy beat the cheating krauts.
    10. John McEnroe beating Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon to end Borg’s 41 game unbeaten run there. Resistance was not useless. Nobody cheated.
    11. Jonah Lomu running over Mike Catt of England, and brushing aside hard grown men like they were grass. Nobody cheated.

    THE BENCH
    12. For North Americans, Scott Norwood’s miss for the Bills versus the Giants at the end of the Superbowl XXV.
    13. Scotland beating the incredible Dutch side of the 1978 World Cup Final, capped by Archie Gemmil’s wonderful goal. The Jocks still went home though, so that’s why it’s not in top 11. Nobody cheated.
    14. Allan Wells leaning to win the 1980 100 metres Olympic Gold. Nobody cheated, except the Russians in every event.
    15. Van Basten’s volley versus Russia in 1988 European Championship. Nobody cheated.
    16. David Platt’s last minute goal in extra time versus Belguim in Italia ’90 World Cup. Time to do the conga. Nobody cheated.
    17. Ricky Villa’s goal versus shitty to win FA Cup for Spurs. Spurs beat the bitters. Nobody cheated.

  27. Oh dear Iron. If Arsenal and Chelsea are to be described as Cockneys, they would have to move a few miles I think – not even my team (The Irons, Iron) are ironically cockneys in the true sense – though spiritually we are. Re 9 – you clearly mean Marco Tardelli – poor Altobelli (who will probably remain forever the only sub to be subbed in a WCF, as Enzo Bearzot had to give an emotional few mins to Franco (top tache) Causio with the game won) did not have a clue how to celebrate, but Tardelli did. Top Man U moments …. Law’s back heel for City to relegate them, conceding 6 at the Dell, losing the league to Blackburn (with thanks to Miklosko) and so on ….

  28. Ellis, apart from “Sunderland . . . it’s there! It’s 3-2!!”, you left out the greatest of all . . . in ’58! (In case you are unaware, “Iron,” as well as having shared higher educational establishment with you, shares his name with that of a well-known Jewish bread product.)

    And thank you for reminding me of the man Greavsie used to refer to as “West Ham’s Irish goalie, Mik Losko”!

  29. Indeed – he is good mates with Rick O’Shea.

  30. I understood that anything Sarf of Watford is “cockney”. You can get the bells on an “app” anywhere, so I just go by the accent nowadays.
    As Melchett mentioned ’58, I believe I am now allowed to add Hillsborough as pay back for Heysel.
    United were already relegated when Law scored because of other results, so it is not quite correct to say his backheel sent them down.
    Sorry, you are right about Altobelli vs. Tardelli. Sometimes I get my ‘ellis mixed up, Ellis. From 1982 I remembered the crackly telephone line (Martin Tyler or Gerald Sinstadt?) commentary and Altobelli scoring in the final. Perhaps it was my youthful exuberance at that time which contributed to the final nail being put in the cheating krauts coffin, and feeling that the name Altobelli had been screamed. Perhaps it was me screaming it.
    P.s. Sunderland only beat Sheeps United 1-0 in the 1973 FA Cup Final, not 3-2. I believe the FA Cup was cancelled in 1979.

  31. Hillsborough? You sicko, Iron! I was not referring to the Munich air disaster . . . but, of course, to your makeshift side still reaching the FA Cup Final in the same year.

    Re the 1979 Sunderland, it’ll be my pleasure to jog your memory . . .

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